Don’t knock! More towns offering free registry for residents
Hate getting a knock on your door — sometimes more than once a day — from a complete stranger who's "interested in doing some repairs on your home?"
You have plenty of annoyed company in New Jersey.
But there may be a very easy solution available right on your township's website.
From Jersey City to Toms River, many New Jersey municipalities have an ordinance that gives residents the option to block these and other unwanted solicitors from bothering them at home.
To protect First Amendment rights, the ordinances make exceptions for charitable organizations, political campaigning, and those spreading the word of their religion.
A "No Knock Registry" launched July 1 in Kenilworth, where government and law enforcement officials had been hearing concerns from residents about people coming to their homes unsolicited — sometimes as late as 9 at night.
Residents can sign up to be on the registry, for free, and it's up to canvassers and traveling salespeople to get their hands on an up-to-date copy before going door to door.
But in case the solicitors don't do their homework, there's another step residents can take to keep unwanted visitors away.
"We have a sticker that they're supposed to affix to their front door for No Knock, saying that they don't want any kind of solicitors at their house," said Capt. Fred Soos, of the Kenilworth Police Department.
If solicitors knock anyway, they could have to pay $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense, and up to $2,000 for subsequent violations.
Soos said violators may be given a warning instead of a fine, depending on the situation.
Similar registries have existed in New Jersey towns for years. They're typically found on the "forms" or "applications" portion of a municipality's website.
Since its adoption in September 2009, nearly 1,000 Howell residents have signed up for the township's Do Not Knock registry.
Last updated in April, the Do Not Knock list on Manchester Township's website is 14 pages long.