United States District Court, D. Idaho
LYNN WINMILL, UNITED STATES COURT JUDGE.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has
remanded this case and asked the Court to address three
limited issues. First, the Court is asked to “clarify
whether its order denying Defendants' motion for a stay
pending appeal was meant to renew the injunction.”
Second, the Court must “clarify whether, as part of its
ruling on Edmo's motion for preliminary injunction, the
district court also granted permanent injunctive
relief.” Third, the Court is asked to “clarify
whether it concluded that Edmo actually succeeded on the
merits of her Eighth Amendment claim for permanent injunctive
with the first issue, the Court's order denying
Defendants' request for a stay did not renew the
injunction. Dkt. 175. The issue of whether the injunction
should be renewed was not presented in the parties'
briefing (Dkts. 156, 168, 174), and the Court's decision
was limited to the question of whether a stay should be
issued. Dkt. 175.
the Court expressly denied the stay because of the
significant risk that Ms. Edmo will make a third attempt at
self-castration if she is not provided with gender
confirmation surgery in the very near future. Id. at
2 (“Given that Ms. Edmo made increasing progress on
her first two self-surgery attempts, it is likely that Ms.
Edmo will be successful if she attempts self-surgery
again.”) (emphasis in original). The Court has
found that the treatment employed by Defendants has been
ineffective, leaving gender confirmation surgery as the sole
remaining option. Edmo v. Idaho Dep't of
Correction, 358 F.Supp.3d 1103, 1118-20 (D. Idaho 2018).
By denying Ms. Edmo gender confirmation surgery, Defendants
continue to subject her to cruel and unusual punishment that
is contrary to the Eighth Amendment. Id. at 1129.
The Court's intent in denying the stay was to secure a
quick end to Defendants' constitutionally deficient care.
That same intent informs the Court's decision today to
reissue the preliminary injunction in accordance with the
Prison Litigation Reform Act. See 18 U.S.C. §
Ninth Circuit has also asked the Court to clarify whether as
part of its decision granting Ms. Edmo's motion for
preliminary injunction it also intended to grant permanent
injunctive relief. That was the Court's intention.
outset of the evidentiary hearing on Ms. Edmo's motion
for preliminary injunction and at the hearing's close,
the Court asked the parties to address whether the permanent
or preliminary injunctive standard applied. Dkts. 137, 139.
Both parties failed to do so. Lacking any guidance from the
parties, the Court issued its decision using the standard for
a preliminary injunction in light of the looming threat to
Ms. Edmo's health and in accordance with Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 1. See Edmo, 358 F.Supp.3d at 1110,
1122 (citing Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council,
Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008)). In doing so, however, the
Court explicitly “conclude[d] that under either [the
preliminary mandatory or permanent injunction] standard Ms.
Edmo is entitled to relief.” Id. at 1122, n.1.
Thus, the Court will reiterate its prior finding: Ms. Edmo is
entitled to gender confirmation surgery under the permanent
the Ninth Circuit asks the Court to “clarify whether it
concluded that Edmo actually succeeded on the merits of her
Eighth Amendment claim for permanent injunctive
relief.” Simply stated, that was the Court's
the Court's original decision granted Ms. Edmo a
permanent injunction, she necessarily succeeded on the merits
of her Eighth Amendment claim. The parties in this case
“effectively converted … the evidentiary hearing
into the final trial on the merits.” Edmo, 358
F.Supp.3d at 1122, n.1. During the hearing, the Court
repeatedly informed counsel that there did not appear to be
any meaningful distinction between a preliminary and
permanent injunction in this case. Defendants, who now object
to viewing the evidentiary hearing as a full trial on the
merits, said nothing. See Dkts. 137, 138, 139.
Additionally, in the lead up to the three-day long hearing,
the parties conducted extensive discovery. During the hearing
itself, they submitted, without any limitation or
restriction, all evidence and briefing they wanted the Court
to consider. Both sides put on extensive expert and lay
testimony that was indistinguishable from the testimony that
would have been received during a full trial. And, finally,
the Court employed post-hearing procedures that are usually
reserved for full trials including: (1) having the parties
submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law; (2)
expediting the hearing transcript so the parties could have
the full record before them in drafting their findings of
fact and conclusions of law; and (3) inviting the parties to
submit testimony via affidavit from any witnesses who were
not available to testify at the hearing. In short, Defendants
were afforded a full opportunity to show that Ms. Edmo was
receiving constitutionally compliant care. They failed. Ms.
Edmo succeeded in showing that the care she is receiving from
Defendants is cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth
IS HEREBY ORDERED:
preliminary mandatory relief set forth in the Court's
decision at Docket No. 149 is RENEWED.
Court clarifies that as part of its ruling on the motion for
preliminary injunction, it also ...