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'Do Not Knock' to be added to solicitation law

By Lisa Brody

Bloomfield Township Clerk Martin Brook introduced a new provision to the township's solicitation ordinance, forbidding solicitors from knocking on resident's doors who request out, with trustees unanimously supporting bringing it back to approve, at the township board of trustees meeting on Monday, April 26.

Brook said since he had taken office he had been benchmarking the township clerk office's functions, and had noticed that many Oakland County communities had not only a 'no solicitation' ordinance, but one where residents can also register their address so solicitors are then advised to not knock on those doors.

He noted they would not apply to First Amendment protected activities, such as religious organizations and political candidates.

Other communities with those ordinances include Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Troy, Madison Heights and Novi. “I spoke to those communities and they don't have a lot of compliance problems,” he said.

In order to opt out and be on the “do not knock” list, a resident would contact the clerk's office and add their address, and then when a solicitor comes for a permit, they would be informed, Brook said. A violation is a misdemeanor.

Trustee Stephanie Fakih initially objected because it is a misdemeanor, and noted that many solicitors do not apply for a permit, which she was informed is also a misdemeanor.

“I think it's an excellent idea, especially for seniors,” said trustee Val Murray.

“I appreciate this,” said supervisor Dani Walsh.

The ordinance will return before trustees to be voted on for approval on Monday, May 10.


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