The town of Milton settled an American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware lawsuit brought on behalf of homeowner Penny Nickerson, who had been prevented from putting political signs in her yard by the town’s sign law.
The law prohibited the display of “political” signs except for the months preceding an election and for two weeks after, while allowing other signs year-round. The settlement follows the town’s revision of the sign ordinance to meet the ACLU’s demand that the ordinance be corrected.
The town agreed to pay legal fees to the ACLU because the ACLU was compelled to bring the lawsuit, and Nickerson agreed to dismiss the suit.
The settlement came in the case of Nickerson v. Town of Milton, which was filed in Delaware state court in May and then moved to federal court by the town. The suit explained that the town code violated the free speech provision of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 5 of the Delaware Constitution.
After the 2016 presidential election, Nickerson, a retired school teacher who owns a home in Milton, posted four signs on her property with messages. In mid-February, she was told that the signs violated the town code because they were political. Nickerson complied with the request to remove the signs, but tried to inform Milton that the ordinance was unconstitutional. She asked for a meeting with town representatives, but was refused. She turned to the ACLU for assistance.
For more, visit aclu-de.org.