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A man was awarded over $150K after he was denied a license plate that read 'IM GOD'

A judge has ordered the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to pay more than $150,000 for the attorneys' fees of a man who was denied of his request for a licens...

Posted: Feb 18, 2020 12:47 PM

A judge has ordered the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to pay more than $150,000 for the attorneys' fees of a man who was denied of his request for a license plate that read "IM GOD."

Hart, who says he is an atheist, told CNN affiliate WXIX that he drove around Ohio with "IM GOD" on his plate for more than a decade.

So when he moved to Kenton County, Kentucky, in 2016, he put in a request to keep the same license plate.

But instead, transportation officials sent him a letter denying his request, saying his request was "not in good taste and would create the potential of distraction to other drivers and possibly confrontations," according to court documents.

In response, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the ACLU of Kentucky filed a lawsuit on behalf of Hart in November 2016, alleging a violation of his First Amendment rights.

Last November, the court ruled in Hart's favor, stating, "To allow such plates as 'IM4GOD' and 'LUVGOD' but reject 'IM GOD' belies viewpoint neutrality. Regardless, the court concludes that in this case, (the statute governing such license plates) is an unreasonable and therefore impermissible restriction on Mr. Hart's First Amendment rights."

Following the court's ruling, Hart was allowed to obtain his custom license plate, according to CNN affiliate WAVE.

Then last week, US District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ordered the Transportation Cabinet to pay Hart $150,715.50 in attorneys' fees, as well as $491.24 in litigation costs.

CNN reached out to the Cabinet for further comment.

"I'm thankful to finally have the same opportunity to select a personal message for my license plate just as any other driver," Hart said in a statement in November. "There is nothing inappropriate about my view that religious beliefs are subject to individual interpretation."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 115407

Reported Deaths: 3566
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21196765
Lake10493323
Elkhart6528110
St. Joseph6392106
Allen6178202
Hamilton4848109
Vanderburgh360930
Hendricks2715123
Monroe256036
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Porter213647
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Marshall100824
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Grant91934
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Henry79826
Wayne75414
Jackson7499
Morgan71638
Shelby67229
Daviess66328
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LaGrange63411
Clinton59914
Harrison57624
Putnam56412
Knox5159
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Montgomery50821
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Martin1640
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Blackford1193
Pulaski1131
Crawford1050
Brown1043
Parke962
Benton880
Ohio787
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Switzerland690
Warren391
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Confirmed Cases: 148894

Reported Deaths: 4734
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26704607
Cuyahoga17375656
Hamilton13036315
Montgomery7755162
Lucas7280364
Butler5933111
Summit5265252
Marion308847
Mahoning3053281
Warren302349
Stark2838175
Pickaway264344
Lorain230786
Delaware223120
Fairfield208753
Columbiana192980
Licking191063
Trumbull1883132
Wood184172
Clark179440
Clermont170723
Lake161951
Medina146039
Greene144432
Allen143069
Miami142851
Portage113266
Mercer111918
Erie93546
Tuscarawas93020
Wayne92767
Ross87924
Richland86119
Madison81512
Darke79942
Belmont71827
Geauga71349
Hancock69510
Athens6692
Ashtabula65748
Lawrence65322
Shelby62510
Auglaize5979
Putnam58523
Sandusky56320
Huron5427
Union5292
Scioto4986
Seneca47014
Ottawa46830
Preble43315
Muskingum4012
Holmes3859
Jefferson3364
Henry31213
Logan3093
Champaign3043
Perry2969
Clinton29413
Defiance28911
Brown2882
Knox28415
Washington26023
Morrow2572
Hardin25213
Jackson2506
Fulton2411
Ashland2374
Crawford2366
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