Judge: Vet Must Appeal Again for Virginia License Plate

An Iraq war veteran must start anew to get personalized license plates that include a term deemed offensive by some Arab-Americans, a Virginia judge said Wednesday.

Sean Bujno's plate reads: “ICUHAJI,” which can be read to state: “I See You, Haji.” Some Arab-Americans object to that phrase. Bujno's attorney says the use of the word “Haji” is not intended as a slur. 

Bujno, a former Army sergeant who was honorably discharged in 2009, displayed the tags on his car for more than four years before they were revoked in November 2011.

Circuit Judge John W. Brown ruled last November that the Department of Motor Vehicles couldn't deny the Chesapeake man's license on the basis that it denigrated individuals of a particular nationality.

The DMV notified Bujno in a letter last month that the tags are now being denied because they condone or encourages violence and are obscene or otherwise vulgar in nature.

The Virginian-Pilot reported http://bit.ly/Z2r80b that in a hearing Wednesday, the judge said Bujno must appeal to the DMV a second time. But the judge said the agency will have to come up with new reasons to deny the plates. He said state law requires Bujno to file new paperwork in response to the new decision.

Attorney Andrew Meyer said outside the courtroom that Bujno would file another appeal in the next couple weeks. Meyer said he expected to be back in a courtroom arguing the DMV is violating his client's constitutional rights by this summer.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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