The decision by officials in Roselle Park – a borough of about 13,000 residents, about 19 miles from New York City, came after the state’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) decided to take up the woman’s cause, NJ.com reported.
“It’s a relief,” resident Andrea Dick, who allegedly posted the anti-Biden banners on property that her mother owns, told the outlet.
“My mother too, we both feel so relieved,” Dick added. I’m just happy this is all over.”
The state’s ACLU chapter called the town’s decision to drop the case a First Amendment victory for Dick and her mother.
Dick, and her mother, Patricia Dilascio, had faced fines of $250 per day for banners with slogans such as “F— Biden,” “Joe Biden S—s,” and “Socialism S—s, Biden B-—s,” the outlet reported.
Mayor Joseph Signorello of Roselle Park had said one of the primary concerns was that the banners were visible to young schoolchildren in the neighborhood, and he had received complaints from residents, according to NJ.com.
Signorello told CNN over the weekend that the potential cost of a legal fight also was a consideration for the town, NJ.com reported.
In June, the property owner was issued a notice about a violation of a municipal ordinance in connection with the banners, and then a court summons a few days later after the banners were not removed, the report said.
Municipal Court Judge Gary Bundy had ruled that the banners violated the town’s ordinance against obscenity. His order to remove banners applied only to those with the F-word, NJ.com reported.
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House, in Washington, July 19, 2021. (Associated Press)
Dick said Tuesday morning that the banners remained posted on her mother’s property. She told NJ.com she plans to eventually file a lawsuit over the matter.
Amol Sinha, executive director for the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU, issued a statement about the case.
“The First Amendment exists specifically to make sure people can express strong opinions on political issues – or any other matter – without fear of punishment by the government,” Sinha told the outlet. “Today’s decision confirms that our position was correct: Roselle Park had no grounds to issue fines for a political sign and the town’s use of its obscenity ordinance infringed upon fundamental rights protected by the First Amendment. It was an uncomplicated case.”