1. Canvassing Homes or HOA Communities with ‘No Solicitation Signs’
Yes, a canvasser’s right to knock is protected speech defined by the First Amendment, but what most campaigns won’t tell you is that homeowners have certain rights to defend their property from offenses which can be defined as trespass. In the state of Texas, we have what is known as the “Castle Doctrine.” 1) Texas Penal Code §9.31 (governing the justified use of non-deadly force) and §9.32 (governing the justified use of deadly force) are our state’s version of the Castle Doctrine.
On the last campaign that I did field work for, canvassers were encouraged to draw near homes and communities that had No Solicitation signs. This made me extremely uncomfortable. One day, the field manager “cut me a turf” that was clearly defined as “A Private Community.” The sign coming upon the entrance said:
- No Trespassing
- No Soliciting
- Towing Enforced
Minutes into the turf, a woman approached me and demanded that I leave or she’ll be forced to contact the police if I didn’t. She didn’t have to ask me twice! We all know the chemistry between blacks and the police — calling the police was all she needed to say.
On or about the same week, I went to an entirely different neighborhood and this place was filled with negative energy. I placed literature on the doorknob of a man who expressed no appreciation for what he believed to be the horrible. The man jetted through the threshold with his toddler on hip and chastised me with expletives!
He then demanded that I take the lit back but I refused. The man, who now is not a man, but a raving lunatic, snatched the “hanging campaign” from his door and balled it up in an irregular knot. He then lurched over to me (toddler still on hip) tugging at the lit in my hands! Together, we played tug-of-war all of 3 seconds before this wrathful superlative fool released it.
Although the Castle Doctrine does not give homeowners carte blanche to use deadly force merely because someone is on their property, in the state of Texas, 2) Texas Penal Code §9.41 the penal code does allow homeowners to physically dispatch you from their property if they feel you are a nuance.
a. printed matter (as leaflets or circulars) <campaign literature>
b. campaign “‘lit”
Why would a campaigner consider allowing a voter/constituent dispatch them from his property? Can someone please tell me why anyone would get into a scuffle for a campaign that does not provide W2’s to file taxes or provide worker’s compensation insurance? Secondly, why would any canvasser risk their freedom for a campaign that has not allocated funds in case you are accosted by the homeowner and taken into custody?
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Texas Penal Code §9.31 (governing the justified use of non-deadly force) and §9.32 (governing the justified use of deadly force) are our state’s version of the Castle Doctrine.|
|2.||↑||Texas Penal Code §9.41|