Norsworthy v. Beard, No. 15-15712 (9th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a transgendered woman, petitioned the CDCR for sex reassignment surgery when she was incarcerated in the California prison system. After the petition was denied, plaintiff filed suit alleging that the denial amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment. The district court issued a preliminary injunction ordering defendants to provide plaintiff with sex reassignment surgery and CDCR appealed under 28 U.S.C. 1292(a)(1). This court stayed the preliminary injunction pending appeal. While this appeal was pending, plaintiff was released on parole. Pursuant to Ringsby Truck Lines, Inc. v. Western Conference of Teamsters, the court concluded that, where “the facts surrounding” a prisoner’s release “are not sufficiently developed in the record . . . to determine” whether the release occurred through happenstance or the defendants’ actions, the appropriate course is to remand to the district court to determine whether to vacate its order. Therefore, the court remanded to the district court so that it can determine whether this appeal became moot through happenstance or defendants’ own actions. If the latter is the case, the court concluded that the district court should consider the factors under Ringsby to determine whether to vacate its preliminary injunction order.