Canton Township sued over door-to-door law

CANTON TOWNSHIP (AP) -- A Wayne County township is defending itself against a lawsuit that claims it is unfairly barring an environmental group from going door to door for new members.

Clean Water Action says Canton Township is requiring the group's canvassers to fill out an application, get a criminal background check and pay a fee. The group says the ordinance violates the First Amendment. It won't send members to Canton for fear of prosecution.

The township responded this week in federal court, saying the ordinance is based on legitimate public interests and doesn't ban or regulate speech. The township says there are other ways for the group to solicit people for money.

Clean Water Action says it has almost 1 million members across the country. A court hearing is set for April 21.

Published: Wed, Mar 30, 2011