Borough of Runnemede, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Runnemede as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-6-1977 by Ord. No. 318 (Ch. 76 of the 1970 Code)]
The purpose of this article is to regulate the distribution of certain materials, canvassing, soliciting, peddling and other forms of door-to-door activities within the Borough of Runnemede. The registration of persons engaged in the above-mentioned activities is required so that the identity of persons going door to door within the Borough may be established so that the general regulations may be more effectively enforced; to prevent fraud, crime and unethical and dishonest business practices in the solicitation of funds within the Borough; and for the protection and maintenance of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Borough.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MERCHANDISE
All goods, wares, foods, meat, fish, ice cream, fruits, vegetables, magazines, periodicals, printed matter, farm products, services and orders or contracts for services, home improvement or alterations and anything that may be sold or distributed on a door-to-door basis by canvassers, solicitors or peddlers as defined herein.
PEDDLER
Any person, whether a resident of the Borough or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place, from street to street, traveling by foot or motor vehicle or any other type of conveyance carrying or transporting merchandise for the purpose of selling and delivering the merchandise to customers for the purpose of profit. The word "peddler" shall also include the words "hawker" and "huckster."
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, organization, club or association or any principal or agent thereof.
SOLICITOR or CANVASSER
Any person, whether a resident of the Borough or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street, traveling by foot, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, soliciting, taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of merchandise or services of any kind for future performances or delivery for the purpose of profit, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for a sale a sample of the merchandise or services or whether or not he is collecting advance payments for such sales or orders, or who engages in any of the foregoing activities from a semistationary location on any street or any other public place. The word "solicitor" shall also include the word "canvasser." For purposes of this article, a "canvasser" or "solicitor" shall also be deemed to be one who is not in the business of selling goods, but one who makes surveys for research purposes, analyses, opinion polls, ratings, data and any such similar work which by its nature involves a door-to-door or place-to-place activity for the purpose of profit.
TRANSIENT MERCHANT
Any person engaged in the activities commonly referred to as "transient merchant" or "itinerant vendor" who merchandises or sells for the purpose of profit with intent to close out or discontinue such business within a period of one year from the date of commencement and who does not occupy a permanent structure or building for the purpose of selling merchandise.
Except as provided herein, it shall be unlawful for any canvasser, solicitor, peddler or transient merchant to sell, offer for sale, take orders for or distribute merchandise, printed material or services or engage in any activities as enumerated in § 270-2 of this article within the Borough, without first registering with, filing an application for registration with, paying a registration fee to and obtaining a registration certificate from the Chief of Police or, in his absence, the officer in charge of the Police Department.
Every applicant for a registration certificate under this article shall file with the Chief of Police between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, a sworn written application, on a form to be furnished by the Borough, prior to engaging in any of the activities as enumerated in § 270-2, which application shall give the following information:
A. 
Name, age and physical description of the applicant.
B. 
Complete permanent home and local address of the applicant.
C. 
If employed or acting as agent or representative of an organization or person, the name and address of such employer, organization or person, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship.
D. 
Description of the nature of the business and the goods, services or wares to be sold or distributed, and sufficient information to determine whether or not the business is to transact interstate or intrastate commerce.
E. 
The length of time for which the certificate is desired.
F. 
If a vehicle is to be used, the make, model, year, color and license plate number of said vehicle, the name and number and state of issuance of the driver's license and the name of its owner.
G. 
The place where the merchandise or services to be sold or offered for sale are manufactured or produced, where such goods or property are located at the time such application is filed and the proposed method of delivery.
H. 
The dates, days and routes of the business in the Borough of Runnemede.
I. 
Two photographs of the applicant which shall be approximately 2 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches in size showing the head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishing manner.
J. 
Two business references located in the County of Camden, State of New Jersey, or, in lieu thereof, such other available evidence of the character or business responsibility of the applicant as will enable an investigator to properly evaluate such character and responsibility.
K. 
A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a crime, misdemeanor or disorderly conduct offense or a violation of any municipal ordinance, where and when so convicted, the nature of the offense and the penalty, if any.
A separate registration must be made for every canvasser, solicitor, peddler, agent or employee soliciting, canvassing or peddling within the Borough.
Each registrant, upon being so registered, shall be issued a registration certificate by the Chief of Police, upon which shall be affixed one photograph of the applicant, signed by the Chief of Police so that part of his signature covers part of the photograph.
Upon obtaining a registration certificate, each registrant may conduct his activities within the Borough only as long as he adheres to the regulations set forth herein and carries the registration certificate upon his person at all times during the conduct of his activities within the Borough. The registration certificate shall identify the person and the type of activity for which he is registered and shall be shown to any person or police officer upon request.
A. 
When a registration is properly filled out and signed by the applicant, a duplicate thereof shall be filed with the Borough Clerk. The Chief of Police shall then make or cause to be made within five days such investigation of the applicant's business responsibility and character as he deems necessary for the protection of the public good.
B. 
If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's character or business responsibilities are found to be satisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse such application with his approval and his reasons therefor and return the application to the Borough Clerk. 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:
(1) 
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(2) 
Prior violation of a peddling or soliciting ordinance.
(3) 
Previous fraudulent acts or conduct.
(4) 
Record of breaches of solicited contracts.
(5) 
Concrete evidence of bad character.
C. 
In the absence of any such findings, the Chief of Police shall find the application satisfactory and shall endorse his approval on the application.
A. 
If an application is found unsatisfactory by the Chief of Police and he endorses it with his disapproval upon the application, said applicant shall be notified that the application is disapproved and that the issuance of such registration certificate to the applicant is denied. An applicant for a certificate hereunder shall have the right to appeal to the Mayor and Council from the denial of a certificate. Such appeal shall be filed within three days after the receipt of the notice of the denial of the certificate. Such appeal shall be taken by filing a written notice of appeal addressed to the Mayor and Council. The Mayor and Council shall act upon the appeal as soon as practicable after receiving the notice thereof and shall give the applicant an opportunity to be heard before taking action. The Mayor and Council may affirm or reverse the denial of the certificate or may grant the certificate with modifications or conditions.
B. 
If an applicant is found satisfactory by the Chief of Police, a registration certificate addressed to the applicant to conduct the business applied for upon payment of the proper fee by the applicant shall be forwarded to the applicant. Such certificate shall contain the signature of the issuing officer and shall show the name, address and photograph of the applicant. Such certificate shall contain the signature of the issuing officer and shall show the name, address and photograph of the applicant, the type of business the applicant is registered for, the kinds of goods or services to be sold thereunder, the date of issue, the length of time the certificate shall be operative, and the license number and other identifying description of any vehicle used in the activity license.
A. 
A certificate issued under the provisions of this article may be revoked by the Mayor and Borough Council after notice and hearing for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or material incorrect statements contained in the application for the certificate.
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or material incorrect statements in the course of carrying on his business as canvasser, solicitor, peddler or transient merchant.
(3) 
Any violation of the provisions of this article.
(4) 
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor.
(5) 
Conducting the business of canvasser, solicitor, peddler or transient merchant in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
B. 
Notice of the hearing for revocation of a certificate shall be given to the Borough Clerk in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the certificate holder at the address given on the application at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing or shall be delivered by an agent of the Borough in the same manner as a summons at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing.
C. 
Upon revocation, the certificate shall be surrendered to the Chief of Police.
Every person to whom a registration certificate is issued under the terms of this article shall be governed by the following rules and regulations:
A. 
All circulars, samples, merchandise or other matter shall be handed to an occupant of the property or left in a secure place on the premises.
B. 
No persons subject to the provisions of this article shall canvass, solicit or peddle circulars, samples, merchandise or other matter except during the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
C. 
No person subject to the provisions of this article shall enter or attempt to enter the house or apartment of any resident of the Borough of Runnemede without an express invitation from the occupant of said house or apartment.
D. 
No person subject to the terms of this article shall attempt to canvass, solicit or peddle merchandise or other matter without first having identified himself as a canvasser, solicitor, peddler or transient merchant registered with the Borough and without displaying his certificate.
E. 
No person subject to the terms of this article shall have exclusive rights to any location in the public streets or operate in any congested area where his operation might impede or inconvenience the public.
F. 
No person subject to the terms of this article shall make any solicitation within the Borough limits where solicitors are notified by sign that soliciting is prohibited.
G. 
No person subject to the terms of this article shall conduct himself in such a manner as to become objectionable or annoy any person while canvassing, soliciting or peddling within the Borough limits.
H. 
No person subject to the terms of this article shall distribute obscene merchandise or printed material or that which advocates unlawful conduct.
I. 
No person subject to the terms of this article shall litter the streets, public places or property within the Borough with any merchandise or printed material.
A. 
At the time of the issuance of the registration certificate, the applicant shall pay $250 as a registration fee and $50 as a background investigation fee. Each individual applicant for a registration certificate shall be required to pay such fees.
[Amended 6-3-2009 by Ord. No. 09-13]
B. 
Upon expiration of a certificate, a new certificate will be issued upon compliance with all the provisions of this article and the payment of fees, except that the investigation and waiting period thereof may be waived if approved by the Chief of Police. The certificate shall expire on the 19th day after issuance, unless issued for a shorter term based on the period of time indicated for the activity in the registration application.
A. 
The following persons engaged in door-to-door activity are exempt from the provisions of this article to the extent specified below:
(1) 
Political group: a nonprofit association of persons sponsoring or advocating certain ideas of government or maintaining certain political principles or beliefs in public policies of government or advocating the candidacy of any individual for elective office.
(2) 
Religious group: a nonprofit association of persons associated for the purpose of maintaining, advocating and/or espousing certain religious principles and beliefs.
(3) 
Charitable group: a nonprofit association of persons that freely and voluntarily administers to the needs of those persons unable to help themselves, and generally associated to serve the public good and welfare without profit.
(4) 
Civic group: a nonprofit association of persons engaged in promoting the common good and general welfare of the residents of the municipality. Such definition shall include but not be limited to school groups, benevolent societies and service clubs engaged in nonprofit activities.
B. 
Whenever any of the groups mentioned in § 270-13A or representatives thereof engage in door-to-door activities which involve soliciting or collecting contributions, donations or alms or any other activity of a pecuniary nature, they shall be exempt from the provisions of this article, except that they shall comply with the following:
(1) 
Each representative shall register his identity with the Chief of Police by supplying the following information:
(a) 
Name, age and physical description.
(b) 
Complete permanent home and local address.
(c) 
Name and type of group with which registrant is associated.
(d) 
A statement as to whether or not the registrant has been convicted of crime, misdemeanor or disorderly conduct offense or violation of any municipal ordinance, where and when so convicted, the nature of the offense and the penalty, if any.
(2) 
No group or representative thereof as defined in § 270-13A shall engage in any door-to-door activity as described in his or her background until the Chief of Police has completed an investigation and made a determination in accordance with the criteria set forth in § 270-8B. If such determination is unfavorable, then such registrant shall be denied the opportunity to engage in the above-mentioned activity and shall then be able to exercise the appeal rights as set forth in § 270-9. If such determination is favorable, then the registrant may, upon notification, proceed to engage in the above-mentioned activity.
(3) 
Each group or representative thereof engaging in door-to-door activity shall comply with the general regulatory provisions of § 270-11, except that he shall not be subject to the provisions of § 270-11B, D and F.
C. 
Whenever any of the groups mentioned in § 270-13A or representatives thereof engage in nonprofit door-to-door activities which do not involve soliciting or collecting contributions, donations or alms or any other activity of a pecuniary nature, then they shall be exempt from the provisions of this article, except as provided as follows:
(1) 
If said representatives are residents of the Borough of Runnemede, then they shall comply with the provisions of § 270-13B(3) and E.
(2) 
If they are not residents of the Borough of Runnemede, then they shall be subject to and comply with the provisions of § 270-13B(1)(a) through (c), B(3) and E.
D. 
The following persons shall also be exempt from this article, except that they shall be subject to the provisions set forth in § 270-13B(1)(a) through (c) and (3).
(1) 
Any person honorably discharged from the Military Service of the United States or an exempt fireman of a volunteer fire department possessing a peddler's license issued in conformity with N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 and 24:10.
(2) 
A public utility or its employees, when acting on behalf of the utility, which public utility is subject to regulation by the State Board of Public Utility Commission; provided, however, that such employee shall display such identification badge or card issued by his employer.
E. 
No group or representative thereof or person referred to in § 270-13A through D shall be required to pay a fee for or secure and carry a registration certificate. However, he shall be required to show some form of personal identification upon request of any other individual while engaged in door-to-door activity.
(1) 
Permission to engage in the activities as described in § 270-13 may be withdrawn by the Mayor and Borough Council after notice and hearing for any of the following causes:
(a) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or material incorrect statements contained in the identity registration form.
(b) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or material incorrect statements in the course of carrying on the activities described in § 270-13C.
(c) 
Any violation of the applicable provisions of this article.
(d) 
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor.
(e) 
Engaging in any activity that is described in § 270-13 in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
(2) 
Notice of the hearing for revocation of permission shall be given to the Borough Clerk in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of the complaint and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the registrant at the address given on the identification form at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing or shall be delivered by an agent of the Borough in the same manner as a summons at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing.
F. 
The penalty provisions of § 270-14 below shall apply to all groups, representatives thereof or persons referred to in and to the extent set forth in § 270-13A through D.
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalty as provided in § 1-15, General penalty, of this Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
The mere distribution of circulars, handbills or samples on a door-to-door basis, which activity does not involve any form of oral or physical contact between the distributor and the distributee, shall be exempt from regulation by the provisions of this article. However, if such activity involves any form of activity described in the other provisions of this article, then in that event such activity shall be regulated by the appropriate provisions of this article.
[Adopted 7-10-2001 by Ord. No. 01-12 (Ch. 81A of the 1970 Code)]
Except for charitable organizations duly permitted in accordance with this article and other applicable law, no person shall stand in or beside any public road or right-of-way to stop, impede, hinder or delay the progress of a vehicle, or to otherwise interact with the occupants of any vehicle on any public road or right-of-way, for the purpose of soliciting the purchase of goods, merchandise or tickets, or for the purpose of soliciting contributions for any cause, and the only question of law and fact in determining guilt under this section shall be whether goods, merchandise or tickets were tendered or offered for sale, or whether a contribution was solicited.
All charitable organizations, as defined in N.J.S.A. 45:17A-20, which desire to solicit contributions in roadways situate in the Borough of Runnemede shall file an application for a permit with the Borough Clerk on a form supplied by said Clerk specifying the following information:
A. 
Name and tax identification number of applicant organization;
B. 
Address of applicant organization;
C. 
Telephone number of applicant organization;
D. 
Contact person for applicant organization, including name, address and day and evening phone number;
E. 
Specific location or locations of proposed charitable solicitation;
F. 
Dates and times of proposed charitable solicitation;
G. 
If said request pertains to a location or locations on any county highway, or intersection of a county highway, said application shall include a copy of an authorization from the Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders to permit said charitable solicitation;
H. 
Identification of the manner in which the motorist solicitation will be conducted and the procedures to be used to ensure the safety of the members of the public who will be traveling the roadways situate in the Borough of Runnemede;
I. 
Such other information as may be required or is otherwise deemed necessary by the Borough Clerk in order to process the application.
Upon the filing of a complete application in accordance with the provisions of this article, the Borough Clerk shall forward a copy of the application to the Chief of Police and the Public Works Department. The Chief of Police and Public Works Department shall review the application and shall provide the Borough Clerk with any recommendations regarding the same. The governing body shall review and approve each application and impose any reasonable conditions thereon. Upon approval, the Borough Clerk shall issue a permit to allow the event including, as a condition of the permit, any conditions imposed by the governing body. The permit shall also be subject to any conditions imposed by law. In cases where the event requires county or state approval, the permit issued hereunder shall be conditional, subject to approval by the county or state.
All approved charitable solicitations shall be conducted in accordance with N.J.S.A. 39:4-60 and the regulations promulgated thereunder (presently codified at N.J.A.C. 16:40-1.1 et seq.), and shall include the following:
A. 
Solicitation shall be subject to the specific terms and conditions of each permit granted. Such permit shall be in possession of the solicitor during all times of solicitation and shall be available for inspection by the Police Department and/or other officials upon request.
B. 
No person shall solicit charitable contributions on a state highway or intersection thereof without approval from the NJDOT, via the issuance of a charitable solicitation permit. Such permit shall be in the possession of the solicitor during all times of solicitation and shall be available for inspection by local, county and State Police enforcement personnel.
C. 
Solicitation shall not stop traffic or impede the flow of traffic. Traffic shall already be stopped before solicitation may occur and shall cease while traffic is moving. Use of flagmen shall be prohibited.
D. 
The solicitor shall not install any traffic control devices.
E. 
Parking of vehicles shall comply with applicable traffic regulations.
F. 
Signage shall be in accordance with NJDOT regulations (presently codified at N.J.A.C. 16:40-6.1).
G. 
All solicitors shall wear safety vests that are in accordance with NJDOT standards.
H. 
Solicitation shall only be permitted during daylight hours.
I. 
Each person soliciting charitable contributions on behalf of the charitable organization shall be at least 18 years old.
J. 
Solicitors shall not drink alcoholic beverages, use drugs, or be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when soliciting. Solicitors shall not harass the public.
K. 
Solicitation shall be permitted in the right-of-way, but is encouraged to be off the traveled way.
L. 
The charitable organization shall be responsible for cleaning up any debris resulting from the solicitation activity, including trash or debris in the right-of-way.
M. 
The Police Department shall be responsible for supervising solicitation activity and enforcing the terms of the solicitation permits (both the local and the NJDOT permit are applicable). The Police Department may suspend solicitation operations at any time if the permit is violated or if, in the police officer's sole discretion, traffic is being impeded or delayed or the public safety is at risk.
N. 
The Borough shall not be liable in any civil action for damages for property damage or personal injury resulting from any accident arising out of or in the course of solicitations.
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalty as provided in § 1-15, General penalty, of this Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).