Idaho Family Wins Four-Year Legal Battle Over Christmas Lights
For four years Jeremy Morris has been fighting with his homeowners association over the Christmas light display at his Hayden, Idaho home.
The display features 200,000 lights, a live camel named Dolly, a cotton candy machine, mandolin player, and actors dressed as Christmas characters. The whole extravaganza lasts five days.
His HOA weren't fans of the show he put on. They sent a letter after Morris' first year warning about "expensive litigation" and cited neighborhood rules about lighting, sound, traffic, and property use. They also expressed their worry about filling the neighborhood with "possible undesirables."
The line in the letter that Jeremy and his wife found most concerning was: "I am somewhat hesitant in bringing up the fact that some of our residents are non-Christians or of another faith, and I don't even want to think of the problems that could bring up."
So when the Morris family was told not to continue their display, they took it as one thing: religious discrimination.
Jeremy sued the HOA for discriminating against his family's Christian religion. A lengthy legal battle ensued and just recently, a jury sided with the Morris family.
They were awarded $60,000 in compensatory damages and $15,000 in punitive damages. The family plans on using that money to move out of their home and go somewhere where they can "spread the message of Jesus Christ and the birth of our savior."
Read more at The Coeur d'Alene Press.