Christopher Kemp

Kemp & Sease
104 SW 4th Street, Ste. A
Des Moines, IA 50309

Chris is a founding member of Kemp & Sease, which opened its doors on October 1, 2010. He has handled hundreds of criminal and family law cases for his clients. Chris is also a mediator for Polk County family law cases. In addition to his representation in private practice, Chris has also served as the contract defense attorney for all juveniles involved in the Polk County Juvenile Drug Court program since October 2013.

Chris was born in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he was a three-year letter winner in football and also pole vaulted for the Knights? track and field team. After graduating early from Carleton, he spent six months in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, working as a substitute teacher and track and field coach at Pine Crest School.

Chris returned to the Midwest to attend Drake Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. While at Drake, he was a member of the Drake Law Review, gained practical experience through the Criminal Defense Clinic and Appellate Clinic, interned for the Honorable Federal Magistrate Judge Celeste F. Bremer in the Southern District of Iowa, worked at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and worked as a law clerk for the law offices of Rosenberg & Morse and the Stowers Law Firm. Chris graduated early from Drake Law School with High Honors in December 2009 and was sworn into the Iowa Bar Association in April 2010.

In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his family, reading, playing and watching sports, and woodworking.

Focus Areas
Criminal Defense
Family Law


J.D (High Honors), Drake University, 2010
B.A., Carleton College, 2006

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court- Southern District of Iowa

Professional Associations
Barrister, Blackstone Inn of Court
President, Dallas Bar Association
Iowa Bar Association
Polk County Bar Association
Polk County Bar Association Volunteer
Lawyers Project

Notable Cases
Ney v. Ney 891 N.W.2d 446 (2017). Mr. Kemp successfully argued this case to the Iowa Supreme Court, gaining reversal of the district court?s order dismissing his client?s case for lack of jurisdiction. The Court ruled that the statute governing the issuance of protective orders in certain situations does not eliminate the district court?s jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief prohibiting contact between persons not covered by the statute.

State v. Kern 831 N.W.2d. 149 (Iowa 2013) Convictions for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to deliver, and failure to possess a drug tax stamp overturned.

In re Marriage of Mineart, 2014 WL 3511874 (Iowa App. July 16, 2014). Mr. Kemp handled the appeal in which the Court of Appeals reduced his client?s spousal support obligation from $2000 per month to $1500 per month and awarded Mr. Kemp?s client an additional $42,621 in the property distribution.

State v. Dolph, 2012 WL 3590060  (Iowa App. August 22, 2012) Convictions for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and possession of marijuana reversed and charges dismissed.

In re Marriage of Kelly, 2013 WL 5229763  (Iowa App. September 18, 2013) Court of appeals upheld district court?s Order Modifying Decree of Dissolution, transferring primary custody of the minor child to Mr. Kemp?s client based on a substantial change in the circumstances. Mr. Kemp represented the Respondent at both the trial court and appellate level.

State v. Girres: Defendant found not guilty by jury on charges of Operating While Intoxicated and domestic abuse assault.

State v. Goemaat: Evidence suppressed resulting from a traffic stop where the officer?s only justification for initiating the stop was that the driver had air fresheners hanging from the rear-view mirror. Mr. Kemp argued, and the court agreed, that this common practice does not violate Iowa Code Section 321.438?s prohibition of driving with an obstructed view. As a result of the suppression, the felony drug charges were dismissed.

State v. Clarke: Evidence suppressed as a result of an illegal search and seizure and charges were dismissed. The court found that the defendant did not voluntarily consent to the search and the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to search the defendant?s person.

State v. Freeman: Defendant found not guilty by jury on charge of being a felon in possession.

State v. Yasumura: Evidence suppressed as result of unlawful search and seizure and charges dismissed.

State v. Cardenas: Defendant found not guilty of willful injury (Class C felony ? guilty of lesser-included simple misdemeanor assault charge).