Dems: Judiciary – week of April 4, 2016

April 8, 2016

SF 2061 – Representation of indigent persons in criminal proceedings

SF 2185 – Trespass and invasion of privacy

SF 2233 – Deployed parents’ custody and visitation

HF 493 – Right to summon emergency assistance

HF 2270 – Father’s right to notice in juvenile court proceedings

HF 2335 – Disposition of real property in a trust, powers of agent under a power of attorney

HF 2373 – Technical changes for Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies

HF 2399 – Comprehensive domestic violence bill



SF 2061 clarifies that indigent people are entitled to legal representation if they face the possibility of imprisonment (including jail time) per the statute or ordinance under which they’ve been charged. The State Public Defender is responsible for coordinating the representation. The bill confirms that the State Public Defender is also responsible for coordinating the legal representation of all indigents seeking post-conviction relief, charged with contempt and various other criminal proceedings. An indigent person may waive the right to an appointed attorney or may not request the appointment of an attorney.


The House amended the bill to require local governments to reimburse the State Public Defender for payments made to attorneys who represent indigent people charged with violating a local ordinance. The Senate amended the House amendment with language that mirrored SF 2265, a Judicial Branch bill to modernize Iowa’s Jury Management System. It passed the Senate earlier in the session but was not taken up by the House. This language eliminates the use of a jury commission to draw juror lists, requires the master jury list to be updated electronically each year and to include the nonoperator’s identification list.

[4/6: 49-1 (Chelgren “no”)]


SF 2185 adds a new definition of “trespass” under Code section 716.7(2) to include intentionally viewing, photographing or filming another person who is in a dwelling when there is no legitimate purpose for it, there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and the individual has not consented to being viewed. In addition, under this new definition of trespass, a person is trespassing if they place on or retrieve from the other person’s property equipment to view, photograph or film them without legitimate purpose. This new definition of trespass will be a serious misdemeanor. The House amended the bill to make the separate crime of invasion of privacy an aggravated misdemeanor rather than a serious misdemeanor. In addition, the House added definitions for film and reasonable expectation of privacy.

[4/6: 50-0]


SF 2233 creates a new Code Chapter, 598C, the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act. This Act will provide a process for deployed service members and non-deploying parents to follow regarding custody and visitation of their children during deployment. In addition, the bill provides uniformity among states regarding deployed parents and child custody and visitation.


When a parent is being deployed, the parents can enter into a temporary agreement regarding custodial responsibility during deployment. The bill specifies the information required in the agreement, which terminates upon the return of the deployed parent. An agreement under this Chapter must be filed with the court. If parents do not enter into an agreement, the court may issue a temporary order granting custodial responsibility, including custodial responsibility to a non-parent.


The House amended the bill to require the courts to consider Iowa National Guard law when issuing orders related to deploying parents’ custody and visitation; provide for the appointment of a guardian ad litem or attorney to represent the best interests of a child if a grant of custody during deployment needs to be modified; allow for contact between a returning deployed parent and his or her children prior to the expiration of any custodial agreement; and ensure any past or future deployment is not considered when determining custody issues. The Senate concurred in the House amendment.

[4/6: 50-0]


HF 493 is the “Right to Assistance” bill relating to local ordinances and the right of tenants to call for help for victims of crimes and for emergency assistance. The Senate did a strike-after amendment that adds a new section to Chapter 562A, the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Law, and a new section to 562B, the Manufactured Home Communities or Mobile Home Parks Residential Landlord Tenant Law. These new sections are intended to protect crime victims from being penalized by landlords and cities or counties because of calls to law enforcement or for other emergency assistance. The amendment applies the same requirements to both chapters.


The amendment (S-5085):

  1. Preempts any city or county ordinance that violates the new Code sections.
  2. Prohibits a landlord from infringing upon a tenant’s right to summon law enforcement assistance or other emergency assistance by or on behalf of a victim of abuse, a victim of a crime or an individual in an emergency.
  3. Prohibits a city or county from imposing a penalty against a resident, owner, tenant or landlord because any of them was a victim of a crime or abuse. Ordinances cannot penalize a resident, owner, tenant or landlord because any of them sought emergency assistance or law enforcement assistance for a victim of abuse, a victim of a crime or an individual in an emergency. The call for assistance must have been done with a reasonable belief that emergency assistance was necessary to prevent abuse or a crime; with a reasonable belief that it was an emergency; or in the event of abuse, crime or other emergency, the assistance was actually needed.
  4. Cities and counties can enforce ordinances premised upon grounds other than a request for law enforcement assistance or other emergency assistance by a resident, owner, tenant or landlord; or the fact that the resident, owner, tenant or landlord was a victim of a crime or abuse.
  5. Cities and counties maintain the ability to collect penalties, fines or fees for services provided for cleanup of the property and false alarms.
  6. If an owner/manager or city/county violates provisions of this law, those injured by a violation can recover damages, including equitable relief, actual damages, reasonable attorney fees and court costs. However, landlords and managers cannot recoup attorneys’ fees.

[4/6: 50-0]


HF 2270 amends the definition of “parent” in Iowa’s Juvenile Justice Chapter (232) to include a father whose paternity has been established by operation of law because of the individual’s marriage to the mother at the time of conception, birth or at any time during the period between conception and birth. A parent also includes person declared the father by order of a court of competent jurisdiction or by administrative order when authorized by state law.

[4/6: 50-0]


HF 2335 is a probate bill from the Bar Association that:

  • Dispenses with the requirement that a person who is the fiduciary for an estate who is also an interested person as defined by Code provide notice to themselves when a petition affecting real property of the estate is filed by the fiduciary.
  • Adds language to the Iowa Trust Code that outlines what types of notice relating to trust proceedings are permissible, including electronic notice.
  • Fixes various sections of Iowa’s Power of Attorney Act (POA) from the 2014 legislative session:
    • Clarifies that a person who refuses to accept an acknowledged power of attorney may be liable for any damages suffered by the principal (person who created the power of attorney) as well as reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred in any proceeding that validates the power of attorney or mandates acceptance of the power of attorney.
    • Clarifies that if a general power relating to real property is included in the power of attorney document, the agent (person who has the power of attorney) can transfer or release the principal’s homestead rights.
    • Deletes an agent’s authority to reject, renounce, disclaim, release or consent to a reduction in or modification of a share in or payment from an estate, trust or other beneficial interest, unless that authority is specifically provided for in the power of attorney.
    • Allows an agent to set up a “Miller Trust” for the benefit of the principal if the power of attorney grants general authority with respect to benefits from government programs or civil or military service. A “Miller Trust” is a medical assistance income trust as defined in section 633C.1 of the Code.

[4/6: 50-0]


HF 2373 amends the Uniform Limited Partnership Act (Code chapter 488) and the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (Code chapter 489). Both Code chapters are administered by the Secretary of State. The changes include:


  • Amendments to the Uniform Limited Partnership Act – When referring to a limited partnership’s place of business and person specified to receive service of process, the bill changes the name “designated office” to “registered office” and the name “agent for service of process” to “registered agent for service of process” or “registered agent.”
  • Amendments to Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act – The bill changes the information required in a certificate of existence issued to a domestic limited liability company or certificate of authorization issued to a foreign limited liability company. Information required in a certificate is combined into one provision for both domestic and foreign companies. The bill also makes changes to the information required in an application for a certificate of authorization, including the limited liability company’s date of formation and its principal officers. Its certificate of existence filed in another state or country accompanying the application must be dated no earlier than 90 days prior to the date of application.

The Senate adopted an amendment clarifying that when a foreign limited liability company applies for a certificate of authority to transact business in Iowa, the application must include the name, street and mailing address of at least one member or one manager if the company is member-managed or manager-managed.

[4/6: 50-0]


HF 2399 is a comprehensive domestic violence bill. The bill:

  1. Adds dating violence to the list of assaults that qualify as domestic abuse assault.
  2. Creates the crime of unauthorized placement of a GPS device.
  3. Expands the definition of stalking.
  4. Sets a mandatory minimum floor in Code for stalking, harassment and three or more convictions for domestic abuse, but allows the court to order a longer mandatory minimum above the floor set in Code.
  5. Requires risk assessments for domestic abusers.
  6. Provides for electronic monitoring of domestic abusers.
  7. Ensures those convicted of domestic abuse stalking, domestic abuse harassment, and three or more domestic abuse assaults cannot get a deferred judgment or deferred sentence.
  8. Prohibits any accumulation of earned time for abusers who refuse to participate in programming for batterer.

[4/6: 50-0]

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