The case has been dropped against a New Jersey homeowner and her daughter who refused to remove obscene signs critical of President Joe Biden from a fence on their property.
The community, Roselle Park, agreed to voluntarily dismiss its case in Superior Court after the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey stepped in to represent the homeowner, Patricia Dilascio and her daughter, Andrea Dick, reports NJ.com.
A municipal court earlier this month ruled that Dilascio had violated a local obscenity order by hanging signs with the "f-word" on her fence and ordered her to remove them or be fined $250 a day.
Dick told NJ Advance Media previously she had hung the signs on her mother's fence. Three of the signs used the f-word, but the mayor said residents complained because the home is located near an elementary school.
She said she and her mother won't have to pay the fines that started growing last Thursday, and she said the signs remain up after the ruling.
"It’s a relief," she said Tuesday. "My mother too, we both feel so relieved. I’m just happy this all over."
Dick said she still plans to file a lawsuit but she doesn't know if the ACLU or another attorney would represent her.
ACLU of NJ Executive Director Amol Sinha called the case dismissal a First Amendment win for the family and for New Jersey residents.
"The First Amendment exists specifically to make sure people can express strong opinions on political issues, or any other matter, without fear of punishment by the government," said Sinha in a statement. "Today’s decision confirms that our position was correct: Roselle Park had no grounds to issue fines for a political sign and the town’s use of its obscenity ordinance infringed upon fundamental rights protected by the First Amendment. It was an uncomplicated case."
Over the weekend, Roselle Park Mayor Joseph Signorello told CNN that the borough would likely drop the legal battle because of costs and that the community will look to revise its ordinance.
"At the end of the day you can’t legislate decency," said Signorello, a Democrat who is also running for state Senate.
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