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Moore v. Maine Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. Maine

July 24, 2019

WALTER WILLIAM MOORE, a/ka Nikki Natasha Petrovickov, Plaintiff
v.
MAINE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge

         Defendants Correct Care Solutions, LLC, Robert Clinton, M.D., and Correctional Medical Services, Inc., have moved for summary judgment in this action in which Plaintiff, an inmate at the Maine State Prison, alleges Defendants did not provide adequate treatment for gender dysphoria. (Motions, ECF Nos. 170, 173.)

         Following a review of the summary judgment record and after consideration of the parties' arguments, I recommend the Court grant Defendants' motions for summary judgment.

         Summary Judgment Standard

         “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “After the moving party has presented evidence in support of its motion for summary judgment, ‘the burden shifts to the nonmoving party, with respect to each issue on which he has the burden of proof, to demonstrate that a trier of fact reasonably could find in his favor.'” Woodward v. Emulex Corp., 714 F.3d 632, 637 (1st Cir. 2013) (quoting Hodgens v. Gen. Dynamics Corp., 144 F.3d 151, 158 (1st Cir. 1998)).

         A court reviews the factual record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, resolving evidentiary conflicts and drawing reasonable inferences in the non-movant's favor. Perry v. Roy, 782 F.3d 73, 77 (1st Cir. 2015). If a court's review of the record reveals evidence sufficient to support findings in favor of the non-moving party on one or more of the plaintiff's claims, a trial-worthy controversy exists, and summary judgment must be denied as to any supported claim. Id. (“The district court's role is limited to assessing whether there exists evidence such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” (internal quotation marks omitted)). Unsupported claims are properly dismissed. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

         Summary Judgment Record

         When presented with a summary judgment motion, a court ordinarily considers only the facts included in the parties' statements of material facts, which statements must be supported by citations to evidence of record. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) and District of Maine Local Rule 56(b)-(d) require the specific citation to record evidence. In addition, Local Rule 56 establishes the manner by which parties must present their factual statements and the evidence on which the statements depend. A party's pro se status does not relieve the party of the obligation to comply with the court's procedural rules.[1] Ruiz Rivera v. Riley, 209 F.3d 24, 27-28 & n. 2 (1st Cir. 2000); Marcello v. Maine, 489 F.Supp.2d 70, 77 (D. Me. 2007).

         By rule, a party seeking summary judgment must file, in addition to its summary judgment motion, a supporting statement of material facts setting forth each fact in a separately numbered paragraph, with each factual statement followed by a citation to evidence of record that supports the factual statement. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(b). A party opposing a motion for summary judgment must file an opposing statement in which it admits, denies, or qualifies the moving party's statements by reference to each numbered paragraph, with citations to supporting evidence, and in which it may set forth additional facts, in separately numbered paragraphs, with citation to supporting evidence. D. Me. Loc. R. 56(c). Here, Plaintiff did not file a response to either Defendants' motions or to their supporting factual statements.

         “Facts contained in a supporting … statement of material facts, if supported by record citations as required by this rule, shall be deemed admitted unless properly controverted.” D. Me. Loc. R. 56(f). Additionally, “[t]he court may disregard any statement of fact not supported by a specific citation to record material properly considered on summary judgment.” Id. Finally, “[t]he court shall have no independent duty to search or consider any part of the record not specifically referenced in the parties' separate statement of facts.” Id.

         Factual and Procedural Background [2]

         Plaintiff is a transgender individual incarcerated at the Maine State Prison. (DSMF ¶ 1.) Plaintiff asserts she has been denied adequate care for gender dysphoria. (DSMF ¶ 2.) Plaintiff contends that upon her intake to the prison in 2005, she was receiving hormone treatment, but the treatment was terminated. (DSMF ¶ 3; Complaint at 3.) The prison's medical personnel did not provide Plaintiff with hormone medication at the prison. (DSMF ¶ 2; Complaint at 3.) In November 2008, Plaintiff was sent to the Riverview Psychiatric Hospital, where Plaintiff was placed on hormones, but the prison's medical providers discontinued the hormones upon Plaintiff's return to the prison. (DSMF ¶ 4; Complaint at 3.) Defendant Correctional Medical Services, Inc. (“CMS”) was the health care provider to the prison during relevant times in 2005 and 2008. (CMS SMF ¶ 5; Complaint at 4.)[3]

         In 2005 and 2008, the Maine Department of Corrections (MDOC) had a prisoner grievance policy that governed complaints about medical and mental health care. (DSMF ¶ 6.) The policy involved a multi-step process. As the first step, the policy required the inmate to attempt to resolve the complaint informally with medical or mental health staff, followed by the filing of a formal grievance with the facility's Grievance Review Officer, an appeal to the Chief Administrative Officer of the facility, and then an appeal to the Commissioner of the MDOC. (DSMF ¶ 7.)

         Plaintiff “placed a number of requests and [grievances], [and] all [grievances] were appealed to the State Commissioner level.” (Complaint at 2.) Plaintiff, however, did not file a third-level grievance in 2005. (DSMF ¶ 8.) Plaintiff also did not file a third-level grievance in the six-month period beginning November 1, 2008. (DSMF ¶ 9.)

         Defendant Correct Care Solutions, LLC (“CCS”) began providing health care services to the MDOC in July 2012.[4] (DSMF ¶ 10.) In November 2014, Dr. Sarah Miller, a board-certified forensic psychologist, assessed Plaintiff. (DSFM ¶ 21-22.) As the time, given Plaintiff's complex clinical presentation, Dr. Miller concluded that the available data did not support full criteria for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. (DSFM ¶¶ 23-24.) Based on Dr. Miller's 2014 ...


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