Court Denies Motion for TRO and Preliminary Injunction Against Enforcement of a Sign Ordinance

Plaintiff, a Town Board candidate in Warrensburg, received an email from the Town’s Code Enforcement Officer informing him that Town Zoning Ordinance § 211.33(B)(1) prohibits signs within the public right-of-way. The email stated notice was being given to all candidates with political signs in the public right-of-way, yet Plaintiff sought to enjoin Defendant from enforcing the ordinance, contending Defendant selectively enforced the ordinance against him due to his political affiliation. Defendant agreed to discontinue its enforcement of the ordinance until after the November 3 general election, and replaced the taken down signs. Allegedly, four of Plaintiff's signs were still missing.

On review, the Court found that even though Plaintiff alleged enforcement of the ordinance violated his First Amendment right, he failed to establish that without a temporary restraining order he would suffer “an injury that is neither remote nor speculative, but actual and imminent.” Defendant stipulated the ordinance would not be enforced before the general election, and claims to have returned those signs that were initially removed. In addition, Plaintiff failed to show the likelihood of success on the merits since he did not present any evidence of how the ordinance was selectively enforced against him. Thus Plaintiff’s motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction was denied.

The case is Mahar v Town of Warrensburg, 2015 WL 6671335 (N.D.N.Y.).

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