MO: Trial Date Delayed for Missouri Halloween Sign Case

Source: ACSOL

A federal district court has agreed to delay the trial date in the pending case that challenges a Halloween sign requirement in the state of Missouri.  Originally the trial was to begin on March 27, however, the court has agreed to delay that date until June 20.

The court’s decision to delay the trial date was made after the plaintiff filed a motion for that delay.  The request was made, in part, after the Attorney General sent more than 800 pages of documents and videos to plaintiff’s counsel about 30 days before trial.  The Attorney General also identified for the first time about a dozen witnesses including a proposed expert who is expected to refute academic and government reports stating that registrants are unlikely to commit a new sex offense on Halloween.

According to the court, the trial will last a maximum of two days during which testimony will be heard and legal arguments will be made.  The basis of the litigation is that the Missouri state law that requires registrants to post a sign on their home on Halloween violates the First Amendment because it is compelled speech.

The trial court judge in this case issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in October 2023.  The TRO remains in effect throughout the trial and the TRO could be extended into a permanent injunction after the trial.

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The delayed trial date is a BIG win for the registrant community. The Attorney General argued strongly that the state of Missouri would be harmed if the judge agreed to the delay. And the judge did it anyway! What the AG forgot was that the judge had ruled months ago that a Temporary Restraining Order that prevents the AG from enforcing the Halloween sign requirement law would not harm the public. I expect it is the same message that the judge will use when he grants a permanent injunction after the trial is over.

The heavy handedness of the MO state govt doing what they do best, which is inundate as best they can by being a bully here with an overload of info.

I’d like to see the 800 pages and videos the AG sent. And what does anyone want to bet their supposed “expert” is just some advocate from the NCMEC or something similar, whose “expertise” is mastery of repeating the (likely fabricated) statistics routinely published by like-minded organizations (which increase every year despite their so-called efforts)?

And don’t be surprised if the AG drops another 800 pages at the end of May.

800 pages of debunked claims, fear mongering and straw-grasping.

I wonder just who this “expert” is who can refute reams of government and academic data. If nothing else, where will s/he find the data showing any sort of aberrance on Halloween? (We all know there is none.)

MO and its AG may end up shooting itself in the foot and drag other jurisdictions with it.