Butts County Sex Offenders Sue Sheriff Over “No Trick-or-Treat” Signs in Yard
BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. – Sex offenders in Butts County are suing to stop the local Sheriff’s Office from discouraging trick-or-treaters with signs in their yards.
WSB-TV reports that the suit asks the court to order a stop to the practice that started last year.
The signs from last year read: “NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS!! A COMMUNITY SAFETY MESSAGE FROM BUTTS COUNTY SHERIFF GARY LONG.”
Some of the county’s 200 registered sex offenders were even told to display signs themselves or face “unspecified trouble.”
Despite the hearing that is set for Thursday, the sheriff took to his Facebook page to post the following:
“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.”
The plaintiff’s attorneys, Mark Yurachek and Mark Begnaud, argue that forcing the men to leave the signs up in their yards was equivalent to “compelling speech,” which is against the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
The suit also seeks a trial and for a jury to award the plaintiffs compensation for the stress, fear and humiliation the signs caused last year.