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Yard-sign rules contested in another Detroit suburb

By The Associated Press
09.28.04

DETROIT — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has filed suit against a suburban Detroit city for ignoring a court ruling that ordered another suburb to let residents put political signs in their yards.

The ACLU alleged yesterday that the city of Troy violated its residents' free-speech rights.

It is representing Kent Fehribach of Troy, who said he was ticketed for putting a sign on his property supporting President George W. Bush.

ACLU Executive Director Kary Moss said the city's sign ordinance allows residents to place unlimited commercial signs on their property while limiting the number of political signs. She also criticized Troy's prohibition against putting political signs up more than 30 days before an election.

"It makes no sense to allow speech [30] days before an election but not [31] days," Moss said.

A federal judge on Sept. 17 barred another Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe Woods, from enforcing a rule prohibiting the display of campaign yard signs more than 30 days before an election.

Earlier this year the ACLU warned southeastern Michigan cities that they risked lawsuits if they enforced sign ordinances restricting political speech.

Many cities across the country have some kind of restriction on when residents can put up campaign signs, how big they may be or how many people may have.


Update
Political yard signs OK'd in 2 Detroit suburbs
Federal judge issues temporary injunction barring enforcement of Troy's sign law; meanwhile, Grosse Pointe Woods revokes part of its ordinance. 10.20.04

Related

Federal judge: Wisconsin city's sign law stifled man's free speech

Court finds Pewaukee aldermen were wrong to block Walter Fiedorowicz from erecting political signs in his yard. 04.13.04

ACLU campaigns for Michigan towns to allow political yard signs

'We have a long record of making ordinance decisions based on aesthetics,' says Ferndale city manager. 07.03.04

Federal judge halts Michigan city's time limit on yard signs
Meanwhile, conflicts are springing up across the country over statutes that restrict campaign signs. 09.20.04

Political yard signs

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