CLEVELAND — Newly filed lawsuits involve people claiming that they have a right to post political signs on their property without restriction.
Residents of Cleveland-area communities Highland Heights, Madison and Concord Township sued on Oct. 22, challenging municipal rules on the posting of campaign signs.
U.S. District Judges Donald Nugent and Kathleen O'Malley ordered Concord Township and Madison to stop enforcing limits on the number of signs and requiring a bond or to register before installing a sign.
Highland Heights officials agreed not to enforce their sign laws pending a hearing today before Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Gaughan.
The Rev. Robert Pindell, of Highland Heights, said a sign for congressional candidate Capri Cafaro and a Kerry-Edwards sign were removed from his yard because each campaign had not posted a $250 bond.
"I was attempting to exercise my First Amendment rights of free speech," Pindell said.
Michael Lucas, a lawyer for Concord Township, said communities need to find a balance between First Amendment rights and the need to regulate placards.
Some Cleveland-area communities have restricted the location and size of political placards and the period when they can be displayed, said Jeff Mearns, of the Baker & Hostetler law firm.