Bob Niedermeyer lives in a single family home in Brookside and is a Libertarian. During and after the recent presidential election season, he displayed four campaign signs in support of Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, in his front yard but not in the public right-of-way.
In early January, an enforcement officer with the City of Kansas City’s Planning Department sent Mr. Niedermeyer a ticket charging him with violating the City’s sign ordinance “in that a political sign . . . [was not] removed . . . after notice of violation having been given . . . Such signs are prohibited 2 weeks after such election.”
In a letter dated January 16, 2013, ACLU of Kansas Legal Director Doug Bonney asked City Prosecutor Lowell Gard to dismiss Mr. Niedermeyer’s ticket because the City’s interpretation of the sign ordinance discriminates against political speech in violation of the First Amendment. Mr. Gard responded by e-mail within an hour of receiving the ACLU’s letter and dismissed the ticket. The ACLU also sent a copy of the letter to City Attorney William Geary asking that the City provide appropriate training for the City employees who are charged with enforcing the City’s sign ordinance.
ACLU Letter to Lowell Gard, January 16, 2013