Thursday, September 19, 2002

Activists in Springboro file suit against city over sign regulations

By The Associated Press

        Activists have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati accusing the city of Springboro of violating their rights by imposing extra requirements on people who want to post signs bearing political or noncommercial messages.

        The lawsuit alleges that the city's sign regulations violate their constitutional rights of free speech and equal protection of law.

        The plaintiffs said Springboro's regulations improperly classify signs by the content of their messages and require a $25 deposit in some cases for signs that bear political or noncommercial messages. A deposit is not required for other signs.

        The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, asks Judge Susan Dlott to order the city to stop enforcing the sign laws.

        Roger Eckert, law director for Springboro, said Wednesday the city has recognized that there are legal problems with its sign ordinances and is trying to work out a settlement.

        Springboro residents Francis Catrine and Betty Bray and a Cincinnati-based group, the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes, filed the lawsuit. They said they want to post signs before the Nov. 5 election on private property advocating votes for certain candidates, against a school levy and against additional city spending.


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