US: Trans prisoner files for expenses from gender-reassignment legal battle

Joseph McCormick October 4, 2012
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Michelle Kosilek, the trans woman incarcerated in an all-male prison, has filed for the expenses she, and her attorney, are requesting from the court, following a ruling that her legal costs, as well as the cost of gender reassignment surgery, as a treatment for gender dysphoria.

The total costs incurred by Ms Kosilek herself totals $698.69, and the costs incurred by her attorneys amount to $806,446, reports the Boston Herald.

Judge Wolf, of Boston, Massachusetts ruled last month that Ms Kosilek, 63, would be given gender reassignment surgery in prison, as the “only adequate treatment” of her gender dysphoria. He also ruled that her legal costs should be covered.

Ms Kosilek included a hand-written note which was filed today. It said “I incurred the following out-of-pocket expenses.”

The costs include: $496.86 for stamps; $156.18 for bulk postage; $26.10 for envelopes; $7.80 for copies; $11.75 for filing fees.

“Having prevailed, I am asking the court to order the defendant to reimburse me for my expenses. Signed under pain and penalty of perjury, Michelle Lynne Kosilek,” and her signature.

Ms Kosilek’s attorney, Frances S. Cohen, justified her costs, in saying that she had fought for a client who had an “unpopular diagnosis.”

“Prosecuting this case was a huge undertaking by many measures,” Cohen wrote. “Plaintiff’s counsel has borne the burden of keeping an often frantic and distraught client informed.”

Filed alongside Ms Kosilek’s expenses were Attorney Cohen’s costs, citing the Prison Litigation Reform Act, and requesting $644,573 in attorneys’ fees, and legal costs of $161,873.

Ms Kosilek’s Attorneys previously offered to waive their fees, excluding out-of-pocket expenses, on the condition that the Department of Correction does not appeal against Judge Wolf’s ruling.

The Department made clear that they were to appeal against Judge Wolf’s ruling on September 26.

Related topics: Americas, frances cohen, Legal costs, michelle kosilek, prisoner, trans discrimination, trans prisoner, US

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