WEB EXCLUSIVE: Home owners sued over yard sign supporting troops

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The street leading into the Gardens of Southgate subdivision in Bossier City is named after famous Civil War General, Robert E. Lee, but the Burr family says the home owners association there won't let them show support for another military member, their son Corey.

"We're extremely proud of him. We love him. We miss him," said his mother Jodi Burr.

Corey Burr deployed to Afghanistan in January.  The Burr family put a sign in their yard with his picture and the words "Our son defends our freedom."

About a month later they received a notice from their home owners association asking them to take it down because the association's rules say residents can not place signs in their yards. Jodi Burr wrote them a letter explaining why she would not remove the sign.

"We really feel our first amendment rights have been infringed upon. We feel as though we have a freedom of expression, which is exactly what our son enlisted in the military and is gladly fighting for today," said Burr.

The home owners association sent them several more notices, and recently served the Burr family with notice of a lawsuit.

"I was dumb founded. I couldn't believe they were willing to push forward," said Burr.

The home owner's association declined an interview, but a statement from their lawyer says they support the message of the sign, and the content doesn't have anything to do with the legal dispute.

Jodi Burr and other neighbors say until recently other homes had signs supporting schools and sports teams in their yards, but most people have taken them down since the Burr family received notice of the lawsuit.

One home owner told KSLA News 12 if everyone in the neighborhood put a large sign in front of their house the neighborhood wouldn't look as nice, but most of the neighbors we talked to said they support the Burr family.

"I thought it was nice for them to make it. We like to walk around the neighborhood. I've seen it, and I haven't met anyone who doesn't support the sign," said Tiffany Newman.

The Burrs don't plan to back down anytime soon.

"I will keep that sign up until he comes home or until a judge tells me otherwise," said Burr.

The Burr family says if they lose the suit they will have to pay some of the legal fees for the home owners association, but their lawyers have volunteered to take their case pro bono.

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