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Police Blotter: Jehovah's Witnesses Told They are Indeed Solicitors - Mayfield Heights, Ohio


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Police Blotter: Jehovah's Witnesses Told They are Indeed Solicitors


Information supplied by the Mayfield Heights Police Department.

By Roger Vozar | 12:12pm


A Parker Drive woman called police at 10:19 a.m. Sept. 22 that Jehovah's Witnesses would not honor her "no soliciting" sign. They told her that they are not soliciting. Police told the suspects that they were soliciting and need to comply with the sign.

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In our territory we somewhat ignore the "No Solicitor" signs. If a householder says something we ask if they intended it to apply to us and we try to respect that but we certainly don't write it down as a "do-not call". Technically any time one ask a householder a question they are "Soliciting" for an answer. We sometimes think of it as referring to peddling, as in Soliciting for Money or trying to sell something. The Word has such a broad mean it really can be a catch all, technically.

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Are they really going try that one again? :wall: What about 'Supreme Court decision' don't they understand?:S

Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

“In the United States solicitation is a crime; it is an inchoate offense that consists of a person offering money or something else of value in order to incite or induce another to commit a crime with the specific intent that the person solicited commit the crime. The term ‘solicitation’ always implies some sort of commercial element (payment). Local ordinances that forbid solicitation may prevent door-to-door sales, but they cannot exclude Jehovah’s Witnesses, political candidates or others who advocate a position, but do not offer or request money.”

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We arrived at the large village of Seascale a couple of years ago to find that most householders had suddenly taped A4 size paper in their windows saying COLD CALLERS NOT WELCOME. Below the large letters were small letters saying that the sign could be copied from the Department of Trade government website. So unsure what to do I looked it up and it was referring to people selling stuff door to door or soliciting money.Religious bodies calling did not count as they come under the British Freedom of Information Act, for as long as they are not soliciting money.

Therefore, next time we called as usual and did not meet any opposition until the end of the morning. Then a householder, who was a 'Do Not Call' that we had not visited, called out the Police and complained. The Police arrived from Egremont a little puzzled. We politley explained how we understood the sign and showed our congregation issue ID cards stating our name and what we are about. They were unsure what to do as the woman was remonstrating with them and we told them we had not called on her by request previously, and they talked her down back into her home and drove off.

The elders sent a letter to Bethel for further advice as this has happened in other areas. they actully advised not to call where there was a sign.

Anyway, when we went over the territory again, many of the signs had the word NOT printed in red and it had faded out, so it read COLD CALLERS WELCOME (!) :? and eventually the big ugly light blocking signs have disappeared in most homes' windows there now.

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