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-   -   "No Solicitors" signs on residences enforceable? (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=11426)

Not_Done_Living 28 June 2007 07:43 PM

"No Solicitors" signs on residences enforceable?
 
On another forum i am on, this topic has been brought up, and how If you have a no solicitor sign on your door and someone (presumably a solicitor) ignores it and rings your bell it is trespassing and they (and/or their company) can be sued out of existence.

I looked for this online, but couldn't find any cites (just a whole bunch of "people with these signs have them cause they can't say no" stories and "buy this sign for protection" websites).

I did find one reference that it may be illegal to solicit at a property where others are paying to sell items but you aren't under a "fairness" clause (stores are paying for their space and you are not).. such as a mall, but even then if you go and ask for permission first and are granted then its not a problem.

Is there any legal recourse to the ignoring of a "No solicitors" sign?can i make a bundle suing gas companies, the Boy Scouts/Girl Guides, Schools,politicians and religious organizations?!

Beastly Despot 28 June 2007 07:50 PM

I sold books door-to-door one summer in college. That was twenty years ago, but we always made it a point to hit up houses that had those signs. Nothing ever happened to any of us that I know of, just some angry homeowners. Heck we had plenty of those as it was...

diddy 28 June 2007 08:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beastly Despot (Post 230461)
I sold books door-to-door one summer in college. That was twenty years ago, but we always made it a point to hit up houses that had those signs. Nothing ever happened to any of us that I know of, just some angry homeowners. Heck we had plenty of those as it was...

Well private homes and business are two different things. If you ignore the signs and anger the homeowner, they will just slam the door or order you off the property.

Lainie 28 June 2007 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living (Post 230445)
Is there any legal recourse to the ignoring of a "No solicitors" sign?can i make a bundle suing gas companies, the Boy Scouts/Girl Guides, Schools,politicians and religious organizations?!

I don't know the law in Canada, but in the US, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled against muncipalities who tried to restrict door-to-door activity in their communities.

Link

tribrats 28 June 2007 08:28 PM

I had one that I printed that read along the lines of "Lord, please protect me from Thy followers". When they came to my door I would just counter their speech with "Praying doesn't work... See" then point to the sign and shut the door.

I also had a "Whatever you're selling, We are not buying" one. Had lots of fun with that one. Selling books? "Those books must suck if you can't read a simple sign" or another favorite response "Must be free so I will take all you have." Or "Are you blind or just ignorant?". Or something to fit the product.

I really need to reprint some.

ETA: The local kids know they can come to sell the stuff for school.

diddy 28 June 2007 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 230495)
I don't know the law in Canada, but in the US, the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled against muncipalities who tried to restrict door-to-door activity in their communities.

Link

I would think that the only legal recourse one could get would be if they were verbally told to scram and then came back. I would think that would be trespassing.

snopes 28 June 2007 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living (Post 230445)
On another forum i am on, this topic has been brought up, and how If you have a no solicitor sign on your door and someone (presumably a solicitor) ignores it and rings your bell it is trespassing and they (and/or their company) can be sued out of existence.

Even if such signs were legally enforceable:

a) By the time you got police to come out for a trespassing violation, the solicitor would be long gone.

b) It would probably be rather difficult to demonstrate that a solicitor's knocking on your door damaged you to an extent justifying a large award in a civil suit.

- snopes

Lainie 29 June 2007 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diddy (Post 230573)
I would think that the only legal recourse one could get would be if they were verbally told to scram and then came back. I would think that would be trespassing.

Maybe, if they came back five minutes later. If they were told to leave and refused to, that would be trespassing.

Class Bravo 29 June 2007 01:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by snopes (Post 230584)
Even if such signs were legally enforceable:

a) By the time you got police to come out for a trespassing violation, the solicitor would be long gone.

b) It would probably be rather difficult to demonstrate that a solicitor's knocking on your door damaged you to an extent justifying a large award in a civil suit.

Additionally, one would think that it would be hard to absolutely prove that the sign was there before the solicitor came and not put up afterwards.

Amigone201 29 June 2007 02:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lainie (Post 230742)
Maybe, if they came back five minutes later. If they were told to leave and refused to, that would be trespassing.

Why would you need to wait? The sign makes it obvious the first time that they're not welcome. You see the sign, you're on notice that you're not welcome there. If you go up you've effectively ignored an instruction to leave.

ElapheG 29 June 2007 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living (Post 230445)
On another forum i am on, this topic has been brought up, and how If you have a no solicitor sign on your door and someone (presumably a solicitor) ignores it and rings your bell it is trespassing and they (and/or their company) can be sued out of existence.

Did anyone else read this and wonder why lawyers* would be touting for business door to door?

*bearing in mind I'm from the UK

Tarquin Farquart 29 June 2007 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElapheG (Post 230994)
Did anyone else read this and wonder why lawyers* would be touting for business door to door?

*bearing in mind I'm from the UK

I thought exactly the same thing.

Spam & Cookies-mmm 29 June 2007 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beastly Despot (Post 230461)
I sold books door-to-door one summer in college. That was twenty years ago, but we always made it a point to hit up houses that had those signs. Nothing ever happened to any of us that I know of, just some angry homeowners. Heck we had plenty of those as it was...

Why would you do that? Did you think it was funny to wake people up who work nights and sleep days? To disturb people who just want to be left alone? It makes no sense at all why you would deliberately be rude, especially when it wastes your time as a salesperson.

London Wolf 29 June 2007 10:54 AM

Bill Baily:

My first job was selling doors door-to-door. That was a tough gig.... ;) ;)

Bree Cheese 29 June 2007 01:00 PM

My friend's sister and BIL kept getting bothered by Jehovah's Witnesses, so they put a sign on their door that said to the extent that theirs was a Christian household, and they don't want Jehovah's Witnesses soliciting them. I told my grandfather about it and he thought they shouldn't be allowed to do it. He didn't give a reason, he just thought it was rude.

Luckily my neighborhood doesn't get many solicitors. Occasionally we'll get the Little Leaguers selling candy bars to fund their program, and I'm more than happy to shell out a dollar or two for that.

Lainie 29 June 2007 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Amigone201 (Post 230783)
Why would you need to wait? The sign makes it obvious the first time that they're not welcome. You see the sign, you're on notice that you're not welcome there. If you go up you've effectively ignored an instruction to leave.

I meant it wouldn't apply if they came back a year later, or a month later.

As for signs, are we talking about a No Trespassing sign or a No Soliciting sign?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bree Cheese (Post 231115)
My friend's sister and BIL kept getting bothered by Jehovah's Witnesses, so they put a sign on their door that said to the extent that theirs was a Christian household, and they don't want Jehovah's Witnesses soliciting them. I told my grandfather about it and he thought they shouldn't be allowed to do it. He didn't give a reason, he just thought it was rude.

JW's consider themselves Xtian, so I'm not sure that sign would stop them.

I would recommend they call their local Kingdom Hall and express their wish not to have JWs visit. IME, congregations will note specific addresses on the territory maps that they use for door-to-door visits, and those addresses will be skipped.

STF 29 June 2007 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm (Post 231009)
Why would you do that? Did you think it was funny to wake people up who work nights and sleep days? To disturb people who just want to be left alone? It makes no sense at all why you would deliberately be rude, especially when it wastes your time as a salesperson.

I was kind of wondering the same thing.

James G 29 June 2007 01:29 PM

Am I the only person who has never had problems with JWs? A group came to my door once, they introduced themselves (By way of saying, "Well I expect you'll have guessed who we are.") were polite, and when I said I'd thought about philosphy and theology and had drawn my own conclusions and wasn't interested they were polite, thanked me and went on there way.

STF 29 June 2007 02:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by James G (Post 231154)
Am I the only person who has never had problems with JWs? A group came to my door once, they introduced themselves (By way of saying, "Well I expect you'll have guessed who we are.") were polite, and when I said I'd thought about philosphy and theology and had drawn my own conclusions and wasn't interested they were polite, thanked me and went on there way.

They haven't bothered me really. I stand there and have a brief conversation and they leave. One time they left almost immediately when they realized I had just woken up. I looked like hell when I got to that door. They apologized for bothering me and that was that.

Scout 29 June 2007 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElapheG (Post 230994)
Did anyone else read this and wonder why lawyers* would be touting for business door to door?

*bearing in mind I'm from the UK

No, I was trying to work out the same thing, I was wondering whether lawyers went round door to door in the US trying to drum up business or something, took reading a couple of posts to realise that's not what they were talking about.

Scout.


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