April 12, 2018

Judge Strikes Down Hamilton County Sign Restrictions

stock photo

stock photo

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A judge has struck down a central Indiana county's sign ordinance and says that the restrictions created a chilling effect on free speech.

The Indianapolis Star reports Wednesday's ruling about Hamilton County's sign ordinance by Hamilton Superior Court 3 Judge William Hughes followed hearings on the issue.

The order nullifies an ordinance that county commissioners passed Feb. 12 and updated April 3. The commissioners sought to ban signs in unincorporated areas they control, largely targeting signs along roads. Signs from candidates and real estate sales were among those affected.

County council candidate Rick Sharp and his attorney, Tim Stoesz, filed the lawsuit, saying it violated political free speech.

Commissioner Steve Dillinger says it's unlikely the county would appeal the decision. He says a new ordinance might be proposed later.

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