United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
E. SELF, III, JUDGE
Court previously issued an Order [Doc. 36] adopting the
United States Magistrate Judge's recommendation [Doc. 35]
to deny Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction and
Temporary Restraining Order [Doc. 19]. The Court vacated the
Order in light of mitigating factors that caused Plaintiff to
file his objections late. See [Doc. 41]. Now, taking
into consideration Plaintiff's objections and in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court
conducts the following de novo review of Plaintiff's
is a transgender female currently housed at Valdosta State
Prison in Valdosta, Georgia. [Doc. 1, p. 6; Doc. 11]. In his
Complaint, he alleges that he was diagnosed in 2015 with
gender dysphoria, which he defines as “a marked
incongruence between the gender [she] ha[s] been assigned to
. . . and [her] experienced/expressed gender” in
association with “distress about this
incongruence.” [Doc. 1, p. 10, ¶ 12] (quoting
American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 453 (5th ed.
2013)). He further alleges that his gender dysphoria causes
him “severe emotional pain and severe distress”
and the only way to cure the incongruity between his
“assigned” gender and his chosen gender
identity-and the distress arising from it-is through sex
reassignment surgery or “SRS.” [Id. at
p. 10, ¶ 13]. According to Plaintiff, both his former
treating psychiatrist and his treating physician at Johnson
State Prison in Wrightsville, Georgia, referred her for SRS.
[Id. at pp. 1, 9, ¶¶ 1, 2]. He alleges
that Defendants have denied his requests for SRS, and in
doing so, have been deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
[Id. at pp. 16-17]. He also alleges that the Georgia
Department of Corrections' (“GDC”) policy
that vaginoplasty is a “[s]urgery not medically
necessary [that] shall not be provided except for cystocele
or rectocele unless patient's attending physician
prescribes the treatment and [t]he service is approved”
is discriminatory against transgender female inmates and
violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment both facially and as applied to her. [Id.
at pp. 7, 17-19]. Plaintiff seeks injunctive, compensatory,
and punitive relief for these alleged violations.
filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary
Restraining Order, seeking an order “enjoining
Defendants from interfering with the discretion of the mental
health and other medical professionals, ” instructing
GDC to provide him with “adequate medical care,
including SRS” and declaring GDC's “blanket
policy against SRS” unconstitutional. [Doc. 19, pp.
6-7]. He claims that since September 2015, he has not had a
treatment plan for his gender dysphoria, that he has not
received necessary treatment other than hormone therapy, and
that the delay in providing her SRS treatment has caused him
irreparable harm in the form of “severe anxiety and
depression.” [Id. at pp. 2, 3, 6]. He supports
his contentions with an affidavit in which he states,
“My continued requests to be seen by [a] qu[a]lified
physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist for treatment of my
severe gender dysphoria have been futile, even though . . .
[I] have attempted suicide, self-mutilation and
self-castration due to my incongruence between my expressed
gender and assigned gender.” [Doc. 22, ¶ 7]. As a
result of his gender dysphoria and the depression arising
from it, Plaintiff also states that he has “developed
an eating disorder where I often do not eat or throw-up my
food. I have lost over 50 lbs. in the past 2 years.”
[Id. at ¶ 8]. He concludes that, in the absence
of “medically necessary treatment, including SRS, I am
being placed at increased risk of suicide, self-mutilation
and self-castration.” [Id. at ¶ 9].
response to Plaintiff's motion, Defendants argue that
Plaintiff has not met his burden of establishing the
following four factors necessary to show entitlement to a
(1) [he] has a substantial likelihood of success on the
merits; (2) irreparable injury will be suffered unless the
injunction issues; (3) the threatened injury to [Plaintiff]
outweighs whatever damage the proposed injunction may cause
[Defendants]; and (4) if issued, the injunction would not be
adverse to the public interest.
Siegel v. LePore, 234 F.3d 1163, 1176 (11th Cir.
2000) (citations omitted). The Magistrate Judge agreed and
recommended that Plaintiff's motion be denied. Plaintiff
objects to the entirety of the Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendation. [Doc. 37].
parties submit objections to a magistrate judge's
recommendations, the Court must “make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In doing so, the
Court need not consider “[f]rivolous, conclusive, or
general objections.” United States v. Schultz,
565 F.3d 1353, 1361 (11th Cir. 2009) (per curiam) (quoting
Marsden v. Moore, 847 F.2d 1536, 1548 (11th Cir.
1988)). The Court may also, within its discretion,
“decline to consider a party's argument when that
argument was not first presented to the magistrate
judge.” Williams v. McNeil, 557 F.3d 1287,
1292 (11th Cir. 2009).
Court reviewed the parties' arguments and the Magistrate
Judge's determinations and now concludes that the
Magistrate Judge's findings were appropriate. The vast
majority of Plaintiff's objections are conclusory and the
remainder are unsupported by admissible
evidence. Accordingly, the Court
ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's
recommendations over Plaintiff's objections and makes the
Report and Recommendation [Doc. 35] the order of the Court.