Federal appeals court sides with man in yard sign dispute

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ST. LOUIS – A three-judge panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a suburban St. Louis man in his dispute with a municipal government over how many political signs he can have in his yard.

The ACLU in January 2018 filed a First Amendment lawsuit on behalf of Bel-Nor, Missouri, resident Lawrence Willson, who was threatened with fines and jail time over an ordinance that says residents can post no more than one political sign. He had three.

A judge ruled in favor of Bel-Nor, but the appeals panel on Monday reversed that ruling.

ACLU attorney Tony Rothert calls yard signs a “uniquely important form of communicating ideas and political opinions.”

The attorney for Bel-Nor did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

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