The Village of Asharoken has suspended and is rewriting its ordinance banning door-to-door solicitation after a law firm representing a Utah exterminating company threatened legal action.
The ordinance bans door-to-door solicitation, which a lawyer representing Aptive Environmental said violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Numerous Long Island municipalities, including the Village of Lloyd Harbor, Poquott, Floral Park and East Rockaway, have been challenged over their bans.
In a letter posted on the Asharoken village website, Mayor Greg Letica wrote, “We are working on the amendment to our existing law and a resolution to adopt the amended law and will schedule a public hearing soon.”
Jon Kelley, an attorney with Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, which represents Aptiv, said bans on door-to-door solicitation harm a company’s business and said his firm is working with local municipalities to revise their laws. He said, “I’m happy to report that 99 percent of the time we able to resolve issues without litigation.” Lloyd Harbor recently agreed to revisions in its ban. Kelley said, and the law firm also reached an agreement in January with the Village of Floral Park.
At issue in several cases has been the outright ban. Kelley said the firm suggests allowing solicitation until 30 minutes after sunset. “We don’t want to knock door to door when it’s dark,” he said. And if homeowners post signs saying salesmen aren’t wanted, Kelley said, “We take that stuff seriously. No means no. We all sign a code of conduct and we’ll respect a request to leave.”
Kelley said local offices of Aptiv Environmental check local codes before going into an area and if they spot potential problems, notify the law firm.
Huntington Bay Mayor Herb Morrow says its code requires solicitors to obtain a permit first.