A Louisiana marine's family is being sued over a sign in their front yard supporting their son's military service.
A south Bossier homeowners association requested that Timothy and Jodi Burr, take down the sign in their front yard because it violated subdivision covenants.
The Gardens of Southgate filed the suit earlier this month, against the Burrs, who have lived in the subdivision since 2006.
In January, the Burrs placed a large multi-colored banner with a picture of their 20-year-old son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Corey Burr, and the phrase "Our son defends our freedom" after Corey Burr was deployed to Afghanistan.
Jodi Burr said she and her family plan to fight the suit and do not intend to remove the sign.
"I hate that it's coming to this," she told the Shreveport Times. "I had hoped with the former ugliness that we were done, but unfortunately, we're not, and we're going to continue to push on."
The HOA's lawyer refuses to comment on the case.
According to the Shreveport Times, the Burrs have filed an official response to the suit, citing two main points. The first is that the HOA has abandoned the covenant restrictions on signs by not fully enforcing them. The covenants of the subdivision specify only real estate or builder signs are allowed in public view.
The second point asserts that forcing the Burrs to remove their sign is a direct violation of the freedom of expression granted in the state and U.S. constitutions.
The Burrs say they have tried to come to come type of compromise with the HOA. They have requested revisions to the covenants that would allow them to keep their sign up for the 14 months their son was deployed, but again, there was no response from the association.
Jodi said she understands the issue is likely with the size of the sign, which is what most would consider a banner, and she would be happy to modify it, if that was indeed the problem. However, the HOA has not gotten back to her.
Jodi said her family plans to continue to do what they think is right and try to keep the sign up.
Should they be allowed to keep the sign up?
Viewers serve up their thoughts.
Kim writes on Facebook: I can understand wanting an asthetically pleasing neighborhood but that's ridiculous AND disrespectful not only to the family, but to the US as well. HOA's need to re-evaluate their priorities. I know that if I was this family's neighbor, I would not have a problem with their sign. In fact, I'd put up a sign in my yard to show support! I pray that the suit gets thrown out, the Judge rips the HOA a new one, the family wins and gets to keep their sign.
Rick's Loft writes: (shaking head). I'm not liking the "taste" of THIS dish. :) whoever is suing I hope does not win. GO MILITARY!
@DavidHuynh tweets: @maggiesworld saw your story, agreed! kind of reminds me of hot fuzz
Rae emails: I think this is terrible that this would ever be a discussable issue. I think everyone in the neighborhood who supports them should put up the same banner in their yard. Whoever is responsible for bringing the issue forward shame on you.
Get in on the dish. Send me your tweets: twitter.com/maggiesworld or emails: email@example.com or comment on the Online Dish Facebook fan page.
And that's today's helping of Online Dish.