- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal appeals court says Norfolk officials violated a business owner’s free-speech rights by sanctioning him for displaying a critical banner.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ordered the city to pay unspecified nominal damages to Central Radio Co.

In 2012, Central Radio erected a large sign protesting the city’s attempt to seize its property for Old Dominion University’s expansion. The city said the sign was larger than its ordinance allowed. Central Radio claimed the ordinance was discriminatory because it exempted government or religious emblems and noncommercial artwork.

The appeals court rejected Central Radio’s claim last year. But a later U.S. Supreme Court ruling in an Arizona sign case prompted a second look, and a different result.

Norfolk has since amended its ordinance.

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