Did you know that door-to-door solicitors canvassing your neighborhood have a constitutional right to be there? There is a delicate balance between a solicitor’s right to free speech and the homeowner’s right to privacy on their private property. The City of Fairhope has an ordinance that restricts the activities of solicitors. You can access the ordinance from the city's webpage:
- Go to the City of Fairhope's home page at http://www.cofairhope.com.
- Select "Doing Business" from the main menu and then "Ordinances/Forms/Reports".
- Select the link "Code of Ordinances" at the top of the page.
- The solicitation ordinance can be found in Chapter 8, Article III.
The salient points of the ordinance are summarized below:
- It is unlawful for any individual to approach the door or enter upon the property of any residence in the city for purposes of canvassing, peddling, selling or soliciting, except between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
- It shall be unlawful for more than three (3) people to simultaneously approach at any time.
- It shall be unlawful for any solicitor to refuse to immediately and peacefully leave a residence upon being asked to leave by the owner or a lawful occupant.
- All door-to-door solicitations shall be required to register with the city prior to engaging in solicitation, with the following exceptions:
- Persons making solicitations representing a church, religious organization, or charitable organization.
- Students soliciting contributions to finance extracurricular academic, social, athletic, artistic, scientific, or cultural programs.
- Persons canvassing for the purpose of distributing political literature or materials on behalf of a political party, candidate, or public issue.