Inland Octopus owner to ask Supreme Court to review legal setbacks

November 19, 2012 

— The fate of the purple octopus now will be up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Inland Octopus toy store owner Bob Catsiff has decided to ask the nation’s highest court to review his legal setbacks in a last-ditch effort to keep the giant mural above his store at 7 E. Main St.

The city of Walla Walla ordered it to come down soon after it was painted in 2010, saying it was too large. Catsiff filed lawsuit, claiming the city’s order violated his constitutional right of free speech.

But because a local judge ruled against Catsiff, then he lost a state Court of Appeals ruling and the state Supreme Court in October decided not to review his case, his only recourse was to consider asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

His attorney, Michael de Grasse, said Monday that Catsiff decided to ask for the review because “he thinks he has a First-Amendment right to have the art mural on the front of his store” and wants a definitive ruling.

De Grasse said he will file the request on Catsiff’s behalf in early January. The high court may decide by spring whether to review the case, then another year or year-and-a-half to rule if it accepts review.

If the court decides not to accept review, that will end the matter and the city can require Catsiff’s mural be brought into compliance with the city’s sign code.

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