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Norsworthy v. Beard

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

October 5, 2015

MICHELLE-LAEL B. NORSWORTHY, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JEFFREY BEARD, CDCR Secretary; M. E. SPEARMAN, CTF Warden; RAYMOND J. COFFIN; JARED LOZANO; A. ADAMS, Chief Medical Executive of CTF, Soledad, CA; A. NEWTON; DAVID VAN LEER; L. D. ZAMORA, CDCR Appeals Chief, Sacramento, CA, Defendants-Appellants

Submitted, San Francisco, California: August 13, 2015 [*]

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. D.C. No. 3:14-cv-00695-JST. Jon S. Tigar, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[**]

Prisoner Civil Rights

The panel dismissed as moot an appeal from the district court's issuance of a preliminary injunction ordering the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide plaintiff, a transgendered woman, with sex reassignment surgery, and remanded with directions.

While the appeal was pending--one day prior to oral argument--plaintiff was released on parole from the California prison system. Because plaintiff did not seriously dispute that the case became moot upon her release, the panel dismissed the appeal. The panel remanded to the district court so that it could determine whether the appeal became moot through happenstance or the defendants' own actions. The panel stated that if the latter was the case, the district court should consider the factors under Ringsby Truck Lines, Inc. v. Western Conference of Teamsters, 686 F.2d 720, 722 (9th Cir. 1982), to determine whether to vacate its preliminary injunction order. The panel also remanded for the district court to consider the question of the award of attorneys' fees.

Concurring in the dismissal and dissenting from the remand, Judge Callahan stated that in addition to dismissing the appeal, the panel should vacate the mandatory preliminary injunction ordering the California Department of Corrections to provide plaintiff with sex reassignment surgery.

Jose A. Zelidon-Zepeda, Deputy Attorney General; Thomas S. Patterson; Supervising Deputy Attorney General; Jonathan L. Wolff, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California, San Francisco, California, for Defendants-Appellants.

Herman J. Hoying and Christopher J. Banks, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, San Francisco, California; Ilona M. Turner, Jennifer Orthwein, and Shawn T. Meerkamper, Transgender Law Center, Oakland, California, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Paul R.Q. Wolfson and Thomas C. Kost, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Washington, D.C.; Alan E. Schoenfeld and Adriel I. Cepeda Derieux, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, New York, New York; Felicia H. Ellsworth, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, Boston, Massachusetts, for Amici Curiae American Civil Liberties Union et al.

Sanford Jay Rosen and Aaron J. Fischer, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP, San Francisco, California, for Amici Curiae Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom.

Barry Levenstam, Jenner & Block LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Lisa J. Kohn, Jenner & Block LLP, Los Angeles, California; Devi M. Rao, Jenner & Block LLP, Washington, D.C., for Amici Curiae Medical and Mental Health Professionals: World Professional Association for Transgender Health and GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality.

Before: Stephen Reinhardt, A. Wallace Tashima, and Consuelo M. Callahan, Circuit Judges. Partial Concurrence and Partial Dissent by Judge Callahan.

OPINION

PER CURIAM:


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