The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:
This case deals with telephones for inmates in an Illinois prison.
Four state prisoners have brought this civil rights action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. They sue correctional officials and
telecommunications providers for alleged infringement of the Plaintiffs'
First Amendment associational rights and their Sixth Amendment right of
access to their attorneys.
More specifically, the Plaintiffs challenge various aspects of the
collect-call system recently implemented at the Western Illinois
Summary judgment will be granted in favor of all Defendants.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Cetotex Corp. v. Catrett 477 U.S. 317,
322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Herman v. National
Broadcasting Co., Inc., 744 F.2d 604, 607 (7th Cir. 1984), cert. denied,
470 U.S. 1028, 105 S.Ct. 1393, 84 L.Ed.2d 782 (1985). In determining
whether factual issues exist, the court must view all the evidence in the
light most favorable to the non-moving party. Beraha v. Baxter Health
Corp., 956 F.2d 1436, 1440 (7th Cir. 1992).
However, Rule 56(c) "mandates the entry of summary judgment, after
adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to
make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element
essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the
burden of proof at trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. at 2552.
"Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of
fact to find for the non-moving party there is no `genuine' issue for
trial." Mechnig v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 864 F.2d 1359 (7th Cir. 1988). A
"metaphysical doubt" will not suffice. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 1356, 89
L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). Disputed facts are material
only if they might affect the outcome of the suit. First Ind. Bank v.
Baker, 957 F.2d 506, 507-08 (7th Cir. 1992).
The four Plaintiffs (Leander Carter, Ronald Wren, Donald Stroud and
Wayne Lemons) are state prisoners. At the time the Plaintiffs commenced
suit, all four were incarcerated at the Western Illinois Correctional
Center. Plaintiff Stroud has since been transferred to the Shawnee
The Defendant William O'Sullivan is the warden of the Western Illinois
Correctional Center (hereinafter, "W.I.C.C."). The Defendants Ian Oliver
and Jon Heckel are assistant wardens. The Defendant Angela Cross is a
telecommunications coordinator at W.I.C.C..*fn1 The Defendant John
Johnson is the prison's business administrator. The Defendants Odie
Washington and Leo Meyer are, respectively, the director and deputy
director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. The Defendant Stephen
Schnorf is the director of the Illinois Department of Central Management
The Plaintiffs also sue AT & T Communications and its agents, Donna
Bowen and John Powell. Although the AT & T Defendants have not joined in
the motion for summary judgment, the Court finds that their, too; are
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Where some, but not all, parties
move for summary judgment, the Court on its own motion may grant summary
judgment as to non-movants as well if the motion is equally effective in
barring the claim against the other defendants and the plaintiff has had
an adequate opportunity to argue in opposition to the motion. Malak v.
Associated Physicians, Inc., 784 F.2d 277, 280 (7th Cir. 1986).
The followings facts are uncontested for purposes of this motion: Prior
to November 1994, inmates at W.I.C.C. were permitted to make unlimited,
operator-assisted collect telephone calls anywhere in the United States.
Inmates were not required to provide prison officials with names or
telephone numbers of those they were calling.
In November of 1994, W.I.C.C. began using a new collect telephone call
system. The new, computerized system provides inmates at W.I.C.C. with
telephone access through the use of a personal identification number (or
"PIN"). In order to use the telephone system, an inmate must provide
prison officials with a list of up to thirty individuals he wishes to
call. An inmate may amend his phone list on a weekly basis. Once an
inmate provides prison officials with the necessary information (name,
telephone number, address and relationship to the inmate) the amendment
process takes about two days to complete. Inmates may still make unlimited
telephone calls, to anyone on their list.
If an inmate needs to make an emergency telephone call to a person not
on his list, and must do so before an amendment can be processed, the
inmate may request special arrangements through Clinical Services for
placing emergency calls without using the PIN system. (Plaintiff Lemons
argues that such an effort would be "futile" because it takes three days
to get a response to requests made to Clinical Services; however, there
is no allegation that he ever had to make an emergency phone call and was
unable to do so.)
All non-attorney telephone calls at W.I.C.C. are subject to monitoring
and recording. To ensure that a phone call with an attorney is not
monitored or recorded, an inmate must designate who on his phone list is
a lawyer. Prison officials verify that persons named as attorneys are
members of the Illinois bar, then activate' software that prevents the
monitoring and recording of calls placed to that number.
An instruction sheet on inmate telephones advises prisoners, among
other matters, that:
(1) Called numbers may be blocked due to excessive
use, suspicion of fraud, or harassment of called
(2) Customer complaints of telephone harassment will
result in the number being blocked. In addition,
customers may request that all phone calls from
correctional centers be blocked.
(3) If the called party attempts connection to a three
way call, or activates call waiting feature during the
call, the call will automatically terminate.
When a called party accepts a collect call from W.I.C.C., a recording
makes him or her aware that activation of added features such as
call-waiting, three-way calling or call transfer will result in
The current telephone system requires that an inmate provide a direct
dial number for his attorney, as call transfers would activate the
cut-off feature. Inmates cannot call attorneys at a toll-free number
under the new system. When requested by an inmate, W.I.C.C. officials
have contacted attorneys' offices to request a direct dial number. In a
few cases, W.I.C.C. has activated an override of the cut-off feature to
verified attorneys when no direct dial number existed.
Some of the Plaintiffs' contacts are uncomfortable releasing to prison
officials their names, addresses, telephone numbers and the nature ...