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The Ramsey Report

In terms of February’s workload, 8 Felony cases came in and 10 were disposed. Felony cases are the most serious of criminal cases. The State’s case tracking system reflects total of 90 pending Felony cases for Clarke County, down by 4.

Indictable Misdemeanors are Misdemeanor crimes that are punishable by more than a year but no more than two years of incarceration. Misdemeanor crimes are categorized as Aggravated, Serious, and Simple. Aggravated Misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanors and can be punished by up to two years in prison. Serious Misdemeanor crimes are punishable by up to one year in the County Jail. Simple Misdemeanor crimes are punishable by up to 30 days in the county jail. As you can imagine, fines increase with the severity of the crime.

In February, 15 Indictable Misdemeanors came in and 10 were disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects that the pending number up from 179 to 184.

In February, 309 Simple Misdemeanors came in and 268 were disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects that the total number of pending Simple Misdemeanors is up from 498 to 536. The Clarke County Attorney’s Office participated in a few depositions on criminal matters and a few mediations on child school attendance. In February the County Attorney litigated 1 Jury trial, 2 Bench Trials, and wrote a couple legal briefs on pending criminal matters. Assistant Clarke County Attorney, Kevin Reisetter, successfully chaired his first jury trial. Much ribbing has been given to Kevin as his first trial involved chickens that crossed the road and led to one driver rear-ending another. Of course no one could resist asking Kevin why the chickens had crossed the road.

In February, the Clarke County Attorney’s Office Juvenile case load included 2 new Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases with 4 disposed. The State’s case tracking system reflects 100 CINA (& other) cases and 114 total pending Juvenile cases. In January there were 3 hearings on contested Juvenile matters. No Juvenile Delinquency cases came in and 1 case was disposed of. The State’s case tracking system rests at 14 total pending Juvenile Delinquency cases.

As we recognize the costs of administering justice should not rest solely on the law abiding tax payers of Clarke County, this Office’s efforts recoup a portion of the costs of administering justice are ongoing. As has been previously reported, for the first time in Clarke County’s history, this Office has undertaken the collection of delinquent fines that are owed to the County and has had measurable success in doing so. We provide a report every month to the Clarke County Auditor and Board of Supervisors. In the past, a for-profit contractor performed this function and took a significant portion of the proceeds for doing so. As has been reported in the Des Moines Register, most of Iowa’s delinquent court debt previously went uncollected and the public costs it was meant to cover fell traditionally back on the taxpayers. In other words, this Office’s current efforts are designed to help offset the necessity for taxation. In February, this Office has also been working closely with the Sheriff’s Office to assist with the initial collection of fees and the collection of delinquent fees owed to Clarke County for the housing and the medical treatment of prisoners as the law prescribes. As you can imagine, collection of fines, fees, and medical costs from those convicted of crimes that refuse to pay our County, is a time consuming and challenging task to which our Assistant Clarke County Attorney dedicates considerable effort. Though his approach is rigorous it is not an insensitive one. We do everything we can to help people resolve their delinquent debt, we help them get on payment plans with the Court and to regain their driving privileges if the State of Iowa as suspended them for nonpayment.

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