Kadel v. Folwell

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Middle District of North Carolina
PartiesMAXWELL KADEL, et al., Plaintiffs, v. DALE FOLWELL, et al., Defendants.
Docket Number19-CV-00272-LCB-LPA
Decision Date07 April 2022

MAXWELL KADEL, et al., Plaintiffs,

DALE FOLWELL, et al., Defendants.

No. 19-CV-00272-LCB-LPA

United States District Court, M.D. North Carolina

April 7, 2022


Loretta C. Biggs United States District Judge

Before the Court is a Motion for Leave to File Brief of Amici Curiae the American Medical Association and Seven Additional Health Care Organizations in Support of Plaintiffs. (ECF No. 131). Proposed Amici “are eight leading medical, mental health, and other health care organizations” who “represent hundreds of thousands of physicians and mental-health professionals, including specialists in family medicine, mental health treatment, internal medicine, endocrinology, obstetrics and gynecology, and thousands of nurses.” (Id. at 1-2.) Proposed Amici filed their motion on November 30, 2021, in support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 178), which is currently before the Court.[1]


“The decision of whether to grant [a motion for leave to file an amicus brief] is left to the discretion of the trial judge.” Finkle v. Howard Cty., 12 F.Supp.3d 780, 783 (D. Md. 2014); Am. Humanist Ass'n v. Md.-Nat'l Cap. Park & Plan. Comm'n, 303 F.R.D. 266, 269 (D. Md. 2014); see LR 7.5(b). Participation of an amicus brief “may be less appropriate” at the trial level, “where the issues of fact as well as law predominate, . . . than at the appellate level where such participation has become standard procedure.” Finkle, 12 F.Supp.3d at 783. “The aid of amici curiae has been allowed at the trial level where they provide helpful analysis of the law, they have a special interest in the subject matter of the suit, or existing counsel is in need of assistance.” Bryant v. Better Bus. Bureau of Greater Md., Inc., 923 F.Supp. 720, 728 (D. Md. 1996) (Davis, J.). Ultimately, the question is one of utility: “a motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief should not be granted unless the court deems the proffered information timely and useful.” Finkle, 12 F.Supp.3d at 783 (internal quotations and alterations omitted).

The Fourth Circuit recently relied on an amicus brief filed by several of the Proposed Amici here concerning substantially similar subject matter. See Grimm v. Gloucester Cty. Sch. Bd., 972 F.3d 586 (4th Cir. 2020). Grimm concerned “whether equal protection and Title IX can protect transgender students from school bathroom policies that prohibit them from affirming their gender.” Id. at 593. After acknowledging that “many of us carry heavy baggage into any discussion of gender and sex, ” the Fourth Circuit began its discussion by “developing a fact-based understanding of what it means to be transgender, along with the implications of gendered-bathroom usage for transgender students.” Id. at 594. The court found an amicus brief highly similar to the one proposed by Proposed Amici invaluable in...

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