John Strand sued North Dakota's Cass County in February 2003, hoping to save an old jail from demolition. According to In-Forum, his legal expenses now stand at more than $60,000. The county is also seeking $39,000 in what Strand says is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP suit. His attorney, John Goff, claims that such actions have "a significant chilling effect on people's First Amendment rights." High Plains Reader applied for membership to the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies last year and in 2002.