Idaho Man Who Won $75K in War on Christmas Case to Only Receive $4
Yes, $4. Not $4,000. Not $400. Just $4.
In late November, we introduced you the story of Jeremy Morris and his over the top Christmas display inside a Hayden, ID neighborhood. In addition to setting up a display that would have put Clark Griswold to shame, the Morris family would host a five day long event that added a live nativity with real camels and visits from characters from characters like Santa, the Grinch, Rudolph and Frosty. The spectacle led to a four year long battle with the West Hayden Estates Homeowners Association who wasn't thrilled about the event bringing in hundreds people who did not live in their neighborhood. They did everything in their power to prevent the Morris family from putting up their display including writing a letter outlining all the reasons the display violated neighborhood rules. The original draft of the letter seemed to discriminate against the Morris family's Christian faith. Meanwhile, Morris's neighbors went as far as harassing guests with profanity, kicked cars and tried to intimidate visitors into not returning to see the display.
In November, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals jury sided with the Morris family and said that spreading the story of the Christian Savior's birth through their display was well within their First Amendment Rights and ordered the HOA to pay the family $75,000 for violating the federal Fair Housing Act.
The West Hayden Estates Homeowners Association was not going down without a fight. According to Inlander, they asked a federal judge to overrule the jury verdict. Judge B. Lynn Winmill did exactly that last Thursday. According to KHQ, Winmill's decision explained that to an ordinary reader the HOA's letter did not seem discriminatory and that the jury may have been swayed by information that was to be stricken from evidence.
The HOA will get a new trial and Morris will receive just $1 for each of the claims he made during the original trial reducing his take away to just $4.