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John Donnelly & Sons, Inc. v. Mallar

Citation: 8 ELR 20798
No. No. 77-284-SD, 453 F. Supp. 1272/(D. Me., 07/11/1978)

The district court denies plaintiffs' request for injunctive and declaratory relief in a constitutional challenge to the Maine Traveller Information Services Act, which prohibits the erection or maintenance of signs or billboards within view of any public way, subject to certain exceptions. With respect to the First Amendment issues, in order to pass muster as a permissible restriction on the time, place, and manner of protected speech, the statute must survive a three-pronged test: (1) it does not in any way purport to regulate the content of advertising; (2) it was enacted in furtherance of a legitimate state objective — aesthetic enhancement of the state's physical environment; and (3) it leaves open ample alternative channels of communication of the information now carried by billboards. The statute is a valid restriction on all three grounds. Nor is the statute an impermissible exercise of the police power, as it pursues legitimate state objectives in a manner reasonably related to furtherance of that objective. The court finds plaintiffs' final argument, that equitable estoppel forbids enforcement of the statute, unsupported under the common law of the State of Maine, and grants defendant's motion for summary judgment.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Richard P. Holme
Davis, Graham, and Stubbs
Colorado National Bldg., Denver CO 80203
(303) 892-9400

Ralph I. Lancaster, Jr., Donald W. Perkins, David T. Flanagan
Pierce, Atwood, Scribner, Allen & McKusick
One Monument Square, Portland ME 04111
(207) 773-6411

Counsel for Defendant
H. Cabanne Howard, Allan A. Toubman, Ass't Attorneys General
Department of Attorney General
State House, Augusta ME 04333
(207) 289-3661