Pending a ruling on the merits of the lawsuit filed against the Town on Friday, Portsmouth officials have agreed not to issue a summons to Michael DiPaola to enforce its sign ordinance for his display of signs on his property on Bristol Ferry Road. The agreement was made at a chambers conference held late yesterday before U.S. District Judge William Smith on ACLU of RI cooperating attorney Richard A. Sinapi’s request for a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the ordinance.  


The ACLU suit was filed after the Town threatened a $500-a-day fine per sign against Mr. DiPaola for erecting nine signs on his property that, according to the lawsuit, express “his opinions criticizing perceived selective and corrupt code enforcement by the Town.” The suit argues that the Town’s restrictions on the posting of political signs violates DiPaola’s free speech rights.

The judge set an expedited schedule for both sides to file briefs in the case before he issues a formal ruling. More information about the lawsuit can be found here.

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