Lawsuit filed against the Town of Campbell

By: Sarah Moon Email
By: Sarah Moon Email

TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. (WEAU) -- A lawsuit has been filed against an area town, its police chief and a police officer over an ordinance.

The Thomas More Law Center based in Michigan, that represents two members of the La Crosse Tea Party Greg Luce and Nick Newman, filed the lawsuit Monday.

The lawsuit said there were demonstrations held on the overpass in the Town of Campbell over Interstate 90 at least five times between August and the beginning of October 2013 without problems.

The Town of Campbell passed an ordinance on October saying no one can display a sign, flag or any other decoration on or within 100 feet of a bridge that’s over a highway with a speed limit of more than 40 miles per hour.

The lawsuit said Greg Luce and few demonstrators were calling for President Obama’s impeachment on October 24.

It also said Town of Campbell police officer Nathan Casper told them to leave or they would be cited.

The Town of Campbell’s attorney said the ordinance is a matter of public safety.

However, a La Crosse attorney serving as the Thomas More Law Center’s co-counsel said his clients have First Amendment rights.

“You don’t have to be Tea Party conservative. You can be a liberal, a communist, it doesn’t really matter. It allows anybody to voice their opinion on that pedestrian overpass,” said Bernardo Cueto.

“It’s not aimed at Republicans or Democrats or liberals or conservatives. It’s aimed at protecting what hopefully would be avoiding some kind of safety issue at that location in the Town of Campbell,” said Town of Campbell attorney Brent Smith.

The lawsuit also said Nick Newman was cited by the Town of Campbell police chief Tim Keleman on October 27 for displaying an American flag on the bridge.

The lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court Western District of Wisconsin in Madison.

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