The Village of Floral Park has settled its lawsuit against a Utah-based pest control company over the village's ban on door-to-door solicitation, a lawyer representing the company said Wednesday.
Provo-based Aptive Environmental filed a lawsuit on Aug. 20 in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, alleging that Floral Park’s ban has caused the company to lose thousands of dollars in sales. The two parties settled on Jan. 16, said Jon Kelley, an attorney with Lynn Pinker Cox & Hurst, the Dallas-based firm representing Aptive. As part of the settlement, Floral Park has agreed to pay attorney fees and to amend its solicitation law, Kelley said.
Aptive and Floral Park have a scheduled court appearance at 11 a.m. Feb. 28 in Central Islip, but Kelley said that could be canceled.
"If they amend their law by the 15th, we will dismiss our lawsuit within three days — assuming it's along the lines of what we've agreed," Kelley said.
Kelley said his firm sent village officials suggested changes to the solicitation law that include repealing the ban, imposing a solicitation curfew of 30 minutes after sunset and creating a licensing process for companies that want to solicit in the future.
Kelley said he's unsure whether the village has accepted and adopted those suggestions.
Village attorney John Ryan declined to comment about the ongoing case. Village trustees had an item on their Feb. 5 meeting agenda to amend the door-to-door solicitation law, but decided to reserve judgment for a later date.
Floral Park’s door-to-door solicitation law has been in place since May 1943. It does not allow companies “to hawk, vend, peddle or solicit orders for the purchase or sale of goods, wares, merchandise or other commodities.”
Villages near Floral Park — including Lake Success, New Hyde Park and Russell Gardens — require door-to-door solicitors to obtain a license, as does North Hempstead Town.
Weeks after Aptive filed its lawsuit, a federal judge granted the company a temporary injunction allowing employees to solicit last summer in Floral Park. Employees did so until the fall, Kelley said, then stopped near the end of 2018. The employees intend to return this spring, Kelley said.
Kelley did not disclose how much money Floral Park agreed to pay in attorney fees, but described the amount as "a reasonable number" that was lower than the full cost of the firm's services to Aptive.
April 2018 marked the first time Aptive entered the Long Island market.
The company has a similar lawsuit against Poquott, in Suffolk County, because of that village's door-to-door solicitation ban. Mineola attorney Robert Vizza, who represents Poquott in the case, said the village has since repealed its ban and has moved to have the case dismissed. Both sides are awaiting a decision from a federal judge.