Trial underway for Plantation family sued over Christmas display

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Plantation woman took the stand to defend her family’s right to put up a massive Christmas display at her home.

Kathy Hyatt, the creator of the Hyatt Extreme Christmas display, answered a long list of questions in a Broward County courtroom, Wednesday, as attorneys showed her photographs of the neighborhood attraction.

When asked how tall the display’s large inflatable Santa is, Hyatt replied, “I don’t know, sir.”

160928_inflatable_santa

When asked to describe an inflatable Mickey, she specified, ‘It’s Mickey Mouse in a Santa suit.”

The City of Plantation has sued Hyatt and her husband, Mark Hyatt, saying their Christmas display is a public nuisance.

Thomas Tatum, an attorney representing Plantation, grilled Hyatt about the magnitude of her display.

“You have a display covering most of your roof?” he said.

Hyatt replied, “A display on my roof?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“We have lights on our roof and reindeer and Santa.”

The Hyatts open their home the day after Thanksgiving, turning on more than 200,000 lights for anyone who wants to visit. As many as 2,000 people visit per day.

160928_christmas_display

The Hyatts claim property and religious rights allow them to do this, saying the city has shut down parking and told them they couldn’t have help with crowd control. “We were instructed not to have our volunteers help anymore,” said Hyatt as she held back tears, “and then people would call and say, ‘What do we do? Where do we go?’ And I say, ‘Call the city.’ The city says, ‘We don’t know what to tell you.'”

City officials claim the display brings noise, traffic and trash to the area, and they want it shut down. They have already spent $200,000 on their lawsuit, claiming the Hyatts have promoted their display.

Attorneys even brought up 7News’ coverage of the display.

Tatum asked, “Did Channel 7 come to your house and report live throughout this display on November 29th, 2013?”

“They did,” Hyatt said. “We’re very proud of the documentary they did on our display that evening.”

160928_hyatt_extreme_christmas

The City of Plantation does not have any rules or guidelines as to the size of displays homeowners can put up.

The trial was initially scheduled to end on Thursday. However, that no longer seems to be the case. The Hyatts’ attorney has not even begun to present their case.

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.