When Johnnie and Clara Russell posted a small yard sign on their own North Texas property outside Ft. Worth several years ago, they did not expect that they would have to seek government permission first. The sign, which promoted an event called “Wake Up America” for conservative pundit Glenn Beck’s “9/12 Project,” provoked the ire of one of their neighbors, who complained to authorities.
The Blaze reports:
Apparently the sign violated the rules of the Homeowners Association (HOA) that governed the subdivision where the Russells lived. And although Mr. & Mrs. Russell claim they never joined the association, never paid dues to the association, and never signed any papers acknowledging the association as a governing body with rules over their property, they were sued for violating the rules.
The Russells received their first notice of violation while out of town, so it was returned to the HOA. The second one was then hand-delivered by a local constable.
The couple took their case to court, where they pointed out a variety of inconsistencies which allowed several other signs in the neighborhood which promoted local teams and yard sales to remain intact, but forced their own sign to be taken down. The Russells were found guilty by Justice of the Peace Lynn Marie Johnson and were ordered to pay over $7,000 in legal fees incurred by the Homeowners Association.
Click here to read the entire article.