VIRGINIA

The Church of the Good Shepherd wins battle against county

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A judge has repealed a Fairfax County ordinance that prevents more than two messages a day on a portable sign.

At the center of the issue was The Church of the Good Shepherd off Hunter Mill Road. The church's recent purchase of a $37,000 electronic sign to announce service times, community events and the occasional inspirational message ignited the fight.

Just after installing the sign, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors cited a county ordinance that prevents more than two messages a day on a portable sign.

The church, on many days, had posted three or more messages.

The church and county officials met in July in an attempt to reach a compromise but couldn't. The church in turn sued the county, claiming their religious and free speech rights are being violated.

Monday, Judge Claude Hilton ruled in the church's favor, abrogating the county ordinance.

See the consent order below.

Consent Order: The Church of the Good Shepherd v. Fairfax County

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