Local News

Cary ordered to pay $44K in attorneys' fees over sign dispute

Posted February 8, 2011

— The Town of Cary has been ordered to pay $44,595 in attorneys' fees and $1,602.27 in costs after losing a lawsuit over a homeowner's controversial sign.

Federal Court Judge Louise Flanagan ordered the payment Monday. Cary officials are still deciding if they want to appeal, according to town spokeswoman Susan Moran.

Cary resident David Bowden won a freedom of speech lawsuit against the town in December. He painted a protest message on his home, "S-----d by the Town of Cary,” in August 2009 after he claimed construction caused drainage problems on his property.

The town had threatened to fine Bowden, but the American Civil Liberties Union sued on his behalf, saying the message was political speech.

Bowden was awarded $1 in damages.

86 Comments

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  • Unfair Moderators Stink Feb 9, 8:09 a.m.

    "POOR JUDGEMENT CARY----POOR!!!!"

    First, please turn off your caps lock and stop yelling at everyone.

    Secondly, what would you have preferred? That Cary buy this blackmailer's house for the ridiculous $250K the guy was demanding? That is ridiculous and a true waste of money. The day any town government gives in to extortion is a bad, bad day for everyone.

  • GoGreen Feb 8, 7:58 p.m.

    Good Job ACLU!!!

  • the people Feb 8, 5:40 p.m.

    $44,000 SPENT TO FIGHT SOME PAINT WORTH $ 3.00...WHO'S IN CHARGE OF ECONOMICS AT CARY NC...THOSE ELECTED JUST DON'T KNOW WHEN TO STOP WASTING YOUR CASH..!!!!! PLUS THE LEGAL TEAM OF THIERS USED TO FIGHT THIS TYPICAL NON SENSE POLITICS!!!!1 WHEN WILL THIS STOP???? $100,000 POSSIBLY SPENT ON $3.00 CAN OF PAINT ....ELECTION TIME IS NEEDED SOON!!!! TOO MUCH MONEY FOR WASTE IN CARY TOWN!!!!mOORE SQUARE HOMELESS COULD USED THOSE TAX DOLLARS FOR HOT SOUP!!!!! DONATE SOME CASH TO HOMELESS CARY; INSTEAD OF COURT!!!!! POOR JUDGEMENT CARY----POOR!!!!

  • nativeofwake Feb 8, 5:27 p.m.

    I know the previous owners of the house who sold it to the current owner in 1991 - 20 years ago. There were water problems with this house way before any work was done on Maynard. He just wants a "bailout" for a poor purchase.

    I don't know why all these people hang around waiting for a story so that they can bash Cary. OK - Cary has a lot of restrictions. Don't like it? Don't live there. I wouldn't want to live next to this guy either.

    BTW - Cary didn't sue, they threatened to fine. The ACLU are the ones that sued.

  • between_the_lines Feb 8, 5:25 p.m.

    that's awesome!

  • Kristen168 Feb 8, 5:15 p.m.

    LOVE IT!

  • Morrisville Feb 8, 5:12 p.m.

    CARY= Containment Area for Relocated Yankees = Rich area
    Durham = trash

  • wral mods blow close my account Feb 8, 5:08 p.m.

    "The only thing "pityful" is your spelling. The cost of buying back this guy's house would have been well over the $44k it cost to litigate." -fzero

    $44k was the plaintiff's cost. I'm sure Cary had attorneys that cost much more. And now double that when they lose on appeal.

    Also Cary could resell the place to recoupe the buy. A buyout might have been a bargain. Looks like someone should have taken a common sense course with their grammar lessons.

  • westoflyra Feb 8, 5:01 p.m.

    I liked living in Cary while I was there. I have to admit it was funny driving by that house. Will return to Cary once I'm finished getting my grad degree in Boston (which is a depressing place).

  • AlwaysAmazed Feb 8, 4:57 p.m.

    Hmm. I'm having a hard time believing your theory. How about if you pack up & go home and we'll see how "desperate" the area becomes.....FVBryM

    GOOD ONE! I'm waiting...pack it up!

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