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Judge Overturns Ordinance Restricting Door-to-door Sales

Judge Overturns Ordinance Restricting Door-to-door Sales

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KAYSVILLE, Utah (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled that Kaysville's ordinance restricting door-to-door sales is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell ruled in Salt Lake City Thursday that Kaysville failed to prove a substantial government interest by regulating the salesmen.

Kirby Vacuum Co. distributors and eight independent contractor salesmen filed the lawsuit three years ago after some salesmen were jailed and prosecuted for soliciting without a license, said attorney James Merrell.

Kaysville Mayor Brian Cook expressed disappointment at the ruling.

"These ordinances were adopted because the people asked for them," he said.

Cook declined further comment pending consultation with the city's attorney.

In 2001, Kaysville adopted an ordinance banning door-to-door solicitation entirely. The ordinance was amended three times to require licensing of each contractor and briefly requiring background checks and fingerprinting of solicitors. The current ordinance was adopted in April 2004.

The city argued that the ordinances were designed to protect the privacy of residents and protect them from fraud.

The vacuum salesmen have said that different and inconsistent licensing requirements in every city make it time-consuming and expensive for them to do business.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have suggested statewide registration as an alternative that would both screen salesmen and keep costs down.

Similar suits are pending against about 22 other Utah cities,

Thursday's ruling only evaluated legal issues in the case. Some plaintiffs are seeking restitution for financial damages. A decision on monetary awards -- either through an agreement between parties or a trial -- will be made separately.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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