United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
Page Kelley United States Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff Steven “Shelby” Collymore alleges that
defendants, Suffolk County Sheriff's Department (SCSD)
and the Director of Medical Services (Medical Director) at
the South Bay House of Correction (SBHOC), have discriminated
against her by refusing to prescribe her the hormone
estrogen. This matter is before the court on defendant
Medical Director's motion to dismiss (#21) for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. No opposition
has been filed to the dispositive motion.
plaintiff does not allege facts plausibly supporting a claim
for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, the motion to dismiss
(#21) is GRANTED.
factual allegations in the complaint are accepted as true and
taken in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the
non-moving party. See Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555- 56 (2007). Collymore is an inmate
incarcerated at SBHOC since May 10, 2018, serving a one-year
sentence. (#1 at 6.) Plaintiff claims to be suffering from a
“major mental illness - gender identity disorder,
” Kosilek v. Maloney, 221 F.Supp.2d 156, 158
(D. Mass. 2002) (Kosilek I), a condition now known
as “gender dysphoria.” Kosilek v.
Spencer, 774 F.3d 63, 69 n.1 (1st Cir. 2014)
(Kosilek III). Anatomically male, Collymore alleges
she is transitioning “to that of a female” and
has expressed her “made up mindset” and
“desire” to be prescribed estrogen by SBHOC's
medical department. (#1 at 6.) She has attended therapy
sessions with a medical provider at SBHOC several times and
is “beyond adamant about being a transgender
to Collymore, the Medical Director denied her request for
estrogen because, unlike other transgender individuals in
SBHOC custody who were given the hormone, plaintiff had not
been prescribed estrogen by a primary care provider before
her incarceration. Id. While in SBHOC, plaintiff has
been prescribed a high blood pressure medication that she had
not been prescribed prior to her incarceration. Id.
at 7. In plaintiff's view, this differing treatment
supports her claim that she is “being discriminated
against, ” id. at 6, and her belief that her
“civil rights are being violated.” Id.
of relief, Collymore seeks “to have the present rules
at [SBHOC] and other similar institutions” amended to
allow transgender individuals to be “given the female
hormone estrogen even if one wasn't prescribed the female
hormone prior to their being incarcerated.”
Id. at 4. Plaintiff seeks a judgment in her favor
mandating that defendants and similar institutions
“amend the present way [they] treat transgender
individuals from further transitioning.” Id.
motion to dismiss, defendant Medical Director contends first,
that plaintiff has not adequately pled that she has received
constitutionally inadequate medical care and, second, that he
is protected by the doctrine of qualified immunity. (#22.)
Rule 12(b)(6) Standard.
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) challenges a party's complaint for failing to
state a claim. In deciding such a motion, a court must
“accept as true all well-pleaded facts and draw all
reasonable inferences therefrom in the pleader's
favor.” Keach v. Wheeling & Lake Erie Ry. Co.
(In re Montreal, Me. & Atl. Ry., Ltd.), 888 F.3d 1,
6 (1st Cir. 2018); González v. Vélez,
864 F.3d 45, 50 (1st Cir. 2017). When considering a motion to
dismiss, a court “may augment these facts and
inferences with data points gleaned from documents
incorporated by reference into the complaint, matters of
public record, and facts susceptible to judicial
notice.” Haley v. City of Bos., 657 F.3d 39,
46 (1st Cir. 2011) (citing Banco Santander de P.R. v.
Lopez-Stubbe (In re Colonial Mortg. Bankers Corp.), 324
F.3d 12, 15 (1st Cir. 2003)); In re Montreal, 888
F.3d at 7 n.2.
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must
provide “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The First Circuit
The plausibility standard requires a court to choreograph a
two-step pavane. See A.G. v. Elsevier, Inc., 732
F.3d 77, 80 (1st Cir. 2013). First, the court must
“strip away and discard the complaint's conclusory
legal allegations.” Shay v. Walters, 702 F.3d
76, 82 (1st Cir. 2012). Second, “the court must
determine whether the remaining facts allow it ‘to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.'” Doe v. Backpage.com,
LLC, 817 F.3d 12, 24 (1st Cir. 2016) (quoting
Morales-Cruz v. Univ. of P.R., 676 F.3d 220, 224
(1st Cir. 2012)).
In re Montreal, 888 F.3d at 6. After undertaking
this exercise, “[d]ismissal is warranted when a
complaint's factual averments are ‘too meager,
vague, or conclusory to remove the possibility of relief from
the realm of mere conjecture.'” Id.
(quoting SEC ...