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Royal Crest Dairy Drops Lawsuit after Fort Collins Posts New Solicitation Rules

Fighting for their First Amendment right of free speech, Denver-based Royal Crest Dairy filed suit in federal court this year claiming that the Fort Collins ban against door-to-door commercial solicitation violated its constitutional rights. The ban which spanned over 70 years had been in place since 1938 through its “Green River Ordinance”, which was adopted to protect the safety and privacy of residents.
Effective May 27, 2011 as a result of this lawsuit, City Council passed an ordinance creating a permit-based system for commercial solicitation. Solicitation in Fort Collins will now be permitted only between 9:00 am and sunset. The new rules include required background checks for solicitors and mandatory city-issued identification badges.
Residents however may still be able to opt out of solicitation by signing up on the city’s no solicitation list (which bans commercial solicitation only), or with posting a “No Trespassing” or “No Soliciting” sign on their property (which bans all commercial and non-commercial solicitation) and can be downloaded through the city’s website.
As a result, Royal Crest is no longer pursuing its federal case since the city’s new rules were put into place. It instead plans on going through the permit process and to educate its employees about the new rules.
Of course there are exceptions to any rule, and nonprofit, religious organizations and political campaigns are among those exceptions. Therefore Fort Collins will continue to enjoy along with the rest of us, the barrage of political calls, news ads, and door-to-door solicitation afforded to us each election period. But on the bright side, you’ll still be able to obtain your Thin Mints from your local Girl Scout troop each year!
For more information about the new rules and to download and print the “no soliciting” sign that cites the solicitation ordinance number, go to: www.fcgov.com/solicitation.