The Town of Garner filed a lawsuit against corporate retailer Mattress Firm over repeated signage violations at both its White Oak Road and Timber Drive locations.
Garner seeks an injunction and $10,000 in civil penalties.
The town maintains the company violated a 2003 ordinance that restricts the amount of signage allowed in addition to signage on the place of business. The rules permit occasional use of banners for special events subject to a permit from the town, but Mattress Firm didn’t apply for one. Permenant banners are not permitted.
“A pattern of chronic violation of the Town’s sign ordinances has been practiced by the defendant, although it has been informed by letter and in person on numerous occasions that its practices violated the Town’s ordinances,” the lawsuit reads.
The suit goes on to note that the defendant has violated the ordinance on at least 15 occasions in three years, making 30 offenses between the two locations. According to the law, fines escalate from $50 upon first offense gradually to $500 on the fourth and subsequent violations.
On May 22, the town attorney requested compliance and a response by May 28.
Despite the town’s repeated warnings, “the defendant has never in any fashion…responded to the Town in response to any of the aforesaid violation notices,” the lawsuit said.
Other dates of violation noted in the suit include Oct. 15 and Nov. 3, 2010; March 14, March 27, June 17, Sept. 17 and Nov. 22, 2011, Nov. 19 and Dec. 27, 2012, and May 16 of this year. Each violation was followed with a notice, the lawsuit said.
The ordinance says Mattress Firm can respond with an appeal from a violation notice within 10 days; the lawsuit said the defendant has never appealed or otherwise contested a violation.
Mattress Firm signs in public right-of-way have also been cited by the town, including on or about Nov. 10 and Dec. 11, 2010; Oct. 15, 2011; June 22, Aug. 31,and Sept. 6, 2012 and February 6, 2013.