CHESAPEAKE, VA – A legal battle between the state and an Iraq war veteran over his personalized license plate is not over.
Sean Bujno's plate reads: "ICUHAJI," which can be read to state: "I See You, Haji." Some Arab-Americans object to that phrase.
The DMV revoked the license plate in 2011, saying it could be interpreted as socially, racially or ethically offensive or disparaging.
Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge John W. Brown ruled last November that the DMV couldn't deny the Chesapeake man's license plate on the basis that it denigrated individuals of a particular nationality. The judge ordered the DMV to either return the license plate to Bujno or find a permissible reason to keep it from him.
In a recent letter sent to Bujno, the DMV now says the license plate encourages violence and is vulgar.
Meyer said the use of the word "Haji" is not intended as a slur. He said it simply refers to someone who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca, or the hajj.
"Some might see it as a slur, but it's not," Meyer said. "The word haji is not obscene."