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General Assembly Enacts New Political Sign Laws

By:  Stephen R. Buschmann, Esq.

Beginning July 1, 2010, Homeowners Associations will be subject to new rules governing the display of political signs.  While most covenants prohibit signs, this law provides a standard to match that prohibition with freedom of speech.

Generally the law allows an Owner to display political signs on the grounds of property owned by that person or in the window of the person’s home, during the period from 30 days before an election until 5 days after the election.  The law does allow an Association to adopt rules to restrict the number and size of such political signs.

This law does not authorize the display of political signs on the Association’s common area.  The law specifically authorizes the Association to remove a sign that violates the rules provided in the statute or reasonably adopted by the  Board.

In a condominium or a zero lot-line townhome community, this law will allow Owners to display signs in their windows, but, absent board approval, it will not allow signs to be placed in the lawns, which are common area.  In a single family home community, the law will allow signs to be placed on the Owners lawn.

If the Board adopts rules governing such signs, the rules must be distributed to the Owners.  The rules may limit the number, but the law implies that more than one sign should be permitted.  The rule may limit size, but the law requires that the rule allow signs at least as large as assigns commonly displayed during election campaigns (the same size as a typical for sale sized signs)

If you have any questions, or if we can be of help drafting your rules, please contact Steve Buschmann at buschmann@indiana-attorneys.com

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