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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Adams v. Federal Bureau of Prisons PC-MA-0041
Docket / Court 1:09-cv-10272-JLT ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization GLAD
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Case Summary
On February 24, 2009, a prisoner serving her sentence in a facility operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiff, represented by public interest and private attorneys, ... read more >
On February 24, 2009, a prisoner serving her sentence in a facility operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The plaintiff, represented by public interest and private attorneys, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the prison's refusal to provide medical care for plaintiff's Gender Identity Disorder (GID) constituted a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

The plaintiff was diagnosed with GID in 2005 by mental health providers employed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Despite knowledge of the diagnosis, the prison refused to provide medical treatment. Following a suicide attempt and self-mutilation by the plaintiff, the prison transferred the plaintiff to an inpatient mental health unit. At the mental health unit, the plaintiff was still denied sufficient treatment, even being disciplined for continued attempts at self-mutilation. The plaintiff's complaint alleged that the prison promulgated and enforced a policy that denies prisoners with GID, including the plaintiff, individualized evaluation and constitutionally adequate treatment. Furthermore, she alleged that the prison's medical director and psychiatrist failed and refused to treat her GID condition.

On July 10, 2009, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. After a motion to dismiss the amended complaint was denied, the parties entered into mediation and settlement talks. As part of the parties' settlement agreement, the Federal Bureau of Prisons agreed to issue guidance relating to the treatment of prisoners with GID disorder. The defendant also agreed to: note in plaintiff's medical file to address her as "she", sign a declaration indicating it has no opposition to a name change, continue to provide the plaintiff with appropriate hormone treatment unless medically contraindicated, provide the plaintiff access to female commissary items, provide hair removal treatment, consult with the plaintiff regarding vocal therapy, and evaluate treatment after eighteen months.

On September 29, 2011, the court (Judge Joseph Tauro) approved the parties' stipulation of voluntary dismissal with prejudice.

Priyah Kaul - 11/02/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
General
Classification / placement
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Personal injury
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Bivens
Defendant(s) Federal Bureau of Prisons
Plaintiff Description A prisoner in the Federal Bureau of Prisons who suffers from Gender Identity Disorder.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations GLAD
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2011 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1:09−cv−10272 (D. Mass.) 02/19/2013
PC-MA-0041-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 02/24/2009
PC-MA-0041-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint 07/10/2009
PC-MA-0041-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum 06/07/2010 (716 F.Supp.2d 107) (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0041-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Compromise Settlement and Release 09/29/2011
PC-MA-0041-0004.pdf | Detail
Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal With Prejudice 09/29/2011
PC-MA-0041-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Tauro, Joseph Louis (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0041-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Capobianco, Cassandra J. (Florida)
PC-MA-0041-0001 | PC-MA-0041-0002 | PC-MA-0041-0004 | PC-MA-0041-0005
Hertz, Diane (New York)
PC-MA-0041-0004 | PC-MA-0041-0005 | PC-MA-0041-9000
Kurker, Allyson (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0041-0001 | PC-MA-0041-0004 | PC-MA-0041-0005
Levi, Jennifer (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0041-0001 | PC-MA-0041-0002 | PC-MA-0041-0004 | PC-MA-0041-0005
Marksamer, Jody (California)
PC-MA-0041-0001 | PC-MA-0041-0002 | PC-MA-0041-0004
Minter, Shannon (California)
PC-MA-0041-0001 | PC-MA-0041-0004
Stoll, Christopher Francis (California)
PC-MA-0041-0004 | PC-MA-0041-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fauci, James J. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0041-0004 | PC-MA-0041-0005 | PC-MA-0041-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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