Court Ruling Is a Victory for Transgender People in Custody

January 5, 2023

Gabbi Pierce, Communications Manager
[email protected]

Saint Paul, Minn.—

A Ramsey County district court judge denied a motion by the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) to dismiss Gender Justice’s lawsuit against DOC on behalf of our client, Christina Lusk, a transgender woman in DOC custody. The court ruled that the DOC failed to demonstrate that official immunity protects them from suit, allowing our lawsuit against the DOC for discrimination to proceed.

Gender Justice, along with our co-counsel Robins Kaplan, LLC, sued DOC in June of 2022 on behalf of Ms. Lusk, a trans woman currently incarcerated at Moose Lake, a men’s facility, despite being socially, medically and legally recognized as female. As a result of not being housed according to her gender identity, Ms. Lusk has been harassed, subjected to misgendering and discrimination, and denied medically necessary health care. Gender Justice argues that DOC’s treatment of Ms. Lusk violates the Minnesota Human Rights Act, as well as her rights under the Minnesota Constitution to equal protection of the law, to bodily integrity, and to be free of cruel or unusual punishment.

“No government actor should be immune from lawsuit for harm and discrimination,” said Gender Justice Legal Director Jess Braverman. “When the government refuses to ensure the dignity and safety of everyone it has a responsibility to protect, there must be consequences.”


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