GA: Federal Judge Stops Halloween Signs

A federal district court judge today granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that prohibits law enforcement in Butts County, Georgia from posting signs in the front yards of registrants’ homes on Halloween. In his ruling, the judge stated that requiring registrants to allow the signs to remain in their front yards violated their First Amendment rights.

Also in his ruling, the judge explained that a state law that requires law enforcement to identify registrants “does not require or authorize sheriffs to post signs in front of sex offenders’ homes, nor does it require sex offenders themselves to allow such a sign”. The judge also determined that law enforcement failed to provide “evidence showing that the Plaintiffs have posed or will pose any threat to children trick-or-treating on Halloween”.

“In his decision, the judge clearly stated that registrants are not second-class citizens,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “The judge went on to explain that the Constitution “protects their liberty and dignity just as it protects everyone else’s”.”

In addition to stopping the Halloween signs, the judge refused to require registrants to pay a monetary bond requested by law enforcement. In his ruling on that topic, the judge noted that at least one of the three plaintiffs in the case was indigent.

“Today’s decision is a significant victory for registrants in the State of Georgia,” stated Bellucci. The decision is also similar to a federal district court decision issued in California in 2012. In that decision, the judge acknowledged that a sign posted on a registrants’ home on Halloween would endanger not only the registrant but also anyone else who lived in that home.

TRO – Order_Granting_in_Part_and_Denying_in_Part_Ex_Parte_Application (1)


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Let this ruling be a shot across the bow to other law enforcement agencies that continue to over-sell the myths, lies and distortions about individuals that are forced to live without hope. Also, their misguided claim that the registry is a “public safety tool” is an accusation, not a factual statement.

Another sensible win. Facts are Facts. The Constitution is the Constitution. It’s just so crazy that we (you) have to fight all of this stupid, political grandstanding shit.

Bout time, a judge that has sense , These judges need to stand up to these unconstitutional laws and renegade cops n politicians .

Can someone explain this in English ?
In addition to stopping the Halloween signs, the judge refused to require registrants to pay a monetary bond requested by law enforcement. In his ruling on that topic, the judge noted that at least one of the three plaintiffs in the case was indigent.

What a great victory indeed. W00t!

Even though I’m here in CA, Halloween is always a source of anxiety for me and I’m so, so happy to see some good news come about for my registered colleagues in GA. I’ll bet they’re pretty flippen’ stoked about it, too.
Thank you, Janice!!!

A great decision, although the scope is limited to the three registrants who filed. This should embolden others to come forward as well. Is it reasonable to conclude that if others submitted written disapproval with the signs, that the sheriff would be risking additional lawsuits from those who weren’t SVPs?

Reading the Order, it’s clear to me the Sheriff and his cohorts are a bunch of maroons. Let’s see, they go to the GA Sheriff’s Association for legal advice. That’s it, Butts-head, go to a circle-jerk for advice. As if he was even seeking anything other than confirmation of his intents. Then the sheriff claims his right as a citizen to post in the right-of-way, yet bars removal of the signs or addition of other signs using his authority as sheriff, not as a citizen. And then–oops!–it turns out he’s violating GA law if he posts in the right-of-way as a citizen! Then add in that he only allows *his* speech and not that of anyone else. Not the RCs, not those living with the RCs. Finally, all his comments and such are on his *re-election* FB page. Gee, how transparent can you get as to what this is really about? This sheriff, not to mention his wonderful sidekick Riley, is a dope. He thinks he gets to do as he wishes because he’s “the Law.” It was nice to see the Judge bitch-slap him and his co-defendants nine ways to Sunday.

The only thing that would’ve made it even better is if the judge award the plaintiffs monetary compensation for their pain and suffering.

There’s nothing like an expensive lawsuit to keep these rogue elements of law enforcement from EVEN THINKING of stepping on the backs of Registrants for political gain.

Sheriff Long thought he could fool the community by putting on a DOG & PONY SHOW by picking on the LEAST dangerous of former offenders and say what an awesome protector he is.

I’m glad the judge saw through that ruse and told Long to shove his signs back into the Butts Sheriff Dept.

I’m sure Long was sore after that.


More information from CNN… FAKE NEWS/MISINFORMATION….
the cnn URL:

the QUOTE: Some states, including New York and California, stop short of “no-candy laws” but require sex offenders to remain in their homes without interaction on Halloween and leave monitoring up to state departments of corrections.

In California NOT True on the remain in your home (unless on prob/parole)
If your not on paper you can do ANYTHING you want on Halloween (Even pass out candy if you wish!)

Funny thing gary long or whatever the losers name is… their twitter page doesn’t exist LOL

These laws are being stricken in state after state, yet in Missouri they still stand – even after having once been found unconstitutional by the MO Supreme Court. I’m glad for Georgia and other states, but this just isn’t right. And nobody is doing a damn thing about it in MO.

Why ACSOL is not filing about the registry as a whole on the same grounds as follows with Frank Lindsay is beyond me. It is a pretty strong bet on a win. Just to start, state constitution allows much broader rights…

“The decision is also similar to a federal district court decision issued in California in 2012. In that decision, the judge acknowledged that a sign posted on a registrants’ home on Halloween would endanger not only the registrant but also anyone else who lived in that home.”

So does your name posted on the internet stupidssssss….

I salute you “judge” for standing up for what is right and seeing through the sheriff’s real intentions of posting the signs.

I am not from GA but I am very thankful of this ruling as it will echo throughout the entire country.

Sheriff’s department spend the money and resources on a true danger during Halloween – place your manpower and resources on the streets for traffic control to help make the little kiddies safer from being hit by cars.

Truth be Told!!

uh oh, seems like the foundation is beginning to crumble…

Good judges exist! The judge clearly stated his ruling in both an honest and factual manner. It’s disturbing to see how the police in this city are acting. I’m really disappointed.

Yes!! … this is EXACTLY what is needed , well said ………….The only thing that would’ve made it even better is if the judge AWARD the plaintiffs monetary compensation for their PAIN and SUFFERING .If the federal judges would start enforcing the constitution these renegade police , prosecutors , and politicians would STOP costing our tax payers millions in waisted money fighting these B.s laws. That everyone knows don’t protect the public in any way shape or form . 8 out of 10 sex crime convictions are weak and have zero to nothing for evidence to support the charges they have pinned on over 1 million citizens in this country, not to mention the families they have destroyed with these registries , Hats off to this judge. This B.s has to END! Enough is Enough !

The Sheriff issued a press release on Facebook:

The Sheriff at least stated he will abide by the judge’s ruling and advised the public not to take matters into their own hands (although a part of me wonders if this is reverse psychology). The tone of the message is bitter and an attempt to make himself sound like an underdog hero. Unfortunately the vast majority of the approx 200 comments are supportive of the Sheriff’s campaign, with all the typical fear mongering and “think of the children” style commentary.

You can also read the entire press release here:

CNN has also covered the story:

The CNN article focuses on the judge’s ruling and how the Sheriff’s campaign is unconstitutional, although it ends with an erroneous statement suggesting that NY and CA registrants are required to stay in their homes on Halloween and are prohibited from interacting with anyone.

The California DOC has published the details of its 2019 Operation Boo:

The order says the government must use the “least restrictive means” to promote their interests. Why can’t this same argument be used against the registry as a whole since an online registry, residency restrictions, IML, etc are obviously not the “least restrictive”? Especially since this country has gone over 200 years without a registry with no public safety issues.

I wonder if people know that NARSOL’s legal team planned this case and NARSOL’s foundation handled the expenses.


I feel this is an astounding Victory. This against the LEA Class who feel they are without penalty for singling out RC’s as public targets all in the name of perceived “safety”, this at the expense of the RIGHTS of the RC; as so put by the Judge. Bravo the Judge.

I love these Federal Rulings. Thy serve as grist-for-the-mill in the gathering storm to do away with the Reg eventually. I wish all parties well.


You aren’t (elected) become a Sheriff being an idiot. This is clearly a Sheriff who wants to portray himself as tough on crime and he decided what better way then to focus on sex offenders! Very sad

I planned to leave to travel to Butts County a couple of hours ago. But I confirmed that the criminal sheriff is not putting out any signs. I planned to look myself but I trust the confirmations.

I am about to leave home though and go roam neighborhoods completely anonymously!! It is amazing that for all of the Halloween freak-out that so many people think that Registered People are just going to sit in their homes with their lights out, not pass out candy, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

My home has been fully decorated for Halloween for at least a month now. I’m disappointed that I haven’t had any attempted visits from law enforcement. I won’t be home to hand out any candy but I would if I felt like it.

And it doesn’t matter what “laws” these anti-American criminals pass in the future. I will always go around them. Every time. Just like the Registries, I’ll ensure they are worse than only worthless.

I listened to the Halloween Marathon cop-watch hotline last night and didn’t catch very about Floriduh. In Duval County (Jacksonville), the “holiday” ordinance subjects us to compelled speech by having to put a sign in our yard. Unfortunately, no one has the funds to mount a court challenge.

“(a) 3. (ii) From 6:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., on October 31 (or any other day on which Halloween is celebrated) post a sign at his or her residence, including a vessel, or vehicle, stating, “No candy or treats here.” Such signs shall be in letters at least two inches high and shall be legible on the property leased, rented, owned or occupied by the Sexual Offender or Sexual Predator, and clearly visible from the street, waterway, or any property that is open to public access. The signs may be removed after 11:59 p.m. on October 31, or the day on which Halloween is celebrated.”