A group of sex offenders in Georgia are suing the Butts County Sheriff’s Office after deputies placed signs to discourage trick or treating in their front yards. 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.” Deputies put up some of the signs, while other registered sex offenders in the county were told to display their own sign, or face unspecified trouble, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports. The lawsuit claims that deputies violated the law by trespassing to put up signs without permission. The plaintiff’s attorneys also 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. Sheriff Gary Long wrote in a Facebook post that he plans to fight for the signs. “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 said.
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