CARROLL, District Judge.
Pending before the Court are (1) Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. 38], and (2) Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. [Dkt. 37]. The parties have filed the appropriate Responses [Dkts. 40, 41] and Replies. [Dkts. 42, 43]. Plaintiffs seek (1) a declaration that the Arizona statutes codifying House Bill 2376
I. Factual Summary and Procedural History
Plaintiffs are prisoner and human rights advocacy groups that maintain Internet
In 2000, the Arizona Legislature passed HB 2376. Pursuant to Arizona statute, inmates housed by the Arizona Department of Corrections ("ADC") are prohibited from sending mail to or receiving mail from a communication service provider ("Provider"), or from having access to the Internet through a Provider. ADC is required to sanction inmates who (1) correspond or attempt to correspond with a Provider, or (2) request any person access a Provider's website.
Former Director Terry Stewart subsequently implemented Director's Instruction # 156 ("DI# 156") to set forth statutory prohibitions regarding inmate Internet access. Pursuant to DI # 156,
ADC imposed disciplinary sanctions on at least five inmates because their names appeared on Internet websites. Each inmate stated either (1) he had requested his information be placed on the website before such requests constituted ADC policy violations; (2) he had no role in posting his information on the website; or (3) he had been unsuccessful in having his information removed from the website. Sanctions have included verbal counseling, reprimands, placement in Parole Class Three,
Plaintiffs filed this action on July 18, 2002. [Dkt. 1]. On December 16, 2002, the Court issued a Preliminary Injunction enjoining Defendant from enforcing the statutes codifying HB 2376 pending a final determination of the constitutionality of the statutes. [Dkt. 25].
Although actual enforcement of HB 2376 is directed at prisoners, Plaintiffs have standing to challenge HB 2376's limiting effects on the circulation of their message. Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58, 64, 83 S.Ct. 631, 636 n. 6, 9 L.Ed.2d 584 (1963); LSO, Ltd. v. Stroh, 205 F.3d 1146, 1153-54 (9th Cir.2000) (following Sullivan).
III. Motions for Summary Judgment
Summary judgment is proper "only if no genuine issues of material fact remain for trial and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Block v. City of Los Angeles, 253 F.3d 410, 416 (9th Cir.2001). The Court must view evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Id.
A. Standard of Review
When constitutional rights of both inmates and outsiders are implicated,
Woodford, 299 F.3d at 878 (citing Turner, 482 U.S. at 89-91, 107 S.Ct. at 2262-63) (internal quotation marks omitted).
1. Rationally related to a legitimate penological objective
Defendant asserts the blanket restriction on communications between inmates and Providers is necessary to prevent attempts to defraud the public and to preclude inappropriate contact with minors, victims, or other inmates. [Dkt. 37, pp. 6-7]. However, existing regulations and statutes already preclude such conduct. Arizona statutes criminalize fraud, and ADC regulations prohibit inmates from sending mail with the intent to defraud or otherwise illegally solicit assistance. A.R.S. Title 13, Chapter 23; ADC Department Order ("DO") 909.01, § 1.3.7. ADC policies also prohibit inmates from corresponding with (1) minors; (2) victims of their crimes; (3) other inmates; (4) any person who requests not to receive mail from the inmate; or (5) "anyone to whom lewd, threatening, or similar offensive material has been sent by the inmate[.]" DO 909.01, § 1.3.
Defendant also has methods in place to enforce these existing regulations. First, inmates have no direct Internet access. [Dkt. 33, p. 4, ¶ 7]. Second, prison staff members may open all incoming mail and inspect it for contraband. DO 909.02, § 1.1. Moreover, all incoming mail that is not privileged may be read to determine if the contents might facilitate criminal activity. Id. Third, outgoing mail may also be read and examined for contraband. DO 909.03, §§ 1.2, 1.6. If ADC finds extensive monitoring of inmate mail to be difficult or expensive, it is permitted to impose limits on the volume of mail inmates may receive.
Defendant's remaining arguments with respect to penological objectives also lack
Likewise, Terry Stewart's affidavit [Dkt. 16, Exh. A] does little to support Defendant's assertion that "rehabilitative opportunities will be further limited." [Dkt. 37, p. 8]. Even when ADC was enforcing HB 2376, Stewart stated inmates were not permitted Internet access for rehabilitation purposes because ADC could not provide adequate supervision. [Dkt. 16, Exh. A, p. 2, ¶ 7]. Stewart did not state he anticipated greater resources in the future that would enable ADC to provide such supervision. Rather than demonstrating HB 2376 is rationally related to the proffered goal of rehabilitation, Stewart's affidavit indicates ADC is unlikely to provide inmates with Internet access for rehabilitation purposes regardless of the outcome of this action.
Finally, Defendant offers no evidence to support the similarly speculative outcome that the goal of deterrence will be impaired because "[b]oth the inmate and the general public may perceive incarceration as `less arduous.'" [Dkt. 37, p. 8]. Although prison authorities are permitted to establish regulations in anticipation of potential problems, "they must at a minimum supply some evidence that such potential problems are real, not imagined." Woodford, 299 F.3d at 882 (citations omitted).
The Ninth Circuit has held the "rational relationship factor of the Turner standard is a sine qua non[,]" and failure to satisfy this prong requires a finding of unconstitutionality. Prison Legal News v. Cook, 238 F.3d 1145, 1151 (9th Cir.2001). Because the Court finds the statutes codifying HB 2376 are not rationally related to legitimate penological objectives and are therefore unconstitutional, it need not consider the remaining Turner factors.