JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The fight continues for a local man who's been at odds with his homeowners association over where he displays a small American flag.
The Tides Condominium at Sweetwater Homeowners Association has now filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Larry Murphree, demanding he pay $15,000 in fines and all legal fees. The lawsuit also asks the judge to impose a gag order on Murphree, preventing him from talking to the media.
Murphree's lawyer is working on a response, but Murphree told News4Jax he will continue the fight.
The disagreement began a couple years ago when Murphree placed a small, American flag inside a potted plant on his porch. The HOA said he couldn't display the flag there, and Murphree filed a suit, which he said was settled. And the flag remained in the flower pot.
Then the HOA came to Murphree again a few months ago, he said, and told him the rules had changed and he needed to remove the flag or pay a $100 a day fine.
The HOA then put a foreclosure lien on Murphree's house, saying he wasn't paying his dues. But Murphree said his automatic payments to the HOA were still being deducted. The HOA wouldn't say where that money went.
Murphree's story reached all the way to the West Coast, and a Los Angeles-based company made a hefty donation to help Murphree in his legal battle.