Case: Southampton Community Healthcare v. Bailey

23SL-CC01673 | Missouri state trial court

Filed Date: April 24, 2023

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about access to gender-affirming care for transgender people in Missouri. On April 13, 2023, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey promulgated an emergency regulation that imposed restrictions on gender-affirming care for both minors and adults. The regulation was the first of its kind in that it applied to adults too, not just minors. It required providers to inform patients of certain claims and to ensure that patients were eligible for the care. To be eligible, patients must…

This is a case about access to gender-affirming care for transgender people in Missouri. On April 13, 2023, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey promulgated an emergency regulation that imposed restrictions on gender-affirming care for both minors and adults. The regulation was the first of its kind in that it applied to adults too, not just minors. It required providers to inform patients of certain claims and to ensure that patients were eligible for the care. To be eligible, patients must have experienced an “intense pattern” of documented gender dysphoria for three years and received at least 15 hourly sessions with a therapist over at least 18 months. Patients also would first have to be screened for autism and “social media addiction,” and any psychiatric symptoms from mental health issues would have to be treated and resolved.

On April 24, 2023, Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Missouri and private counsel filed this lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Saint Louis County to challenge the emergency regulation. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Southampton Healthcare Inc., a nonprofit medical practice located and doing business in St. Louis that provides treatment for gender dysphoria to transgender individuals, including the prescription of hormone therapy; a licensed clinical social worker; and transgender individuals seeking care that would be impacted by the emergency regulation. The case named Missouri Attorney General Bailey as the defendant. In the Complaint, the plaintiffs described how the emergency regulation would harm transgender Missourians and their health care providers. The Complaint alleged that the regulation was not valid because the state failed to comply with rulemaking procedures, lacked statutory authority, issued the regulation in conflict with state law, and issued a regulation that was arbitrary and capricious. The plaintiffs sought declaratory judgment, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees and expenses. The case was assigned to Judge Ellen H. Ribaudo.

The same day the Complaint was filed, the plaintiffs also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and later that day, the Court held a hearing on the motion. Two days later, on April 26, the Court stayed the implementation of the emergency regulation until May 1, 2023, so that the Court would have more time to consider the briefing in relation to the TRO motion. Without that stay, the regulation would have gone into effect on April 27.

On May 1, 2023, the Court granted the plaintiffs' motion for a TRO, temporarily enjoining implementation and enforcement of the emergency regulation. The Court found that without a TRO, the plaintiffs would be subjected to immediate and irreparable loss, damage or injury due to the high risk of the interruption of medical care and the ethical violations attached to requiring the providers to obtain "informed consent" from their patients using unsourced medical information. The Court also held that the plaintiffs had a high likelihood of success on the merits, labelling the rulemaking a "novel use" of power that "may impermissibly invade a function reserved to the legislature." The TRO was entered, and was scheduled to expire on May 15, 2023, unless otherwise extended by the Court. A preliminary injunction hearing was scheduled for May 11, 2023.

The case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Michelle Wolk (5/4/2023)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

23SL-CC01673

Docket Entries

May 4, 2023

May 4, 2023

Docket

23SL-CC01673

Petition for a Temporary Restraining Order, Injunctive Relief, and Declaratory Relief

April 24, 2023

April 24, 2023

Complaint

23SL-CC01673

Court Order

April 26, 2023

April 26, 2023

Order/Opinion

23SL-CC01673

Court Order

May 1, 2023

May 1, 2023

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 1:31 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Missouri

Case Type(s):

Reproductive Issues

Child Welfare

Special Collection(s):

Transgender Healthcare Access Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 24, 2023

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Southampton Healthcare Inc., a nonprofit medical practice located and doing business in the City of St. Louis, Missouri that provides treatment for gender dysphoria to transgender individuals, including the prescription of hormone therapy; a licensed clinical social worker; and transgender individuals seeking care that would be impacted by the Emergency Rule

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Lambda Legal

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Missouri, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Facility Type(s):

Non-government non-profit

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General/Misc.:

Juveniles

LGBTQ+:

LGBTQ+

Medical/Mental Health Care:

Medical care, general