No castle doctrine, or stand your ground law, Buuuut....(long)

No castle doctrine, or stand your ground law, Buuuut....(long)

This is a discussion on No castle doctrine, or stand your ground law, Buuuut....(long) within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Off and on for 30 years, I've had a permit to carry. Iowa has no "Castle Doctrine" law, per se... Nor does it have "Stand ...

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Thread: No castle doctrine, or stand your ground law, Buuuut....(long)

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    No castle doctrine, or stand your ground law, Buuuut....(long)

    Off and on for 30 years, I've had a permit to carry. Iowa has no "Castle Doctrine" law, per se... Nor does it have "Stand Your Ground" or "Make My Day" laws.

    In every CWP class I've been in, both professional and personal (Iowa has currently 2 types of permit, one for the citizen=personal, one for LE or security=professional), there has always been major discussion of the "fact" that You can be legally right, morally right, but civilly liable. IOW, it can be a legal shooting in self defense, but you could still be sued for loss of consortium, monetary supprt, and the like... We have often been told that every shot fired, every individual bullet casing, could be a seperate suit.

    Our law in Iowa is changing after the first of the year, making us a "shall issue" state (yay).

    Friends of mine recently attended a NRA gun safety course... which meets the requirement of the new law... no gun handling required.

    One of them had been to the CWP course under the old law (but had not passed the range qualification), and at that course, was taught the same as I had been all these years regarding civil liability. The other was waiting for the new law to take effect, so they both went to this course together and will submit their documentation after the first of the year.

    At this current course for the new permit, which was given by a "soon to pass the bar"-almost-lawyer, they were told to be concerned about civil liability... but not so much.

    Without giving all the various codes here which would make this unbearably long(er)... Here are pertinent truths about Iowa law.

    You can use "reasonable force" including deadly force to prevent injury or risk of safety to yourself or another, and you do not have to retreat from your home, place of business, or employment. (704.1 "reasonable force").

    We went all through that in class... and then the instructors warned us about the civil liability. In the NEW class, although the laws have not changed regarding reasonable force; the instructor, the almost-a-lawyer brought to light this bit of Iowa code:

    707.6 Civil liability.
    No person who injures the aggressor through application of reasonable force in defense of the person's person or property may be held civilly liable for such injury.
    No person who injures the aggressor through application of reasonable force in defense of a second person may be held civilly liable for such injury.
    So, it seemed to him that while we don't have a specific "law" called "Make My Day," "Castle Doctrine" or "Stand Your Ground"... that the laws we DO have cover it. And that any civil suit would/should be summarily thrown out if the defender was using reasonable force (which could concievably be determined by the original investigating officers (not pressing charges), or being found innocent of using unreasonable force (at a criminal trial)).

    IANAL.. but it certainly seems this instructior was correct. (does injury include death?). So, Iowa may be a good place to be if you defend yourself legally.

    Comments?
    Discussion?
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Sig35seven's Avatar
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    I think the entire issue is a common sense answer. If my life was threatened I'd use deadly force NO MATTER WHAT THE LAW SAID. I wouldn't allow myself or my family to be harmed because of a fear that I might be sued. So it really doesn't matter to me. Never did.
    "Confidence is food for the wise man but liquor for the fool"

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    There are three separate issues:

    1) Castle doctrine (for the home and/or car)
    2) Stand Your Ground (although CD covers this in certain places, SYG could apply anywhere where "one has a right to be," and is slightly different. In other words, CD necessarily includes SYG, but SYG does not necessarily include CD.)
    3) Civil Immunity

    The three don't always go together. For example, some states give you CD in your home, but then say you have a duty to retreat if you're at a gas station. Or, they'll have CD and SYG, but no civil immunity clause.

    Looks like you have a civil immunity clause. That is good. You should be ok, then. No need to worry about getting sued as long as you were careful and it was a righteous shoot.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Seems to me like you're covered as far as civil lawsuits go. Good to hear.
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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig35seven View Post
    I think the entire issue is a common sense answer. If my life was threatened I'd use deadly force NO MATTER WHAT THE LAW SAID. I wouldn't allow myself or my family to be harmed because of a fear that I might be sued. So it really doesn't matter to me. Never did.
    I can agree with that, except, I carry my weapon to protect myself and my loved ones. If I am alone, and there is cause to shoot; I have to consider whether my actions, right or wrong, will affect my loved ones and in what way. Granted, If my life is threatened, and it should be based on my use of deadly force, then the outcome of no resistance would probably be my death, that would adversly affect my loved ones, obviously. If I am righteous, but civilly liable, that can be nearly as devastating as though I were dead: loss of income, home, etc.

    The civil immunity as Paul points out, is an answer to assuage peace of mind... Outside of the house (or place of bidness or employment) though, there could be a "reasonable man thought" that the defender could have retreated. And civil liability might be a possibility.

    On the whole, I'm of the beleif that my weapon is of last resort, and that should be sufficient. Civil liability and other thoughts will be way down on any OODA loop... and in a real scene, would probably not be there at all. Surviving will be the main goal, everything else will be ignored in the moment.
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    From what I have seen, even states that have retreat, etc type statutes, they state that you must be able to retreat in complete safety, or it is not required. That would not seem difficult to satisfy for any reasonably articulate person.

    An area with civil protection against justified SD is nearly always better than one without.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    From what I have seen, even states that have retreat, etc type statutes, they state that you must be able to retreat in complete safety, or it is not required. That would not seem difficult to satisfy for any reasonably articulate person.

    An area with civil protection against justified SD is nearly always better than one without.
    Iowa doesn't require retreat... but does state that your use of force (reasonable, deadly)may be used in home, place of business, employment, even if alternative would allow safe escape without risk to safety or life... sort of implying that if such alternative avenues are available (and are safe), not using those avenues might be a cause for legal action if not involved in home, workplace or place of employ...

    Picking nits, I know.... so it's really not a concern. The civil protection is there in any scenario I can envision using a firearm,
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Idaho's is fairly simple. Justifiable homicide encompasses preventing a felony, no retreat, no dancing, no nothing and civil protection is also provided.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    On a related note, I wonder how many people have thought about their liability in collateral damage/innocent bystander situations even WITH Castle doctrine laws. It almost seems that people take that relief as relief from all civil liability and it simply is not so. As your passage from law states the whole protection is against the "aggressor" and you would and still are liable for any bullet launched from your gun that might strike other than the aggressor. You can be completely in the right, use deadly force but strike a bystander too and your likely not going to be liable for the aggressor but will be fair game for the bystander. Food for though.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Being on the border of Iowa and being able to carry legally there come Jan 1st, its good to know.

  11. #11
    Member Array zackn's Avatar
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    Hey RJ, I'm in Omaha too. Wish we could get a statute like this here, considering that we currently seem to have NO provisions in our favor (Castle, SYG, etc).

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