Georgia deputies can’t put ‘no trick-or-treat’ signs in sex offenders’ yards, judge rules

A federal judge has ruled that deputies in a Georgia county cannot put up warning signs where registered sex offenders live.

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The Butts County Sheriff's Office placed "Do not trick-or-treat at this address" signs last Halloween in registered sex offenders' yards.

The department said the signs were consistent with the state's sex offender and registration warning law. But three sex offenders sued the department last week to stop deputies from placing the signs in their yards this year.

A judge ruled Wednesday night that the Sheriff's Office gave no evidence that the offenders posed any threat to children, and the signs violate their right to privacy.

"While the vast majority of us may disagree with the judge's ruling, I strongly encourage you to NOT take matters into your own hands this Halloween," Sheriff Gary Long said. "We understand frustration with the judge's ruling, but we all must abide by it unless it is overturned on appeal. Unfortunately, there is no time to appeal before this Halloween."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation tracks the addresses of sex offenders in a public database. You can check a map that has a county-by-county breakdown on its website.

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