A federal district court has ordered officials in Sibley, Iowa to refrain from suing or threatening to sue a resident over critical comments he made on a personal website.

Josh Harms operates ShouldYouMoveToSibleyIA.com, a site on which he talks about the town's "rancid dog food" smell. The resident says that the town has done nothing to stop the scent from coming from a processing plant.

The city agreed to an injunction that blocks officials from “directing Harms not to speak with reporters, threatening to bring a lawsuit, or actually bringing a lawsuit against."

The injunction also includes training on the First Amendment to city staff, a written apology to Harms, and the city will have to pay $20,475 in attorneys’ fees along with $6,500 to Harms for damages.

Read more at Des Moines Register.


Original blog post:

Sibley, Iowa is less than impressed after reading what one resident posted on his website. Apparently the town smells like "rancid dog food."

Josh Harms owns the rights to ShouldYouMoveToSibleyIA.com, a website that takes a critical look at the small town. Sibley officials sent a letter back in December asking that he take the site down or face legal action.

The ACLU is on Josh's side and have filed a lawsuit to block the city from threatening any lawsuits. They say that he is completely within his constitutional rights to say that a "horrible rotten-blood and stale-beer odor that hangs over the town."

The attorney representing Sibley says that Josh's website interferes with business recruitment among other things.

Josh Harms via Facebook

Read more at the Des Moines Register.