United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
T. ERWIN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Phoebe Renee Halliwell, a/k/a Ronny Darnell,  a state inmate
appearing pro se and in forma pauperis,
filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging
violations of her constitutional rights. (ECF No. 1).
Currently before the Court are three pleadings: (1)
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 11-1); (2)
Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel (ECF No.
4); and (3) Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary
Injunction. (ECF No. 6). Chief United States District Judge
Joe Heaton referred this matter to the undersigned magistrate
judge for initial proceedings consistent with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B)-(C). A review of the complaint has been
conducted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). On January 7, 2019, this matter was
transferred to United States District Judge Timothy D.
DeGiusti. See ECF No. 14.
on that review, the Court should: (1) dismiss the Amended
Complaint in its entirety, without prejudice, for failure to
state a claim, (2) deny Plaintiff's Motion for
Appointment of Counsel, and (3) deny Plaintiff's Motion
for a Preliminary Injunction.
Court must review each complaint in which a prisoner seeks
redress against a governmental entity, officer, or employee.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court likewise must review
each case brought by a prisoner with respect to prison
conditions and each case in which a plaintiff proceeds in
forma pauperis. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1); 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). The Court is required to dismiss the
complaint or any portion of the complaint that is frivolous
or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§
1915A(b), 1915(e)(2)(B); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court must accept Plaintiff's allegations as true and
construe them, and any reasonable inferences to be drawn from
them, in the light most favorable to Plaintiff. See Kay
v. Bemis, 500 F.3d 1214, 1217 (10th Cir. 2007). Since
Ms. Halliwell is proceeding pro se, her Amended
Complaint must be construed liberally. See id. at
1218. The Court “review[s] the complaint for
plausibility; that is, to determine whether the complaint
includes enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Young v. Davis, 554
F.3d 1254, 1256 (10th Cir. 2009) (quotations and citation
omitted). “Plausible” in this context does not
mean “likely to be true, ” but rather refers
“to the scope of the allegations in a complaint: if
they are so general that they encompass a wide swath of
conduct, ” then the plaintiff has not “nudged
(his) claims across the line from conceivable to
plausible.” Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007). The plausibility requirement “serves
not only to weed out claims that do not (in the absence of
additional allegations) have a reasonable prospect of
success, but also to inform the defendants of the actual
grounds of the claim against them.” Robbins,
519 F.3d at 1248 (10th Cir. 2008).
complaint fails to state such a claim when it lacks factual
allegations sufficient “to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level” on the assumption
“that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555 (internal quotation and citation omitted). Bare legal
conclusions in a complaint are not assumed to be true; legal
conclusions “must be supported by factual
allegations” to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679
pro se plaintiff requires no special legal training to
recount the facts surrounding his alleged injury, and he must
provide such facts if the court is to determine whether he
makes out a claim on which relief can be granted.”
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir.
1991). “[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitlement to relief'
requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation
omitted). As a result, courts “look to the specific
allegations in the complaint to determine whether they
plausibly support a legal claim for relief.”
Kay, 500 F.3d at 1218 (quotation marks and citations
a complaint contains sufficient facts to avoid dismissal is
context-specific and is determined through a court's
application of “judicial experience and common
sense.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679; see also
Gee v. Pacheco, 627 F.3d 1178, 1184-85 (10th Cir. 2010)
claims arise from Defendants' alleged failure to treat
Plaintiff's Gender Dysphoria (GD) during Ms.
Halliwell's incarceration at Cimarron Correctional
Facility (CCF). Plaintiff asserts claims against eight
Defendants: (1) Joe Allbaugh, Director of the DOC; (2) Joel
McCurdy, DOC's Chief Medical Officer; (3) Buddy Honaker,
DOC Medical Services Administrator and member of the Personal
Identity Administrative Review Authority Review Board
(PIARA); (4) Patricia Jones, psychiatrist who treated
Plaintiff while she was incarcerated at Davis Correctional
Facility (DCF); (5) Raymond Byrd, Warden at CCF; (6) FNU
Rashti, Health Services Administrator at CCF; (7) FNU Paine,
physician at CCF; and (8) FNU Beard, physician at CCF. (ECF
a 50-year-old individual who was born male, has identified as
female since age two, and began taking “Black
Market” hormones at age 16. (ECF No. 11-1:4, 13-14).
Ms. Halliwell was incarcerated on January 10, 2005, and
arrived at Lexington Assessment and Reception Center on
January 13, 2006, when Plaintiff contends DOC “took
[her] hormones from her and told her that she would not be
allowed to continue taking hormones while in prison.”
(ECF No. 11-1:4). In June of 2015, Plaintiff was transferred
to DCF where she was evaluated by Defendant Jones in July of
2017. (ECF No. 11-1:4-6). Dr. Jones allegedly diagnosed
Plaintiff with a “severe case” of GD, and
promised Plaintiff a follow-up visit in 3 weeks. (ECF No.
11-1:5-6). Three months passed with no word from Dr. Jones
and Ms. Halliwell was transferred to CCF. (ECF No. 11-1:6).
Plaintiff became aware that other inmates at CCF were
receiving hormone therapy and Plaintiff began seeking the
efforts, Plaintiff saw Dr. Paine in December 2017, who stated
that Dr. Jones had reported that Ms. Halliwell did not meet
the criteria for GD. Id. Plaintiff requested a
second opinion and Dr. Paine arranged an appointment for
Plaintiff to see another psychiatrist, Dr. Hennenigan.
Id. At the February 14, 2018 appointment with Dr.
Hennenigan, Plaintiff states that the psychiatrist found that
Plaintiff met all six criteria for GD. Id. Dr.
Hennenigan told Plaintiff that she required treatment, and
logged the GD diagnosis and request for treatment in
Plaintiff's records. Id. Three months passed and
Plaintiff sought a copy of her medical records by filing a
request with Ms. Rashti. Id. Ms. Rashti informed
Plaintiff that there was no diagnosis of GD in her medical
began seeing a new physician, Dr. Beard, who authorized: (1)
a change of Plaintiff's medications-an elimination of
HTCZ (a water pill) and an increase of a blood pressure
medication, Spironolactone, from 25 mg per day to 100 mg per
day and (2) a bra order for Plaintiff. (ECF No. 11-1:5).
Plaintiff states that the increased medication helped treat
her GD, but after 30 days, “DOC” told Defendant
Beard to take Plaintiff off of Spironolactone and cancel the
bra order. (ECF No. 11-1:6).
attempted to contact Dr. Hennenigan, via a request to staff,
but Defendant Rashti allegedly blocked the correspondence.
Id. Plaintiff contends that “DOC” is
erasing the GD diagnosis from her medical file and directing
CCF to not treat Plaintiff's GD. Id. Plaintiff
alleges that other transgender inmates at CCF are receiving
hormone therapy and she is being discriminated against by
failing to receive the same treatment. Id.
Amended Complaint, Ms. Halliwell specifies three ...