Major Victory for Plaintiffs, Michael Shaw and Citizens for Free Speech!
In a major victory for Michael Shaw and Citizens for Free Speech, the U.S. District Court (Northern District of California) has granted an injunction against Alameda County in respect to Citizens for Free Speech’s six billboards erected in 2014 along I-580 between Hayward and Pleasanton. The Court ruled that the County’s zoning ordinance is facially unconstitutional and that their provisions cannot be used to regulate the speech of anyone in the unincorporated areas of the County. Read Final Ruling here. (link)
When the billboards originally went up on June 3, 2014, a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) was awarded by the District Court which precluded the County from taking any adverse action. The Court granted the preliminary injunction stating, “The Zoning Ordinance Gives Officials Too Much Discretion in Approving or Disapproving Signs Based on Their Content.”
The County’s tyranny of over-regulation is significantly lessened as a result of this ground breaking ruling.
For the last 2 ½ years, numerous Federal Court hearings were conducted regarding the I-580 billboards. In 2017, the Federal Court issued a final ruling in favor of Citizens for Free Speech. Rather than abide by the final ruling and law, Alameda County is blatantly defying the court order and has ordered Citizens for Free Speech to appear at a BZA (Board of Zoning Adjustments) Hearing. The hearing will determine Citizens for Free Speech’s right to continue use of the billboards!
Pictures of I-580 Billboards
Read the Press Releases here:
- Major Billboard Protest Exposes One Bay Area Plan (June 3, 2014)
- County Of Alameda Succumbs To Billboard Temporary Restraining Order (June 23, 1014)
- Citizens for Free Speech Granted Injunction Against Alameda County as I-580 Billboards are Protected by Federal Court (August 5, 2014)
Read the Court Documents here:
Final Ruling – filed 2017
Final Ruling/Order by Federal Court – filed 7/8/16
Preliminary Injunction – filed 9/04/14
Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction – filed 8/05/14
Stipulation and Order Granting Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) – filed 6/16/14
Alameda County: I-580 Political Signs Spark Free Speech Fight
Michael Shaw was recently interviewed by Matt O’Brien, a reporter with the Bay Area News Group, regarding the billboards along I-580 in Alameda County, CA. The article was published in print form in the Oakland Tribune and appears in several online news publications including the Contra Costa Times, Inside Bay Area, and the San Jose Mercury News.
CASTRO VALLEY — Property rights activist Michael Shaw says the freeway billboards he erected this summer are a warning against a global government plot to abolish private property and crowd Americans into dense housing.
Alameda County says the unauthorized signs are “an assault on (the) visual senses” of Interstate 580 commuters. It wants them removed.
The two sides are now locked in a legal battle. So far, Shaw is winning.
Read the full article here.