City of Monroe, MI
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Monroe as Ch. 838 of the 1995 Codified Ordinances of Monroe. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See § 1-27.
Hawkers, peddlers and transient merchants — See Ch. 374.
Licensing — See Ch. 415.
Littering — See Ch. 422.
Property damage — See Ch. 519.
STATUTORY REFERENCES
Defacing signs on private property — See MCLA § 750.385.
Posting signs without permission — See MCLA § 752.821 et seq.
In order to protect the people against the nuisance of promiscuous distribution of handbills and circulars, particularly commercial handbills, the public interest, convenience and necessity require the regulation thereof, and to that end the purposes of this chapter shall be as follows:
A. 
To protect the people against the unlawful activities or operations of dissolute persons of criminal habits or tendencies, representing themselves as solicitors, canvassers or handbill distributors, by requiring the registration of all such solicitors, canvassers or handbill distributors, together with the names of their employers, and by regulating the business of handbill and advertising distribution through the imposition of reasonable license fees.
B. 
To protect local residents against trespassing by solicitors, canvassers or handbill distributors upon the private property of such residents, if they have given reasonable notice that they do not wish to be solicited by such persons or do not desire to receive handbills or advertising matter.
C. 
To protect the people against the health and safety menace of, and the expense incident to, littering of the streets and public places by the promiscuous and uncontrolled distribution of advertising matter and commercial handbills.
D. 
To preserve to the people their constitutional right to receive and disseminate information not restricted under the ordinary rules of decency, good morals and public order, by distinguishing between the nuisance created by the promiscuous distribution of advertising and commercial circulars and the right to deliver noncommercial handbills to all who are willing to receive such handbills.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
BILLPOSTER
Any person engaging in the business for hire of posting, fastening, nailing or affixing any written, painted or printed matter of any kind, containing a message of information of any kind, to any outdoor billboard, or upon any bridge, fence, pole, post, sidewalk, tree or the exterior of any other structure. This definition shall not apply to or include any sign mounted on, fastened to or suspended from the outside of any building or other structure, in accordance with and authorized by any provision of this Code of the City of Monroe or any statute, either for any public convenience or use or for regulating the construction or use of outdoor display signs, whether the display signs are illuminated or not.
COMMERCIAL HANDBILL
Any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature:
A. 
Which advertises for sale any merchandise, product, commodity or thing;
B. 
Which directs attention to any business or mercantile or commercial establishment, or other activity, for the purpose of either directly or indirectly promoting the interest thereof by sales;
C. 
Which directs attention to or advertises any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind, for which an admission fee is charged for the purposes of private gain or profit, but this paragraph shall not apply where an admission fee is charged or a collection is taken up for the purpose of defraying the expenses incident to such meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind, when any of the same is held or given or takes place in connection with the dissemination of information which is not restricted under the ordinary rules of decency, good morals, public peace, safety and good order. However, nothing contained in this paragraph shall be deemed to authorize the holding, giving or taking place of any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind, without a license therefor, where such license is or may be required by any law of this state or under any ordinances of this City; or
D. 
Which, while containing reading matter other than advertising matter, is predominantly and essentially an advertisement and is distributed or circulated for advertising purposes or for the private benefit and gain of any person so engaged as an advertiser or distributor.
HANDBILL DISTRIBUTOR
Includes any person engaging or engaged in the business for hire or gain of distributing commercial or noncommercial handbills, other than newspapers distributed to subscribers thereof, and any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly for the distribution of such handbills.
NEWSPAPER
Any newspaper of general circulation, as defined by general law, and newspapers duly entered with the Post Office Department of the United States, in accordance with federal statute or regulation, and any newspaper filed and recorded with any recording officer as provided by general law, and, in addition thereto, any periodical or current magazine regularly published with not less than four issues per year and sold to the public.
NONCOMMERCIAL HANDBILL
Any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, paper, booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter of literature not included in the definitions of a "commercial handbill" or "newspaper."
PRIVATE PREMISES
Any dwelling, house, building or other structure, designed or used either wholly or in part for private residential purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building or other structure.
[Amended 8-12-1996 by Ord. No. 96-018]
No person shall throw, place or deposit any handbill in or upon any sidewalk, street or other public place within the City.
A. 
No person shall distribute, deposit, place, throw, scatter or cast any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any automobile or other vehicle.
B. 
This section shall not be deemed to prohibit the handling, transmitting or distributing of any noncommercial handbill to the owner or other occupant of any automobile or other vehicle who is willing to accept the handbill.
A. 
No person shall, in the course of distributing commercial or noncommercial handbills to occupants of vehicles temporarily stopped on City streets, highways or intersections, distribute handbills if such actions:
(1) 
Obstruct any public street, highway or intersection by hindering, impeding or tending to hinder or impede the free and uninterrupted passage of vehicles, traffic or pedestrians;
(2) 
Create or cause to be created danger of a breach of the peace; or
(3) 
Create or cause to be created any danger to the life or safety of pedestrians or occupants of vehicles engaged in lawful passage of any street, highway or intersection.
B. 
Whenever any police officer shall, in the exercise of reasonable judgment, decide that the presence of any handbill distributor on a street, highway or intersection is causing any of the conditions enumerated in Subsection A hereof, he or she may, if he or she deems it necessary for the preservation of the public peace and safety, order the person to leave that place. Any person who shall refuse to leave after being ordered to do so by a police officer shall be guilty of a violation of this section.
No person shall distribute commercial or noncommercial handbills in and upon the environs of the City from any airplane, balloon or other type of aircraft.
No person shall throw or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant:
A. 
Where it is apparent that the property is unoccupied;
B. 
Where it is apparent that a previous day's distribution of handbills has not been removed; or
C. 
Where the owner has not given his or her permission to do so.
A. 
No person shall distribute, deposit, place, throw, scatter or cast any commercial handbill in or upon any private premises which are inhabited, except by handing or transmitting such handbill directly to the owner, occupant or any other person then present in or upon such private premises.
B. 
Any person may place or deposit any noncommercial handbill in or upon inhabited private premises which are not posted as provided in § 370-10, unless requested by anyone thereon not to do so, and provided that such handbill is so placed or deposited as to secure or prevent such handbill from being blown or drifting about such premises or elsewhere, except that mailboxes may not be so used when prohibited by federal postal laws or regulations.
No person shall solicit the occupants of private residences for the purpose of soliciting permission to distribute handbills thereon, unless invited by the occupants to do so.
No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial or noncommercial handbill upon any private premises, if requested by anyone thereon not to do so, or if there is placed on such premises in a conspicuous position near the entrance thereto a sign bearing the words: "No Trespassing," "No Peddlers Or Agents," "No Advertisement" or any similar notice, indicating in any manner that the occupants of such premises do not desire to be annoyed, to have their right to privacy disturbed or to have any such handbills left upon their premises.
A. 
No political sign or handbill shall be posted in any location so as to obstruct traffic, create traffic safety hazards or interfere with the free flow of traffic. No person shall post any political sign or handbill in any area where it is otherwise prohibited by law.
B. 
Political signs shall not be posted, where allowed, until 30 days before an election and shall be removed within 15 days after the election.
C. 
If any political signs are posted in contravention of this chapter and any applicable state law, the cost of such removal shall be the candidate's whose sign was posted.
No person shall distribute or deposit any commercial or noncommercial handbills daily from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. of the following morning.
A. 
No person shall engage in the business of a handbill distributor for hire without first complying with the provisions of this chapter and all other relevant laws and regulations.
B. 
Nothing contained in this chapter shall apply to any person advertising his or her business or activity upon his or her own premises, if such business or activity is regularly established at a definite location in the City and if a license has been obtained therefor, if a license is required under the terms of any applicable law or ordinance.
A. 
Any person desiring to engage, as a principal, in the business of distributing commercial or noncommercial handbills for hire shall make application for, and receive from the Clerk/Treasurer, a distributor's license. Such application shall be made in writing to the Clerk/Treasurer upon forms provided for such purpose by the Clerk/Treasurer.
B. 
The forms shall contain, among other things that may be required, the name of the applicant, the business address, a brief description of the nature of the business to be conducted by the applicant and the probable number of agents and employees so to be engaged, together with a request for a license for the period for which the applicant seeks to engage in such business. The application shall be accompanied by the fee provided for in § 370-15.
A. 
License fees for a commercial distributor's license shall be determined by the Clerk/Treasurer, based upon the duration of said license, subject to the approval of the Mayor and City Council by resolution.
[Added 8-12-1996 by Ord. No. 96-018]
B. 
Any person acting for licensees, as agents or employees in the distribution of handbills, shall not be required to obtain a license or pay a fee, but such person shall comply with all of the other provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Each licensee shall be required to post a bond of $1,000 to assure the removal of handbills that are posted within the City. The bond shall be released after all handbills which were posted have been removed by the licensee. If all the handbills posted are not removed, the amount of the bond to be released will be determined by subtracting the cost to the City of removing handbills from the amount of the bond posted.
No license issued under this chapter shall be transferable to any other person.
If any commercial distributor's license is surrendered by the licensee or is revoked for cause, neither the licensee named in such license, nor any other person, shall be entitled to any refund of any part of the license fee.
The Council may revoke any distributor's license obtained under an application containing a false or fraudulent statement knowingly made by the applicant with intent to obtain a license by means of false or fraudulent representations, or for a violation of this chapter or any other grounds specified by law.
The provisions of §§ 370-3 through 370-20 shall not be deemed to apply to the distribution of mail by the United States nor to newspapers.
All commercial handbills which are distributed, deposited, scattered, handed out or circulated in any place or under any circumstances shall have printed on the corner, front or back thereof the following information:
A. 
The name and address of the person who printed, wrote, compiled or manufactured such handbill; and
B. 
The name and address of the person who caused such handbill to be distributed.
No person shall engage in the business of a billposter for hire without first complying with the terms of this chapter and all other relevant laws and regulations. Nothing in this chapter shall apply to any person advertising his or her business or activity upon his or her own premises, if such business or activity is regularly established at a definite location in the City and if a license has been obtained therefor, if such license is required under the terms of any applicable law or ordinance.
A. 
Any person desiring to engage, as a principal, in the business of a billposter for hire shall make application for, and receive from the Clerk/Treasurer, a license in the manner and for the period prescribed by the terms of this chapter. Such applicant shall make written application to the Clerk/Treasurer upon forms provided for such purpose by the Clerk/Treasurer.
B. 
The forms shall contain, among other things that may be required, the name of the applicant, the business address, a brief description of the nature of the business to be conducted by the applicant and the probable number of agents and employees so to be engaged, together with a request for a license for the period for which the applicant seeks to engage in such business. Such application shall be accompanied by the fee provided for in § 370-23.
A. 
The annual fee for a billposter's license shall be $50.
B. 
Any person acting for a licensee, as agent or employee, in the posting of signs shall not be required to obtain a license or pay a fee, but such person shall comply with all of the other provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Each licensee shall be required to post a bond of $1,000 to assure the removal of handbills that are posted in the City. The bond shall be released after all the handbills which were posted have been removed by the licensee. If all the handbills posted are not removed, the amount of the bond to be released will be determined by subtracting the cost to the City of removing handbills from the amount of the bond posted.
No billposter's license issued under this chapter shall be transferable to any other person.
If any billposter's license is surrendered by the licensee or is revoked for cause, neither the licensee named in such license, nor any other person, shall be entitled to a refund of any part of the license fee.
The Council may revoke any billposter's license obtained under an application containing a false or fraudulent statement knowingly made by the applicant with intent to obtain a license by means of false or fraudulent representations, or for a violation of this chapter or any other grounds specified by law.
No person shall post, paint, burn, set up or expose any bill, placard or advertisement, or cause the same to be posted, painted, burned, set up or exposed upon the property or premises of any other person, without first obtaining the consent of the legal owner or custodian of such property or premises.
No placard, poster, circular, showbill, handbill, card, leaflet, political sign or other advertising matter whatsoever, except that which may be expressly authorized by law, shall be placed, posted, nailed, painted, printed, stamped or in any way attached on any street, sidewalk, fence, wall, post, tree, platform, tower, telegraph pole, telephone pole, electric light pole or other utility pole or tower or in or upon any easement or right-of-way, or on any public property whatsoever in the City.
The name or part of the name of any person appearing on any bill, placard or advertisement, or the fact that the goods, wares, merchandise or business of any person is advertised by such bill, placard or advertisement, shall be prima-facie evidence of its presence there by authority or with the knowledge of such person.