714 F.Supp. 29 (D.D.C. 1989), Civ. A. 88-1048, Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Turner

Docket Nº:Civ. A. 88-1048
Citation:714 F.Supp. 29
Party Name:Community for Creative Non-Violence v. Turner
Case Date:May 17, 1989
Court:United States District Courts, District of Columbia
 
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714 F.Supp. 29 (D.D.C. 1989)

COMMUNITY FOR CREATIVE NON-VIOLENCE, et al., Plaintiffs,

v.

Carmen E. TURNER, Defendant.

Civ. A. No. 88-1048.

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

May 17, 1989

Page 30

Maureen E. McGirr and Andrew T. Karron, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C., for plaintiffs.

Linda Lazarus, Asst. Gen. Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Washington, D.C., for defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

SPORKIN, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. Plaintiffs are Community for Creative Non-Violence ("CCNV"), The National Coalition for the Homeless, the Gray Panthers of Montgomery County, Maryland, Mitchell D. Snyder, Carol Fennelly and Brian Anders. Defendant Carmen E. Turner, is General Manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and is the chief administrative officer responsible for all activities of WMATA. WMATA is the operating agency for a regional transportation system for the Washington, D.C., area. In early 1987, WMATA adopted a regulation that required all persons seeking to engage in "free speech activity" on WMATA property to first obtain a permit from the WMATA central business office. Plaintiffs bring the action in the instant case as a facial challenge to this regulation, alleging violation of the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs seek an injunction enjoining defendant from enforcing this regulation.

BACKGROUND

WMATA was created by an interstate compact entered into by Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and incorporated into the D.C. Code to act as the operating agency for a regional transportation system for the Washington, D.C., area.

On January 15, 1987, the Board of Directors of WMATA adopted a "Regulation Concerning the Use by Others of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Property." Among other things, this regulation requires that all those seeking to

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engage in "free speech activities" on publicly owned WMATA property must first obtain a permit either in person or by mail from the WMATA central business office during normal business hours. (§ 100.10(b)). "Free speech activities" are defined to include all activities that involve "the organized exercise of rights and privileges which deal with political, religious, or social matters and are noncommercial." (§ 100.7(h)).

The regulation specifically provides for its enforcement through criminal sanctions, fines, and imprisonment in accordance with local laws and ordinances should an unauthorized activity or an authorized activity in an unauthorized manner be conducted on WMATA property (§ 100.6(a) and (b)). This regulation has never been published in the District of Columbia Code, the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, or in the District of Columbia Statutes-at-Large.

Plaintiffs in the instant case are individuals and community organizations who have either previously engaged or intend to engage in various forms of free speech activity on WMATA property. [See Plaintiffs' Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief at 8]. In a parallel criminal case, plaintiffs Snyder, Fennelly and other CCNV members were arrested and criminally prosecuted for unlawful entry as a result of allegedly violating the WMATA Regulation. See United States v. Kochol, Crim. Action No. M-13602-87 (D.C.Super Ct.) (Hamilton, J.), Appeal...

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