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Municipal Campaign Signs in a Neighboring Municipality

Robert Timothy Reagan, Margaret S. Williams, Marie Leary, Catherine R. Borden, Jessica L. Snowden, Patricia D. Breen, Jason A. Cantone
May 31, 2016
Available Online Only

O’Boyle v. City of Delray Beach (Donald M. Middlebrooks, S.D. Fla. 9:14-cv-80270)
A municipal candidate’s federal complaint alleged that a neighboring municipality was wrongfully taking down the candidate’s campaign signs in the defendant’s municipality. The district judge set the case for hearing on a Friday, four days after the complaint was filed, but the defendant city sought time to find outside counsel because an assistant city attorney was named in the complaint. The judge reset the hearing for the following Monday, but he urged the parties to come to a temporary agreement. A stipulated temporary restraining order forbade the defendant city from taking down the plaintiff’s signs in locations where campaign signs were permitted. Months later, the judge awarded the defendant city summary judgment because the taking down of the plaintiff’s signs resulted from a single city worker’s error that subsequently was corrected.
Topic: Campaign materials.

One of many Case Studies in Emergency Election Litigation.