Monroe et al v. Rauner et al
ORDER denying 225 Motion Plaintiffs' Renewed Request for Appointment of Independent Monitor. Signed by Chief Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel on 1/6/2021. (anp)
Case 3:18-cv-00156-NJR Document 246 Filed 01/06/21 Page 1 of 5 Page ID #3714
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
LYDIA HELÉNA VISION,
SORA KUYKENDALL, and
Case No. 3:18-CV-00156-NJR
STEVE MEEKS, and
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSENSTENGEL, Chief Judge:
On March 20, 2020, this Court denied Plaintiffs’ initial request for an appointment
of an expert (Doc. 215). On August 21, 2020, Plaintiffs filed “Plaintiffs’ Renewed Request
for Appointment of Independent Monitor” pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
53 (Doc. 225). Plaintiffs argue that the Transgender Care and Review Committee
(“TCRC”) still makes medical decisions relating to hormone therapy and surgery; IDOC
continues to restrict access to medically necessary items for social transition; IDOC has
not transferred any transgender prisoners to facilities that match their gender identity
and continues to operate under the exact same policies for cross-gender searches as it did
prior to the preliminary injunction order; and IDOC failed to implement any new policies
regarding transgender prisoners since the preliminary injunction order was entered
(Doc. 225, p. 2).
Page 1 of 5
Case 3:18-cv-00156-NJR Document 246 Filed 01/06/21 Page 2 of 5 Page ID #3715
In support of their arguments, Plaintiffs allege that multiple depositions contain
admissions that TCRC still makes medical decisions relating to hormone therapy,
surgery, and whether a transgender prisoner is allowed access to gender-affirming
products; TCRC continues to deny requested social transition treatment and transfers to
other facilities; and IDOC still operates under the same policy for cross-gender searches
as prior to the preliminary injunction order (Doc. 225, pp. 6-7). Additionally, Plaintiffs
allege IDOC is far from finalizing or implementing any drafts of new policies (Id. at p. 9).
Due to these argued insufficiencies, Plaintiffs ask the court to appoint an
independent expert to monitor Defendants’ compliance with the preliminary injunction
order, to ensure the development of a strict plan and schedule for complying with the
preliminary injunction order, and to evaluate and report to the Court whether IDOC is
complying with the plan and schedule (Doc. 225, p. 2).
Defendants filed a response arguing Plaintiffs have no ability to prove the
consultants IDOC hired are unqualified; that IDOC is “working comprehensively to
identify and solve issues highlighted by the Court in its preliminary injunction order;”
the pandemic has extended their efforts; they have been working with Wendy Leach from
The Moss Group for assistance with policy framework and staff training; and they have
been working with Dr. Erica Anderson to bring in WPATH’s Global Education Initiative
training (Doc. 226, pp. 2, 7, 9, 11). Additionally, Defendants argue, “Based solely on the
deposition testimony of these consultants, Plaintiffs’ request for the need for a court
monitor is without merit.” (Id. at p. 12). Furthermore, part of Dr. Hinton’s deposition
transcript that Plaintiffs relied on referenced the current Administrative Directive, not
Page 2 of 5
Case 3:18-cv-00156-NJR Document 246 Filed 01/06/21 Page 3 of 5 Page ID #3716
the current practice (Id.). Lastly, Defendants argue that the preliminary injunction order
has expired, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(2) (Id. at p. 17).
Plaintiffs later filed a reply arguing that this Court has the authority to appoint an
independent monitor; depositions show IDOC’s lack of meaningful changes to
transgender care; and Defendants’ argument that the preliminary injunction order has
expired is unsupported, inaccurate, and should be rejected (Doc. 229, p. 2).
After reviewing Plaintiffs’ Renewed Request for Appointment of Independent
Monitor (Doc. 225), Defendants’ response (Doc. 226), and Plaintiffs’ reply (Doc. 229), the
Court finds that Defendants are indeed still working diligently to implement the Court’s
preliminary injunction order.1 Specifically, Defendants have made contact and are
working with Wendy Leach from The Moss Group and with Dr. Erica Anderson,
USPATH 2 President-elect (Id. at p. 8). They also have been developing applicable policies
throughout this time (Id. at p. 10).
With the help of Dr. Anderson, IDOC has been “completing a contract for
customized training for medical and mental health care providers through IDOC.”
(Doc. 226, p. 11). There is also a two-committee system in the works for IDOC’s oversight
of transgender issues (Id. at p. 13). This will include the Transgender Health and Wellness
Committee (“THAW”) which “will be comprised of medical and mental health
professionals” who “will handle appeals from patients with concerns about the treatment
The Court’s preliminary injunction order was issued on December 19, 2019 (Docs. 186, 187). Thereafter,
on March 4, 2020, the Court amended the preliminary injunction order (See Docs. 211, 212).
2 USPATH is a regional organization of WPATH, the World Professional Association of Transgender
Health. https://www.wpath.org/uspath, visited on December 23, 2020.
Page 3 of 5
Case 3:18-cv-00156-NJR Document 246 Filed 01/06/21 Page 4 of 5 Page ID #3717
provided…and consider requests for surgery…” (Id.). This also will include the
Transgender Administration Committee, which will handle “operational concerns
including housing, PREA and commissary.” (Id.). Additionally, there are Quality
Assurance components in the works (Id. at p. 14). Furthermore, policy regarding
avoidance of cross-gender strip searches will be in the new IDOC transgender care
directive (Id. at pp. 15-16).
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused a delay, and this is considered as
well. As the Court has acknowledged, “these changes will take time,” and the purpose of
the injunction was to require Defendants to provide assurances that progress is
underway, which they have (Doc. 186, p. 38).
With that said, the Court is not entirely convinced that the TCRC has refrained
from making medical decisions and recommendations regarding gender dysphoria. But
the deposition testimony showed that any references to decision-making by the TCRC
regarding medical decisions and recommendations concerned past actions and policy,
not new decisions that are influenced by the new policy that is under construction.
Although Defendants also argue that the preliminary injunction has expired,
Defendants have not clearly shown that the injunction has expired and is no longer
enforceable. Nor do they indicate a willingness to relitigate the preliminary injunction as
they note that additional evidentiary hearings would be unproductive and that they are
still working within the confines of the Court’s Order. Further, the Court made the
required findings under the statute and specifically addressed the arguments in
Defendants’ Motion for Reconsideration of Court’s Preliminary Injunction Order
Page 4 of 5
Case 3:18-cv-00156-NJR Document 246 Filed 01/06/21 Page 5 of 5 Page ID #3718
(Doc. 203) and in issuing its Amended Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 212). If Defendants
believe that the injunction has indeed expired, then they can raise the issue in a motion
to vacate the preliminary injunction order.
Despite having some reservations about Defendants’ compliance with the
aforementioned directive, the Court finds that the appointment of a special master is not
warranted at this time. Defendants are making strides in complying with the Court’s
preliminary injunction order, and Plaintiffs have not adequately shown that the
appointment of a special master is warranted at this time.
For these reasons, the Court denies Plaintiffs’ Renewed Request for Appointment
of Independent Monitor (Doc. 225).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: January 6, 2021
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL
Chief U.S. District Judge
Page 5 of 5
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?