Benavidez v. State, 082119 IWCA, 18-1217

Docket Nº:18-1217
Opinion Judge:VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Party Name:PABLO BENAVIDEZ, Applicant-Appellant, v. STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.
Attorney:Christine E. Branstad of Branstad & Olson Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant. Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Richard J. Bennett, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Judge Panel:Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Greer, JJ.
Case Date:August 21, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Iowa
 
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PABLO BENAVIDEZ, Applicant-Appellant,

v.

STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 18-1217

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 21, 2019

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano, Judge.

Pablo 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.

Thomas 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.

This is 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 sanction."

On 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.

In this 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...

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