The Iowa Supreme Court issued a rare split decision in a case involving court fees.
Lori Mathes appealed the dismissal of a possession of marijuana charge after being ordered to pay more than $2,800 for a court-appointed attorney costs. She said in the appeal, the dismissal was based on a bad warrant and she only agreed to pay the fees if they were under $500 to get the issue over with. She says an assessment should have been done on her ability to pay the fees.
The Monona County District Court threw out the appeal — saying a defendant does not have the right to appeal following the dismissal of charges. The Iowa Supreme Court reviewed the case and three justices voted to uphold the district court ruling — while three said they would vacate the ruling — and one justice did not take part.
With no deciding vote, the district court ruling stands.