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SPRINGFIELD v. SAN DIEGO UNIFIED PORT DIST.

December 20, 1996

MARIAN SPRINGFIELD and LYNNE McINTIRE, Plaintiffs,
v.
SAN DIEGO UNIFIED PORT DISTRICT, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MOSKOWITZ

 INTRODUCTION

 This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary judgment. Based on the papers, oral argument held on December 20, 1996, and for the reasons stated below, Plaintiffs' motion is granted.

 BACKGROUND

 The San Diego International Airport ("Airport") serves the sixth largest city in the United States. To meet increasing demands of the traveling public, Defendant San Diego Unified Port District ("Port District"), the government entity that operates, manages, and controls the Airport, began a $ 214 million reconstruction program at the Airport in May 1996. The Port District estimates that it will complete the reconstruction sometime in January 1998.

 Until completion, the ongoing reconstruction will affect the regular operation of the Airport. For example, the Port District has at various times reduced the number of parking spaces at the Airport by 34 percent, closed certain entryways to the Airport's East and West Terminals, installed additional elevators, and built temporary support structures to accommodate those working on the reconstruction. The Port District also has engaged in a media campaign to discourage unnecessary Airport visits. Nonetheless, the Airport remains open to the public at large, and continues to house a variety of businesses, including restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars, coffee shops, cocktail lounges, clothing stores, bookstores, newsstands, postal machines, shoe shine stands, tourist information services, etc.

 To address increased congestion, over-crowding, and safety concerns during reconstruction, *fn1" the Port District adopted Ordinance 1824, amending Article 5 of the San Diego Unified Port District Code (the "Ordinance"), in June 1996. The Ordinance prohibits groups, organizations and individuals from engaging in a series of "expressive activities" within the Airport terminals. Among other things, Airport visitors may not:

 
1. Conduct surveys or solicit information from the general public.
 
2. Conduct or participate in any speech making and/or proselytizing.
 
4. Carry, display or cause to be displayed any signs or placards.
 
5. Distribute any literature, pamphlets or other printed material.
 
6. Seek petition signatures.

 Ordinance § 5.15(b). The Ordinance allows individuals or groups to engage in these prohibited activities only in a handful of 10' x 14' "Authorized Solicitation/Free Speech" zones located outside the terminals, and only after obtaining a permit from the Port District. *fn2"

 In addition to the restrictions on expressive activity, the Ordinance contains several general limitations on conduct at the Airport:

 
(e) No group, organization or person shall interfere with, impede or obstruct the work of airline or airport personnel.
 
(f) No group, organization or person shall interfere with, impede, or obstruct the movement or activities of the general public.

 Ordinance §§ 5.15(e), (f).

 The Ordinance makes it a misdemeanor to violate any of the above ...


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