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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Prisoner Juan Chavarria argues that illuminating his cell 24 hours per day caused him to lose sleep. After his two grievances and a meeting with a prison official did not result in the lights being dimmed overnight, he filed a pro se lawsuit. The district court’s magistrate found that, although sleep constitutes a basic human need, Chavarria had not shown a deprivation rising to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation; there was no evidence he made complaints to medical personnel about lack of sleep and because the policy was a reasonable security measure. The magistrate dismissed the claim as frivolous because the complaint lacked any arguable basis in law and failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. HOLDING:Affirmed The district court can dismiss a complaint filed by a prisoner against an officer or employee of a governmental entity if the complaint “is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. �1915A(b)(1). A complaint is legally frivolous when it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory. Under � 1915A, the appellate court reviews a dismissal as frivolous for abuse of discretion and can affirm on any basis supported by the record. A two-part test governs whether a prisoner has established a constitutional violation: 1. there is an objective requirement to demonstrate conditions “so serious as to deprive prisoners of the minimal measure of life’s necessities,” as when the prisoner is denied “some basic human need,” and 2. under a subjective standard, the prisoner must show that the responsible prison officials acted with deliberate indifference to the prisoner’s conditions of confinement. While conditions of confinement that constitute severe deprivations without penological justification violate a prisoner’s rights under the Eighth Amendment, a prison regulation that infringes upon a prisoner’s constitutional rights will be upheld if it is reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. Moreover, prison officials are not required to adopt the policy least restrictive of prisoners’ rights, so long as the policy itself is reasonable. Although sleep constitutes a basic human need, the court finds Chavarria cannot establish an Eighth Amendment violation because he cannot show that his deprivation is unnecessary and wanton. According to Chavarria, defendant Major Alford told him the lights were kept on in the administrative segregation area for security reasons to prevent guards being assaulted by an inmate in a dark cell. A policy of dimming the lights at night and brightening them each time the guards passed by the cell would be even more disruptive to inmate sleep and thus was not an alternative that would fully accommodate the prisoner’s right to sleep. The policy of constant illumination is thus reasonably related to the legitimate penological interest of guard security and does not violate the Eighth Amendment. Thus, Chavarria’s complaint about the policy is based upon an indisputably meritless legal theory and the magistrate’s determination that Chavarria’s lawsuit was frivolous was correct. Reavley concurring: “. . . I regard this judicial attention as much ado about nothing. A little cloth over his eyes would solve the problem, negate deprivation, and escape this exercise in frivolity.” King dissenting: Chief Judge King would find an abuse of discretion and remand for further proceedings, because Chavarria has alleged 1. a denial of sleep (a basic human need) for four years with adverse physical effects and 2. that the defendants are acting with deliberate indifference to the conditions of his confinement. Those allegations suffice, he notes, to disprove the court’s finding that Chavarria’s Eighth Amendment claim is based on an “indisputably meritless legal theory.” He also states that, at this preliminary stage of the proceedings, it is too early to resolve the question of first impression in the circuit � whether constant illumination constitutes an actionable Eighth Amendment claim. OPINION:Garza, J.; King, C.J., Reavley, J. and Garza J.

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