By Marty Graham
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) - Registered sex offenders in California will no longer be required to post signs on their doors during Halloween trick-or-treating after a San Diego County parolee challenged the rule, court documents showed on Tuesday.
The state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation dropped the requirement to post a sign reading "We do not participate in Trick or Treating. Please do NOT disturb" during a federal court hearing on Monday, the documents showed.
On Oct. 15, the parolee, identified only as John Doe, and a nonprofit group called California Reform Sex Offender Laws filed a complaint in federal court arguing that the rule violated his constitutional rights.
The requirement also put registered sex offenders and their families in danger, the lawsuit alleged.
The case was dismissed on Monday after state corrections officials agreed to drop the rule from the conditions imposed upon sex offenders during Halloween, which include a curfew and compliance checks by law enforcement officers.
Doe's lawsuit said he was convicted of a sex offense that did not involve minors more than 30 years ago. He is on parole now for a drug offense and lives in a "densely populated mobile home park," according to court documents.
On Oct. 19, another registered sex offender, a Los Angeles man who lives in a high-crime neighborhood, joined the lawsuit.
According to court documents, that man was convicted in 2000, has not committed another sex offense and is not on California's sex offender registry, but was still told he must post the sign, which he said would put him under threat.
Janice Bellucci, president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws, said the dropping of the requirement was a big victory for both plaintiffs, and more than 10,000 people in the state who do appear on the sex offender registry, and their families.
"They are no longer faced with the risk of significant injury," Bellucci said.
(Reporting by Marty Graham; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Walsh)