Important Legal Cases

The billboard industry is one of the most litigious in the country, and they do not hesitate to threaten communities with lawsuits to get or keep their signs up.  Many sign battles have played out in the courts, here are some of the more important ongoing and settled ones.

Scenic Arizona v. City of Phoenix

Update:  On Nov. 17, 2011 the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that digital billboards on state and federal highways are illegal because they violate the state’s ban on intermittent light.  Click here to read the court’s ruling (PDF).

Background:  An appellate proceeding with national implications is pending before the Arizona Court of Appeals.  Oral argument were heard on Thursday, September 30, 2010 at Mesa High School.  The appeal pits Scenic Arizona, Inc. and the Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix, Inc. against American Outdoor Advertising, Inc. (AOA) and the City of Phoenix Board of Adjustment over permits issued for electronic billboards. It is a high profile case in many respects.

Related documents (PDFs):
Background information

Scenic America amicus brief

Appendix part 1

Appendix part 2

Clear Channel amicus brief

Naser Jewelers, Inc. v. City of Concord

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has upheld the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire’s ruling that the town of Concord’s ban on electronic message centers (EMCs) is constitutional.  The town based its sign ordinance around aesthetic and safety concerns, and the court affirmed the validity of those grounds.  Scenic America filed an amicus brief in the case.

Click here to read the entirety of the court’s ruling (PDF).