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Publishers sue city over ordinance limiting free papers

February 21, 2018

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — Two Maine newspapers are suing the city of Biddeford over an ordinance that curbs the deliveries of free unsolicited papers.

The Portland Press Herald reports the publishers of the Journal Tribune and Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier filed a lawsuit Feb. 16 in U.S. District Court in Portland. The companies claim Biddeford’s ordinance infringes on freedom of the press and free speech protections.

Biddeford’s ordinance, which was passed last year, requires businesses to obtain an annual $100 license from the city before distributing unsolicited materials. Businesses that don’t comply with the ordinance can face a fine.

Councilor Marc Lessard said the measure was aimed at stopping litter. Lessard said the papers can also damage snowblowers.

City Manager James Bennett said he couldn’t comment on the issue because the city hadn’t been served with the lawsuit.


Information from: Portland Press Herald, http://www.pressherald.com

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