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Case Name Bailey v. Livingston PC-TX-0016
Docket / Court 4:14-cv-01698 ( S.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On June 18, 2014, four inmates housed in the Wallace Pack Unit, a medical and geriatric prison operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), brought suit individually and on behalf of those similarly situated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ... read more >
On June 18, 2014, four inmates housed in the Wallace Pack Unit, a medical and geriatric prison operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), brought suit individually and on behalf of those similarly situated in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act against the TDCJ. The plaintiffs, represented by the Texas Civil Rights Project, the University of Texas School of Law Civil Rights Clinic, and private counsel asked that the the TDCJ be required to provide safe housing conditions at the Pack Unit, claiming that the non-climate controlled interior of the Unit violated the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and plaintiff's Eight and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the failure of the TDCJ to provide climate controlled interior spaces to inmates at the Pack Unit constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, and that their failure further violates the ADA by failing to reasonably accommodate prisoners with heat-sensitive disabilities. The plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief.

The Wallace Pack Unit, operated by the TDCJ, is located just outside Houston, TX in Navasota. Deep in the south of Texas, the Pack Unit is a medical facility housing geriatric prisoners, prisoners with disabilities, and prisoners with chronic mental problems. The Pack Unit dormitories, in which the vast majority of prisoners are housed, are not air conditioned or otherwise climate controlled. The interior of the prison in the summer regularly becomes so hot that inmates sleep on the floor, only marginally cooler than their beds, and the stainless steel tables in the dormitories become hot to the touch. Most of the prisoners at the Pack Unit who suffered heat-related illness were not working outside, but were simply housed in the hot dormitories. Even the correctional officer's union has made numerous public requests for the prison housing areas to be air conditioned. The TDCJ has thus far refused to do so.

The plaintiffs (and many others at the medical and geriatric prison) suffer from disabilities putting them at increased risk of heat-related injury or death. These disabilities known to be exacerbated by heat include hypertension, asthma, traumatic brain injury (TBI), COPD, diabetes. Plaintiffs and others also take medications known to increase the risk of heat-related illness and death, including antihistamines (for allergies), Benztropine (to treat TBI), and diuretics. Several of the plaintiffs and many of the inmates have suffered heat-related illness in the past.

After a year of discovery, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on July 6, 2015 and a second amended complaint on May 9, 2016. The Court granted class certification on June 14, 2016.

On June 21, 2016, the court (Judge Keith P. Ellison) granted preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs requiring the TDCJ to provide EPA-compliant drinking water to the inmates through September 22, 2016. The defendants appealed the preliminary injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Oral argument was scheduled for the week of September 26, 2016.


This case is still ongoing.

Kevin Nomura - 02/10/2015
Virginia Weeks - 10/17/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Conditions of confinement
Sanitation / living conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are inmates in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) who suffer from disabilities putting them at increased risk of heat-related injury or death. They are suing the TDCJ for its failure to provide climate control within its prisons, resulting in extremely hot indoor conditions.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Links Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Written: Jun. 04, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:14-cv-01698 (S.D. Tex.)
PC-TX-0016-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/13/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint
PC-TX-0016-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/18/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Class Action Complaint
PC-TX-0016-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order (S.D. Tex.)
PC-TX-0016-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/14/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order for Preliminary Injunction (S.D. Tex.)
PC-TX-0016-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/21/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Ellison, Keith P. (S.D. Tex.)
PC-TX-0016-0003 | PC-TX-0016-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Doyle, Jeremy (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0002 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Edwards, Jeffrey S. (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0001 | PC-TX-0016-0002 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Flammer, Sean (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Frank, Abigail Hill (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0002 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Harrington, James C (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Krause, Wayne Nicholas (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
McGiverin, Brian Rolland (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0001 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Medlock, Scott Charles (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Nader, Wallis (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0002 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Natarajan, Ranjana (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0001 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Pennebaker, Andrew (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0002 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Singley, Michael (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0002 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Smith, Nathan (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-0002 | PC-TX-0016-9000
Trigilio, Trisha (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Burton, Cynthia (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Erwin, Lori K (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Garcia, Bruce (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Greer, Matthew J (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Kammerlocher, Derek Josef (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Moczygemba, Kevin Andrew (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Neuhoff, Daniel Christopher (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Phillpotts, Nadine (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Tulinski, Pat (Texas)
PC-TX-0016-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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