Honolulu Faces Another Free Speech Lawsuit Related to Stored Property Law

(De)Occupy Honolulu isn’t the only one suing the City and County of Honolulu over infringement of free speech rights.

On Tuesday, North Shore resident Choon James filed a lawsuit against the city for tearing down signs she had put up on her property to protest a municipal eminent domain case she’s involved in.

What’s interesting is that both James and (de)Occupy’s complaints involve the same law — the city’s stored property ordinance. This controversial law allows city officials to seize personal belongings from public property after providing 24 hour notice.

For (de)Occupy this meant city officials clearing tents from the sidewalks along Thomas Square in downtown Honolulu.

In James’ case, she says the city came onto her private property with heavy machinery to yank two signs out of the ground, one that read “Eminent Domain Abuse Who’s Next?” and another that said, “YOUTUBE: Eminent Domain Abuse Hawaii.”

Meanwhile, she claims other nearby signs, including those using political speech, remain.

James is being represented by Richard Holcomb, the same attorney who represents (de)Occupy Honolulu.

You can read James’ lawsuit here:

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Photo: A sign North Shore resident Choon James said was illegally torn down by the city. (Submitted photo)

—Nick Grube

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