Case: Gibson v. Collier

6:15-cv-00190 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Filed Date: June 8, 2015

Closed Date: Dec. 9, 2019

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

A trans woman housed in a mens' prison in Texas filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas on June 8, 2015 seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiff represented herself in the trial court, and she was represented on appeal by Stephen Braga, a law professor at the University of Virginia. The case was assigned to Judge Robert Pitman. The plaintiff alleged that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's blanket ban on gender affirmation …

A trans woman housed in a mens' prison in Texas filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas on June 8, 2015 seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiff represented herself in the trial court, and she was represented on appeal by Stephen Braga, a law professor at the University of Virginia. The case was assigned to Judge Robert Pitman.

The plaintiff alleged that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's blanket ban on gender affirmation surgery violated the Eighth Amendment because it amounted to deliberate indifference to her medical needs. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that, while incarcerated, her primary care physician was not adequately trained on transgender care and failed to provide her with treatment consistent with the WPATH standards of care. He refused to provide her with an individualized assessment or treatment plan, which denied her access to various forms of treatment that may have been medically necessary. The plaintiff had on several occasions used the prison's formal grievance system to protest this lack of care as well as the blanket policy to no avail.

The defendants named in this case were the TDCJ Director, the primary care physician who refused to provide the plaintiff with treatment for her gender dysphoria, and and unknown University of Texas Medical Branch official. The Director moved for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim. On June 8, 2015, the district court granted this motion, dismissing the plaintiff's complaint in its entirety.

The plaintiff filed an appeal in the Fifth Circuit pro se on September 16, 2016. On October 10, 2017, Professor Stephen Bega began representing her. Judges Smith, Ho and Barksdale heard the case and released an opinion on March 29, 2019 (920 F.3d 212). The majority opinion, written by Judge Ho, held that there had been no Eighth Amendment violation, characterizing the WPATH standards as simply one side of a contested debate rather than the widely accepted standard in the medical field. Judge Ho held that because the doctor and prison administration had merely chosen a side, they were not demonstrating the malicious intent necessary to make out a claim of deliberate indifference.

Judge Barksdale's dissent, on the other hand, took issue with both the summary judgment procedure used by the lower court and the majority's assessment of the merits. Specifically, he disagreed with the majority's characterization of WPATH, noting that it had become a widely accepted norm that had been acknowledged as such in both the Fourth and Seventh Circuits. Judge Barksdale also questioned whether authorities cited by the majority supported its use of he/him/his pronouns to refer to the plaintiff.

The plaintiff filed a petition for certiorari (an appeal) in the Supreme Court of the United States on July 1, 2019. The Supreme Court announced on December 9, 2019 that they had declined to hear the case (140 S. Ct. 653). The case is now closed.

While this case was still ongoing, the plaintiff filed another lawsuit alleging retaliation in response to pursuing these claims. For more information, see Gibson v. Jean-Baptiste, No. 6:17-cv-00042 (W.D. Tex.)

Summary Authors

Alex Moody (2/18/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14414338/parties/gibson-v-livingston/


Judge(s)

Ho, James Chiun-Yue (Texas)

Pitman, Robert Lee (Texas)

Smith, Walter Scott Jr. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Benshoff, Elizabeth (Virginia)

Bok, John F (Virginia)

Braga, Stephen L (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barrett, Roy Lee (Texas)

Davis, James E. (Texas)

Huntpalmer, Richard Armstrong (Texas)

Mase, Lacey E. (Texas)

Judge(s)

Ho, James Chiun-Yue (Texas)

Pitman, Robert Lee (Texas)

Smith, Walter Scott Jr. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Benshoff, Elizabeth (Virginia)

Bok, John F (Virginia)

Braga, Stephen L (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barrett, Roy Lee (Texas)

Davis, James E. (Texas)

Huntpalmer, Richard Armstrong (Texas)

Mase, Lacey E. (Texas)

Mateer, Jeffrey C. (Texas)

Paxton, Ken (Texas)

Rhea, Heather Kriscenski (Texas)

Rivera, Joe (Texas)

Starr, Brantley David (Texas)

Sullivan, John C. (Texas)

Trevino, Afton R (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Gibson v. Livingston

Dec. 9, 2019 Docket

General Docket United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Dec. 9, 2019 Docket
1

Form To Be Used By A Prisoner in Filing a Complaint

Gibson v. Livingston

June 8, 2015 Complaint
48

Motion Requesting the Court to Allow Plaintiff to Add Newa New Defendant to her Pending 1983 Complaint or to Amend her Complaint

Gibson v. Livingston

Dec. 21, 2015 Pleading / Motion / Brief
55

Prisoner's Civil Rights Complaint [Supplement to ECF 1]

Gibson v. Livingston

March 1, 2016 Complaint
69

Order

Gibson v. Livingston

Aug. 31, 2016 Order/Opinion
14

Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Oct. 28, 2016 Pleading / Motion / Brief
19

Brief of Defendant-Appellee Bryan Collier

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Dec. 28, 2016 Pleading / Motion / Brief
38

Supplemental Brief of Appellant Scott Lynn Gibson

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Dec. 5, 2017 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

920 F.3d 212

March 29, 2019 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14414338/gibson-v-livingston/

Last updated May 20, 2022, 5:16 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by Scott Lynn Gibson.(mc5) (Entered: 06/09/2015)

June 8, 2015
79

USCA Judgment/Mandate

April 23, 2019 PACER
80

Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court

Dec. 11, 2019 PACER
2

MOTION For the Court to Follow the Court's Decisions in Kosilex v. Spancer and Field v. Smith For Lack of Precedent by Scott Lynn Gibson. (mc5) (Entered: 06/09/2015)

June 8, 2015
3

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Scott Lynn Gibson. (mc5) (Entered: 06/09/2015)

June 8, 2015
4

MOTION to Proceed in forma pauperis by Scott Lynn Gibson. (mc5) (Entered: 06/09/2015)

June 8, 2015
5

Letter to Scott Lynn Gibson advising of case number, filing instructions and general case information. (mc5) (Entered: 06/09/2015)

June 9, 2015
6

ORDER Directing Monthly Payments be made from Prison Account of Scott Lynn Gibson, aka Vanessa Lynn, TDCJ # 699888. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (ad) (Entered: 06/11/2015)

June 11, 2015
7

MOTION to Appoint Counsel by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 06/23/2015)

June 22, 2015
8

MOTION For U.S. Marshal to Serve Complaint and Summons by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 06/23/2015)

June 22, 2015
9

MOTION to Produce by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 06/23/2015)

June 22, 2015
10

MOTION Requesting the Court to Compel the Defendant's to Adhere to Their Stated Reason for Denying Plaintff Medial Care by Scott Lynn Gibson. (ad) (Entered: 07/02/2015)

July 2, 2015
11

ORDER DENYING 3 Motion for Preliminary Injunction; DENYING 7 Motion to Appoint Counsel ; DENYING 9 Motion to Produce; DENYING 10 Motion to Compel and GRANTING 2 Motion to Follow Court's Decisions but only to the extent that the circuit court decisions in Kosilek and Fields are recognized as persuasive but not controlling authority. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (ad) (Entered: 07/07/2015)

July 7, 2015
12

ORDER GRANTING 8 Motion to Have the USMS serve Complaint and Summons. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (ad) (Entered: 07/07/2015)

July 7, 2015
13

Summons Issued as to Brad Livingston. (ad) (Entered: 07/09/2015)

July 9, 2015
14

Summons Issued as to Unknown UTMB Policy Maker. (ad) (Entered: 07/09/2015)

July 9, 2015
15

MOTION requesting the court to consider the court's legal reasoning in Fields v. Smith by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 07/17/2015)

July 17, 2015
16

MOTION for Reconsideration by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 07/21/2015)

July 20, 2015
18

MOTION Requesting the Court to Follow the Court's Decision from the States for Lack of Precedent by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 08/06/2015)

Aug. 6, 2015
19

ADVISORY TO THE COURT by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 08/06/2015)

Aug. 6, 2015
20

MOTION Requesting the Clerk's Office to Place the Address on Plaintiff's Summons by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 08/06/2015)

Aug. 6, 2015
21

ORDER GRANTING 20 Motion Requesting the Clerk's Office to Place the Address on Plaintiff's Summons. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (tb) (Entered: 08/10/2015)

Aug. 10, 2015
22

ORDER DENYING 18 Motion Requesting the Court to Follow the Court's Decision from the States for Lack of Precedent. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (tb) (Entered: 08/10/2015)

Aug. 10, 2015
23

ADVISORY TO THE COURT by Office of the Attorney General. (Trevino, Afton) (Entered: 08/18/2015)

Aug. 18, 2015
24

ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 4(c)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the United States Marshal shall serve a copy of the Complaint (Doc. 1 ), summons, and this Order upon Defendant Livingston at the following address: P.O. Box. 99, Huntsville, Texas 77342. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (tb) (Entered: 08/19/2015)

Aug. 19, 2015
25

Clerk's Copy of 13 Summons Issued (tb) (Entered: 08/20/2015)

Aug. 20, 2015
26

ADVISORY TO THE COURT by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 08/25/2015)

Aug. 24, 2015
27

Clerk's Copy (tb) (Entered: 09/16/2015)

Sept. 16, 2015
28

Certified mail acknowledgment receipt of order to answer 1983 actions as to Brad Livingston. (tb) (Entered: 09/16/2015)

Sept. 16, 2015
29

Defendant Brad Livingston's Original ANSWER to 1 Complaint and Jury Demand . Attorney Afton R. Trevino added to party Brad Livingston(pty:dft) by Brad Livingston.(Trevino, Afton) (Entered: 10/07/2015)

Oct. 7, 2015
30

MOTION Pursuant to Rule B (b), FED. R. CIV. P. by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 10/19/2015)

Oct. 19, 2015
31

MOTION to Produce Documents by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 10/19/2015)

Oct. 19, 2015
32

MOTION for Interrogatories and to Produce Documents by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 10/19/2015)

Oct. 19, 2015
33

MOTION TO FOLLOW THE COURT'S DECISION IN FIELD V. SMITH, 655 F.3d 550,556 7th cir. 2001 FOR LACK OF PRECEDENT by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 10/19/2015)

Oct. 19, 2015
34

MOTION to Dismiss by Municipality of Gatesville, TX. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Barrett, Roy) (Entered: 10/20/2015)

Oct. 20, 2015
35

Miscellaneous Objection to 29 Answer to Complaint by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 10/22/2015)

Oct. 22, 2015
36

ORDERED that Plaintiff shall have 14 days to respond to Gatesville's 34 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Municipality of Gatesville, TX. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (tb) (Entered: 10/23/2015)

Oct. 23, 2015
37

Acknowledgment of Service returned by Scott Lynn Gibson. Municipality of Gatesville, TX served on 10/23/2015, answer due 11/23/2015. (tb) (Entered: 10/27/2015)

Oct. 27, 2015
38

Response in Opposition to Motion, filed by Scott Lynn Gibson, re 34 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Defendant Municipality of Gatesville, TX. (jgb) (Entered: 11/02/2015)

Oct. 30, 2015
39

RESPONSE to Motion, filed by Municipality of Gatesville, TX, re 34 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Defendant Municipality of Gatesville, TX (Barrett, Roy) (Entered:

Nov. 3, 2015
41

ORDER DENYING 30 Motion ; DENYING 31 Motion to Produce; DENYING 32 Motion to Produce; DENYING 33 Motion ; GRANTING 34 Motion to Dismiss. Terminated party Municipality of Gatesville, TX. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (sm3) (Entered: 11/17/2015)

Nov. 17, 2015
42

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 11/20/2015)

Nov. 19, 2015
43

MOTION for Discovery by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 11/23/2015)

Nov. 23, 2015
44

MOTION for Protective Order by Brad Livingston. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Trevino, Afton) (Entered: 11/24/2015)

Nov. 24, 2015
45

Response in Opposition to Motion, filed by Scott Lynn Gibson, re 44 MOTION for Protective Order filed by Defendant Brad Livingston (tb) (Entered: 12/04/2015)

Dec. 4, 2015
46

ORDER DENYING 42 Motion for Preliminary Injunction; DENYING 43 Motion for Discovery; DENYING 44 Motion for Protective Order. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (tb) (Entered: 12/08/2015)

Dec. 8, 2015
47

MOTION for Reconsideration re 46 Order on Motion for Preliminary Injunction, by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 12/18/2015)

Dec. 18, 2015
48

MOTION to Amend Complaint by Scott Lynn Gibson. (Attachments: # 1 Amended Complaint)(tb) (Entered: 12/21/2015)

Dec. 21, 2015
49

MOTION for Entry of Judgment under Rule 54(b) by Municipality of Gatesville, TX. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Proposed Order Proposed Final Judgment)(Barrett, Roy) (Entered: 01/14/2016)

Jan. 14, 2016
50

MOTION for Summary Judgment with Brief in Support by Brad Livingston. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit C, # 2 Proposed Order)(Trevino, Afton) (Entered: 02/19/2016)

Feb. 19, 2016
51

MOTION to Seal Exhibit A and Exhibit B of Defendant Livingston's Motion for Summary Judgment with Brief in Support by Brad Livingston. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Trevino, Afton) (Entered: 02/19/2016)

Feb. 19, 2016
52

Motion for leave to File Sealed Document (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Proposed Order) (Trevino, Afton) (Entered: 02/19/2016)

Feb. 19, 2016

Text Order GRANTING 51 Motion entered by Judge Walter S. Smith. (This is a text−only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (ss) (Entered: 02/26/2016)

Feb. 26, 2016

Text Order GRANTING 52 Motion for Leave to File Sealed Document entered by Judge Walter S. Smith. (This is a text−only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.) (ss) (Entered: 02/26/2016)

Feb. 26, 2016
53

Sealed Document filed. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit) (mc5) (Entered: 02/26/2016)

Feb. 26, 2016
54

ORDER DENYING 47 Motion for Reconsideration ; GRANTING 48 Motion to Amend Complaint; GRANTING 49 Motion for Entry of Judgment under Rule 54(b). ORDERED that the Clerk's Office is directed to provide Plaintiff with the appropriate number of marshal forms and summonses. ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 4(c)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the United States Marshal shall serve a copy of Plaintiff's Complaint, summons, and this Order upon each defendant as directed by the Plaintiff. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (tb) (Entered: 03/01/2016)

March 1, 2016
55

SUPPLEMENT to 1 Complaint by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 03/01/2016)

March 1, 2016
56

ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED as follows: Final judgment should and is hereby RENDERED in favor of the City of Gatesville and it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that all Plaintiffs claims and causes of action herein against the city are dismissed with prejudice. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (tb) (Entered: 03/01/2016)

March 1, 2016
57

Summons Issued as to D. Greene. (jch) (Entered: 03/14/2016)

March 14, 2016
59

AMENDED AFFIDAVIT in Support of 1 Complaint by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 03/14/2016)

March 14, 2016
60

MOTION REQUESTING THE COURT TO CONSIDER THE COURT'S HOLDING IN PRAYLOR V. TDCJ by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 03/14/2016)

March 14, 2016
61

Clerk's Copy of 57 Summons Issued (jch) (Entered: 03/15/2016)

March 15, 2016
62

MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order, MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 04/05/2016)

April 4, 2016
63

DECLARATION in Support of 62 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 04/05/2016)

April 4, 2016
64

Letter/Correspondence from Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 04/05/2016)

April 4, 2016
65

Acknowledgment of Service returned by Scott Lynn Gibson. D. Greene served on 3/21/2016, answer due 5/2/2016. (tb) (Entered: 04/05/2016)

April 4, 2016
66

MOTION to Compel Dr. Greene to respond to Plaintiff's 1983 Complaint by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 05/02/2016)

May 2, 2016
67

MOTION TO ALLOW PLAINTIFF TO USE TDCJ'S SPOKESMAN JASON CLARK' STATEMENT AS PROOF TO SUPPORT HER LAWSUIT by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 06/23/2016)

June 23, 2016
68

MOTION for the Court to Lift the Ban on Gender Reassignment Surgery by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 08/26/2016)

Aug. 26, 2016
69

ORDER GRANTING 50 Motion for Summary Judgment; DENYING 60 Motion ; DENYING 62 Motion for TRO; DENYING 62 Motion for Preliminary Injunction; DENYING 66 Motion to Compel; DENYING 67 Motion ; DENYING 68 Motion. ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court is directed to e−mail copies of this Order and the Judgment to the TDCJ−Office of the General Counsel and the ProSe Clerk for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Signed by Judge Walter S. Smith. (tb) (Entered: 08/31/2016)

Aug. 31, 2016
70

CLERK'S JUDGMENT (tb) (Entered: 08/31/2016)

Aug. 31, 2016
71

NOTICE OF APPEAL by Scott Lynn Gibson. Per 5th Circuit rules, the appellant has 14 days, from the filing of the Notice of Appeal, to order the transcript. To order a transcript, the appellant should fill out Form DKT−13 (Transcript Order) and follow the instructions set out on the form. This form is available in the Clerk's Office or by clicking the hyperlink above. (jch) (Entered: 09/12/2016)

Sept. 12, 2016
72

MOTION to proceed In Forma Pauperis on appeal 71 by Scott Lynn Gibson. (jch) (Entered: 09/12/2016)

Sept. 12, 2016
73

NOTICE of New Attorney−In−Charge by Brad Livingston (Huntpalmer, Richard) (Entered: 09/14/2016)

Sept. 14, 2016
74

MOTION for Reconsideration re 69 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment, by Scott Lynn Gibson. (tb) (Entered: 09/15/2016)

Sept. 15, 2016
75

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. Case reassigned to Judge Robert Pitman for all proceedings. Judge Walter S. Smith no longer assigned to case. Signed by Chief Judge Orlando L. Garcia. (mc5) (Entered: 09/22/2016)

Sept. 19, 2016
76

ORDER DENYING 74 Motion for Reconsideration. Signed by Judge Robert Pitman. (tb) (Entered: 09/27/2016)

Sept. 27, 2016
77

ORDER Directing Monthly Payments be made from Prison Account of SCOTT LYNN GIBSON. Signed by Judge Robert Pitman. (tb) (Entered: 09/27/2016)

Sept. 27, 2016
78

Initial Partial Filing fee received in the amount of $1.00, receipt number 600022379. (jch) (Entered: 02/09/2018)

Feb. 9, 2018

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 8, 2015

Closing Date: Dec. 9, 2019

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A trans woman seeking gender affirming medical care including gender affirming surgery while housed in a men's prison in Texas

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (Huntsville, Walker), State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Gay/lesbian/transgender

Discrimination-basis:

Gender identity

Affected Gender:

Female

Type of Facility:

Government-run