Local News

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

Posted February 8, 2011 9:37 a.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2011 10:12 a.m. EST

— 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.