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Appeals court says Butts County sheriff can't put 'No trick-or-treat' signs in sex offenders' yards

The court threw out the ruling in Sheriff Gary Long's favor

BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. — Editor's note: Video in this story is from the original report.

Butt County's sheriff still wants place warning signs in the yards of registered sex offenders on Halloween night, but a federal appeals court this week told him he can't.

13WMAZ first reported on this story in 2019 when Sheriff Gary Long placed the signs outside the homes of three men, who filed a lawsuit.

One judge ruled against the sheriff. The next year, a different judge said the signs were OK.

But this week the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta said Long violated the men's 1st Amendment rights by posting the signs on their private property without their consent.

They threw out the ruling in Long's favor and sent part of the case back to a lower court for further action.

The federal judges also wrote that the three men have all been rehabilitated and lead productive lives.

13WMAZ reached out to Long. He could not be reached for comment.

RELATED: What are Central Georgia's law enforcement agencies doing about sex offenders on Halloween?

RELATED: Judge issues ruling favoring sex offenders who sued Butts County sheriff over 'no trick-or-treat' signs

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