University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Carcaño v. McCrory PA-NC-0002
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-00236 ( M.D. N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Public Accomm./Contracting
Special Collection Transgender Bathroom Access Cases
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Lambda Legal
Case Summary
This is one of several federal lawsuits addressing North Carolina Session Law 2016-3, House Bill 2 (“H.B. 2”), which was passed in March 23, 2016. For the others, see related cases section, below.

On February 22, 2016, the Charlotte City Council passed Ordinance 7056, which ... read more >
This is one of several federal lawsuits addressing North Carolina Session Law 2016-3, House Bill 2 (“H.B. 2”), which was passed in March 23, 2016. For the others, see related cases section, below.

On February 22, 2016, the Charlotte City Council passed Ordinance 7056, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in public accommodations, passenger vehicle for hire, and city contractors. The city ordinance was set to take effect on April 1, 2016.

In response, on March 23, 2016, the North Carolina legislature held a special session and passed House Bill 2; it was signed that same day by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. HB2 prohibits municipalities in North Carolina from enacting anti-discrimination policies and removes the statutory and common-law private right of action to enforce state anti-discrimination statutes in state courts. It also requires that in government buildings, individuals may only use restrooms and changing facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. For many transgender people, this prevents them from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity (in North Carolina, only people who undergo sex reassignment surgery can change the sex on their birth certificates; some other jurisdictions have even more restrictive rules. In addition, the legislation changes the definition of sex in the state's anti-discrimination law to "the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person's birth certificate,” which prevents discrimination against transgender people from being classified as a type of sex discrimination.

On March 28, the ACLU and the Lambda Legal Defense Fund filed this complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, challenging the constitutionality and legality of HB2 under federal law. They sued under 42 U.S.C §1983, the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.); several transgender individuals, lesbian couples, the North Carolina Chapter of the ACLU, and the non-profit organization Equality North Carolina were the plaintiffs. They asked the court to declare most of HB2 unconstitutional or illegal under Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972, to preliminarily and permanently enjoin North Carolina from enforcing the illegal portions of HB2, and to award plaintiffs costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees. They also sought separate injunctive relief requiring the State of North Carolina to allow individuals to use single-sex facilities in accordance with their gender identity in public buildings, and requiring the state to allow local governments in North Carolina to enact and enforce anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people.

One of the defendants, the University of North Carolina, has also asked the judge to stay proceedings against them pending the final resolution of the cases G.G v. Gloucester School Board and U.S. v. North Carolina. The G.G case, ED-VA-0002 in this Clearinghouse, is a Virginia case where a transgender student's high school denied him access to multi-occupancy, gender segregated facilities that matched his gender identity. The case made it to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the court found that the district court judge had erred both in his refusal to consider evidence favoring the plaintiff when he denied their motion for preliminary injunctive relief, and in his failure to give deference to the DOE’s interpretation of Title IX when granting the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The Circuit Court then remanded the case to the district court judge, who granted a preliminary injunction. U.S. v. North Carolina is a case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against the state of North Carolina, in which the DOJ makes many of the same legal arguments made by the plaintiffs in this case, which is also in an early stage of litigation.

This case is still in an early stage. The District Judge assigned to the case, Judge Thomas D. Schroeder, has not yet decided whether to grant the requested stay, or anything on the merits.

Ryan Berry - 06/16/2016

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Supremacy Clause
Accommodation / Leave
Medical Exam / Inquiry
Gender identity
Sexual orientatation
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Bathing and hygiene
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
School/University Facilities
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of North Carolina
Plaintiff Description The North Carolina chapter of the ACLU, Equality North Carolina, and several transgender individuals and lesbian couples
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Lambda Legal
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PA-NC-0004 : United States v. State of North Carolina (M.D. N.C.)
PA-NC-0003 : McCrory v. United States (E.D.N.C.)
PA-NC-0005 : North Carolinians for Privacy v. United States Department of Justice (E.D.N.C.)
PA-NC-0006 : Berger v. United States Department of Justice (E.D.N.C.)
1:16-cv-00236-TDS-JEP (M.D. N.C.) 05/31/2016
PA-NC-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 03/28/2016
PA-NC-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 04/21/2016
PA-NC-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Schroeder, Thomas D. (M.D. N.C.)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Borelli, Tara L. (Georgia)
PA-NC-0002-0001 | PA-NC-0002-0002 | PA-NC-0002-9000
Brook, Christopher (North Carolina)
PA-NC-0002-0001 | PA-NC-0002-0002 | PA-NC-0002-9000
Davidson, Jon Warren (California)
Gill, Elizabeth O. (California)
PA-NC-0002-0001 | PA-NC-0002-0002 | PA-NC-0002-9000
Palazzolo, Kyle A. (Illinois)
PA-NC-0002-0001 | PA-NC-0002-0002 | PA-NC-0002-9000
Platzer, Luke C. (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0002-0002 | PA-NC-0002-9000
Renn, Peter C. (California)
PA-NC-0002-0001 | PA-NC-0002-0002 | PA-NC-0002-9000
Smith, Paul M. (District of Columbia)
PA-NC-0002-0002 | PA-NC-0002-9000
Strangio, Chase (New York)
PA-NC-0002-0001 | PA-NC-0002-0002 | PA-NC-0002-9000
Ziko, Thomas J (North Carolina)
Defendant's Lawyers Bowers, Karl S. (South Carolina)
Brooks, Bernard Erwin (Texas)
Duncan, S. Kyle (District of Columbia)
Gordon, Frank J. (North Carolina)
Potter, Robert D. Jr. (North Carolina)
Pratt, Carolyn C. (North Carolina)
Stewart, William Woodley Jr. (North Carolina)
Other Lawyers None on record

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