State Watch

Sex offenders sue Georgia sheriff over ‘no trick-or-treat’ signs

Butts County Sheriff's Office

A group of registered sex offenders in Butts County, Ga., is suing the sheriff’s office to stop it from putting signs in their yards warning residents not to trick-or-treat at the addresses ahead of Halloween.

The lawsuit asks for a court order to stop the placement of the signs which read: “NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS!! A COMMUNITY SAFETY MESSAGE FROM BUTTS COUNTY SHERIFF GARY LONG,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

{mosads}Some of the signs were placed on the sex offenders’ yards by deputies, while other offenders were told to place the signs themselves or face trouble, though a specific consequence was not noted.

The lawsuit claims that deputies violated the law by trespassing to put up signs without permission.

Long said he plans to fight for the signs to stay.

“Regardless of the Judge’s ruling this Thursday, I WILL do everything within the letter of the Law to protect the children of this Community,” Long wrote in a Facebook post.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Thursday morning.

The plaintiff’s attorneys argued in the complaint that forcing the men to leave the signs up in their yards equals “compelling speech,” which infringes upon their First Amendment rights.

Tags Georgia Halloween sex offender registry trick-or-treat

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