Fayette County

Lexington to appeal ruling halting enforcement of ordinance Herald-Leader opposes

Community News is a free weekly publication produced and distributed by the Herald-Leader.
Community News is a free weekly publication produced and distributed by the Herald-Leader.

The city of Lexington will appeal a federal judge’s decision to halt enforcement of a recently passed ordinance restricting delivery of publications to certain locations.

Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for the city of Lexington, said Wednesday the city will appeal U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell’s April 28 decision to issue an injunction stopping the city from enforcing the ordinance until a lawsuit challenging the ordinance was resolved.

The ordinance was supposed to take effect on May 1. The city will appeal Caldwell’s decision to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Straub said.

The Lexington Herald-Leader had asked Caldwell to issue a temporary injunction as part of its lawsuit against the Lexington government. The Herald-Leader has argued that the ordinance violates the First Amendment by restricting where its free weekly publication, the Community News, can be delivered. The ordinance says that unsolicited materials must be placed on a porch, attached to the front door, or put into a mail slot or a distribution box. Violators could face a $200 fine for each violation.

The city has argued that unsolicited materials cause litter, blight and a public safety hazard. In court documents, the city has also argued that restricting delivery does not interfere with the First Amendment.

The Urban County Council voted in March to pass the ordinance after nearly two years of debate.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

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