“No Soliciting – No Handbill” Sign Program
Thanks for your interest in TNA’s NSNH Program. Our goal is 100% participation in the program to eliminate the strangers going door-to-door in our community. Please share this information with any neighbors who do NOT have a sign posted.
TNA’s NSNHProgram began in August of 2011 in response to an influx of both types of activities in our neighborhood. Several of our members expressed a variety security and privacy concerns and the program was put in place in response to these issues. The terminology on the signage was selected working closely with our Neighborhood Police Officers and the funding was supplemented by a generous contribution from one of our members, Joan Trew of Williams Trew Realtors.
The signs are free to anyone within the TNA geography. All that is required is that a homeowner go to the TNA Website at: http://www.tanglewood-neighbors.org/TNA/GetSign.html. You can print a copy of the sign on that page and post it on your front door or mailbox. If you would like a physical sign, fill out the form provided at the link and one will be delivered to you. Place the sign in a location visible from the street. Please understand that, due to freedom of speech laws, the signs do not apply to those soliciting for charitable organizations, political causes, or for the expression of religious beliefs. While these activities are protected by the City of Fort Worth ordinance, most of the time the sign still “works”.
How to Handle Violations
No Soliciting Violations:
Your first step is to ask the solicitor to see their City of Fort Worth soliciting permit. Don’t ask if they have one. Ask to SEE IT. If they do not have one, close the door and call 911 with a description of the solicitor.
If the solicitor has a permit, obtain whatever identifying information they have and inform them that they are in violation of a City of Fort Worth ordinance because you have a sign posted. Then call the non- emergency police number at: 817-335-4222 and provide as many details of the violation as possible. If you feel that you are being pressured or threatened, call 911.
No Handbills Violations:
The signs are not a magic bullet. The program has been working because we enforce violations. Usually handbills are delivered by companies providing a “service” for a fee and our demographic area is highly desirable. It is important that not only the delivery people understand the penalties involved in sign violation, but also the advertiser. They need to understand that their product will NOT be delivered in our neighborhood and, should it be delivered in violation of the city ordinance, they are liable for the fines (which can be up to $500 PER RESIDENCE).
If you use the reporting system on our website at http://tanglewoodweb.wufoo.com/forms/report-no-solicitingno-trespassing/ , two things happen.
o First, we call the advertising company and inform them of the violation. We encourage them to TRAIN their employees or their service provider to recognize and respect the
signs. We email them the map of the Neighborhood Association and a picture of the sign to assist in this training. We also advise them of the penalties they will incur if they continue violations and are cited. Sometimes we get multiple complaints the same day and this helps us quantify the extent of their financial liability. This usually gets their attention. The first encounter is very positive.
o The second thing that happens is that they are added to a database. This enables us to track the repeat offenders (and may post these violators on the website!)
You are, of course, welcome to contact the advertiser and voice your own complaint. These are actually quite effective (and you need not be as diplomatic as we are!) Often they will ask for your address so that you can be put on their “no delivery” list. We recommend against doing this. Simply repeat that the signs are throughout the neighborhood and that they need to be sensitive to all of them.
If you would like to escalate violations, please email us at TNACompliance@att.net. We can then determine if the violator is a “repeat offender”. We can discuss whether to pursue further escalation. For example, we may call them again and advise them that we are posting them on our website repeat offenders. However…if you are “mad as heck and not going to take it any more”…..
You can also call the non-emergency police number at 817-335-4222. Inform the call taker you would like to make a report regarding the offence. The call taker will ask for a good call back number and an officer will call you back to make the report. It’s a good idea to photograph and date the materials, especially if the sign is within the same photo. Also, retain the posted materials.
After making the report over the phone, it will be issued to a detective. In turn, he will contact the violator and may issue a citation. If a citation is issued, the complainant/homeowner’s name and address will be written on back of the citation as a “witness” and mailed back to the violator.
If the violator pleads “not guilty,” it will be set for court and all parties involved (cited and complainant) will have to show up for the proceedings and state his/her case. IF complainant does not make court date, the citation will be dismissed.
PLEASE ONLY USE THIS ESCALATION PROCESS IF YOU INTEND TO SHOW UP FOR THE COURT HEARING. OTHERWISE WE ARE WASTING THE POLICE AND COURT RESOURCES! The complaining party MUST appear. The neighborhood association can NOT send a representative on your behalf.
Thanks again for your participation in this Neighborhood Program!