[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Washington 4-4-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Food handling — See Ch. 45.
Licensed occupations — See Ch. 54.
Littering — See Ch. 55.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 59.
Secondhand goods and precious metals — See Ch. 68.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 49, Handbills and Merchandise Samples, adopted 4-15-1963, as amended,
The purpose of this chapter shall be to prevent fraud, crime and unethical and dishonest business practices. The fees charged for the issuance of licenses shall not be considered revenue but shall be charged for the purpose of covering the expense of investigation and regulating the conduct of licensees.
Nothing herein shall be construed to affect the sale of fruit, vegetables, and farm produce, such as meat, poultry, butter and eggs, from premises owned, leased or controlled by the person selling the same.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes all goods, wares, food, fruit, vegetables, farm products, magazines and periodicals, and all kinds of articles of personal property for domestic use and orders or contracts for services, home improvements or alterations.
- A. Any organization which is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
- B. Any organization created under or otherwise subject to the provisions of Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes;
- C. Any organization, whether or not qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or subject to the provisions of Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes, whose primary purpose is to benefit the school-age children of the Borough, including, but not limited to, schools, school clubs and organizations, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts and similar youth groups;
- D. Any organization whose primary purpose is to advocate for religious or political causes, whether or not qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or subject to Title 15A of the New Jersey Statutes; or
- E. Any department within the Borough's municipal governmental structure, including, but not limited to, the Police Department and any volunteer fire or first-aid company that is located in, has a substantial membership from or serves the Borough.
- Any person who goes from place to place by traveling on the streets and roads or from house to house, carrying, conveying or transporting goods, wares or merchandise for the purpose of selling and delivering them to customers. This definition shall not include integrated and commercial roadside stands.
- Any person who goes from place to place by traveling on the streets and roads or from house to house, taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of goods, wares and merchandise or personal property of any nature whatsoever for future delivery, or for services to be furnished or performed in the future, whether or not such person has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the object to be sold and whether or not he is collecting advance payments on such sales.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any solicitor or peddler to sell or dispose of, or to offer to sell or dispose of, any goods, wares or merchandise, or to solicit orders for the performance of any service, within the corporate limits of the Borough, without first obtaining a license in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The license shall not be transferable from the person to whom issued to any other person. A separate license shall be obtained by a licensed solicitor or peddler for every agent or employee working for him/her.
Any public utility or its employees subject to regulation by the State Board of Public Utility Commissioners, provided that such employees shall display identification badges or cards issued by their employer.
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.
Any nonprofit organization as defined in § 49-2 of this chapter, including charitable and religious organizations, provided that the means of identification assigned by such organization, if any, is carried by the peddler or solicitor. If no means of identification is assigned by such organization, the peddler or solicitor shall be required to carry a bona fide means of identification, including, but not limited to, a valid driver's license or other government-issued identification. This exception shall include members or advocates for a nonprofit organization engaging in the advocacy of noncommercial, not-for-profit causes, whether or not in connection. This exception also includes any nonprofit organization that conducts sales of personal property when the proceeds are applied to the payment of expenses and to the charitable or religious purpose for which the organization exists.
Any person intending to distribute noncommercial or not-for-profit handbills, pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, advertisements or printed material, provided that such person carries a bona fide means of identification, including, but not limited to, a valid driver's license or other government-issued identification.
Campaigning for any elected public office or public question, which is to be voted upon in the Borough at a general, special, primary or school board election or in a national or state election;
Distributing handbills, pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, advertisements or printed material with respect thereto; or
Otherwise engaging in political speech, provided that such person carries a bona fide means of identification, including, but not limited to, a valid driver's license or other government-issued identification.
Any person honorably discharged from the military services of the United States possessing a peddler's license issued in conformity with N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 and 45:24-10.
Any person who is an exempt fireman of a volunteer fire department as defined by N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 and 45:24-10, possessing a license in conformity with the law.
Any person selling fruits, vegetables, and farm produce (such as meats, poultry, butter, and eggs) from premises owned, leased, or controlled by the person selling the same.
Any person selling goods at a farmer's market in compliance with § 190-5.1 of the Borough Code.
Every applicant for a license under this chapter shall file with the Borough Clerk a sworn written application, in duplicate, on a form to be furnished by the Clerk, which shall give the following information:
Name and description of the applicant.
Permanent home address and full local address of the applicant.
A brief statement of the nature of the business and a description of the merchandise or service to be sold.
If employed, the name and address of the employer, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship.
The length of time for which the license is desired.
If a vehicle is to be used, a description of the vehicle, its license plate number, its VIN number, a 4 by 6 inch photograph of the vehicle, a copy of the registration for the vehicle that is valid for the entire period for which the peddler and solicitor's license is issued, and proof of automobile insurance that is valid for the entire period for which the peddler and solicitor's license is issued.
A driver's license or other government-issued identification that is valid for the entire period for which the peddler and solicitor's license is issued.
The place where the goods or property to be sold or offered for sale are manufactured or produced, where the goods or property are located at the time such application is filed, and the proposed method of delivery.
A photograph of the applicant taken within 60 days immediately prior to the date of application, which photograph clearly shows the head and shoulders of the applicant and measures 2 x 2 inches.
The fingerprints of the applicant.
Two business references located in the County of Warren, State of New Jersey, or, in lieu thereof, such other available evidence of the character and business responsibility of the applicant as will enable an investigator to properly evaluate his character and responsibility.
A statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor.
Proof of liability insurance that is valid for the entire period for which the license is issued.
A list of all other New Jersey municipalities in which the applicant maintains an active peddling and soliciting license.
In lieu of applying for a license pursuant to § 49-5 hereunder, a solicitor or peddler may make application by letter to the Borough Council for an exemption from the licensing requirement of this chapter. Such letter shall set forth exceptional circumstances that make it improbable or impractical for such solicitor or peddler to apply for the appropriate license and shall demonstrate that the purposes of this chapter will not be undermined by the grant of such exemption. The Borough Council may place reasonable conditions on any such grant of an exemption, including, but not limited to, requiring such peddlers or solicitors to carry identification.
At the time the application is filed, a fee in the amount of $100 shall be paid to the Borough Clerk by bank or cashier's check to cover the cost of processing the application and investigating the facts set forth therein.
Before a license pursuant to this chapter shall be issued, the applicant shall execute and deliver to the Borough Clerk a bond in accordance with N.J.S.A. 45:24-5 in the amount of $1,000. The bond shall be in effect for a period of one year from the date of license issuance, shall indemnify and pay the Borough any penalties or costs incurred in the enforcement of this chapter and the purchaser of personal property in a sum equal to at least the amount of any payment such purchaser may have been induced to make through the misrepresentation of the applicant, its agents or employees. The bond shall be in a form approved by the Municipal Attorney.
When the application is properly filled out and signed by the applicant, the original and duplicate shall be filed with the Borough Clerk. The Clerk shall refer the original to the Chief of Police, who shall make or cause to be made such investigation of the applicant's business responsibility and moral character as he deems necessary for protection of the public good.
Grounds for refusal of license.
If, as a result of the investigation, the applicant's character or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on the application his disapproval and the reasons therefor and return the application to the Borough Clerk, who shall notify the applicant that the application is disapproved and that no license shall be issued. Any determination by the Chief of Police that an application is unsatisfactory shall be based on one or more of the following findings with respect to the applicant:
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, including, but not limited to, theft, fraud, aggravated assault, and sexual offenses.
Prior violation of a peddling or soliciting ordinance.
Previous fraudulent acts or conduct.
Record of breaches of solicited contracts.
Concrete evidence of bad character.
In the absence of any such finding, the Chief of Police shall find the application satisfactory.
If, as a result of the investigation, the character and business responsibility of the applicant are found to be satisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on the application his approval and return the application to the Borough Clerk, who shall issue the license to the applicant. The license shall contain the signature of the Borough Clerk and show the name, address and photograph of the licensee, the class of license issued, the kind of goods or services to be sold, the date of issuance, the length of time the license shall be operative and the license number and other identifying description of any vehicle used in the peddling or soliciting activity licensed.
The Borough Clerk shall issue to each licensee, at the time of delivery of the license, a badge which shall show the nature of the license, the period for which the license is issued and the number of the license in letters and figures easily discernible from a distance of 10 feet. During the time the licensee is engaged in peddling or soliciting, the badge shall be worn constantly by him on the front of his/her outer garment in such a way as to be visible to a person facing him.
All licensees using automobiles or other vehicles in connection with their business shall have affixed in the rear passenger-side window a sticker supplied by the Borough Clerk. The sticker shall bear the words "Licensed Peddler," "Licensed Hawker," "Licensed Solicitor" or "Licensed Canvasser," together with a number and the year for which it is issued.
Every holder of a peddler's or solicitor's license issued by the Borough Clerk under the authority of this chapter or by the Clerk of the county under the authority of N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 shall be required to carry the license with him while engaged within the Borough in the business or activity licensed. He shall produce the license at the request of any official resident of the Borough with whom he wishes to conduct his business or activity. Every peddler or solicitor shall restrict his selling or soliciting activity within the Borough to the hours between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Licensees and every person referred to in § 49-4A, on each day of such activity, shall notify the police officer on duty immediately before commencing his selling or soliciting activity. If soliciting activities will be conducted on consecutive days, notification need only be made on the first day of such activity, and the licensee shall notify the police officer of the length of the soliciting period. Notification shall include a statement as to the general area of the Borough in which the licensee, as well as every person referred to in § 49-4A, intends to conduct or has conducted the activity.
It shall be unlawful for a peddler or solicitor to:
Attempt to peddle or distribute merchandise or printed material, or solicit funds or canvass for information, without first having identified himself/herself as a peddler, solicitor, transient merchant, or canvasser registered with the municipality and displaying the license issued therefor.
Call attention to his business or to his merchandise by crying out, blowing a horn, ringing a bell, other than the doorbell to a building, or any other loud or unusual noise prohibited by the Borough Code.
Conduct or attempt to conduct his or her business at any residence or on any property on which is posted a sign expressly prohibiting the activity.
Refuse to leave a private dwelling or property after having been once requested to do so by the owner or occupant thereof.
Distribute obscene merchandise or printed material, or printed material that advocates unlawful conduct.
Litter the streets, public places, or other property within the Borough with any merchandise or printed material.
It shall be the duty of any police officer of the agency serving the Borough to enforce the provisions of this chapter and to require any person seen peddling or soliciting who is not known by the officer to be duly licensed to produce his peddler's or solicitor's license.
Any person convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or to a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or to both such fine and imprisonment or community service.
Any person who is convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter within one year of the date of a previous violation of the same provision, and who was fined for the previous violation, shall be sentenced by the court to an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine imposed by the court upon the person for a repeated offense shall not be less than the minimum nor exceed the maximum fine fixed for a violation of the Code provision but shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the violation of the Code provision.
The Borough Clerk shall maintain a record of all licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter and record therein all convictions for violations and other pertinent circumstances and incidents reported by the Chief of Police.
Licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Chief of Police upon notice to the licensee, to the address listed on the licensee's application, for any of the following causes:
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for a license.
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement by the licensee in the course of conducting the business licensed.
Any violation of this chapter.
Conviction of any crime involving moral turpitude.
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.
Notice of revocation shall be communicated to the licensee by telephone and regular mail at the telephone number and address set forth on the licensee's application. If the licensee requests a hearing pursuant to § 49-16, notice of the hearing shall be given in writing, setting forth the specific grounds of complaint and the time and place of hearing. Such notice shall be sent by regular and certified mail to the licensee at his last-known address at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police or of the Borough Clerk in the denial or revocation of a license shall have the right of appeal to the Borough Council. The appeal shall be taken by filing with the Borough Council, within 14 days after the notice of the action complained of has been mailed to the person's last-known address, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds for the appeal. The Borough Council shall set a time and place for hearing of the appeal, and notice of the hearing shall be given to the applicant in the same manner as provided in § 49-15. The decision of the Borough Council shall be final.
All licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter shall expire on December 31 of the calendar year in which they are issued. Any license may be renewed without payment of an additional registration fee upon submission by the licensee of a new application in conformity with the requirements of § 49-5 or, in lieu thereof, a sworn statement, in writing, setting forth all changes in the information contained in the application for the expired license which are necessary to bring the application completely up to date. A new application or statement in lieu thereof shall be subject to the provisions and standards set forth in § 49-5.
The Borough shall prohibit all organizations from soliciting contributions in roadways in compliance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-60.