Sex offenders suing Ga. sheriff’s office over “No Trick-or-Treat” signs

The group argues the signs posted on their front doors without permission violates their rights

PoliceOne Staff 

BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. — A group of registered sex offenders is suing the Butts County Sheriff’s Office for attempting to post “No Trick-or-Treating” signs on their doors for Halloween. 

Sheriff Gary Long posted a photograph of the signs, which were also posted on doors last Halloween, on Facebook and wrote that he plans to argue in court that he is protecting children and following state law by posting signs he says will stop predators from taking advantage of children on Halloween night. 

"No Trick-or-Treat" signs posted on sex offender's doors last Halloween have become the subject of a lawsuit against the Butts County Sheriff's Department. (Photo/BCSD)

"This was done for the safety of our children," he wrote in the Facebook post.

Attorney Mark Yurachek, who represents the group suing the sheriff’s office, told Fox 35 he sees the signs as an infringement on his clients’ constitutional rights. 

“The trespass stuff is pretty clear,” he told Fox 35. “They’re coming onto their property and putting the signs on there. … The law allows the sheriff to put a list of registered sex offenders at his office, at the courthouse, on the internet. It does not allow him to go door-to-door telling people you have a sex offender living next door to you.” 

However, Long said on Facebook he intends to post the signs this year in the name of public safety and asked for public support. 

“We will argue to the federal court that we are protecting our children and following Georgia law by placing these signs,” he wrote. “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.” 

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