Many Florida residents have encountered problems with their neighbors that have, at times, escalated into legal battles, which, in turn, have led to litigation. Real estate disputes can be quite complex and difficult to resolve without experienced legal assistance. A man in another state may know this all too well as he wound up serving six months in jail when the court convicted him of a crime on his own property.
The situation unfolded when a disagreement developed between the man and his neighbors, who happen to be black. Although details were not provided as to the particular issues at hand in the dispute, it is known that, at some point, the man erected a display in his yard that not only grabbed the attention of the neighbors, it also led to criminal charges being filed against the man. The display in question was a dummy that featured a head covered in an execution-style mask; the dummy was hung by a noose fro a tree limb.
Those involved reside in Virginia, a state that has a law against using a noose to intimidate someone. The judge who heard the case was apparently convinced that the man’s yard display was meant to intimidate his neighbors because he sentenced the man to six months in jail upon conviction. The man’s attorney appealed, but the higher court supported the lower court’s ruling.
A new development in the case has arisen in that the state Supreme Court has agreed to consider the case. The man’s attorney says the legal statute against using nooses to intimidate are specific to public places and that his client’s rights were First Amendment rights were violated because he erected his display on his own private property. Florida residents experiencing similar real estate disputes may want to seek similar legal assistance as the man in this case has done.
Source: martinsvillebulletin.com, “Franklin County neighborhood dispute over noose reaches Virginia Supreme Court”, Neil Harvey, Accessed on Jan. 8, 2018