United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division
D. Whitney, Judge
MATTER is before the Court on initial review of
Plaintiff's Complaint, (Doc. No. 1). Plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis. See (Doc. No.
se incarcerated Plaintiff has filed a civil rights suit
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 with regards to incidents
that allegedly occurred at the Alexander Correctional
Institution. Plaintiff Huskins, who was born male but
identifies as female, names as Defendants Nurse Fox, Nurse
Supervisor at Alexander C.I., and Ms. Crump, Head
Psychologist and Mental Health Coordinator of Alexander C.I.
the Complaint liberally and accepting the allegations as
true, Plaintiff was diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria by
Alexander C.I.'s Mental Health Department on July 19,
2016. She has seen medical and mental health staff numerous
times and they have failed to provide any gender-affirming
healthcare based on a “Blanket Administrative
Policy” rather than individualized medical evaluation,
in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The lack of treatment
is causing severe distress and impairment including anxiety,
sadness, depression, self-hatred, and will possibly lead to
seeks prospective and preliminary injunctive relief of
hormone therapy and female undergarments.
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION/TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER
preliminary injunction is an extraordinary remedy that is
never awarded as of right. Winter v. Natural Res. Def.
Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008); Pashby v.
Delia, 709 F.3d 307, 319 (4th Cir. 2013). In
each case, courts “must balance the competing claims of
injury and must consider the effect on each party of the
granting or withholding of the requested relief.”
Amoco Prod. Co. v. Village of Gambell, 480 U.S. 531,
542 (1987). To obtain a preliminary injunction, a plaintiff
must establish (1) that he is likely to succeed on the
merits; (2) that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in
the absence of preliminary relief; (3) that the balance of
equities tips in his favor; and (4) that an injunction is in
the public interest. Winter, 555 U.S. at 20; Di
Biase v. SPX Corp., 872 F.3d 224, 229 (4th
alleges that the lack of hormone treatment and female
undergarments are causing sadness and anxiety, and that the
denial of treatment may eventually lead to self-harm in the
future. However, Plaintiff has failed to establish a
reasonable likelihood of prevailing on the merits or that she
is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of
preliminary relief. Therefore, preliminary injunctive relief
INITIAL REVIEW STANDARD
Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma
pauperis, the Court must review the Complaint to
determine whether it is subject to dismissal on the grounds
that it is “(i) frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In its
frivolity review, a court must determine whether the
Complaint raises an indisputably meritless legal theory or is
founded upon clearly baseless factual contentions, such as
fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989). A complaint
should not be dismissed for failure to state a claim
“unless ‘after accepting all well-pleaded
allegations in the plaintiff's complaint as true and
drawing all reasonable factual inferences from those facts in
the plaintiff's favor, it appears certain that the
plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts in support of his
claim entitling him to relief.'” Veney v.
Wyche, 293 F.3d 726, 730 (4th Cir. 2002)
(quoting Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231,
244 (4th Cir. 1999)).
pro se complaint must be construed liberally.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see
also Smith v. Smith, 589 F.3d 736, 738 (4th
Cir. 2009) (“Liberal construction of the pleadings is
particularly appropriate where … there is a pro
se complaint raising civil rights issues.”).
However, the liberal construction requirement will not permit
a district court to ignore a clear failure to allege facts in
his complaint which set forth a claim that is cognizable
under federal law. Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990). A
pro se complaint must still contain sufficient facts
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level” and “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007); see Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (the Twombly
plausibility standard applies to all federal civil complaints
including those filed under § 1983). This
“plausibility standard requires a plaintiff to
demonstrate more than a sheer possibility that a defendant
has acted unlawfully.” Francis v. Giacomelli,
588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (internal
quotation marks omitted). He must articulate facts that, when
accepted as true, demonstrate he has stated a claim entitling
him to relief. Id.
treatment a prisoner receives in prison and the conditions
under which he is confined are subject to scrutiny under the
Eighth Amendment, ” Helling v. McKinney, 509
U.S. 25, 31 (1993). In its prohibition of “cruel and
unusual punishments, ” the Eighth Amendment places
restraints on prison officials, who may not, for ...