NH Supreme Court Reverses Decision on "COPSLIE" License Plate

By Joe Gullo

Published 05/07 2014 02:07PM

Updated 05/07 2014 02:10PM

CONCORD, N.H.  - The New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed a decision of a man who claimed his rights were violated after a personalized vanity license plate was rejected by the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles. 

According to court documents, on May 4, 2010, David Montenegro requested a license plate saying "COPSLIE". The DMV denied his request under a state statue that allows them to reject personalized license plates that are "ethnically, racially, or which a reasonable person would find offensive in good taste."

Montenegro argued that his request violated his free speech rights under the New Hampshire Constitution and his first amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. 

The N.H. Supreme Court says they reversed a Superior Court decision because the state rule is "unconstitutionally vague." The ruling also stated that the refusal violated Montenegro's free speech rights under the New Hampshire Constitution. 

The Court didn't address his claim that the refusal violated his First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. 

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