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Briones v. Grannis

September 14, 2010

ANGIE MARIE BRIONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
N. GRANNIS, ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VIRGINIA A. Phillips United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Pro se prisoner Angie Marie Briones (hereinafter referred to as "Plaintiff") filed a Civil Rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on November 14, 2009, pursuant to the Court's Order re Leave to File Action Without Prepayment of Full Filing Fee.

On December 18, 2009, the Court issued an Order granting Plaintiff's request to proceed in forma pauperis and issued an Order directing service of process by the United States Marshals on Defendants Dr. Wu, Dr. Finander, Nurse Sisson and Nurse Frances. (See Docket Nos. 10, 11, 13.)*fn1

On January 22, 2010, Plaintiff filed a document entitled "Motion for Order to [Show] Cause For An Injunction" ("Motion")(see Docket No. 20); "Declaration of Angie Briones" ("Plaintiff's Decl."); and a "Supplemental Amended Complaint" ("First Amended Complaint"). Plaintiff is a transsexual*fn2 (male to female) and contends that she has been denied adequate pain management and estrogen hormone therapy. Plaintiff seeks a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction to insure that she receives constitutionally mandated medical care to treat her transsexualism.

Plaintiff alleges that she has been denied estrogen hormone therapy and pain medication treatment, and that Defendants have acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs, transgenderism and lower chronic back pain. (First Amended Complaint at pp. 2-5.)

Plaintiff alleges prior to her arrival at California State Prison-Lancaster ("CSP-LAC") in June of 2009 she had been under treatment and receiving estrogen hormone therapy and pain management therapy for approximately nine years as noted in her California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") prison medical file. (Motion at 10-11; See First Amended Complaint, attached pages, Letter to Dr. Lee ,a prison physician,dated September 16, 2006 from Dr. Pamela Prescott, an outside endocrinologist, who performed a consultation with Plaintiff regarding hormone replacement therapy while Plaintiff was imprisoned at Salinas Valley State Prison.) Upon her arrival at CSP-LAC, Plaintiff alleges Defendants Dr. Wu, Dr. Finander, Nurse Frances and Nurse Sisson have denied Plaintiff estrogen hormone therapy and pain management treatment. (First Amended Complaint at 2-5; Motion at 10-11.) Plaintiff alleges that these Defendants have consciously and arrogantly defied orders by transgender and pain specialists prescribing medications for Plaintiff. (Motion at 4, 12-14; First Amended Complaint, attached pages; Plaintiff's Decl.) Plaintiff alleges that the medical Defendants employed at CSP-LAC are not trained nor qualified to assess, diagnose nor treat Gender Identity Disorder (a.k.a. transsexualism, a.k.a. gender dysphoria). (First Amended Complaint, attached pages.)

Plaintiff alleges she is experiencing adverse effects resulting from Defendants' arbitrary peremptory halting of her estrogen hormone therapy which includes but is not limited to significant infliction of physical, emotional and mental pain due to reduction of fat tissue around her breasts, cheeks, hips and buttocks, causing bruising, constriction of the skin and severe soreness. The lack of estrogen hormone treatment has also reversed many of the female characteristics previously attained through years of estrogen hormone treatment and has resulted in a chemical imbalance causing great irritability, anxiety attacks, jitteriness, stress, distress, frustration, vomiting, erections, grave depression, suicidal thoughts, fainting spells, cold and hot flashes and other serious harm. (See First Amended Complaint, attached pages.)

Plaintiff alleges on July 8, 2009, she was seen by Defendant Dr. Wu, who canceled Plaintiff's pain medications of Gabapentin and Robaxin and only ordered Motrin for her lower chronic back pain. (Motion at 11; First Amended Complaint, attached pages.) Dr. Wu stated that he saw no medical indication for use of Gabapentin and Robaxin for Plaintiff's back pain. Dr. Wu did a full view visual examination on Plaintiff's lower back; however, he did not touch Plaintiff's lower back, nor did he perform range of motion tests, order x-rays or an MRI. Dr. Wu said, "Your back looks fine." Dr. Wu also refused Plaintiff's request to continue hormone therapy, stating, "Only a transgender specialist can order hormones." Dr. Wu however, did not refer Plaintiff to a transgender specialist. (Motion at 10-11; First Amended Complaint, attached pages.)

On July 9, 2009, Plaintiff requested in writing that her hormone therapy and pain management therapy be restarted.

On July 27, 2009, Plaintiff submitted another request to be seen urgently for the same issues. (Id.)

On July 29, 2009, Plaintiff saw Defendant Nurse Esther Frances, who asked Plaintiff whether she was seeing a transgender specialist. (Motion at 12; First Amended Complaint, attached pages.) Plaintiff inquired about a transgender specialist referral made by Dr. Wu; however, Defendant Nurse Frances said no referral was made by Dr. Wu in her file but she said she would write a referral to the transgender specialist. Plaintiff told Defendant Nurse Frances of his pain; however, Nurse Frances did not order Plaintiff's previous pain medications, stating she would not interfere with Dr. Wu's order of Motrin. Plaintiff informed Defendant Nurse Frances that other staff physicians and pain management specialists had prescribed Gabapentin medication for Plaintiff's chronic lower back pain. (Id.)

On July 31, 2009, Defendant Chief Medical Officer Dr. Finander canceled the transgender specialist referral made by Defendant Nurse Frances with no explanation. Plaintiff filled out a CDCR 7362 Health Care Services form requesting pain medication and hormone therapy. (Motion at 12.)

In August of 2009, Plaintiff was feeling depressed and suicidal. Plaintiff alleges that the lack of estrogen hormone therapy and hormone withdrawal side effects have caused her severe pain, both emotionally, mentally and physically and have greatly affected her health. (See First Amended Complaint, attached pages.)

On August 28, 2009, Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Dr. Wu and she advised him of the side effects she was experiencing due to estrogen withdrawals. Dr. Wu said there was no medical need for hormone therapy and he would not and could not prescribe hormones. Only ...


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