on the briefs [*]:
from the United States District Court for the District of
Kansas (D.C. No. 5:16-CV-03077-EFM-DJW)
Michelle Renee Lamb a/k/a Thomas Lamb, pro se.
R. Carswell, Assistant Solicitor General, Bryan C. Clark,
Assistant Solicitor General, and Rachael D. Longhofer,
Assistant Attorney General, Office of Attorney General for
the State of Kansas, Topeka, Kansas, for Defendants-Appellees
Joe Norwood, Johnnie Goddard, and the Kansas Department of
Corrections; Casey L. Walker and Trevin Erik Wray, Simpson,
Logback, Lynch, Norris, P.A., Overland Park, Kansas, for
Defendant-Appellee Paul Corbier; and Jeffrey T. Donoho and
Roger W. Slead, Horn Aylward & Bandy, LLC, Kansas City,
Missouri, for Defendant-Appellee Corizon Health Services.
BACHARACH, McKAY, and BALDOCK, Circuit Judges.
BACHARACH, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Renee Lamb was born a male. From a young age, however,
Michelle displayed feminine characteristics and identified as
a female. Michelle is now in state prison and is experiencing
gender dysphoria. For this condition, she is receiving
medical treatment, though she claims that the treatment is so
poor that it violates the Eighth Amendment. For this claim,
Michelle must show that prison officials have acted with
deliberate indifference to her gender
undisputed evidence shows that Michelle is receiving hormone
treatment, testosterone-blocking medication, and weekly
counseling sessions. A 1986 precedent, Supre v.
Ricketts, 752 F.2d 958 (10th Cir. 1986), suggests that
these forms of treatment would preclude liability for an
Eighth Amendment violation. Based partly on this precedent,
the district court granted summary judgment to the prison
officials. Michelle challenges the grant of summary judgment,
and we affirm.
What is gender dysphoria and how is it treated?
address Michelle's appeal, we must consider what gender
dysphoria is and consider the available forms of treatment.
The term "[g]ender dysphoria describes the psychological
distress caused by identifying with the sex opposite to the
one assigned at birth." Treatment forms currently include
• [c]hanges in gender expression and role (which may
involve living part time or full time in another gender role,
consistent with one's gender identity);
• [h]ormone therapy to feminize or masculinize the body;
• [s]urgery to change primary and/or secondary sex
characteristics (e.g., breasts/chest, external and/or
internal genitalia, facial features, body contouring);
• [p]sychotherapy (individual, family, or group) for
purposes such as exploring gender identity role, and
expression; addressing the negative impact of gender
dysphoria and stigma on mental health; alleviating
internalized transphobia; enhancing social and peer support;
improving body image; and promoting resilience.
What are the applicable legal tests?
determine whether the prison's treatment for
Michelle's gender dysphoria was constitutionally
adequate, we consider the constitutional test, the standard
for summary judgment, and our standard of review.
Eighth Amendment prohibits officials from acting with
deliberate indifference to a prisoner's serious medical
need. The seriousness of Michelle's medical
need is uncontested for purposes of summary judgment. Thus,
the only substantive issue is whether the existing treatment
constituted deliberate indifference to Michelle's gender
issue arose in summary judgment proceedings. To obtain
summary judgment, the prison officials needed to show the
absence of a genuine dispute of material fact and their
entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. In considering
the district court's application of the summary judgment
test, we engage in de novo review.
What does our ...