Mette, Evans & Woodside Represents Newspaper Publisher in Freedom of Speech and First Amendment Lawsuit

The law firm of Mette, Evans & Woodside has settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of its client, Press and Journal, Inc., publisher of the Middletown Press & Journal, against the Borough of Middletown, Pennsylvania.

The suit alleged that the Borough violated the newspaper’s rights of free speech and press guaranteed by the First Amendment. The suit arose in 2018 when the Borough refused to place advertisements for publication with the paper because the Borough disagreed with the paper’s reporting and editorials. The Borough stated that it might resume a commercial relationship if the newspaper’s reporting changed.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Christopher C. Conner entered a consent decree on March 25, 2019 requiring the Borough to follow published neutral criteria. The Borough also agreed to pay the paper’s legal fees for the matter.

Mette, Evans & Woodside attorneys Aaron D. Martin, Michael D. Reed and Veronica L. Boyer represented Press & Journal in the suit.