Gotti v. Raemisch

Summary

In December 2005, the Wisconsin legislature passed Wisconsin Act 105, which purports to prohibit that state’s Department of Corrections from using state funds to provide hormone therapy or sex reassignment surgery to people incarcerated in state correctional facilities or secured child care institutions. When the state Department of Corrections threatened to reduce and eventually eliminate hormone therapy prescribed to transgender people in state prison, Lambda Legal filed this case to argue that Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution require the state to provide appropriate medical treatment to all people in state custody. The State agreed to continue prescribed hormone therapies to the plaintiffs in this case while the court heard a case deciding similar issues, Fields v. Frank.

History

  • October 2007 Lambda Legal files complaint on behalf of incarcerated transgender individual whose hormone treatments are stopped by prison officials pursuant to Wisconsin state law; state defendants stipulate to entry of preliminary injunction to continue hormone treatments during pendency of case.
  • February 2008 Case is put on hold while case involving similar issues, Fields v. Raemisch, is litigated.
  • May 2008, April 2009 Lambda Legal adds two new plaintiffs to Gotti and secures preliminary relief while case is pending.
  • August 2010 Case was dismissed without prejudice by the court as moot because the plaintiffs were no longer incarcerated. Victory, however, was achieved in the identical case Fields when the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld transgender people's right to access medical treatment in prison and the U.S. Supreme Court declined the state of Wisconsin's appeal.

Case Information

Status: Closed

Plaintiffs

Minx Gotti, Sara Knutsen and Michelle Walker

Attorneys

Lambda Legal
Dru Levasseur

Cooperating Attorneys
John A. Knight, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; Laurence J. Depuis, American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation; Erik Guenther, Hurley Burish & Stanton, SC