Township of Chester, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Chester 8-1-1983 by Ord. No. 10:7-83; amended in its entirety 11-14-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-06. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of this article, and as needed herein, the following words shall have the following meanings:
APPLICANT
Any person who applies for a license in accordance with the terms and provisions of this article.
LICENSEE
Any person who has applied for, has been issued and holds a license in accordance with the terms and provisions of this article or pursuant to state statutes.
NO PEDDLING AND NO SOLICITING LIST
The Office of the Township Clerk shall collect, prepare and maintain a list of addresses of those premises where the owner and/or occupant has notified the Township Clerk that soliciting and peddling are not permitted on his/her premises. To be included on the list, residents shall notify the Township Clerk in writing.
PEDDLER, ITINERANT MERCHANT OR SOLICITOR
Any person, including Township residents, traveling from place to place within the Township, from house to house, or from street to street, for the purpose of carrying, conveying or transporting merchandise, goods, or wares of any type and offering and exposing the same for sale, or making sales and delivering articles to a purchaser, or offering, whether in conjunction with goods or wares or not, the sale of services of any type. The definition of "peddler" shall also include any commercial, charitable, or religious activity which includes any activity to seek contributions or obtain information, or take or attempt to take orders for sale of goods, services, wares and merchandise, personal property of any nature whatsoever for future delivery, or for services to be furnished or performed in the future, whether or not the individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the subject of the sale, and whether or not the person accepts advance payment for the goods or services. "Peddler" shall not include persons offering goods or services to retail merchants.
PERSON
Any individual, organization, trust, foundation, association, partnership, corporation, society or other group or combination acting as a unit.
SIGNS
Signs are a physical display that contain or set forth "No Trespassing," "No Soliciting," "No Peddling" or similar language advising peddlers and solicitors not to enter upon the property of the owner or occupant.
SOLICIT AND SOLICITATION
The request, directly or indirectly, for the donation of money, property, anything of value or financial assistance of any kind, which shall include the selling or offering for sale of any services, property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, merchandise, goods, or wares of any type, whether of value or not, or seeking information conducted from house to house or on the public streets. The act of a solicitation is complete when communicated to any individual then located within the corporate limits of the Township.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Chester.
It shall be unlawful:
A. 
For any person to peddle or solicit in the Township between the hours of 30 minutes after sunset (not to exceed 9:00 p.m.) and 9:00 a.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.
B. 
For any person, except as provided herein, directly or through an agent or employee, to peddle or solicit in the Township without having first registered and obtained a license as provided under this article.
C. 
For any person, except as provided herein, directly or through an agent or employee, to peddle or solicit in the Township without visibly and prominently displaying an identification card issued to that person as hereinafter provided.
D. 
For any person, directly or through an agent or employee, to peddle or solicit within the Township after the expiration of any license issued under this article.
E. 
For any person engaged in peddling or solicitation, directly or through an agent or employee, to enter upon the property of any home, or to knock at the door or ring the doorbell of any apartment or any other dwelling unit in Township upon which is clearly displayed a notice which reads "No Trespassing," "No Soliciting," "No Peddling," or similar language advising peddlers and solicitors not to enter upon the property of the owner or occupant, unless such person is or has been invited upon the premises by an occupant thereof.
Each applicant for a license issued by the Township shall file with the Clerk of the Township a sworn written application, in duplicate, on a form to be furnished by the Township Clerk, which shall provide the following information:
A. 
The name of the person registering and desiring to solicit or to peddle, solicit or otherwise canvass.
B. 
Identification of whether the person registering is a natural person, a corporation, partnership or other form of business entity.
C. 
If a natural person, presentation of a valid driver's license to the Clerk for copying, the business address and telephone number, a permanent home address and telephone number, and if applicable, the local address and telephone number, name, address, and phone number.
D. 
If the person is a form of partnership, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all partners including designation of the managing partner, and the business address and telephone number of the principal place of business.
E. 
If the person is a corporation or similar form of business entity, identification of the state where the entity is organized, the name, address and telephone number of the principal(s) or registered agent of the entity, the name, address and phone number of the principal place of business and any local office location.
F. 
Specification of the time period for which a license is needed and why, including the desired start date and end date.
G. 
A brief statement of the nature of the business and description of the goods, services, or information that will be peddled or solicited.
H. 
If the person is a partnership or corporation, each person, employee or independent contractor who will be engaged in the peddling or soliciting, and each individual shall register with the Clerk, with presentation of a valid driver's license to the Clerk for copying, a permanent home address and telephone number, and if applicable, the local address and telephone number.
I. 
Identification of the names of any other municipalities in which the person has peddled or solicited within the previous 12 months.
J. 
A photograph of each individual applicant, taken within 60 days immediately prior to the date of the application, which shall clearly show the head and shoulders of the applicant and shall measure two inches by two inches.
K. 
A statement under oath and penalty of perjury as to whether the applicant and, if employed, the applicant's employer,
(1) 
Has ever been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any Township ordinance.
(2) 
Has ever had any civil judgment entered against them for any acts involving fraud or deception.
(3) 
The statement shall detail any prior arrests for any sexually related offense, distribution of controlled substances, or any violent acts against persons or property, or if the applicant is listed as a registered sex offender. The statement shall describe the nature of any offense covered under the foregoing, and the ultimate disposition including the punishment or penalty assessed therefor. If the applicant is listed as a registered sex offender, the date of entry on that list shall be provided as well as the jurisdiction where listed.
(4) 
A plea of guilty, nolo contendere or any other similar disposition of alleged criminal activity shall be deemed a conviction for the purposes of this article.
(5) 
If the applicant indicates any history under the foregoing, the applicant shall authorize and cooperate fully to supply all things necessary to conduct a criminal background check, including fingerprinting, or securing copies of background checks and fingerprints from other jurisdictions in the previous 90 days.
A. 
At the time the application is submitted, a fee shall be paid to the Clerk to cover the costs of processing the application, conducting an investigation, and issuing or denying a license.
B. 
The fee to be paid at the time the application is submitted shall be $50 for each person applying for a license.
C. 
Fees shall not apply to holders of licenses issued pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 et. seq.
A. 
Upon application properly and fully completed and submitted pursuant to § 134-3, the Clerk shall within three business days of submission of a fully complete application submit the original and a duplicate of the application to the Chief of Police (or his/her designee).
B. 
Upon receipt of the application under Subsection A above, the Chief (or his/her designee) shall initiate within three business days an investigation of the applicant, the applicant's employer, and any agents/employees as he may deem necessary in his judgment to ensure the safety, protection and privacy of the residents of the Township, and to make the following determinations.
(1) 
The Chief (or his/her designee) may, at the discretion of the Chief, keep a copy of the original application and all materials generated in the course of any investigation.
(2) 
If the applicant supplies any information indicating a prior history under § 134-3, or if the investigation of the applicant establishes that the applicant has any such history, or if the applicant falsified, misrepresented or omitted any information as required under § 134-3, the Chief (or his/her designee) may conduct a full criminal background check of the applicant through the approved live scan fingerprinting provider for the State of New Jersey at the applicant's expense.
(3) 
The investigation may include an interview of the applicant by the Chief of Police, or his/her designee at a rank of sergeant or above, within the Police Department. The interview may be recorded at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
(4) 
The Chief shall make a written determination:
(a) 
Whether the issuance of a license is in accordance with the provisions of this article and N.J.S.A. 45:17A-18 et. seq.
(b) 
That the applicant or employer, or any agents/employees of an applicant, have:
[1] 
Never been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any Township ordinance. A plea of guilty, nolo contendere or any other similar disposition of alleged criminal activity shall be deemed a conviction for the purposes of this article;
[2] 
Never had any civil judgment entered against them for any acts involving fraud or deception;
[3] 
Never had any prior arrests for any sexually related offense, distribution of controlled substances, or any violent acts against persons or property, or if the applicant is listed as a registered sex offender;
[4] 
Complied fully and completely with the requirements set forth under § 134-3.
C. 
The Chief of Police shall complete his investigation within 10 business days of receipt of the application under Subsection A.
D. 
The Chief shall not approve the application if the applicant, the applicant's employer, or any employee/agent of the employer included with the application, does not satisfy any of the foregoing requirements.
(1) 
If the Chief of Police (or his/her designee) determines that the application should not be approved, the reasons for disapproval shall be described in a writing attached to the application, and the applicant shall be notified by the Clerk that the application has been disapproved and no license will be issued.
(2) 
Notice of disapproval shall be mailed to the applicant at the address indicated on the application form, by registered and certified mail, return receipt requested, together with a copy of the reasons for disapproval.
E. 
If the Chief of Police determines that the application should be approved, the Chief shall endorse the application in writing and return the application and endorsement to the Clerk.
(1) 
The Clerk shall then notify the Township Council of the application and the Chief's determination at the next regularly scheduled public meeting of the Township Council following the Clerk's receipt of the determination by the Chief.
(2) 
Unless objection is made by the Township Council to issuance of a license, the Clerk shall then promptly issue the license.
(3) 
The license shall contain the following:
(a) 
The signature of the Clerk as the issuing officer.
(b) 
The name, address, and photograph of the licensee.
(c) 
The nature of the license issued.
(d) 
The kind of goods and services to be sold.
(e) 
The name of the licensee's employer, if any.
(f) 
The date of issue and the date of expiration. All licenses expire December 31 of the licensing year.
(g) 
The motor vehicle registration number and other identifying details including the make, model, year and license plate of any motor vehicle to be used in the licensed peddling or soliciting activity. The Clerk shall issue a placard to be displayed prominently in the dashboard front window of the vehicle identifying the licensee. Any vehicles subject to this article shall fully comply with all Township ordinances, applicable state laws and regulations, in particular any which deal with public health, safety and welfare.
(h) 
In no event shall a license be issued to any person under the age of 16.
(i) 
Every license and vehicle placard shall apply only to the person to whom it was issued and shall not be transferable.
(j) 
The licensee shall maintain a copy of the license with them at all times and the license should be maintained and carried by the licensee and provided for inspection at the request of any Township police officer, other law enforcement officer, or any Township official.
The Township Clerk shall issue to each licensee at the time of delivery of his license, a license which shall show the nature of the license in letters and figures easily discernible from a reasonable distance. If the licensee intends to use a vehicle or vehicles, then for each vehicle the Clerk shall issue a placard identifying the licensee and the same information as on the license, and the placard shall identify the make, model and year of the vehicle. The license shall be carried constantly by the licensee and the licensee shall produce the license upon request. The vehicle placard shall be displayed prominently in the front window dash at all times during which the vehicle is being used in connection with any peddling or soliciting activity. The license and vehicle placard should be maintained and carried by the licensee and provided for inspection at the request of any Township police officer, other law enforcement officer, or any Township official.
A. 
Any applicant aggrieved by the action of the Chief, the Clerk or the Township Council in the denial of a license under this article shall have the right of appeal to the Township Council. Any such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Township Clerk a notice by way of a written statement fully setting forth the basis and grounds for appeal, and attaching all documents to be relied upon as part of the appeal. The statement shall be filed within 14 calendar days after the applicant receives notice of the denial.
B. 
For the purposes of appeal, effective notice shall have been presumptively provided either on the date of receipt of the notice sent by certified mail, or five calendar days after the date of the notice sent by regular mail.
C. 
The Township Council shall at the next regularly scheduled public meeting schedule a time and place for a hearing on the appeal within a reasonable time thereafter.
D. 
The appeal hearing shall proceed in the same manner as provided in § 134-11 for a hearing on revocation. The decision of the Council on appeal shall be final.
A. 
Any person holding a peddler's license issued by the Clerk under the authority of N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 shall comply with all of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 et seq.
B. 
Any person holding a peddler's license issued by the Clerk under the authority of this article, or by the Clerk of the County of Morris, under the authority of N.J.S.A. 45:24-9, shall comply with § 134-6.
C. 
Each licensee shall restrict his peddling within the Township to between the hours set forth in § 134-2A and shall notify the Police Department at least once in every week in which the applicant plans to conduct any related activities. Notification shall include a statement of the general area of the Township in which the licensee intends to conduct such activities, and a schedule of dates and times when such activities shall be conducted. The licensee shall notify the Police Department of any change in area or in dates or times should such changes be made during the week.
D. 
The hours for peddling or soliciting activities may be adjusted by the Township Council upon request.
It shall be unlawful and a violation of this article for any licensee, its agents or employees, to engage in any of the following activity:
A. 
Call attention to his business or to his merchandise by crying out, blowing a horn or by any other loud or unusual noises, or use any other sound-amplifying device on any street, park or other public place in the Township, or any private premises.
B. 
Shall not enter or attempt to enter the premises of any Township resident without an express invitation from the occupant.
C. 
Shall not engage in any conduct objectionable or annoying to the occupant.
D. 
Shall not engage in peddling or soliciting from their vehicle unless it is properly parked immediately adjacent to the curb or shoulder of a public street, or parked safely in a designated parking space off-street.
E. 
Shall not engage in peddling or solicitation on any road or at any intersection to the occupant's vehicles traveling on the road or stopped at the intersection.
F. 
Conduct, or attempt to conduct, his business at any residence or on any property on which is posted a sign expressly prohibiting such as "No Trespassing," "No Soliciting," "No Peddling" or similar language advising peddlers and solicitors not to enter upon the property of the owner or occupant.
G. 
Conduct, or attempt to conduct, his business within 200 feet of any municipal building or any place of worship during times of services, or any building occupied exclusively as a public or private school or for school purposes, unless approved by the Township Council.
H. 
Allow any other person to use the license issued hereunder.
I. 
Conduct, or attempt to conduct, within any Township park or on municipally owned land, any peddling or soliciting within 200 feet measured from the perimeter of the area used for any event or activity approved by the Parks Advisory Committee or Township Council.
J. 
Shall not engage in any soliciting or peddling at any residences indicated on the no peddling and no soliciting list provided to the applicant by the Clerk.
The Clerk shall maintain a record of all applications and licenses issued under the provisions of this article and shall record therein all convictions for violations of this article and other pertinent circumstances and incidents reported by the Chief, other Township officials or other persons.
A. 
Licenses issued under the provisions of this article may be revoked by the Township Council, after notice and hearing, for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Any misrepresentation, false statement, dishonesty or material omission in the application for a license, fraud, misrepresentation or a materially false statement by the licensee in the course of conducting the business licensed.
(2) 
Any violation of § 134-9 or of any other provisions of this article.
(3) 
Conviction of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any Township ordinance. A plea of guilty, nolo contendere or any other similar disposition of alleged criminal activity shall be deemed a conviction.
(4) 
Entry of any civil judgment for any acts involving fraud or deception.
(5) 
Arrest for any sexually related offense, distribution of controlled substances, any violent acts against persons or property, or if the applicant is listed as a registered sex offender.
(6) 
Conducting the business licensed in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
(7) 
Any such other basis that in the judgment of the Township Council constitutes a threat to the safety of the Township or its residents.
B. 
In the event that the Chief of Police shall determine that there has been a violation, in accordance with the provisions of this section, he shall then immediately notify the Township Council of the violation and shall order the licensee to suspend further operation until a hearing, in accordance with the provisions of this section, is held.
C. 
Written notice of the hearing for revocation of a license shall be given to the licensee by the Clerk. The hearing shall be held within 30 days of the date of the notice. Such notice shall set forth the specific grounds of the complaint and the time and place of the hearing and shall either be delivered personally to the licensee or be sent by certified mail to the licensee at his last known address at least 10 days prior to the date set for hearing.
(1) 
At the hearing, the Mayor or his/her designee shall preside. The licensee shall have the right to appear and be heard, to be represented by an attorney, to present witnesses on his/her own behalf, to cross-examine opposing witnesses and to have a permanent record of the proceedings made by way of a certified court reporter at the licensee's expense. If such a record is made, a digital copy (pdf and text) and two paper copies shall be furnished to the Township without charge. The Mayor and Council shall vote by majority to revoke or suspend the license if they are satisfied by a preponderance of the evidence that the revocation of the license is justified.
All licenses issued under the provisions of this article shall expire on December 31 of the calendar year in which they are issued. Renewal may be done only by way of a new application in accordance with this article.
It shall be the duty of the Police Department to enforce the provisions of this article.
A. 
Violation of any of the provisions or terms of this article shall subject the violator to the issuance of a summons which shall be adjudicated before the Township Municipal Court.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to the following:
A. 
Any person engaged in the delivery of goods, wares or merchandise or other articles or things in the regular course of business to the premises of persons who had previously ordered the same or were entitled to receive the same by reason of a prior agreement.
B. 
Federal census takers and polls or surveys taken pursuant to federal, state or local laws.
C. 
Any person acting on behalf of a religious, charitable, or political organization, or who is an armed services veteran of the United States of America, or who is seeking public elected office.
The equipment used or employed by peddlers of ice cream, foods, beverages, confections and other related commodities shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner and be subject to the inspection of the Board of Health or its authorized agents. Any violation found and not immediately corrected shall be grounds for revocation of the license.
No peddler or solicitor, whether for commercial, charitable, or religious solicitations, shall conduct any peddling or soliciting in the Township without first obtaining and signing a receipt for having obtained the Township's no peddler and no solicitor list. The list shall apply to commercial, charitable, and religious solicitors.
This article shall not pertain to persons seeking elected public office.
Updating of list. On or about April 1 and October 1 of each year, the Office of the Township Clerk shall update the no peddler/no solicitor list. The updated list shall then be forwarded to the Chief of Police. The Office of the Clerk shall provide a copy of the updated list to every peddler and solicitor who seeks to peddle or solicit in the Township.
The Township Clerk shall keep a current calendar of approved solicitations to be conducted within the Township. The Clerk may propose alternate dates for a solicitation if the requested dates should conflict with other solicitations being conducted within the Township.
Any person violating any of the provisions of Article 1 or Article 2 of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to punishment by one or more of the following: a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, imprisonment not to exceed 90 days or a period of community service not to exceed 90 days. Each day's continued violation shall constitute a separate offense.