On January 5, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (“MDOC”) filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a man who identifies as a transgender woman alleging multiple civil rights violations arising from the department’s refusal to place him in an all-female prison. According to the motion filed by MDOC, “Dismissal of the Complaint is warranted where GD, a.k.a. Gender Identity Disorder (“GID”), is excluded from coverage under both the ADA and the RA, plaintiff is unable to state a claim under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the claims brought under the Massachusetts Constitution are barred under the Eleventh Amendment.”
Additionally, MDOC argues the ADA “does not require that a plaintiff be provided with the accommodation of [his] choice,” and that although the ADA requires it to provide inmates with reasonable accommodations, providing a reasonable accommodating “does not mean that prison officials must accede to every demand of an inmate; rather, an accommodation is reasonable so long as it gives ‘meaningful access’ to the services sought.”
The plaintiff, referred to in the lawsuit as Doe, seeks injunctive relief in the form of a transfer from MCI-Norfolk (a men’s facility) to MCI-Framingham (a women’s facility), to force the DOC to “treat Jane Doe the same as other women held by the DOC,” refer to Doe using only a “female name” and pronouns, to grant Doe “separate shower time without the presence of men,” to “only allow strip searches of Jane Doe to be conducted by female correctional officers,” to “provide Jane Doe access to preventative healthcare, including mammograms,” and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of action.