United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
CRISTINA NICHOLE IGLESIAS (a.k.a. CRISTIAN NOEL IGLESIAS), Plaintiff,
WARDEN TRUE, IAN CONNORS, DEBORAH SCHULT ALIX McLEAREN, DONALD TRUMP and JOHN DOES #1-10, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Cristina Iglesias, an inmate with the Federal Bureau of
Prisons (“BOP”) who is currently incarcerated at
the United States Penitentiary located in Marion, Illinois
(“USP Marion”), brings this action for alleged
violations of his constitutional rights by persons acting
under the color of federal authority that occurred in
connection with her placement and treatment in a male-only
prison facility under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101
et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act
(“RA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 794-94e. Plaintiff
seeks injunctive, declaratory and monetary relief.
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints to
filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint that is legally
frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or asks for money damages from a
defendant who by law is immune from such relief must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C.
1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations of the
pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. Rodriguez
v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
makes the following allegations in the Complaint (Doc. 1):
Plaintiff is a transgendered inmate, anatomically male but
identifying as female. (Id., pp. 2, 7). She has been
diagnosed with gender dysphoria and has been receiving
hormone replacement therapy since 2015. (Id., pp. 7,
48). Plaintiff has also been diagnosed with borderline
personality disorder. (Id., p. 48). She is being
held at USP Marion, a male-only facility, and is required to
“liv[e] outwardly as a male.” (Id., pp.
8-9). Plaintiff has a history of suicidal ideation and
attempts, as well as one attempt at self-castration.
has requested transfer to a female institution on multiple
occasions, which have been denied. (Id., p. 9). She
has been harassed and abused on multiple occasions.
(Id., p. 10). She has also requested sex
reassignment surgery, laser hair removal and for her official
paperwork to be altered to reflect that she is female.
(Id., pp. 9-11). All of these requests have either
been denied or drawn a string of non-responses delaying (and
constructively denying) the requested relief. Plaintiff
identifies another male-to-female transgendered inmate-Peter
Langdon- who was transferred from USP Marion to a female
facility in Texas. (Id., p. 20). Plaintiff asserts
that they are similarly situated in all other respects.
Plaintiff states that the Bureau of Prisons' Transgender
Offender Manual was recently revised to require the
Transgender Executive Council (“TEC”) to
“use biological sex as the initial determination for
[facility] designation[.]” (Id., p. 84). The
policy also instructs the TEC to consider issues such as
health and safety of the transgendered inmate, behavioral
history, overall demeanor, likely interactions with other
inmates, etc. (Id.). The policy further states that
assignment based on identified gender “would be
appropriate only in rare cases after consideration of all of
the [stated] factors and where there has been significant
progress toward transition as demonstrated by medical and
mental health history.” (Id.).
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to reorganize the pro se action into the
following enumerated Counts:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference
to a serious medical condition against Defendants
Count 2: First Amendment claim for denial of Plaintiff's
requests to have her official paperwork reflect a sex and
gender of “female”.
Count 3: Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection “class
of one” claim.
Count 4: Eighth Amendment claim for failure to protect her
from abuse and sexual assault.
Count 5: ADA/RA claims for failure to accommodate a serious
Count 6: Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment claim for gender
discrimination against Defendants Trump, John Doe #10 (U.S.
Attorney General), and John Doe #9 (Director of the Bureau of
Prisons) for formulating and implementing a discriminatory
regulation requiring use of biological sex as the initial
determinant for facility placement.
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. Any other claim that is
mentioned in the First Amended Complaint but not addressed
herein is considered dismissed without prejudice as
inadequately pled under Twombly.
first claims fall under the general umbrella of deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need-that her gender
dysphoria causes her significant suffering in being forced to
live as a man amongst male prisoners, and that she has been
denied the accommodations and treatments which would
alleviate that suffering. The Supreme Court has recognized
that deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of
prisoners may constitute cruel and unusual punishment under
the Eighth Amendment. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 104 (1976); Carlson v. Green, 446 U.S. 14
(1980). To prevail on a claim for deliberate indifference to
a serious medical need, there are “two high hurdles,
which every inmate-plaintiff must clear.” Dunigan
ex rel. Nyman v. Winnebago Cnty., 165 F.3d 587, 590 (7th
Cir. 1999). First, the ...