Castle Rock sued over solicitation curfew

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. -- A pest control company has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Town of Castle Rock because of a 7 p.m. curfew for door-to-door salespeople.

"I was just cleaning up from dinner," said Kristen Gerstner, a Castle Rock mother who was about to put her daughter to bed when the doorbell rang (despite the no soliciting sign on her front porch.) "It's hard to say no to them most of the time."

Utah-based pest control company, Aptive Environmental, is suing the Town of Castle Rock for adopting a 7pm curfew for commercial solicitors, while not applying the same curfew to other groups such as charities or religious institutions.

"There has to be a balancing test between what the government wants and what the business wants," said David Beller, a legal analyst for Denver7. "In any case like this, it's a very close call."

Beller said business do have First Amendment protections, but they are different than individuals, and the government also has a right to protect its citizens from harassment.

An attorney for Aptiv Environmental  said they have filed complaints with 45 cities nationwide who have begun enforcing solicitation curfews, and that all of the cities have eventually settled and overturned the curfews.

A spokeswoman with the town of Castle Rock said the town had not yet officially been served the complaint, but that the curfew has been in place for years.

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