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Neighbours' argument leads to birdie-flipping Christmas lights

Sarah Childs was having a dispute with her neighbours, so she sent them a festive greeting.

Image: YouTube

A US WOMAN was having an argument with her neighbours, so she gave them a Christmas greeting – hanging lights in the shape of a middle finger.

Sarah Childs was threatened with arrest over the unusual decorations in Denham Springs, Louisiana, after neighbours complained – so she and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana sued the city.

A judge ruled in her favour yesterday.

“I imagine it will be back up before too long,” ACLU of Louisiana executive director Marjorie Esman said of the display.

Childs erected the lights on her roof last month. She has removed them twice — once after a police officer told her she could be fined and again after another officer threatened to arrest her, her lawsuit said.

The two-page order said the city’s “continued efforts” to prevent Childs from displaying her holiday lights will violate her rights to free speech and due process.

The lawsuit said the police department dispatched an officer to Childs’ home after several neighbours complained directly to the mayor. The officer told Childs she would be violating the city’s “obscenity statute” and could be fined if she didn’t take it down, according to the lawsuit. However, Denham Springs doesn’t have an obscenity statute, the suit said.


Childs removed the lights but put them back up after the ACLU defended her in an open letter to the city. That time, the display showed two hands with extended middle fingers.

After another round of complaints, the city responded with a “collateral attack,” issuing her two tickets, according to the suit. One accused her of obstructing the flow of traffic as she walked down the side of a street. Another ticket accused her of disturbing the peace while singing an impromptu song about her neighborhood dispute while standing in her driveway.

“Childs’ impromptu song allegedly contained some obscenities directed at her neighbours, so the city cited her for simple assault,” the suit said.

The ACLU would not say exactly what the neighborhood dispute was about, and a no one answered at a telephone listing for Childs.

Photos: Six of the brightest houses in Ireland>

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