United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
C. NIVISON, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
action, Plaintiff Scott Gagnon, also known as Missy Gagnon,
alleges that Defendant Correct Care Solutions acted with
deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical
needs while Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Maine
matter is before the Court on Defendant's motion for
summary judgment. (ECF No. 41.) Defendant filed its motion on
July 17, 2017. Plaintiff has not filed a response to the
a review of the summary judgment record, and after
consideration of Defendant's motion,  I recommend the
Court grant the motion.
record establishes that beginning in 2012, Defendant has
maintained a Gender Identity Disorder/Gender Dysphoria
Policy. The Gender Dysphoria Policy J-G-02a is intended to
ensure that individuals who are experiencing gender dysphoria
issues are appropriately treated. (Id. ¶ 2.)
follows the World Professional Association for Transgender
Health guidelines regarding the treatment of gender
dysphoria. (Id. ¶ 3.) The guidelines provide
standards for the health care of transgender individuals. The
standards are designed to provide clinical guidance for
health care professionals in treating transgender
individuals. (Id. ¶ 4.)
to the policy, when a transgender individual requests an
evaluation or medical accommodation, Defendant begins an
evaluation process. (Id. ¶ 5.) The process
initially involves the review of records from community
providers and the completion of a psychological evaluation,
which could include a clinical interview, mental status exam,
psychological assessment, cognitive assessment and the
development of treatment recommendations. (Id.
also has a Gender Dysphoria Committee that provides
consultation regarding treatment available for individuals
with gender dysphoria. (Id. ¶ 7.) Defendant has
a multidisciplinary team that develops an initial treatment
plan for discussion with the Gender Dysphoria Committee.
(Id. ¶ 8.) After the implementation of an
individualized treatment plan, the multidisciplinary team
meets periodically to assess the effectiveness of the
treatment. (Id. ¶ 10.)
intake at the Maine State Prison on January 29, 2013,
Plaintiff identified as a transgender person.
(Defendant's Statement of Material Facts ¶ 11, ECF
No. 43.) Plaintiff, however, did not notify Defendant until
April 2015 that she wished to be treated for issues related
to gender identity. (Id. ¶ 13.) A mental health
care provider met with Plaintiff on April 16 and 23, 2015,
during which meetings the clinician and Plaintiff discussed
issues related to Plaintiff's gender identity.
(Id. ¶ 14.) On June 2, 2015, Plaintiff
requested an evaluation for gender dysphoria. (Id.
¶ 16.) Plaintiff was seen and evaluated in June 2015,
and subsequently, she began counseling with Dr. Sarah Miller.
(Id. ¶ 17.) Dr. Miller conducted an extensive
clinical interview and follow-up testing, which resulted in a
diagnosis of gender dysphoria on July 22, 2015. (Id.
¶¶ 19, 20, 23.) Following the diagnosis, Defendant
convened a multidisciplinary team to develop a treatment
plan. (Id. ¶ 25.)
October 8, 2015, when the treatment team met with Plaintiff
to discuss the treatment plan and objectives, Plaintiff
agreed to participate. (Id. ¶¶ 33 - 34.)
Through a dialogue in November and December, Plaintiff
expressed her objectives, including a desire to move slowly
with transitioning her appearance and with a change in
housing. At the same time, Defendant and the Department of
Corrections conferred to discuss the appropriate place for
Plaintiff to reside as she progressed with the treatment.
(Id. ¶ 43.)
commenced hormone therapy on July 14, 2016. (Id.
¶ 48.) In September 2016, the Department of Corrections
transferred Plaintiff to the Maine Correctional Center, to
reside with the female population in a single cell.
(Id. ¶ 60.) Care providers monitored
Plaintiff's hormone levels and adjusted her therapy to
ensure steady progress. (Id. ¶¶ 62, 66.)
During this process, the team declined a request for laser
hair removal treatment, but other options were offered to
address facial hair removal. (Id. ¶¶ 64,
69, 72.) Plaintiff was not exhibiting emotional symptoms of
gender dysphoria, suggesting her course of treatment was
responsive to that condition. (Id. ¶ 71.) While
at the Correctional Center, Plaintiff received mental health
care approximately two to four times each month, until her
release on May 5, 2017. (Id. ¶ 88.)
filed her verified complaint on October 28, 2016, shortly
after she was transferred to the Correctional Center. (ECF
No. 1.) Plaintiff alleged she had fought “for
years” with Defendant to assess her as a transgendered
individual, but acknowledged that she was seen and assessed
after she filed a grievance. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff
asserted that even after she filed the grievance, progress
with her treatment was slow and “several months”
passed before hormone therapy began. (Id.)
filed a verified amended complaint on November 25, 2016. In
the amended complaint, Plaintiff asserted various allegations
regarding the lack of appropriate treatment. (Verified
Amended Complaint, ECF No. 11.) When Plaintiff was released
in May 2017, the Department of Corrections provided Plaintiff
with a ...