Sunday, September 07, 2003

Notice seeking sign removal enough to base First Amendment claim

In Eckles v. City of Corydon, the plaintiff filed suit claim, among other things, that the government officials violated his First Amendment rights by giving him notice to remove signs which he had posted on his property protesting the over-valuation of his property for tax purposes. The Eighth Circuit said that was enough of an injury to state a claim.

The signs said stuff like this:

"Since July 2000, Eckles has posted several signs on his property. The
following examples are illustrative of the messages displayed:
• “You are looking at the reality of God in my life, and God’s judgment upon
the wicked. - I am not a QUEER! I am not a FAGGOT! What I am is a
repentant Sinner Saved by the Mercy and Grace of God. - Church Member
Richard Couchman has cast the first Stone WHO WILL BE NEXT?”
• “City of Corydon and Wayne County Guilty of Prejudice, discrimination, bigotry, bias.”
and UNJUST, A FALSE BALANCE TAXES is Abomination TO THE LORD. Proverb 11:1. CITY OF CORYDON Abomination to the Lord, and Wayne County. REPENT.”
• “The THIEF (Wayne County Assessor) commeth but to Steal. John 10:10”
• “This home Destroyed because of Wayne County ASSESSOR. I can’t afford the false unfair and unjust taxes. No Compromise.”
• “SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. This property ALSO over TAXED! By Assessor Kay Middlebrook - Church Member Richard Couchman (Board of Review) Denied me 3rd Appeal. No Compromise.”
• “Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: Jer. 50:2. The whole land is made desolate, because no man
layeth it to heart .. NO ONE CARES NO NOT ONE. Jer. 12:11. REPENT.”"

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