HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut residents have the right put up signs on their properties criticizing businesses and can’t be ordered by cities to remove them, the state Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

The 6-0 decision came in the case of Milford resident Eileen Arisian, who put three signs on the deck railings of her home in 2010 expressing dissatisfaction with a home contractor and pointing out the company faced lawsuits.

Milford officials had ordered Arisian, a 77-year-old widow, to remove the signs, saying they violated local zoning ordinances, and they tried to bar her from living in her home because of permit issues. The Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling against the city. A $1,000 fine against Arisian for failing to obtain required post-construction permits was upheld.

Arisian’s lawyer said the ruling was “a message that people’s personal private homes can be used for their expressions of their beliefs.”

“She felt that she had free speech rights and she was allowed to post these signs,” lawyer Eileen Becker said.

Arisian did not return a message left with Becker, who said the signs are still up.

The city’s attorney, Scott Garosshen, said officials were reviewing the decision. A city zoning enforcement officer did not return a message seeking comment.

The case, however, did not center on free speech rights. The focus was a 1931 state law that gives cities and towns the authority to regulate advertising signs. Garosshen argued any sign making a public announcement should be considered an advertising sign under the law.

Two of Arisian’s signs say “I do not recommend Baybrook Remodelers,” and the other shows a bar graph indicating the company has been sued many times. Baybrook did major work on the house, which is across the street from homes that overlook Long Island Sound, including raising it and installing decks.

Baybrook’s owner, Ken Carney, defended the company’s work and said, “I’m happy there’s finally some resolution, although I think too much energy and funds were put into this case, which at the end of the day I think is ridiculous.”

The Supreme Court decision written by Justice Andrew McDonald begins by quoting from a 1981 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said “the outdoor sign or symbol is a venerable medium for expressing political, social and commercial ideas.” The state opinion then goes on to reject Milford’s argument that Arisian’s signs were advertising.

“Although she might obtain personal satisfaction if her sign deters other homeowners from hiring the named contractor, it is not the sort of benefit fostered by advertising as we have interpreted the term,” McDonald wrote.