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Case No. 19-2075

State of Iowa
v.
Mark Bernard Retterath

Following a remand from the decision in State v. Retterath, 2017 WL 6516729 (Iowa Ct App. Dec. 20, 2017), in which the court of appeals conditionally affirmed defendant’s conviction of solicitation to commit murder but ordered an in camera review of the privileged mental health records of two trial witnesses for possible exculpatory information, the State appealed from a district court order granting defendant a new trial. The State contended the court erred in finding retrial was necessary because the court was unable to review the mental health records of one of the witnesses on remand due to the witness’s refusal to consent. The court of appeals reversed the district court’s ruling. Defendant seeks further review.

County:
Mitchell

Resister

State of Iowa

Applicants

Mark Bernard Retterath

Attorneys for Resister

Louis S. Sloven

Attorneys for Applicants

Alfredo Parrish
Gina Messamer
Jessica Donels

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-2075
Date Published:
Dec 16, 2020
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Mitchell County, James M. Drew, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (14 pages)

            The State appeals from the district court’s order granting Mark Retterath a new trial for solicitation to commit murder following a remand in 2017, when we instructed the district court to conduct an in camera review of mental-health records of two State’s witnesses.  OPINION HOLDS: Because we did not contemplate one of the witness’s mental-health records would be unavailable when we issued the first remand, we clarify the scope of Iowa Code section 622.10(4) (2016) in this appeal.  Finding no language in the statute entitling Retterath to a retrial based on the unavailability of a witness’s records, we reverse the order granting a new trial.  But we remand again for the court to conduct an in camera review of the other State’s witness, as directed in the first remand order. 

Other Information

Date Retained:
Feb 24, 2021
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