Description: Action brought by inmates in a Texas state prison challenging the extreme heat conditions in the prison as a violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Cole v. Collier
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 07/19/2017 Memorandum Download Preliminary injunction granted in memorandum and opinion setting out findings of fact and conclusions of law. Texas Federal Court Ordered Prison Officials to Address Extreme Heat Conditions at State Prison. The federal district court for the Southern District of Texas granted a request for a preliminary injunction to redress conditions at a state prison alleged to create an unconstitutional risk of heat-related illnesses. The court found that the plaintiffs had shown a likelihood of success on the merits of an Eighth Amendment claim. The court found that the extreme heat inside and outside the prison placed stress on the human body and caused a risk of illness, and a heightened risk for heat-sensitive men, and that mitigation measures imposed at the prison were insufficient. The court noted that “[t]he Court and the parties have no way of knowing when a heat wave will occur, but it is clear that one will come,” taking judicial notice of a statement in a Sabin Center for Climate Change Law report on Heat in U.S. Prisons and Jails: Corrections and the Challenge of Climate Change regarding climate scientists’ forecasts that heat waves will become more frequent, more severe, and more prolonged.