Attempt at a temporary take down of signs is rejected

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 2, 2002

Sen. Grace Schwab’s attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order to take down Mal Prinzing’s signs was rejected by Steele County District Court judge Joe Bueltel Friday.

Schwab’s lawyer Fritz Knaak said that the court could not grant Schwab’s motion because of the first amendment but recognized the litigation initiated by Prinzing is politically motivated.

Prinzing placed three signs accusing Schwab of an alleged theft that occurred at a school referendum campaign gathering last year. He has replaced some of the signs with letters that encourage the people to vote “no” in the Nov. 5 referendum, but continued his attack on Schwab by towing a banner by his private airplane Saturday.

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Prinzing filed a civil lawsuit against Schwab, asserting Schwab inflicted over $1,700 damages on him. Schwab answered by asking an immediate removal of current signs and entering a counterclaim that Prinzing’s sings constitute defamation and slander.

Schwab’s supporters have also brought the case to County Attorney Craig Nelson, claiming that the signs violate the Minnesota Fair Campaign Practice Law.