How far should the justice system go to defend the rights of the disabled? Many people might feel that not enough is done on a daily basis, but one case that is getting some international attention is demonstrating how some people are willing to go to bat for the disabled — even if not everyone agrees with the method that was used.

The case in question involves a man in Ohio who was recently sentenced for his fourth conviction for disorderly conduct, all involving the man’s neighbors. In addition to probation, jail time and community service, the man was sentenced to sit at a busy intersection with a sign informing passers-by that he was a bully and targeted disabled children.

The feud, one-sided though it might be, has been between the man and his neighbors, whose family includes several disabled people. According to court records, the man became irritated that the family’s dryer vent was blowing the smell of fabric softener on his property. He sued the family over the smell, but his case was tossed out of court. The man retaliated by using a fan to waft kerosene fumes onto the family’s property, which led to the man’s most recent legal trouble.

The family includes children with a range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and paralysis, plus a man with dementia. The man who had to hold the sign had verbally abused the children and had defaced the family’s wheelchair ramp.

While some public vindication is welcome, people with disabilities often need to depend on benefits from Social Security disability to get by. Experienced attorneys can help people in this kind of situation.

Source:, “Accused bully says judge who sentenced him to hold sign in public ‘destroyed’ his life,” Adam Ferrise, April 13, 2014