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View Full Version : Ignored 'No Soliciting' sign- legal recourse?


Joe
09-20-2004, 05:53 PM
If I have a 'No Soliciting' sign clearly posted under my doorbell, but still
receive door-to-door solicitors, what recourse do I have? Also, are
religious groups be exempt from such signs?

David W.
09-21-2004, 06:32 PM
"Joe" <slayte@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:lduuk01ejrnrjvkegrfmd4e3a3vcbb81e8@4ax.com:

If I have a 'No Soliciting' sign clearly posted under my doorbell, but still receive door-to-door solicitors, what recourse do I have? Also, are religious groups be exempt from such signs?

You'll have to check with your state and local government for the answer to
your questions - there's no universal answer.

David

Christopher Green
09-21-2004, 06:33 PM
"Joe" <slayte@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:<lduuk01ejrnrjvkegrfmd4e3a3vcbb81e8@4ax.com>...
If I have a 'No Soliciting' sign clearly posted under my doorbell, but still receive door-to-door solicitors, what recourse do I have? Also, are religious groups be exempt from such signs?

Laws regulating soliciting are usually local ordinances. When there is
an ordinance prohibiting soliciting at a dwelling or in a neighborhood
posted "No Soliciting", it is commonly a trespass. Even so, you may
not have any recourse for a trespass that involves no damage beyond an
irritating invasion of your privacy. Religious groups are not usually
exempt, but it wouldn't be unheard-of for there to be an exemption or
special rules for religious or nonprofit groups.

--
Not a lawyer,

Chris Green

Gerald Clough
09-23-2004, 06:27 PM
Joe wrote:

If I have a 'No Soliciting' sign clearly posted under my doorbell, but still receive door-to-door solicitors, what recourse do I have? Also, are religious groups be exempt from such signs?

Any civil remedy would likely be a bit silly. And you can't make your
own criminal law. You might look into local city peddler ordinances.
Many require those selling without invitation to a residence to have a
permit - and a bond, if they don't deliver the goods at the time they
take payment. They do not, however, often address such as religious
nuisances.


--
Gerald Clough
"Nothing has any value, unless you know you can give it up."

cbreitel
09-23-2004, 06:28 PM
cj.green@worldnet.att.net (Christopher Green) wrote in message
news:<ruj1l0lmp28n89vbfb18f2kdc46gehh1cl@4ax.com>...
"Joe" <slayte@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<lduuk01ejrnrjvkegrfmd4e3a3vcbb81e8@4ax.com>...
If I have a 'No Soliciting' sign clearly posted under my doorbell, but still receive door-to-door solicitors, what recourse do I have? Also, are religious groups be exempt from such signs? Laws regulating soliciting are usually local ordinances. When there is an ordinance prohibiting soliciting at a dwelling or in a neighborhood posted "No Soliciting", it is commonly a trespass. Even so, you may not have any recourse for a trespass that involves no damage beyond an irritating invasion of your privacy. Religious groups are not usually exempt, but it wouldn't be unheard-of for there to be an exemption or special rules for religious or nonprofit groups.

I disagree with the comments of the other posters. You have an
absolute right to refuse to consent to other persons entering your
property. That "absolute" right of course has numerous exceptions,
largely for law enforcement and public maintenance purposes, but none
of those exceptions exist for religious groups or salesmen.

As far as "recourse", you have at least 3: call the police, or sue
after the fact, or sue an organization if it keeps sending people to
your door and obtain an injunction.

JerryMouse
09-27-2004, 07:56 AM
Joe wrote:
If I have a 'No Soliciting' sign clearly posted under my doorbell, but still receive door-to-door solicitors, what recourse do I have? Also, are religious groups be exempt from such signs?

Cantwell v Connecticut (1940) held that religious solicitation on a public
street without a license was permitted. That is, a city could not require a
license for a religious group.

In 2002, the Supreme Court struck down an ordinance requiring a permit to
preach door-to-door.

In sum, if your city has a city ordinance prohibiting missionaries from
knocking on your door, don't count on it.

On the other hand, you can prohibit tresspass on your property.

Take down the "No Soliciting" sign and replace it with "No Tresspassing."

Opening the door stark naked has also proven effective.

Arthur L. Rubin
09-29-2004, 10:41 AM
JerryMouse wrote:
Joe wrote:
If I have a 'No Soliciting' sign clearly posted under my doorbell, but still receive door-to-door solicitors, what recourse do I have? Also, are religious groups be exempt from such signs?

....

Opening the door stark naked has also proven effective.

Having a good carving knife in your hand also proven
effective. (Secondhand, only. I know the person who
claims to have done it.)

--
This account is subject to a persistent MS Blaster and SWEN attack.
I think I've got the problem resolved, but, if you E-mail me
and it bounces, a second try might work.
However, please reply in newsgroup.

Eliyahu Rooff
09-29-2004, 10:41 AM
"cbreitel" <charlesbreitel@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:ett6l0tggpf4mro9t0cbnu0220ueeoq3qi@4ax.com...
I disagree with the comments of the other posters. You have an absolute right to refuse to consent to other persons entering your property. That "absolute" right of course has numerous exceptions, largely for law enforcement and public maintenance purposes, but none of those exceptions exist for religious groups or salesmen. As far as "recourse", you have at least 3: call the police, or sue after the fact, or sue an organization if it keeps sending people to your door and obtain an injunction.
WADR, your options are more theoretical than practical.

Call the police? What are they going to do other than tell the
person that you don't want him on your property? How do you intend
to keep the person on your property until they arrive? You have no
right to use force to detain them, and the moment you prevent them
from leaving, you've committed a felony.

Sue them? What damages would you show in court that would keep the
judge from throwing it out as a frivolous suit and imposing monetary
sanctions on you?

Sue the organization? You'd have to demonstrate in court that you'd
given that specific organization notice that you didn't want them to
enter your property and that they had instructed their members to
ignore those instructions. And, again, you would have to show actual
damages in order to recover any money.

One might get a restraining order if it's an actual and persistant
problem, but that order would only be directed at specific
individuals and would not cover the rest of the world's
population -- not to mention that it's a heck of a lot of work and
cost just to avoid occasionally answering the door and telling
someone you aren't interested.

I sure wish that the biggest problem in my life was solicitors
coming to my door...

Eliyahu

cbreitel
10-06-2004, 02:41 PM
"Eliyahu Rooff" <lrooff@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:<gsrll0pv42t3q6hl346pmi7kern7i66th9@4ax.com>...
"cbreitel" <charlesbreitel@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:ett6l0tggpf4mro9t0cbnu0220ueeoq3qi@4ax.com...
As far as "recourse", you have at least 3: call the police, or sue after the fact, or sue an organization if it keeps sending people to your door and obtain an injunction. WADR, your options are more theoretical than practical.

I disagree for the reasons stated below.

Call the police? What are they going to do other than tell the person that you don't want him on your property?

Arrest them, or even threaten to arrest them, for criminal trespass,
the elements of which vary from state to state. More importantly,
simply informing the trespasser that you are calling the police will
likely be good enough.

How do you intend to keep the person on your property until they arrive? You have no right to use force to detain them, and the moment you prevent them from leaving, you've committed a felony.

A legally flawed statement, since you fail to qualify it according to
state law. The law of most states permit citizen arrests under a range
of different circumstances; but that's neither here nor there because
no one (certainly not me) is asking the homeowner to attempt a citizen
arrest. Simply telling the trespasser that they will call the police
immediately will probably be good enough.

Sue them? What damages would you show in court that would keep the judge from throwing it out as a frivolous suit and imposing monetary sanctions on you?

If you were a lawyer, you might have first paid attention to my
suggestion for a suit for injunctive relief, and not a suit for money
damages. To answer your question, though, a civil trespass action can
and does result in money judgments under centuries-old principles of
property law. Those principles establish that the right to own
property includes the right to exclude from it the presence of others
and derive enjoyment from that exclusivity. Just because injuries in a
lawsuit are difficult to define in a tangible sense does not mean the
injuries are not compensable. Otherwise, plaintiffs could never get
compensation for "pain and suffering," distress over losing a loved
one, or emotional distress in general. I suggest reading some
treatises on damages if this question confounds you.

Sue the organization? You'd have to demonstrate in court that you'd given that specific organization notice that you didn't want them to enter your property and that they had instructed their members to ignore those instructions. And, again, you would have to show actual damages in order to recover any money.

Again the obsession with money. A very simple restraining order in a
municipal court will suffice.

One might get a restraining order if it's an actual and persistant problem, but that order would only be directed at specific individuals and would not cover the rest of the world's population -- not to mention that it's a heck of a lot of work and cost just to avoid occasionally answering the door and telling someone you aren't interested.

Ahh, finally the light bulb clicks on. You'll notice that I made
specific reference to the word "organization" in my mention of suing
for injunctive relief. If it is one organization that is the source of
the problem, yes, that organization can indeed be sued for injunctive
relief.

I sure wish that the biggest problem in my life was solicitors coming to my door...

If it doesn't bother you personally, why are you bothering to respond?
Just for the sake of arguing? The poster asked for legal solutions to
his situation, which he obviously does think is a problem even if you
don't. The ones I gave are a few of his options.

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