The One That Got Away: Florida Fish Shop Wins Case Against Clearwater

largemouthbasstax1The City of Clearwater, Florida has decided to throw one back. We have been following the story of bait shop owners Herb and Lori Quintero in Clearwater, Florida who challenged a fine for having a fish mural painted on the outside of their business — later covered up by a copy of the first amendment. The controversy was a combination of remarkably bad lawyering and judgment by the city. It has now concluded after two adverse rulings against the city and a $55,000 settlement paid to the Quinteros.

Two federal judges ruled against the city and its unconstitutional ordinance. It is remarkable that the city not only drafted such a poor law but spent tens of thousands of dollars pursuing such an unpromising case. It not only gave the city bad press but used limited city funds to fight against free speech.

The Quinteros will now be paid back the $700 in fines and the ACLU will get its well-earned attorneys fees.

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6 thoughts on “The One That Got Away: Florida Fish Shop Wins Case Against Clearwater

  1. This is stupid. It reminds me of the city of Jacksonville, Florida promotion to clean up the city. I kid you not. Some homeless guys decided to sit down and 5 cops descended upon him quicker than runny grits. I felt bad for him.

    I could not do anything at the time as I had spent the afternoon at the local bar.

  2. Congrats on your First Amendment rights, Quintero’s.

    Well played, City of Jerkwater. That was some tactical decision to escalate this, wasn’t it? Enjoy your fines.

  3. This play has toured the country for years and the final act never varies. The Clearwater city fathers will now place the blame for this debacle squarely on the shoulders of “activist” federal judges who consistently thwart the will of the people. And the voters of Clearwater will buy the excuse.

  4. Mike A.,

    That depends on which bait you use to make your catch, I mean point. The city took a shiner compliments of the Anglers Civil Liberties Union. No red state American is going to stand against THAT ACLU.

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