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Neighbors of DuPage

No solicitors, please!

Sep 01, 2016 10:28AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Each year at this time, Darien see an increase in door-to-door solicitations. Residents who do not want solicitors to ring their doorbells should post a sign on their front door indicating “No Solicitors Invited.” Darien requires that solicitations from for-profit organizations need to apply for a permit, which includes an application for each solicitor they employ. Once the permit application is completed and submitted including authorization from the company, a background check is conducted. Upon approval and receipt of the appropriate fee, a thirty-day permit will be issued.

Charitable organizations, however, only need to provide a letter indicating the dates of solicitation, the type of solicitation, and if appropriate, the intersections where volunteers will be posted. The city does not have the ability to regulate or conduct background checks on solicitors who conduct missionary and political solicitation, which was decided by the Supreme Court a few years ago (Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York vs. Village of Stratton, Ohio). The constitution protects the right of solicitors such as missionaries and politicians to knock on doors without first getting permission from local authorities. In the doorstep-solicitation case, the court reasoned that the First Amendment right to free speech includes the entitlement to take a message directly to someone’s door and that the right cannot be limited by a requirement to register by name ahead of time.

Residents who would like to deter solicitors from their home, may pick up a “No Solicitors Invited” decal for their front door at city hall (1702 Plainfield Rd.) or the Darien Police Dept. (1710 Plainfield Rd.).