Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Winter v. Mills

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 26, 2018

HERMIONE KELLY IVY WINTER, formerly known as David Allen Allemandi, Plaintiff,
v.
MONICA MILLS, et al., Defendants. HERMIONE KELLY IVY WINTER, formerly known as David Allen Allemandi, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. P. MUNOZ, et al., Defendants. HERMIONE KELLY IVY WINTER, Plaintiff,
v.
CHRISTOPHER SENATO, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Hermione Kelly Ivy Winter ("Plaintiff), formerly known as David Allen Allemandi, an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("VCC") in Smyrna, Delaware, has filed several actions in this Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pattperis.

         II. BACKGROUND

         In the three above-captioned cases, Plaintiff seeks treatment of gender dysphoria and a religious diet. Plaintiff filed motions for injunctive relief in Civ. No. 16-890-LPS at D.I. 28 and Civ. No. 17-1432-LPS at D.I. 25. The Court ordered Defendants to respond to the motions with responses due on or before March 15, 2018. Defendants filed the same response in both cases. (See Civ. No. 16-890-LPS at D.I. 36; Civ. No. 17-1432-LPS at D.I. 32)

         In the meantime, Plaintiff commenced a new civil action and filed two motions for injunctive relief. (See Civ. No. 18-351-LPS at D.I. 3, 10) On March 19, 2018, she filed another motion for injunctive relief in Civ. No. 17-1432-LPS. (See Id. at D.I. 40) On March 23, 2018, she filed six more motions seeking injunctive relief: three in Civ. No. 16-890-LPS at D.I. 42, 43, and 44, and three in Civ. No. 17-1432-LPS at D.I. 42, 43, 44. On March 26, 2018, Plaintiff filed identical emergency motions for injunctive relief in Civ. No. 16-890 at D.I. 45 and Civ. No. 17-1432-LPS at D.I. 45 threatening a hunger/liquid strike if he does not receive a vegan diet. Because the recent motions for injunctive relief seek the same relief as is sought in the motions to which Defendants filed responses, the Court sees no need to order Defendants to respond to the motions filed in Civ. No. 16-890-LPS at D.I. 42, 43, 44, 45; Civ. No. 17-1432-LPS at D.I. 40, 42, 43, 44, 45; and Civ. No. 18-351-LPS at D.I. 3, 10.

         Plaintiff identifies as a woman. She seeks injunctive relief to receive medical care in form of "feminizing hormone replacement treatment" and an adequate nutritional religious vegan diet, both of which she states have been recommended by physicians and religious leaders. She wants a television and also asks that she be allowed to possess her "greeman witch talisman" which protects her and keeps her focused. (See Civ. No. 17-143-LPS at D.I. 40; Civ. No. 18-31-LPS at D.I. 3, 10) Plaintiff threatens self-castration, suicide, and that she will starve herself if, by March 30, 2018, she is "not provided a high caloried high protein vegan tray, [] feminizing HRTs, and a T.V." (D.I. 40 at 2)

         III. LEGAL STANDARDS

         A preliminary injunction is "an extraordinary remedy that should be granted only if: (1) the plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) denial will result in irreparable harm to the plaintiff; (3) granting the injunction will not result in irreparable harm to the defendant; and (4) granting the injunction is in the public interest." NutraSweet Co. v. Vit-Mar'Enterprises, Inc., 176 F.3d 151, 153 (3d Cir. 1999) ("NutraSweet II"). The elements also apply to temporary restraining orders. See NutriSweet Co. v. Vit-MarEnterprises., Inc., 112 F.3d 689, 693 (3d Cir. 1997) (“NutraSweet I") (temporary restraining order that continues beyond time permissible under Rule 65 must be treated as preliminary injunction, and must conform to standards applicable to preliminary injunctions). "[F]ailure to establish any element in [a plaintiffs] favor renders a preliminary injunction inappropriate." NutraSweet II, 176 F.3d at 153. Furthermore, because of the intractable problems of prison administration, a request for injunctive relief in the prison context must be viewed with considerable caution. See Rush v. Correctional Med. Services, Inc., 287 Fed.Appx. 142, 144 (3d Cir. July 31, 2008) (citing Goff v. Harper, 60 F.3d 518, 520 (8th Cir. 1995)).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         A. Gender Dysphoria

         Plaintiff seeks an order requiring Defendants to place her on hormone replacement treatment ("HRT"). (See Civ. No. 16-890-LPS at D.I. 28; Civ. No. 17-1432-LPS at D.I. 25, 40) She threatens to harm herself if the treatment is not provided by March 30, 2018. In opposition to the motions, Defendants submitted a comprehensive summary of Plaintiffs condition prepared by Robin Belcher-Timme ("Dr. Belcher-Timme"), chief psychologist of Connections Community Support Programs ("Connections") and chair of the Gender Dysphoria Consultation Group ("GDCG"). (See Civ. No. 16-890-LPS at D.I. at Ex. A; Civ. No. 17-1432-LPS at D.I. 32 at Ex. A)

         As explained by Dr. Belcher-Timme, Plaintiff identified herself to the treatment team as transgender in early 2015, and was diagnosed with gender dysphoria on March 22, 2017. The treatment provided to Plaintiff is consistent with Delaware Department of Correction Policy 11-E-14 Treatment of Transgender Persons 2, and Connections' statewide procedure for the evaluation and treatment of gender dysphoria. Plaintiffs treatment is coordinated by her treatment team with the GDCG and her case is followed closely by the GDCG with consultation to the treatment team at VCC on a regular basis. Dr. Belcher-Timme explains that individuals transitioning from male to female, and who begin HRT, experience significant mood alteration and lability as they adjust to decreased levels of testosterone and increased levels of estrogen, along with other physical and psychological changes. For individuals with premorbid diagnosed serious mental illnesses, especially those conditions that include affective dysregulation like borderline personality disorder, these potential side effects are more pronounced and cause significant distress for the individual. Dr. Belcher-Timme states there is fear that the risks can outweigh the benefits of HRT in particular cases, and it is not always in the patient's best interests to rapidly impose medical interventions that can have an iatrogenic and dangerous impact.

         Dr. Belcher-Timme's report and Plaintiffs medical records indicate that she receives continued and regular treatment for her condition, including individual therapy twice a week and group therapy five days per week. In addition, the medical records indicate that Plaintiff is closely followed for psychiatric close observation due to her suicidal ideation. In October 2017, Plaintiff was placed in the Residential Treatment Unit at the VCC, where she remains to date. The unit is designed for individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness. Plaintiff has been seen dozens of times by mental health clinicians and psychiatric providers and has been consistently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorders. Plaintiff has been placed on psychiatric close observation due to concerns about suicidality, which are consistently conditioned on her demands for HRT.

         There are several factors considered when determining whether Plaintiff is a candidate for HRT. Plaintiff must demonstrate a persistent, well-document diagnosis of gender dysphoria. She has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria for less than one year and has not allowed the prescribed interventions to have an impact due to her demands for the interventions she desires. Plaintiff has not engaged in the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.