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Hayden homeowner files lawsuit against HOA claiming religious discrimination against Christmas display

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HAYDEN, Idaho -

Christmas may long be over, but a controversy surrounding an elaborate Christmas light display certainly is not.

Hayden homeowner Jeremy Morris is seeking to have his property de-annexed from the West Hayden Estates Home Owner’s Association and is seeking at least $250,000 in damages after the HOA tried pulling the plug on his gigantic display.

Each year, Morris and his family put on a fundraiser to benefits two local charities that aid children suffering from homelessness or cancer. They show off their elaborate display, invite carolers, and play music for crowds of people.

Morris’ 2016 decorations included a live nativity scene including a small camel, sheep, donkey, Santa Claus, the Grinch, and more.

A lawyer told KHQ in November that Morris’ display violates the “Special Event” provisions of the Kootenai County Zoning Ordinance. In addition, the lawyer said the livestock and crowds of people “will violate the recorded Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions for West Hayden Estates First Addition, and will constitute a public nuisance under Idaho statutes.”

Morris believes the HOA’s efforts to eliminate the Christmas display are religious discrimination and says it’s a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The HOA’s lawyer said that they weren’t trying to “cancel Christmas,” and that it has nothing to do with Morris’ religion. 

For a look at the lawsuit, click the 'READ IT' link beneath the picture of the Christmas display. 

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