from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A.
Benavidez appeals a district court remand order with regard
to his application for postconviction relief.
Christine E. Branstad of Branstad & Olson Law Office, Des
Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Richard J. Bennett,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
the fifth appeal relating to the first-degree murder
conviction of Pablo Benavidez, which resulted in a sentence
of life in prison without parole. See Benavidez v.
State, No. 17-1079, 2018 WL 1182625, at *2 (Iowa Ct.
App. Mar. 7, 2018); Benavidez v. State, No. 13-0109,
2014 WL 468021, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 5, 2014);
Benavidez v. State, No. 08-2039, 2010 WL 1875710, at
*2 (Iowa Ct. App. May 12, 2010); State v. Benavidez,
No. 04-1782, 2005 WL 3478094, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 21,
2005). In the 2018 appeal, Benavidez challenged a penalty
imposed following the district court's finding that his
third postconviction-relief application was frivolous.
See Benavidez, 2018 WL 1182625, at *1. Specifically,
he argued that the district court impermissibly deducted
fifty percent of the average balance in his inmate account
without first determining whether he had earned time credits
to deduct. See id. This court agreed with his
argument. Id. at *1-2. We remanded the case
"for a determination as to the appropriate
remand, the district court found that, when the district
court entered its original sanction order, Benavidez
"had 5748.40 days of earned time." The court
deducted 5000 days of those earned time credits.
appeal from the remand order, the only issue is whether the
district court abused its discretion in deducting 5000 days
of Benavidez's earned time credits as a penalty for
filing a frivolous action. See Maghee v. Iowa Dist.
Ct., 712 N.W.2d 687, 695 (Iowa 2006) (setting forth
standard of review). Benavidez argues the district court
"only consider[ed] the position and information provided
by [the State], which is itself an abuse of discretion."
statute on civil litigation by inmates and prisoners requires
the imposition of penalties on a finding that an action is
frivolous. See Iowa Code §§ 610A.2(1)(b)
(authorizing dismissal of an action on a finding that
"[t]he action . . . is frivolous"); 610A.3(1)
(stating the inmate "shall be subject to" the
enumerated penalties if an action is dismissed pursuant to
section 610A.2) (2018). The provision authorizes "[t]he
loss of some or all of the earned time credits acquired by
the inmate or prisoner." Id. §
remand hearing, the prosecutor recommended a deduction of
"all" the credits because, in her view, it was
"not much [of] a sanction to begin with, for someone who
is serving a life sentence without the possibility of
parole." Contrary to the State's recommendation, the
district court deducted "some" of Benavidez's
accrued earned time credits, albeit a large
"sum." The court exercised its discretion, and we
discern no abuse of discretion.
affirm the district court's deduction of 5000 days of
earned time credits as a penalty for Benavidez's