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Settlement reached over Western-themed mural outside bar

February 25, 2020 GMT

MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — A settlement has been reached in a legal battle over a Western-themed mural on the outside of a bar in Mandan.

Brian Berube and August Kersten, co-owners of the Lonesome Dove, filed a federal lawsuit last year after the city ordered the mural removed. Attorneys for the Lonesome Dove argued that the mural is protected free speech.

Berube told KFGO Radio he “wasn’t going to lay down because they told me to” and that ”They picked on the wrong guy.”

A federal judge approved the settlement Monday. Berube says the city has to refund $150 in permit fees.

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The Lonesome Dove was represented by the Institute for Justice, an Arlington, Virginia law firm that specializes in First Amendment issues.

“It’s about the principle” according to Institute for Justice attorney Erica Smith.

The painting depicts the name of the bar along with a rearing horseman against brown hills at sunset.

The city approved an ordinance in December, allowing the Lonesome Dove to keep its mural but holding new murals in the city to different standards.