A Georgia sheriff is determined to protect children by putting "no trick-or-treat" signs in the yards of registered sex offenders.
Registered sex offenders in Butts County are suing the Sheriff's Office for putting signs in their yards to discourage young trick-or-treaters, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Christopher Reed, Reginald Holden and Corey McClendon have asked a judge to order the law enforcement agency to stop warning children to avoid their homes on Halloween.
The registered sex offenders say deputies are trespassing on their land to place the unwanted signage.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Macon, Georgia, after Butts County deputies began placing the signs last year.
The signs read: "NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS!! A COMMUNITY SAFETY MESSAGE FROM BUTTS COUNTY SHERIFF GARY LONG."
Sheriff Long reportedly asked 200 sex offenders in the county to display their own signs in their yards, or face unspecified consequences.
A hearing is set for Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for a judge to decide whether the signs violate the rights of sex offenders.
In the meantime, Sheriff Long's deputies will continue to plant signs in the yards of all sex offenders to protect the children in the county.
"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," the sheriff wrote on Facebook.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and financial compensation for the stress, fear and humiliation the signs caused last year.