Homeowner Sarah Childs put up the lighted display resembling a human hand giving "the finger" in November because of a dispute with a neighbor. After an initial visit from the town's police, the ACLU filed suit on her behalf.
ACLU of Louisiana Executive Director Marjorie Esman tells the AP that the settlement will allow Childs to keep the lights up without harassment.
According to Esman, the city of Denham Springs also paid the ACLU $15,000 in attorney's fees.
An attorney for the town says the cost was covered by insurance.
Back in November, Childs intentionally fashioned the lights on her roof (photo, above) to look like a human hand "flipping the bird." Neighbors called police to complain, and Denham Springs Police Corporal Shawn Perkins paid her a visit.
Corporal Perkins told WWL Radio the homeowner told him she put the display as a direct message to her neighbors.
"It was a message to an ongoing dispute she was having with other homeowners on that same street," Perkins said.
Perkins says he informed Henderson that the display was in violation of obscenity laws and that it must come down, or else.
"She agreed that it wasn't worth the possible hassle of fines and legal action," Perkins said.
However, the ACLU of Louisiana soon waded into the fray.
"The First Amendment expressly, explicitly, makes clear that even things like the raised middle finger are protected speech," Esman said at the time.
At the time, Esman sent an open letter to the Denham Springs Police Department "to ensure that no such fines are levied or other penalties imposed if Henderson chooses to reinstall her controversial holiday display."
In that letter, Esman wrote: "The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal, which presides over Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, has specifically commented on the protected expressive nature of a middle finger extended in defiance or protest: “The thumbed nose, the projected middle finger, the Bronx cheer, the grimace and the smile are all conduct intended to convey a message that is sometimes made even more expressive by its bold freedom from a garb of words.” Davis v. Williams."
Photo used by permission of Sarah Childs.