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Political Signs: Free Speech or Rule Violation

Many Associations limit the types of signs that may be posted on the property.  In a case out of New Jersey, a group of owners sued their association alleging violation of their rights to free speech and expression.   The Court found that the Association is permitted to place restrictions on signs, such as political signs, as long as the restrictions are reasonable.

An Association has a duty to accommodate and balance the interest of every member of the Association.   The Court in found that each homeowner agreed to the rules upon the purchase of their homes.   Placing minor restrictions on the owners “expressional activities” are not unreasonable or oppressive to the owners and they did not violate the free-speech clauses of the State Constitution. 

Homeowners still have the right and ability to challenge any rule or regulation promulgated by a community association that unreasonably restricts or infringes on their rights to free speech. Restrictions on these rights must be reasonable, content neutral, and uniformly and consistently applied to all homeowners. 

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