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Archive for Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Settlement filed in Valley Center sign dispute

November 24, 2010

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— Valley Center has formally agreed not to prosecute a homeowner or interfere with his display of a yard sign criticizing the city.

The settlement agreement was filed Tuesday in federal court in Wichita in a First Amendment case. The dispute arose after Jarrod West put a sign in his yard protesting inaction on a water drainage problem.

A joint motion asks the judge to dismiss the homeowner's lawsuit now that a settlement has been reached. The city agreed to pay West $8,000 for damages and attorney fees.

Valley Center sued the homeowner for criminal defamation, but later withdrew the lawsuit. The American Civil Liberties Union sued on West's behalf after the city refused to say whether it would prosecute him if he put the sign back up.

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