Butts County Sheriff's Office in Georgia is being sued for posting a sign that reads "Warning! No Trick-or-Treat at this address!!" on the front yards of over 200 registered sex offenders last year, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. The lawsuit has been filed by three registered sex offenders—Christopher Reed, Reginald Holden, and Corey McClendon—who claim that the deputies were in violation of trespassing laws by putting the signs on their property.
"The law allows the sheriff to put a list of registered sex offenders at his office, at the courthouse, on the internet," the trio's lead attorney Mark Yurachek told FOX 5 Atlanta. "It does not allow him to go door-to-door telling people you have a sex offender living next door to you."
The Butts County Sheriff's Office argues that the signs were being posted to "ensure the safety of our children" while Sheriff Gary Long says the initiative that started in 2018 was in response to the cancellation of "Halloween on the Square," which caused an increase in the number of kids going door-to-door in search of candy.
The "No Trick-or-Treat" signs were posted last year on October 24 and stayed up until November. The Butts County Sheriff's Office had every intention of doing the same thing this year, and Reed, Holden, and McClendon have brought forth the suit to prevent that from happening.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for the stress, fear, and humiliation that they say the signs caused. A hearing has been set for Thursday where a judge will hear the case and determine if these signs will return prior to this Halloween.