when applied to the general public. See Waters, 114 S. Ct. at 1887.
As set forth above, the state has a compelling interest in maintaining prison security with which courts have been reluctant to interfere. See, e.g. Jones, 433 U.S. at 126. Moreover, defendants' restrictions on the dissemination of fliers which it reasonably believes to be inflammatory is narrowly tailored where, as here, plaintiffs had numerous alternative fora to disseminate their message, many of which have been utilized by the union in the past.
Plaintiffs have posted fliers on bulletin boards throughout Rikers Island, including the facility locker rooms and bathroom walls. See Connecticut Teachers, 538 F.2d at 481-82 (availability of distribution of literature in teachers' lounge, discussion during lunch breaks and free periods, mail telephone and off-campus meetings rendered denial of access to school mail system inconsequential). The union has also hand distributed fliers at various times in the correctional facility locker rooms, the Health Management Division on Rikers Island, or on the street in Queens at the entrance to the Buono Bridge, the exclusive point of entry and egress from Rikers. Moreover, the union has conducted mass mailings, issued press releases, placed newspaper advertisements, and held membership meetings in common areas of Rikers. Indeed, in connection with the April 1993 vote, plaintiffs mailed each of the union members the same fliers and had an opportunity to express their views at four or five individual member meetings held in the correctional facilities as well as monthly meetings held before the vote.
In any event, the individual defendants are protected by qualified immunity. Qualified immunity shields government employees from liability for conduct which is objectively reasonable and "does not violate clearly established . . . constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known." Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818, 73 L. Ed. 2d 396, 102 S. Ct. 2727 (1982); see also Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 635, 639, 97 L. Ed. 2d 523, 107 S. Ct. 3034 (1987) (citations omitted).
Here, the parameters of plaintiffs' First Amendment rights in this factual context were not and could not be reasonably known to defendants at the time. Plaintiffs fail to cite any decision recognizing that communications regarding employee union personnel are matters of public concern or that the interior of a correctional facility, let alone a security check point, is a public forum. Nor has plaintiff come forward with a case holding that the security concerns in a correctional facility are outweighed by a employee union's right to disseminate fliers at a security checkpoint at that time. Indeed, as set forth above, the case law available at the time of the incident clearly indicates that the issues raised in the fliers were not of public concern, see Connick, 461 U.S. 138, 75 L. Ed. 2d 708, 103 S. Ct. 1684 (1983); Connecticut Teachers, 538 F.2d at 471, that the Control Building was not a public forum, see Perry, 460 U.S. 37, 74 L. Ed. 2d 794, 103 S. Ct. 948 (1983); Krishna Consciousness, 505 U.S. 672, 120 L. Ed. 2d 541, 112 S. Ct. 2701, and that the restrictions imposed were reasonable in light of the security concerns inherent in the Control Building, see, e.g., Jones, 433 U.S. at 134.
For the reasons set forth above, defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted, and plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment is denied.
It is SO ORDERED.
DATED: New York, New York
December 11, 1996
John E. Sprizzo
United States District Judge
Flier 1 provides: