NORTHWOOD | The trial for a Northwood man challenging a city ordinance regarding the keeping of backyard chickens has been continued to December.

Leo Hendrick, 602 First Ave. N., was set to go to trial Tuesday in Worth County for keeping chickens within the city limits in violation of Northwood city code Section 55.05.  

According to the code, “It is unlawful for a person to keep livestock within the city except by written consent of the council or except in compliance with the city’s zoning regulations.”

Hendrick said Tuesday that Magistrate Doug Krull approved a motion by Northwood City Attorney John Greve limiting what evidence Hendrick can present in court.

According to court documents, Hendrick cannot make comments or ask questions about any plea negotiations or discussions with law enforcement about the decision to charge him.

He also cannot mention other cities' laws allowing the keeping of chickens. The beneficial attributes of homegrown chickens or homegrown food in general is another topic Hendrick is not allowed to bring up at his trial.

"Basically I feel that my First Amendment freedom of speech was denied and my Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial has been denied by not allowing me to bring in any evidence whatsoever," Hendrick said.

The city's witness list includes Worth County Deputy Sheriff Dennis Paulson, Councilman Douglas Helgeland and Mayor Jane Bloomingdale.

Hendrick, who was going to represent himself, has requested a court-appointed attorney.

An exact date for the trial has not been set, Hendrick said.