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PLANNED PARENTHOOD ASS'N v. CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTH.

August 9, 1984

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ASSOCIATION/CHICAGO AREA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS PAGE CONTAINED  AND 
ARE NOT AN OFFICIAL PRODUCT OF THE COURT, THEREFORE THEY ARE
NOT DISPLAYED.]

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

Planned Parenthood Association/Chicago Area ("PPA") sues the Chicago Transit Authority ("CTA"), its governing body Chicago Transit Board ("Board"),*fn1 its Executive Director Bernard J. Ford ("Ford") and its former Public Affairs Director Michael Horowitz ("Horowitz")*fn2 and Winston Network, Inc. ("Winston") under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 1985(3) and 1986. PPA charges violation of its First and Fourteenth Amendment rights*fn3 by defendants' refusal to accept PPA's advertising for display on CTA buses, trains and facilities. PPA has requested both injunctive relief and damages.

In accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a) this Court finds the facts as set forth in the following Findings of Fact ("Findings") and states the following Conclusions of Law ("Conclusions ").*fn4 By agreement of the parties, in accordance with Rule 65(a)(2) the trial of this action on the merits has been advanced and consolidated with the hearing of PPA's application for a preliminary injunction, with the issue of damages deferred for a later hearing. Accordingly these Findings and Conclusions serve as this Court's final determination as to injunctive relief.

Findings of Fact

Parties

1. PPA is an Illinois not-for-profit corporation affiliated with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. PPA provides educational, counseling, referral and medical services related to family planning and medically-approved birth control through four clinics in Chicago and one clinic in a Chicago suburb (Tr. 21-22).

2. CTA is a municipal corporation, created by the Illinois General Assembly, which owns and operates a transit system serving the public in metropolitan Chicago (CTA Ans. ¶ 5).

3. Board's Members (see n. 1) are appointed by the Mayor of the City of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois. Board governs and administers CTA through its members and agents (CTA Ans. ¶ 6).

4. Winston, which does business in Illinois and has an office in Chicago, is a private corporation engaged in the transit and outdoor advertising business. It has an exclusive contract with CTA (the "Contract," CTA Ex. 47) to place cards, signs and other forms of advertising in or on buses, rapid transit cars and other CTA property (Winston Ans. ¶ 11).

Sale of CTA Advertising Space

5. Winston, acting under the Contract, sells or leases space in and on CTA buses and transit cars and other CTA property for the display of cards and signs containing messages (Winston Ans. ¶ 12; Tr. 63; CTA Ex. 47). Only Contract ¶ 8 contains any restriction on the type of advertising Winston can accept for placement on CTA property:

  All advertising displays . . . shall be of
  reputable character, and if any immoral, vulgar
  or disreputable advertisements are . . .
  placed . . ., [Winston] shall remove the same
  immediately . . .

6. CTA did not expressly reserve authority in the Contract to review or to approve requests to advertise or the messages themselves before their posting on CTA property. However, it has been the long-standing practice for CTA to review and approve messages submitted by not-for-profit organizations before posting of those messages on CTA property (Tr. 75, 96, 103, 110; CTA Ex. 7). It is not however standard practice for CTA to review or to approve, before their posting on CTA property, commercial or political candidate messages or other message for which full rates are paid. Such messages are routinely approved or disapproved by Winston sales account executives based upon the creditworthiness of the advertiser and the sales account executive's subjective judgment about the contents of the message (Tr. 72-72, 104; Sullivan Dep. 41-42, 46; Dyson Dep. 21-26). On no occasion has CTA reviewed or approved political candidates' messages before their posting on CTA property. In the few instances where Winston has referred commercial messages to CTA for prior review or approval, in Winston's view the messages raised questions of vulgarity, immorality or legality (CTA Exs. 7, 10, 11, 31, 48, 49).

7. By the literal terms of the Contract, CTA, Board and all other CTA-affiliated defendants delegated to Winston the authority to accept or reject requests for CTA display space without any review by CTA or any objective guidelines for such acceptance or rejection (Tr. 70-71, 80-81; CTA Ex. 47). At least in those instances where Winston obtains CTA review for an advertising request, Winston acts as CTA's agent (Tr. 24, 63-65, 70-72, 75-81, 106).*fn5

8. CTA has displayed cards and signs (PPA Group Exs. 1 and 2) advertising, and communicating with the public as to:

    (a) a wide variety of products and services,
  including health care, cigarettes, liquor, and
  lawyers' and doctors' services;

(b) political candidates;

(c) gun registration;

(d) draft registration;

(e) arms control;

    (f) prevention and cure of disease (including
  AIDS);

(g) labor unions for county and city workers;

(h) religious organizations;

(i) non-discrimination in ...


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