UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
NASHVILLE DIVISION

Heath Harwell and Ethel Freeman

Case No. 3:16-02374

Plaintiffs,
Judge Trauger

v.
City of Mount Juliet, a Tennessee municipal
corporation; Ed Hagerty, in his official
capacity of Mayor of Mount Juliet
Defendants.

______________________________________________________________________________
JOINT MOTION TO APPROVE CONSENT JUDGMENT
______________________________________________________________________________
Plaintiffs Heath Harwell and Ethel Freemen (collectively “Plaintiffs”) and the City of
Mount Juliet and its mayor, Ed Hagerty, (collectively the “Defendants”) hereby file this Joint
Motion to Approve Consent Judgment requesting that the Court enter the Consent Permanent
Injunction Order attached hereto. The Parties mutually agree that this order will resolve this case
and ask the Court to enter judgment in accordance with the proposed Consent Permanent
Injunction Order.
Dated: September ____, 2016
Respectfully submitted,
By: Benjamin A. Gastel______________________
J. Gerard Stranch, IV, Esq. (BPR #23045)
Benjamin A. Gastel (BPR #28699)
Michael J. Wall (BPR #24774)
BRANSTETTER, STRANCH & JENNINGS
PLCC
The Freedom Center
223 Rosa Parks Ave, Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37203
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(615) 254-8801
gerards@BSJFirm.com
beng@BSJFirm.com
mikew@BSJFirm.com

Attorneys for Plaintiffs

By: Kristin Ellis Berexa
Kristin Ellis Berexa (BPR #14833)
Aaron Guin (BPR# 21200)
Farrar & Bates
211 Seventh Ave. N, Suite 500
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 254-3060

Attorneys for Defendants

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned hereby certifies that on September 28, 2016, the foregoing was served
via U.S. Mail and/or the Court’s CM/ECF system upon the following counsel of record:
Kristin Ellis Berexa (BPR #14833)
Aaron Guin (BPR# 21200)
Farrar & Bates
211 Seventh Ave. N, Suite 500
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 254-3060

L. GINO MARCHETTI, JR.
TAYLOR, PIGUE, MARCHETTI & BLAIR, PLLC
2908 Poston Avenue
Nashville, TN 37203-1312
(615) 320-3225
Fax (615) 320-3244
gmarchetti@tpmblaw.com

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Attorneys for Defendant Mount Juliet

/s/ Benjamin A. Gastel
Benjamin A. Gastel

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
NASHVILLE DIVISION

Heath Harwell and Ethel Freeman

Case No. 3:16-02374

Plaintiffs,
Judge Trauger

v.
City of Mount Juliet, a Tennessee municipal
corporation; Ed Hagerty, in his official
capacity of Mayor of Mount Juliet
Defendants.

______________________________________________________________________________
CONSENT PERMANENT INJUNCTION ORDER
______________________________________________________________________________
Plaintiffs Heath Harwell and Ethel Freemen (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed suit against
the City of Mount Juliet and its mayor, Ed Hagerty, (collectively the “Defendants”) relating to
the 2016 City of Mt. Juliet Sign Regulations (the “Sign Ordinance”) and specifically the Sign
Ordinance’s regulation of signs advocating for the election of candidates for municipal, state,
and federal elections. Plaintiffs’ suit included a request for an injunction protecting Plaintiffs’
First Amendment rights.
The parties having reached an agreement on these issues, it is hereby ORDERED as
follows:
1. The Sign Ordinance contains the following provision:
11.106 Exempt and Exception Signs
B. Exception Signs (Temporary)
1. Non-Commercial Signs

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Temporary non-commercial signs may be displayed on private property, with permission
of the property owner, there shall be a limit of two temporary, non-commercial signs
posted on any lot at any given time. 60 days prior to and 5 days after any election period,
this limit shall be increased ten, provided, however, that , there shall be no more than two
(2) signs per lot for any specific non-commercial purpose, such as a sign in favor of a
political candidate or a sign advertising a church or other non-profit entity.
a. Temporary signs are limited to six (6) square feet per sign face with a
maximum of two sign faces per sign, and a maximum height of four feet.
b. All election signs shall be limited to 65 days extending from 60 days prior to
the official Election Day to removal within five (5) days after the official Election
Day.
c. The ten sign period shall apply to both primary and general elections within a
calendar year, as signs will be allowed to be placed in accordance to the time
frames as set forth in item (a.) for both election periods.
Such elections signs are allowed in addition to all other permitted signs. A sign permit is
not required.
2.

The City shall submit an amendment revising Section 11.106(B). Such

amendment will replace the current language set forth in paragraph 1 above with the following
language:
Temporary non-commercial signs may be displayed on private property with permission
of the property owner. There shall be a limit of two temporary, non-commercial signs
posted on any lot at any given time, but if a lot abuts more than one street, such lot may
display two signs per street. Sixty (60) days prior to and five (5) days after any primary
or general election, this limit shall be increased to ten temporary non-commercial signs
per lot/per street. Temporary non-commercial signs are limited to six (6) square feet per
sign face, with a maximum of two (2) sign faces per sign, and a maximum height of four
(4) feet. A sign permit is not required for temporary non-commercial signs.
3.

Defendants, and their respective successors-in-interest, shall be enjoined from

enforcing Section 11.106(B) as currently written and set forth in paragraph 1 above. Instead, the
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Defendants, and their respective successors-in-interest, shall enforce Section 11.106(B) in
accordance with the proposed language in paragraph 2 above until the amended section
11.106(b) is formally adopted by the City.
4.

The Parties agree that as a result of entry of this Consent Permanent Injunction

Order, Plaintiffs are the “prevailing party” as that terms is used in 42 U.S.C. § 1988. The parties
agree that such reasonable fee and expenses shall be in the amount of $13,538.00 and shall be
supported by the contemporaneously filed declaration of Plaintiffs’ Counsel.
IT IS SO ORDERED
Enter this ______ day of September, 2016.

__________________________________
Aleta A. Trauger

Approved For Entry By:

By: Benjamin A. Gastel______________________
J. Gerard Stranch, IV, Esq. (BPR #23045)
Benjamin A. Gastel (BPR #28699)
Michael J. Wall (BPR #24774)
BRANSTETTER, STRANCH & JENNINGS
PLCC
The Freedom Center
223 Rosa Parks Ave, Suite 200
Nashville, TN 37203
(615) 254-8801
gerards@BSJFirm.com
beng@BSJFirm.com
mikew@BSJFirm.com
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

By: Kristin Ellis Berexa
Kristin Ellis Berexa (BPR #14833)
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Aaron Guin (BPR# 21200)
Farrar & Bates
211 Seventh Ave. N, Suite 500
Nashville, TN 37219
(615) 254-3060

Attorneys for Defendants

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
NASHVILLE DIVISION

Heath Harwell and Ethel Freeman

Case No. Case No. 3:16-02374

Plaintiffs,
v.

City of Mount Juliet, a Tennessee municipal
corporation; Ed Hagerty, in his official
capacity of Mayor of Mount Juliet
Defendants.

______________________________________________________________________________
DECLARATION OF BENJAMIN A. GASTEL
______________________________________________________________________________

Benjamin A. Gastel declares, under penalty of perjury on the date identified below, as
follows:
1.

I am an attorney of record in the above-captioned matter. I make this declaration

in support of the Joint Motion to Approve Consent Judgment filed contemporaneously herewith
and is based on my personal knowledge of this case and a review of the firm’s billing records.
2.

Since inception of this matter through September 27, 2016, this firm has obtained

a total lodestar amount of $18,745. This amount is based on the following hours worked and
proposed rates:
Time-Keeper
Benjamin Gastel

245583

Title
Partner

Hours Worked

Proposed Rate

32.9

$450

Lodestar
$14,805

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J. Gerard
Stranch, IV
Megan Killion

Partner

4.9

$600

$2,940

Staff Attorney

2.2

$250

$550

Amanda Winski

Paralegal

3.0

$150

$450

3.

These hours reflect time principally for the following tasks: 1) reviewing and

researching the city ordinances at issue in this case; 2) reviewing and researching case law
related to cases involving similar sign ordinances; 3) drafting the complaint, motion for
temporary restraining order, memorandum in support, and related declarations; 4) conferring
with opposing counsel on settlement; 5) conferring with clients regarding cases status and
filings; 5) reviewing documents from Mt. Juliet regarding enforcement of the sign ordinance; and
6) drafting and editing the proposed consent order and joint motion for consent judgment.
4.

Since inception of this matter, this firm has incurred a total of $538 in expenses.

These expenses include the following:

A $400 filing fee;

A $100 fee for a process server to serve the summons and other documents on
defendants; and


5.

A $38.00 mileage for a roundtrip car trip from our office to Mt. Juliet.

As part of judgment in this case, Plaintiffs seek reasonable attorneys’ fees and

expenses in the amount of $13,538.
Executed on this 28th day of September, 2016, in Nashville, Tennessee.

/s/Benjamin A. Gastel
Benjamin A. Gastel

245583

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