United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS (1) FOR SERVICE OF
COGNIZABLE CLAIMS; AND (2) TO DISMISS ALL OTHER CLAIMS WITH
PREJUDICE (ECF No. 12) FOURTEEN (14) DAY OBJECTION
MICHAEL J. SENG UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Dwayne Denegal, also known as Fatima Shabazz, is a state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
September 14, 2015, the Court screened Plaintiff's
complaint and dismissed it, with leave to amend, on the
ground it failed to state a cognizable claim. (ECF No. 8.)
Plaintiff's first amended complaint is before the Court
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The Court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally frivolous or
malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), (2).
"Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof,
that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at
any time if the court determines that . . . the action or
appeal . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
1983 "provides a cause of action for the deprivation of
any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States." Wilder
v. Virginia Hosp. Ass'n, 496 U.S. 498, 508 (1990)
(quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). Section 1983 is not itself a
source of substantive rights, but merely provides a method
for vindicating federal rights conferred elsewhere.
Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 393-94 (1989).
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. See West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Ketchum v. Alameda
Cnty., 811 F.2d 1243, 1245 (9th Cir. 1987).
complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief . .
. ." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Detailed factual allegations
are not required, but "[t]hreadbare recitals of the
elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Plaintiff must set
forth "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Id. Facial plausibility demands more than the mere
possibility that a defendant committed misconduct and, while
factual allegations are accepted as true, legal conclusions
are not. Id. at 677-78.
is incarcerated at the California Substance Abuse Treatment
Facility ("CSATF"), where the acts giving rise to
her complaint occurred. She names the following defendants in
their individual and official capacities: (1). Psychologist
R. Farrell, Psy.D.; (2) Chief Psychologist R. Coffin, Psy.D.;
(3) Clarence Cryer, CEO of CSATF Medical Department; (4) J.
Lewis, Deputy Director, Policy and Risk Management,
California Correctional Healthcare; and (5) J. Sunduram,
Primary Care Physician on A Yard.
allegations may be summarized essentially as follows:
is a transgender woman. She experiences gender dysphoria and
distress resulting from the incongruence between her male
anatomy and female gender identity. She has lived openly as a
female since 2000, and has been on feminizing hormones since
2014. She continues to experience dysphoria despite hormone
therapy. She believes sex reassignment surgery is medically
necessary treatment for her gender dysphoria. However, she
has been denied such surgery by Defendants.
History Prior to Incarceration at CSATF
was born in 1963. During adolescence she felt uncomfortable
with her male gender. As early as ten or eleven years of age,
Plaintiff felt herself to be a female. She was antagonized by
her parents for displaying a female identity. Plaintiff began
"hanging out" with the transgender community in New
York City. At age twelve, Plaintiff had a sexual encounter
with a male friend, came out to said friend, and then was
beaten and raped by the friend and a group of other boys.
fifteen, Plaintiff's parents suspected she was gay.
Plaintiff fathered a son. At age sixteen, she began dressing
as a woman and became a prostitute and drug dealer. By age
nineteen, she was incarcerated in the New York correctional
system. There, Plaintiff tried unsuccessfully to hide her
gender identity. She was raped by inmates and staff.
eventually was released on parole and became more
"outwardly visible" as a woman. Plaintiff began a
relationship with a gay woman who Plaintiff lived with as
"man and wife" and with whom Plaintiff had several
additional children. Plaintiff's partner often dressed as
a male and Plaintiff as a female.
and her partner moved to Georgia, where Plaintiff again was
incarcerated. Plaintiff hid her gender identity until
release. Upon her release, Plaintiff began dating other
2000, Plaintiff's mother died and she began living
full-time as a woman.
moved to California in 2006. She was incarcerated in 2008 and
released in 2010. Upon release, Plaintiff began experimenting
with "black market" feminizing hormones. Plaintiff
was arrested again later in 2010 and was housed in the Los
Angeles County Jail. There, Plaintiff was focused on her case
and did not pursue hormones.
was transferred to the custody of the California Department
of Corrections and Rehabilitation in 2010, and was placed in
North Kern State Prison Reception in Delano, California.
There, she attempted to see a "transgender doctor"
but was unable to do so.
Incarceration at CSATF
transferred to CSATF on October 11, 2012.
April 2013, Plaintiff submitted a medical services request to
meet with the facility endocrinologist and be placed on
feminizing hormones. She met with non-party Dr. Kumar in May
2013. Dr. Kumar referred Plaintiff to mental health for