Informer: Door-to-door sales ban has some exceptions

By By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I just had a salesman come to my door. I told him that it was illegal to solicit door to door in Lake Charles. He claimed

that since he has an office here, that it was not illegal.

What is the law regarding door-to-door sales? Does having an office here exempt someone from the law?

The door-to-door sales provision in the Lake Charles city code does contain exceptions, but nothing in them frees salespeople

with local offices from adhering to the law.

“The practice of going to or upon

private premises in the city by solicitors, opinion surveyors, itinerant

vendors, or other

sellers of merchandise or services not having been requested or

invited to do so by the owner or occupant thereof for the

purpose of soliciting orders for the sale or exchange of goods or

services, or disposing of or peddling the same, or the soliciting

of information, or conducting polls or surveys, is declared to be a

nuisance and punishable as a misdemeanor,” reads Section

12-37 of the Lake Charles code.

The exceptions listed in the provision, titled “Solicitors, pollsters, itinerant vendors—Going uninvited on private premises”:

“Church surveys or governmental surveys in which no solicitation of any donation, contribution, or payment is made, and which

are restricted to single visits to the main entrance of any premises and conducted entirely between the hours of 8:00 a.m.

and 8:00 p.m.”

“Solicitations made for non-profit

charitable, religious, or philanthropic purposes by non-profit

organizations, provided

that the organization first secures a permit from the office of

the director of finance so that the public will be apprised

of the nature and purpose of the solicitation.”

You can report door-to-door salespeople to police.

Online: www.municode.com.

Follow-up: La. has 2 home-school options

Monday’s Informer answered a question on home-schooling by offering information on the home study program, which requires approval from the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

But, as reader Jeanene Conley pointed out, the column failed to mention a second home-school avenue — the “registered nonpublic

school” option, which doesn’t require BESE approval.

Students educated via this option are ineligible for TOPS, but eligibility can be gained if the children finish their final

two years of schooling in home study.

“Many people (our family included) choose to register as a private school for the early years and only switch to home-study

the last two or three years of high school …,” Conley wrote in an email.

“Registering as a nonpublic school is preferred by many since it requires less information to be reported.”

Parents who choose the nonpublic school

option must provide the state Education Department with the school year

and name,

along with contact information and the number of students in the

school. They must also submit an official letter or register

online.

For more information, call the state Education Department at 877-453-2721.

Online: www.louisianabelieves.com.

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The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com