“Peach”lum Receives Right to Case

( [email protected] ) Jun 26, 2003 01:23 PM EDT

YORK, Pennsylvania -- After 10 years of battling against York City Hall, Sybil Peachlum has been granted the chance to speak her case at the city’s appeal court, the Associated Press reported. Peachlum has been fighting to keep her 3 by 5 foot sign with a peach holding a newspaper with the headline “Peachy News. Jesus is Alive” in her lawn.

The city recently took down the sign saying the sign violates zoning rules. Peachlum took her case to court, arguing that the ban violates her constitutional rights to free speech. While a lower court dismissed her case, the city’s appeals court decided to hear the case this Thursday.

Erik Stanley, an attorney with Liberty Counsel, which is representing Peachlum, said while cities have a right to regulate signs, the display is protected by the First Amendment.

"The neon only gets turned on at Christmas and Easter," Stanley said. "It's not a glaring eyesore; it's her way of reaching out to her neighbors with a message she wants to communicate. It's no different than hanging an American flag on your property."

The sign, now in storage at Peachlum’s sister’s house, first appeared as a holiday decoration, but was anchored with cement in her front yard in 1994.