Ohio Citizen Action

Towns can struggle to rein in door-to-door solicitors

COLUMBUS —”The village of Riverlea no longer requires permits or background checks for door-to-door solicitors.

Instead, residents are being told to post ‘No Solicitation’ signs on their doors if they don’t want to be bothered.

The move is the latest by communities hoping to keep a step ahead of lawsuits.

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati ruled in February that a 6 p.m. curfew imposed on solicitors by the Dayton suburb of Englewood violated the First and 14th amendments.

Although the ruling doesn’t address permits or fees, ‘the short answer … is that no village can discriminate against individuals for their right to knock on your door,’ Riverlea Mayor Kirk McHugh wrote in a recent issue of the village newsletter.

The appellate ruling, which concerned a challenge by Ohio Citizen Action, a nonprofit anti-pollution group, covers nonprofit organizations, not commercial vendors.”

— Dean Narciso, The Columbus Dispatch

Read the whole story here: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/04/23/towns-can-struggle-to-rein-in-solicitors.html