Judiciary Committee Report – week 8, 2017

SF 88 – Simulated firearms and explosives
SF 172 – Employers required using E-verify to determine immigration status of applicants
SF 241 – Law enforcement officer privilege
SF 280 – Possession of small amounts of marijuana
SF 292 – Juvenile records
SF 308 – Domestic abuse, stalking, harassment
SF 313 – Mistreatment of animals other than livestock
SF 325 – Initial appearance before a magistrate when crime involves a firearm
SF 358 – Authorizing electronic search warrants
SF 361 – Temporary delegation of parental authority
SF 374 – State Public Defender policy bill
SF 376 – Relating to claims for asbestos exposure
SF 384 – Nonsubstantive Code Editor’s bill
SF 385 – Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act (RUAAA)
SF 401 – Sexual Abuse protective orders
SF 403 – Theft of equipment rental property
SSB 1009 – Cities regulating occupancy of real property based on familial stratus
SSB 1010 – Statute of Repose
SSB 1088 – Immunity from prosecution for alcohol related offenses after seeking emergency assistance
SSB 1093 – Relating to adoption
SSB 1094 – Action to quiet title and the doctrine of adverse possession
SSB 1101 –Traffic safety bill
SSB 1132 – Substantive Code Editor’s bill
SSB 1148 – Civil asset forfeiture



Senate File 88 modifies robbery in the first degree to include when a person is armed with a simulated firearm, defined as a device that appears to be a firearm when displayed or when represented to be a firearm. Robbery in the first degree is a “B” felony. In addition, the bill modifies the crime of intimidation with a dangerous weapon if a person with the intent to injure or provoke fear, displays or represents a simulated firearm or simulated explosive to be a firearm or explosive capable of being shot thrown, launched, or discharged at, into or in a building, vehicle, airplane, railroad engine, railroad car, or boat, occupied by another person. That is a class “C” felony. Doing the same without the intent to injure or provoke fear or anger in others is a class “D” felony.
[2/28: short form]


Senate File 172 prohibits an employer, defined as a person or entity that transacts business in this state and employs ten or more fulltime employees in Iowa, from knowingly employing an “unauthorized alien” as defined by federal law and requires Iowa employers to use the federal e-verify system to determine whether an applicant for employment is an unauthorized alien. For violations of this law, the County Attorney must bring an action against the employer in the county where the employee is or was employed by the employer. The action against the employer must be expedited and a hearing must be held at the earliest possible date. To receive any economic incentives (excluding tax credits), an employer must be registered with the e-verify system.
[2/28: 9-4 (Bisignano, Boulton, Petersen, Taylor “no”)]


Senate File 241 relates to law enforcement officer privilege. As amended in Committee, the bill prohibits requiring a law enforcement officer to give evidence in any criminal proceeding or to be questioned regarding:

  • Personal identifying information about the law enforcement officer or immediate family members of the law enforcement officer or any information unrelated to the officer’s duties which could be used to threaten, harm or intimidate the officer or the officer’s family.
  • Identification documents necessary to conduct a lawful undercover criminal investigation.

In addition, the name, photograph, compensation and benefit records, time records, residential address or any other personal identifying information of an undercover law enforcement officer must be confidential while the undercover officer is actively involved in an investigation.
[2/28: short form]


Senate File 280 makes a first offense possession of five grams or less of marijuana a simple misdemeanor punishable by no more than 30 days in jail and a fine of at least $65 but not more than $625 or by both. Under current law, first offense possession of marijuana is punished as a serious misdemeanor with confinement of no more than six months or a fine of up to $1,000 or both. First offense possession of more than five grams of marijuana will continue to be punishable as a serious misdemeanor.
[3/1: 12-1 (Schultz “no”)]


Senate File 292, as amended in Committee, allows a person’s juvenile delinquency records to be sealed even though the person committed a felony, aggravated misdemeanor or a serious misdemeanor within the two year after the last action in the juvenile case, if 10 years have passed since the person’s conviction for the felony, aggravated misdemeanor or serious misdemeanor.
[3/1: 10-3 (Bisignano, Kinney, Taylor “no”)]


Senate File 308 relates to the crimes of domestic abuse, harassment and stalking. The bill includes these provisions:

  • If a person is convicted of violating a domestic abuse no-contact order or civil protective order or held in contempt of court for violating an order, that person must submit to a risk assessment.
  • Adds dating violence in the definition of criminal domestic abuse assault.
  • Mandates that a person who is convicted of a third or subsequent domestic abuse assault must serve a mandatory minimum sentence between one-fifth and the maximum term of confinement as determined by the sentencing court. It’s a “D” felony, which means a person can be ordered to serve a one-year or greater mandatory minimum.
  • Requires those convicted of domestic abuse assault to submit to a risk assessment.
  • Requires that those convicted of harassment in the first degree — which involved a domestic relationship, as defined in the bill — be denied parole or work release until the person has served between half and the maximum term of confinement as determined by the Court. Harassment in the first degree is an aggravated misdemeanor involving a threat to commit a forcible felony. In addition, harassment in the first degree is committed when a person is convicted of harassment three or more times during the preceding 10 years. Aggravated misdemeanors are punishable by up to two years confinement.
  • Expands the definition of stalking to include utilizing a technological device to locate, listen or watch a person without legitimate purpose and the course of conduct directed at a specific person would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, or intimidated or threatened that the person intends to cause bodily injury. The person should know that a reasonable person would feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, etc.
  • A person who commits Class “C” or Class “D” stalking that involved a domestic relationship must serve a mandatory minimum sentence between one-fifth and the maximum term of confinement as determined by the Court at sentencing.
  • Creates the crime of unauthorized placement of a GPS device, a serious misdemeanor.
  • Pursuant to a required risk assessment for domestic abuse related violations, the Court must determine the conditions of release and may order electronic tracking and monitoring as a condition of release. In addition, as a condition of probation, parole, work release, special sentence, etc. electronic tracking and monitoring may be a required.
  • Reduces the earned time that an offender can receive if convicted of a third domestic abuse assault, harassment in the first degree that involved a domestic relationship or stalking class “C” or “D” that involved a domestic relationship. An inmate who is required to but does not participate in and complete a domestic abuse treatment program must not be eligible for a reduction in sentence (earned time).
  • The Board of Parole must develop a validated risk assessment for domestic abuse-related offenses.
  • Provides that there will be no deferred judgment or deferred sentence or suspended sentence for those convicted of a third or subsequent domestic abuse assault. There can be no deferred judgment or deferred sentence for harassment in the first degree that involved a domestic relationship or stalking “C” or “D” that involved a domestic relationship. However, the stalking and harassment convictions that involved a domestic relationship are eligible for suspended sentences.
    [3/1: short form]


Senate File 313 makes changes to Chapter 717B, the Injury to Animals Other Than Livestock Chapter. The bill:

  • Clarifies the distinction between neglect (the failure to provide care) and abuse (a direct action causing injury).
  • Clarifies the definition of animal abandonment.
  • Removes the exceptions for an abuse offense for the owner or a person acting with the consent of the owner.
  • Improves the definition of the required minimum standard of care.
  • Provides enhanced penalties based on the severity of the injuries sustained by the animals.
  • Clarifies the definition of animal torture and makes it a felony upon a first offense.
  • Enhances penalties for those with previous convictions under this Chapter.
  • Allows the Court to order a person found guilty of a violation under this Chapter to undergo a psychological or psychiatric evaluation.
  • Allows the Court to prohibit a person convicted of a violation under this Chapter from owning or obtaining custody of an animal or residing in the same dwelling where an animal is kept.
  • Creates the offense of animal endangerment for leaving animals in a vehicle under extreme conditions and allows law enforcement officers to rescue animals from the vehicles.
    [2/28: 8-5 (Edler, Garrett, Schultz, Shipley, Sinclair “no”)]


Senate File 325 requires that if a person is arrested for a crime which involves the use of a firearm, that person cannot be released on bond or pursuant to pre-trial release without having an initial appearance before a magistrate.
[2/28: short form]


Senate File 358 provides that search warrants may be applied for and issued electronically. Pursuant to an electronic application, magistrates can communicate electronically with the applicant and the magistrate may administer the person’s oath or affirmation by electronic means. In addition, an inventory of any property seized pursuant to the warrant may be filed with the magistrate or clerk of court. Current law requires the inventory to be filed with the magistrate.
[2/23: short form]


Senate File 361 allows parents and guardians to sign a power of attorney delegating to another person authority regarding the care or custody of the child. The power of attorney must be signed by all parents, guardians, and legal custodians and acknowledged before a notary public or other individual authorized to take acknowledgments. A power of attorney which delegates parental authority to another does not delegate the authority to consent to a child’s marriage; power to consent to a child’s adoption; power to consent to an abortion on the child; or consent to termination of the parents’ rights relating to the child. The Committee adopted an amendment to limit a power of attorney that delegates parental authority to 90 days with a possible one-time extension.
[2/23: short form]


Senate File 374 is the State Public Defender policy bill, which:

  • Amends the Code to conform to the Iowa Supreme Court decision in State v. Young to clarify that an indigent person is entitled to counsel when the crime they are charged with carries any possibility of confinement under the applicable statute.
  • Changes the language which allows the State Public Defender to contract with nonprofit organizations for the provision of legal services but requires that the nonprofits must “employ” lawyers. Some nonprofits such as the Innocence Project use volunteer attorneys so the language that requires and entity to “employ” attorneys is deleted.
  • Allows the State Public Defenders field offices to maintain conflict separation in a virtualized cloud environment. Current law requires maintenance of separate servers in 20 field offices, but the concern regarding conflict separation can be handled through virtual separation.
  • Allows State Public Defenders to report case expenses within a reasonable time after a case is closed rather than the 10 days under current law.
    [2/27: short form (Shipley absent)]


Senate File 376 sets out requirements for those filing claims for asbestos exposure with asbestos bankruptcy trust claims and filing civil suits with the court claiming asbestos exposure. The bill details what a plaintiff must file in each case, time limits for these filings and specifies the proof required to prove damage as a result of asbestos exposure that resulted in the plaintiff’s specific injury. The bill requires that a plaintiff who files a civil asbestos action must disclose documents and information related to claims against any asbestos trust to a defendant within the later of 30 days of filing an asbestos action or 30 days of the effective date of this legislation. The bill further provides that trust claim materials and governance documents are presumed to be relevant, authentic, and are admissible as evidence in an asbestos action. This bill will essentially limit recovery for damages that a plaintiff has experienced because of asbestos exposure that resulted in serious health problems and/or death.
[2/23: 8-5, party-line]


Senate File 384 is the nonsubstantive Code Editor’s bill, which is submitted each year by the Iowa Code Editor to the Judiciary Committees for the purpose of making Code changes that generally exceed the Code Editor’s authority to make editorially but that are considered to be nonsubstantive and noncontroversial. In some cases, the changes are within the Code Editor’s authority but are significant enough that public notice of the changes by means of this bill is considered to be important.
[2/27: short form (Shipley absent)]


Senate File 385 makes changes to Iowa’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act. The original Act was passed with the intention of insuring that athlete agents adhere to certain requirements when recruiting athletes. The bill:

  • Expands the definition of “athlete agent” to include financial advisors, brokers and business services people who may contact student athletes.
  • Requires athlete agents to register with the Secretary of State, who is given the authority to write rules to implement the Chapter.
  • Expands disclosure requirements for agents so that students and their parents will know exactly who they are dealing with.
  • Strengthens the requirement that agents give notice of their involvement to educational institutions;
  • Increases penalties for an agent who violates the law.
  • Enhances remedies available to the student-athlete and education institutions aggrieved by agent non-compliance
    [2/27: short form (Shipley absent)]


Senate File 401 provides a process for victims of sexual abuse to get a civil protective order that would require the perpetrator of the abuse to stay away from the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s residence, school or place of employment.  Under current law civil protective orders are available for victims of domestic abuse and victims of elder abuse.  However, those who have suffered sexual abuse are not able to apply for a civil protective order. They can only get a no-contact order if there is a criminal prosecution, which does not always happen. The process provided for in Senate File 401 is very similar to the process for civil protective orders for domestic abuse. The Committee adopted an amendment which provides that those protected pursuant to a domestic abuse civil protective order or a sexual abuse civil protective order can sign up for notifications from a victim notification system established within the Victim Assistance Division of the Attorney General’s Office. The protected person and other interested those who register will receive notification regarding service of the protective order upon a respondent as well as notification of when the protective order will expire, at least 30 days prior to the expiration date.
[2/27: short form (Shipley absent)]


Senate File 403 adds theft of equipment rental property to the definition of theft. The aggregate value of the equipment rental property must be the original retail value of the property. Evidence of the intent to deprive the owner of the property includes using a false name, address or other identification or deception to obtain the use and possession of the equipment rental property. It is also evidence to deprive the owner of the property if a person lawfully obtains the property, but fails to return the property or pay the fair market value of the property within 48 hours after receiving a written notice and demand from the owner.
[2/27: short form (Shipley absent)]


Senate Study Bill 1009 prohibits a city from adopting or enforcing any regulation or restriction that limits the occupancy of residential rental property based upon familial or non-familial relationships between the occupants.
[2/28: short form]


Senate Study Bill 1010  relates to a Statute of Repose for improvements to real property. The bill:

  • Maintains the statute of repose relating to nuclear power plants and interstate pipelines at 15 years;
  • Sets the statute of repose for residential construction at 10 years;
  • Maintains a statute of repose at 15 years when there is intentional misconduct or fraudulent concealment of an unsafe or defective condition.
  • Sets a statute of repose for all other improvements to real property at eight years.
    [2/28: 9-4 (Bisignano, Boulton, Petersen, Taylor “no”)]


Senate Study Bill 1088, as amended in Committee, provides immunity from criminal prosecution for alcohol related offenses if a person in good faith contacts first responders or law enforcement, seeking emergency assistance for an alcohol-related overdose or assistance as a result of an assault, sexual abuse or human trafficking.
[2/28: short form]


Senate Study Bill 1093 is intended to deal with the growing problem of adoption fraud.  The bill:

  • Limits adoption services only to state licensed adoption agencies and attorneys. Both are strictly regulated for ethical practices and competency.
  • Toughens penalties for scamming prospective adoptive parents.
  • Caps allowable expenses payable to expectant parents who are making an adoption plan.
  • Requires that all expenses paid to expectant parents be documented and reported to the court in the termination proceeding as well as in the adoption proceeding to catch abuses at the time they are occurring rather than just being reviewed at the final adoption.
  • Requires adoption agencies to utilize separate escrow accounts for adoptive parents’ funds used for birthparent expense rather than commingling them with agency funds, and requires a detailed accounting of expenditures required to adoptive parents.
    [3/1: short form]


Senate Study Bill 1094 adds a new Code section which provides that in an action to quiet titled based upon the doctrine of adverse possession, the party claiming title must prove that the adverse possessor has been in hostile, actual, open, exclusive, and continuous possession of the real property under either claim of right or color of title for at least ten years and that the adverse possessor has paid the property taxes assessed on the property for the period of possession.
[2/28: 9-4, (Boulton, Bisignano, Kinney, Petersen “no”)]


Senate Study Bill 1101 is a traffic safety bill.  It has two distinct parts:

Division l- Use of an Electronic Communication device while driving: If a person is using a handheld electronic communication device while driving and causes an accident which results in a homicide or serious injury, that will be considered prima facie evidence of reckless driving, a Class “C” felony. Exclusions are:

  • A member of a public safety agency performing official duties and acting reasonably.
  • Healthcare professionals or EMS providers in the course of an emergency acting in a reasonable manner.
  • A person using an electronic communication device in a hands-free or voice-operated mode.


Division II – Statewide Sobriety and Drug Monitoring Program: This division requires the Department of Public Safety to create a statewide sobriety and drug monitoring program for jurisdictions (counties for example) that want to participate. If a defendant is charged with an offense that involves abuse of alcohol or a controlled substance, a court or officer of a participating governmental entity may — as a condition of bond, pretrial release, sentence,  probation, parole or a temporary restricted license — require the defendant to participate in the sobriety and drug monitoring program. A defendant may be ordered to:

  • Abstain from alcohol and controlled substances.
  • Submit to twice per day testing to determine if alcohol or drugs are being used.
  • Use an alternative method to twice per day testing if it creates a hardship or is geographically impractical.

If the participant fails to show up for testing or tests positive, he/she can be jailed for up to 24 hours pending a hearing. If it’s a failure to show up, the magistrate can issue a warrant for the arrest of the participant. The divisions relating to the statewide sobriety and drug monitoring program are repealed July 1, 2022.
[3/1: short form]


Senate Study Bill 1132 is the Substantive Code Editor’s bill.  The bill eliminates obsolete and redundant language, clarifies and updates some very old provisions, corrects citations and internal references, updates names of organizations and publications, makes changes to Code section numbering, and makes a variety of other similar types of updates throughout the Code.
[2/28: short form]


Senate Study Bill 1148 relates to asset forfeiture and includes a prohibition on civil asset forfeiture for property valued at less than a minimum amount, increases the standard of proof required for asset forfeiture to clear and convincing evidence, prohibits the transfer of seized property to the federal government for forfeiture for property valued at less than a minimum amount, requires a proportionality review with regard to property to be forfeited and requires law enforcement agencies to retain certain records related to asset forfeiture.
[3/1: short form]