Homeowner files lawsuit over Christmas decorations

Article and Video Courtesy Channel 47 Action News

Reporter Erica Bennett

Published January 3, 2012

JACKSONVILLE , Fla.-- Folks here in the Sweetwater subdivision say "enough is enough." All they want to do is decorate for the holidays, but the Homeowner's Association is making it hard.

"It's like they won't leave us alone," Larry Murphree said.

Monday, we brought you the story of Larry Murphree-- who's at the front of the battle. Some of his HOA rules include no exterior decorations and no light displays, unless they're on the inside of the home.

To get around that, he got creative and put his festive spirit on wheels, which he's now being told to take down.

In result, Murphree and his lawyer have filed a class action lawsuit against the HOA.

"According to my attorney, I'm legally within my rights to express myself with lights," he said.


Murphree isn't the only one frustrated. Several other homeowners have had their decorations taken down, and in some cases, trashed.


"Very disappointing," frowned Sandra Timpone. "And this is not what we signed up for, no matter what anyone says. This was not in the paperwork."

The paperwork Timpone is referring to is the agreement each person had to sign before moving to Sweetwater. The HOA says the rules were made clear, and in order for the neighborhood to look neat, the rules must be enforced.

Murphree says the HOA makes up rules as it goes, and that he and neighbors won't back down.

"They're just trying to band together and see what we can do about stopping these over the top restrictions they have on our lives here," he said.

Murphree's lawsuit also includes an American flag he has displayed in his flower pot. He says the HOA has a problem with that too, and has demanded he take it down.