Case Name: Florek v. City of Neenah
Type of Case: Individual liberties
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Green Bay
Filed On: January 30, 2023
Current Status: Preliminary Injunction Granted Awaiting Summary Judgment Briefing
WILL WINS PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION IN DEFENSE OF 1ST AMENDMENT
April 10, 2023 | WILL won a preliminary injunction on behalf of clients Tim and Megan Florek, against the City of Neenah for its unconstitutional sign ordinance. The City will not be able to enforce their unconstitutional ordinance against the Floreks while the lawsuit moves forward.
CITY OF NEENAH BACKS DOWN ON ENFORCING ILLEGAL ORDINANCE
February 2, 2023 | The city agreed to suspend the enforcement of the illegal ordinance while the case against it moves forward.
CITIZENS SUE CITY OF NEENAH FOR VIOLATING FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
January 30, 2023 | A family is suing the City of Neenah, challenging the city’s unconstitutional sign ordinance and its enforcement.
WILL SENDS DEMAND LETTER TO THE CITY OF NEENAH FOR FIRST AMENDMENT VIOLATION
January 19, 2023 | The City of Neenah sent a number of “Notice of Violation” letters to residents, ordering them to remove signs opposing re-zoning efforts in the city. On behalf of one of the families receiving such a notice, WILL sent a letter to the City of Neenah, demanding that they immediately withdraw the Notice of Violation and give assurances that the city’s efforts to stifle First Amendment-protected speech will stop immediately.
Background: The Neenah School District plans to sell a soon-to-be vacant school building to a developer, who plans to redevelop the property into apartments and single-family homes. But before this development can move forward, the City of Neenah must re-zone the property. Whether the property should be re-zoned has become a significant issue within the City of Neenah, and the subject of considerable public debate.
Tim and Megan Florek are among the residents in Neenah who oppose the attempts to re-zone the property. To express their opposition to the re-zoning effort, they display a yard sign which reads “Don’t Rezone Shattuck Middle School Leave R-1 Alone.” Hundreds of similar yard signs are displayed in the city.
To shut down this public debate, the City of Neenah sent out “Notice of Violation” letters earlier this month to properties displaying such signs, demanding that they be taken down by early February. The Floreks received such a letter, which was sent by the City of Neenah Police Department. The letter from the city accused the Floreks of violating the City’s sign ordinance. The penalty for non-compliance is a fine of up to $500 for the first offense, and of $1,000 for each subsequent offense. Each day the sign is displayed is considered a separate offense.