HILLSBORO, Mo. (KSDK) - A judge ruled Thursday that a Hillsboro, Mo. homeowners' association that prohibited political yard signs has violated the Missouri Constitution's free-speech guarantee, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri has announced.
The case was brought by the ACLU to Judge Gary P. Kramer, who ruled enforcement of the restriction would violate the state constitution. This is the first case of its kind in Missouri.
According to the ACLU, Jim Lamprecht bought a home in Pevely, Mo. that is under restrictions of Tiara at the Abbey Homeowners' Association. One of the restrictions prohibits political yard signs. When Lamprecht put an election sign in his yard, he was told he was violating a covenant.
"Homeowners are frequently stunned to be told that they cannot engage in such a basic right of free speech as putting a political sign on their own property because of a covenant," said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU-MO. "Associations of homeowners across the state are now on notice that enforcing such a ban violates the Missouri Constitution."