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Coldwater Clarifies Tea Party Sign Ban

The legal counsel for the City of Coldwater said he anticipates working out a solution to the lawsuit filed by a tea party group that had its signs banned from a city park without going to court.

Attorney John Hutchinson said in an email he will be working with the attorney of the Common Sense Patriots of Coldwater to come up with an amendment to the ban.

Hutchinson said the ban was supposed to only deal with banners and signs “affixed to real property or fixtures” and not signs or banners held by a person.

“That should have been more clearly stated,” Hutchinson wrote in the email.

Hutchinson stated he would work with the tea party group’s attorney to get language that would clarify the policy and he believes the City Council would adopt the amendment.

“The City of Coldwater has no desire to deny anyone the exercise of their First Amendment rights,” Hutchinson wrote. “In the meantime, I assure you that no action will be taken to deter any person from displaying a hand-held sign in the Four Corners Park or exercising any peaceful assembly.”

Robert Muise, senior trial counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, who represents the tea party group, said the city’s response was “troubling.”

Muise pointed to the city’s response that read: “In any event, as I am sure you are aware, the Policy is only a policy, and not a criminal ordinance; there is no specified enforcement mechanism."

“What does that mean? They were only kidding?” Muise asked. “If they want to repeal their resolution, that is up to them. They don’t like signs being posted in the city park. That’s a problem.”


See also:

Town Bans Tea Party Signs in Public Park