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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
March 11, 2022, Argued; August 16, 2022, Decided
[*763] DIANA GRIBBON MOTZ, Circuit Judge:
Kesha Williams, a transgender woman with gender dysphoria, spent six months incarcerated in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Though prison deputies initially assigned her to women's housing, they quickly moved her to men's housing when they learned that she was transgender. There, she experienced delays in medical treatment for her gender dysphoria, harassment by other inmates, and persistent and intentional misgendering and harassment by prison deputies. Following her release from the detention center, Williams filed this § 1983 action against the Sheriff of Fairfax County, a prison deputy, and a prison nurse alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), the Rehabilitation Act, the United States Constitution, and state common law. The district court dismissed the case, holding that the complaint failed to state grounds for relief with respect to some claims [**3] and that the statute of limitations barred others. For the reasons that follow, we disagree and so reverse and remand for further proceedings.
Because this is an appeal from a district court's grant of a motion to dismiss, we must "assume the truth of the facts as alleged in [the] complaint." Fitzgerald v. Barnstable Sch. Comm., 555 U.S. 246, 249, 129 S. Ct. 788, 172 L. Ed. 2d 582 (2009). We thus recount those facts.
Williams is a transgender woman whose gender identity (female) differs from the [*764] gender (male) she was assigned at birth. Prior to her incarceration, Williams changed her legal name and lived her life as a woman. Her home state of Maryland has recognized her gender as female and issued her a driver's license with that designation. Williams suffers from gender dysphoria, a "discomfort or distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person's gender identity and that person's sex assigned at birth." Am. Compl. ¶ 12 (quoting the World Professional Association for Transgender Health Standards of Care (7th Version 2012) ("WPATH Standards")). People suffering from gender dysphoria often benefit from medical treatment, including hormone therapy. Williams had received such medical treatment in the form of a daily pill and biweekly injections for fifteen years prior to [**4] her incarceration.
At the outset of her incarceration, prison deputies searched Williams, assigned her housing on the women's side of the prison, and gave her uniforms typically provided to female inmates, including several bras and women's underwear. Later that same day, during her preliminary medical evaluation, Williams told the prison nurse, Xin Wang, that she is transgender, suffers from gender dysphoria, and for fifteen years had received hormone medical treatment for her gender dysphoria. Williams had brought this hormone medication with her to the prison and asked Nurse Wang to retrieve it for her. Nurse Wang did not return Williams' medicine to her; instead she instructed Williams to fill out a medical release form and indicated that prison healthcare staff would follow up with her soon.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
45 F.4th 759 *; 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 22728 **
KESHA T. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff — Appellant, v. STACEY A. KINCAID, in her official capacity; XIN WANG, NP, in her individual and official capacities; DEPUTY GARCIA, in his individual and official capacities, Defendants — Appellees.AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION; BLACK AND PINK MASSACHUSETTS; GLBTQ LEGAL ADVOCATES & DEFENDERS; LAMBDA LEGAL; NATIONAL CENTER FOR LESBIAN RIGHTS; NATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY; NATIONAL LGBTQ TASK FORCE; TRANS PEOPLE OF COLOR COALITION; TRANSCENDING BARRIERS (ATL); TRANSGENDER LEGAL DEFENSE & EDUCATION FUND; DISABILITY LAW CENTER OF VIRGINIA; DISABILITY RIGHTS VERMONT, Amici Supporting Appellant.
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by, En banc Williams v. Kincaid, 50 F.4th 429, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 28074 (4th Cir., Oct. 7, 2022)
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. (1:20-cv-01397-CMH-TCB). Claude M. Hilton, Senior District Judge.
Williams v. Kincaid, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156386, 2021 WL 3671186 (E.D. Va., Aug. 18, 2021)
Disposition: REVERSED AND REMANDED.
gender, disorder, dysphoria, transgender, inmates, physical impairment, gross negligence, assigned, alleges, prison, sex, district court, disability, distress, discomfort, diagnosis, housing, male, birth, hormone, amended complaint, genitalia, female, notice, Diagnostic, courts, incongruence, classified, provisions, searched
Civil Procedure, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Motions to Dismiss, Failure to State Claim, Pleadings, Complaints, Requirements for Complaint, Civil Rights Law, Protection of Disabled Persons, Americans With Disabilities Act, Scope, Labor & Employment Law, Disabilities Under ADA, Mental & Physical Impairments, Mental & Physical Impairments, Pleading & Practice, Rule Application & Interpretation, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Constitutional Questions, Abstention, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Amendment of Pleadings, Relation Back, Questions of Fact & Law, Service of Process, Time Limitations, Untimely Service, Extension of Time, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Trials, Jury Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Torts, Negligence, Gross Negligence, Proof, Evidence