City Cannot Sue Iowa Man Over Stinky Statements Court Says
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.
Read more at the Des Moines Register.