Judge rules on “No Trick or Treat Signs” – Registrants have rights

By Hayley Fowler

Three registered sex offenders in Georgia clutched a victory on the brink of Halloween when a federal judge ordered lawn signs deterring trick-or-treaters be removed from their homes.

Butts County Sheriff Gary Long argued last week the signs should remain while the lawsuit — brought by the three named plaintiffs seeking to represent a class of sex offenders who allege their civil rights were violated — moves forward.

But Judge Marc Thomas Treadwell disagreed Tuesday.

“The defendants should be aware that the authority for their blanket sign-posting is dubious at best and even more dubious if posted over the objection of registrants,” he said in an order.

The signs read, “Warning! No Trick or Treat at this address!!”

Treadwell’s order mandates the removal of signs from only the three named plaintiffs’ residences, finding others can stay up until the remaining class members’ objections are established.

“Although, as a practical matter, it might be assumed that anyone would object to such a message from law enforcement in front of their homes, the court is not comfortable making that assumption as a foundation for injunctive relief,” the order states.

It’s too late to appeal the decision given the close proximity to Halloween, the sheriff said in a Facebook post shortly after the order was released.

But Long said there will be increased law enforcement presence in neighborhoods where “sex offenders are likely to be.” He also urged community members not to “take matters into your own hands this Halloween.”

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    • #61171 Reply
      Tim in WI

      “Only the clearest proof of ….would suffice to overcome what Congress……A civil…”
      Ignorant old pukes.
      ” It is not the commitment to DOC itself that makes the electronic[sis] regime punitive. ”


      Incarceration in a ” hospital or treatment setting” isn’t punishment nor tantamount to imprisonment.

      Lead by deceitful liars and so the people follow.

      Hahahahahaha. Happy Halloween

    • #61176 Reply

      Someone needs to send a certified copy of this ruling to St. Tammany Parish because they’re planning on hanging signs in spite of this lawsuit. They need to be confronted with the ruling and told, “You do this and we’ll sue!”

    • #61177 Reply

      Congragulations to those planiff’s and the understanding of the Judge that presided over this sign issue. Nothing like stepping up to the plate and telling it like it is. All this signage issue sounds like a choice.

      The sign would be dubious and offensive as the judge said. Even a sign like “Welcome to my Nightmare is a bit dubious for Halloween trick or treaters. Call all this signage or labling food for thought for legislators. Myself I still have to give “thumbs up” to NARSOL.

      • #61190 Reply
        Tim in WI

        The outcome here is temporary and once the signs are removed by leo the lawsuit rendered moot, and IMHO will be tossed on those grounds. Until next year which will require a new suit. $390 + 6 copies to file. Judge will not issue full injunction on signage at all. Instead he will simply state the facts cannot be done by LEO until it is written law \ statute. (Constanteneau 400 430) No smoking signs are posted everywhere. Since only a few registrants complained the court automatically presumes the rest of impacted registrants ” will tolerate” the sign. Therefore zero basis exists for a broad constitutional review.

        Fed judicial determination is one thing, the authority in\of that opinion another, see MI, PA, NC.

    • #61209 Reply

      There’s an old saying, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. Temporary or not about this sign issue it has meaning and it does say volumes. While all these comments are good on here is it one’s expressed opinion or do we fight each battle that each individual takes upon him or herself.

      NARSOL is an advocate and an advocate a go between helper to help others in a constructive way Public opinion about Halloween or sex offenders or signage is a choice but when facts override truth than each person has their battle and each individual has his or her own zombies if you want to call them that. While I may have mentioned “Welcome to my nightmare” do we all make our own nightmares or do “Advocates” try to be a go between to help in this combat for true justice for all.

      Tim your psychological is good but what about one’s theology. I believe someone said ” It takes two to tango” so who’s the real Halloweenor behind the mask. We all have baggage to carry or should we all say carry on my wayward son. I am sure most of the general public doesn’t even know about how a lot of this sex offender ordeals go down or who is holding the real treat or treat bag of candy.

    • #61626 Reply

      From the article: “The goal of these laws is to make our community safer, by not allowing convicted criminal predators to hide in the shadows,” Long said in the Facebook post Tuesday.

      Ugh. Shaking my head. These sorts of people are never satisfied huh? There are men on the list that are not even attracted to minors. Some could be on the list for public urination or hiding cameras in women’s bathrooms or lockerooms. That’s not to say that many who have had charges towards minors would be dangerous anyway. As the judge was able to see.

      Just more fear and ignorance on behalf of the sheriff. Why won’t he, among many others not make the communities safer from legal alcohol drinks, tobacco products, teen sexual relations and pregnancies, those who had been charged with murder, a movie industry with movies like Knock Knock(Keanu Reeves), and the adult entertainment industry? Also, work to prevent sexual deviancy and attraction to minors from teens and young adults. But then again even therapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists have the same fear and ignorance.

    • #62036 Reply

      Crash, studying on views about this registry are a bit confusing but sure safety is a factor in any business and yes also protection is good but confusion and instilling it into another is not.and yes I like your answer.

      Sure my grandmother didn’t want us kids to go out trick or treating even back in the late 50’s and even the early 60’s. She was the one in the family that had religon understand. One could even call Halloween a pagan event and yes the signage is a bit much and I have to shake my head the same as you. What ever happened to turning off the lights and even a sign that says we don’t participate in Halloween to be more understandable.

      Actually a lot of this registry is temptation by another if one really looks at a lot of this in a logical sense in many of these ordeals. Sure we all have views and safety is always a good factor but the foundation is not quite right in many or much of this. Yes one can be quickly sqallowed up by quicksand in a lot of this devilish scheme. Even this signage is going a bit too far or should we all have signs that say we have guns here at the house or should we throw smoke booms on the fire. Sometimes one wonders about government action.

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