Town of Dedham, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Dedham as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fingerprint-based criminal record background checks — See Ch. 42.
Licenses and permits — See Ch. 183.
Noise — See Ch. 192.
Secondhand dealers — See Ch. 225.
[Adopted 11-15-2010 STM by Art. 10 (Ch. 13, Sec. 32, of the 1996 By-laws); amended 11-18-2013 STM by Art. 16]
This article, adopted pursuant to G.L. c.43B, § 13 and Article 89 of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, establishes registration requirements and specific operation requirements for persons intending to engage in door-to-door canvassing or solicitation in the Town of Dedham in order to protect its citizens from disruption of the peaceful enjoyment of their residences and from the perpetration of fraud or other crimes; and, to allow for reasonable access to residents in their homes by persons or organizations who wish to communicate either commercial or non-commercial messages.
For the purpose of this By-law, the following definitions shall apply:
CANVASSING
Includes any one or more of the following door-to-door activities:
A. 
Person-to-person distribution of literature, periodicals, or other printed materials for commercial purposes, but shall not include placing or dropping off printed materials on the premises.
B. 
Seeking to enlist membership in any organization for commercial purposes;
C. 
Seeking to present, in person, organizational information for commercial purposes.
CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION, PROFESSIONAL SOLICITOR AND COMMERCIAL COVENTURER
Shall be defined as set forth in G.L. c.68, § 18.
REGISTERED SOLICITOR
Any person who has obtained a valid certificate of registration from the Town as required by this By-law.
RESIDENCE
Includes every individual dwelling unit occupied for residential purposes by one or more persons.
SOLICITING
Includes any one or more of the following door-to-door activities:
A. 
Selling, or seeking to obtain orders for the purchase of goods or services, including advertising in any type of publication, for any kind of consideration whatsoever;
B. 
Selling, or seeking to obtain prospective customers for application for purchase of insurance of any kind;
C. 
Selling, or seeking to sell subscriptions to books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers or any other type of publication;
D. 
Seeking to obtain gifts or contributions of money, or any valuable thing for the support or benefit of any association, organization, corporation or project wholly or in part for commercial purposes or by a professional solicitor or commercial co-venturer for a charitable or other non-commercial organization;
E. 
Seeking to obtain information on the background, occupation, economic status, political affiliation, attitudes, viewpoints, or the like of the occupants of a residence for the purpose of selling or using such data, wholly, or in part, for commercial purposes.
Every person or organization intending to engage in soliciting or canvassing door-to-door in the Town of Dedham must apply for a permit with the Chief of Police at least 14 business days in advance by filing a registration application form with the Chief of Police.
A. 
Organization application forms shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the organization applying for registration, and the names and addresses of the organizations' principal officers.
(a) 
If the organization is a charitable organization, a copy of the Annual Registration Statement filed with the Attorney General's Division of Public Charities must be provided with this application. Failure to include a copy of the Annual Registration Statement under such circumstances will render the application incomplete and no action will be taken thereon.
(b) 
If the organization is a professional solicitor or a commercial coventurer for a charitable organization, a copy of the contract with the charitable organization must be provided with this application. Failure to include a copy of the contract with the charitable organization under such circumstances will render the application incomplete and no action will be taken thereon.
(2) 
The name, title and phone number, IRS or Social Security (optional) number and photo identification of the persons filing the application form.
(3) 
The names and addresses of the person(s), if any, who will be directly supervising the solicitation or canvassing operation in the Town of Dedham.
(4) 
A list of the names, addresses, dates of birth of all individuals who will be employed in solicitation or canvassing by the applicant.
(5) 
Period of time for which certificate of registration is needed (note: no certificate may be granted for longer than a ninety-day period).
(6) 
Names of the last three communities (if any) in which the organization has conducted a solicitation or canvassing operation, complete with the date issued and date expired.
(7) 
Insurance information and license, if applicable.
B. 
Individual registration forms shall be required for all individuals, including those who are affiliated with an organization registered under Subsection A hereof. Individual registration forms shall contain the following information:
(1) 
Name and address of the present place of residence and length of residence at that address; if less than three years residence at present address, the address of residence(s) during the past three years.
(2) 
Date of birth.
(3) 
Name, address and telephone number of the person or organization whom the applicant represents and the length of time the applicant has been associated with or employed by that person or organization. If the individual is a professional solicitor or a commercial co-venturer for a charitable organization, a copy of the contract, if any, with the charitable organization must be provided with this application. Failure to include a copy of the contract with the charitable organization under such circumstances will render the application incomplete and no action will be taken thereon.
(4) 
Name and address of employer during the past three years if other than listed in Subsection A hereof.
(5) 
Period of time for which certificate of registration is needed (note: no certificate may be granted for longer than a ninety-day period).
(6) 
Name of the last three communities (if any) in which the applicant has solicited or canvassed door-to-door, complete with the date of issue and expiration date.
(7) 
Social Security number. (Optional).
(8) 
Photo identification and recent passport-sized photograph of the applicant to be affixed to registration card.
(9) 
Make, model and registration number of any vehicle to be used by the applicant while soliciting or canvassing.
The fee for registration or re-registration, and for the registration card shall be established by the Police Chief in accordance with the provisions of § 150-3 of these By-laws.
A. 
The Police Chief, after a review, but in no event more than 14 business days after receipt of a fully-completed application, shall furnish each person with a registration card which shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name of the person.
(2) 
A recent photograph of the person.
(3) 
The name of the organization (if any) which the person represents.
(4) 
A statement that the individual has been registered with the Town of Dedham Police Department but that registration is not an endorsement of any individual or organization.
(5) 
Specific dates or period of time covered by the registration.
B. 
Persons engaged in solicitation or canvassing as defined in this by-law must carry the registration card at all times and present the card to any person solicited or upon the request of any police officer.
C. 
Registration cards are valid only for the specific dates or time period specified thereon and in no case for longer than 90 days.
D. 
The Police Chief shall refuse to register an organization or individual whose registration has been revoked for violation of this by-law within the previous two-year period, or who has been convicted of murder/manslaughter, rape, robbery, arson, burglary/breaking and entering, assault, larceny, as such persons pose a substantial degree of dangerousness to minors and other persons vulnerable to becoming victims of the violent crimes so listed. The Police Chief shall also refuse to register a person who is a sex offender required to register with the Sex Offenders Registry Board and who is finally classified as Level 2 or Level 3 Sex Offender, as such persons have been found to have a moderate to high risk of re-offense and pose a substantial degree of dangerousness to minors' and other persons vulnerable to becoming victims of sex crimes.
A. 
Registration shall not be required for officers or employees of the Town, County, State or Federal governments when on official business.
B. 
Individual registration shall not be required for minors under the age of 18 except in connection with canvassing or soliciting on behalf of a profit organization, newspaper carriers excepted.
A. 
Upon going into any residential premises in the Town of Dedham, every solicitor, canvasser or other person must first examine any notice that may be posted prohibiting solicitation or other activities. If such a notice is posted, the solicitor, canvasser or other person shall immediately and peacefully depart from the premises.
B. 
Any solicitor, canvasser or other person who has gained entrance to any residence, whether invited or not, shall immediately and peacefully depart from the premises when requested to do so by the occupant.
C. 
Immediately upon gaining entrance to any residence, each solicitor or canvasser as defined in this by-law must do the following:
(1) 
Present his registration card for inspection by the occupant.
(2) 
Request that the occupant read the registration card.
(3) 
Inform the occupant in clear language of the nature and purpose of his business and, if he is representing an organization, the name and nature of that organization.
(4) 
It shall be the duty of every organization employing solicitors or canvassers within the definition of this by-law to notify the Police Department daily as to what area(s) of the Town they will be operating in.
It shall be unlawful for a solicitor, canvasser or other person to do any of the following:
A. 
Falsely represent, directly or by implication, that the solicitation, canvassing or other activity is being done on behalf of a governmental organization, or on behalf of any municipal employee or elected official.
B. 
Solicit, canvass or conduct any other activity at any residence where there is a posted sign prohibiting the same, without express prior permission of an occupant.
C. 
Solicit, canvass or conduct any other activity at any residence without express prior permission of an occupant, before 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. where there is no sign posted otherwise limiting solicitation or the hours of solicitation or such other activities.
D. 
To utilize any form of endorsement from any department head currently employed or serving the Town of Dedham.
E. 
Solicit, canvass or conduct any other activity at any residence in a threatening, abusive, or illegal fashion.
In addition to enforcement under § 1-6, any person or organization who for himself, itself, or through its agents, servants or employees shall violate any provision of § 204-7 or 204-8 of this by-law, or any applicable state or federal laws governing soliciting or canvassing, including but not limited to M.G.L. c. 68, or who knowingly provides false information on the registration application, or who is found, after investigation by a police officer, to have conducted himself or itself in a threatening, abusive or illegal fashion, shall have his, her, or its registration revoked by the Chief of Police by written notice delivered to the holder of the registration in person, or sent to the holder by certified mail at the address set forth in the application.
Any person or organization who is denied registration or whose registration has been revoked may appeal by filing a written notice of appeal with the Board of Selectmen. Such appeal must be filed within five days after receipt of the notice of denial or revocation. The Board of Selectmen shall hear the appeal at its next scheduled meeting after the filing of the written notice of appeal, provided, however, that if the Board of Selectmen fails to make a determination within 30 days after the filing of the appeal, the registration shall be deemed granted or reinstated as the case may be.
Invalidity of any individual provision of this section shall not affect the validity of the by-law as a whole.
[Adopted as Ch. 13, Secs. 33, 42, 42A, 46, 54, and 58 of the 1996 By-laws; amended 11-18-2013 STM by Art. 16]
No person shall place or keep any table, stall, booth, cart or other structure in any public way or other public place in the Town or upon any sidewalk, for the sale of food, fruit, merchandise or other thing, without permission first being obtained from the Chief of Police.
A. 
No person shall sell at retail between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. any alcoholic beverages. The term "alcoholic beverages" as used in this section shall include alcoholic beverages to be consumed on or off the premises at which they are sold, unless any other law or permit or license granted to the seller of such beverages shall otherwise provide.
B. 
This section shall not apply to the sale of alcoholic beverages to be consumed on the premises on which they are sold when such sale is by a licensed common victualler primarily engaged in the sale of food to be consumed on such premises. Persons found guilty of violating this section shall pay a fine as set forth in Chapter 150, Article I. For purposes of this section each separate sale shall be deemed a separate offense. In the event of sale of several items or articles at one time to one customer, only one sale shall be deemed to have taken place.
A. 
No store or place of business engaged in the retail sale of any commodity except fuel products shall be open for the transaction of retail business between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m.
B. 
This section shall not apply to the sale of food or alcoholic beverages to be consumed on the premises at which they are sold or to be consumed off the premises on which they are sold when such sale is by a licensed common victualler primarily engaged in the sale of food to be consumed on such premises. This section shall not apply to the sale of food, exclusive of alcoholic beverages, to be consumed off premises.
C. 
The Board of Selectmen may, upon application by the owner or manager of a store or place of business engaged in the retail sale of any commodity, grant a one-day permit to remain open for the transaction of retail business between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m. as part of a special event, upon such terms and conditions as the Board of Selectmen shall determine as necessary for the public health and safety. No store or place of business may be granted a permit under this provision for more than 12 days in any calendar year.
D. 
This section shall not be deemed to repeal or replace § 204-13 of the Revised By-Laws and each by-law shall be deemed separately enforceable. An adjudication that § 204-13 or this section of the Revised By-Laws or any part of either such section is unconstitutional or invalid shall not operate to affect the constitutionality or validity of the other by-law or any part thereof which can be given effect without the provision deemed unconstitutional or invalid.
E. 
This section shall not apply to a retail drugstore dispensing prescription medication provided that said business obtains a Special Permit granted by a majority of the Board of Selectmen after a public hearing, upon a showing of public need and public good.
No person shall cause or allow to be held in the Town of Dedham any retail promotional event involving musical, media or personal appearances of celebrities or other personalities without first having secured a permit for said retail promotional event from the Chief of Police. For purposes of this by-law, a "retail promotional event involving musical, media or personal appearances of celebrities or other personalities" shall mean any event conducted at the site of an establishment customarily engaged in retail commercial sales which is designed to draw spectators or participants to such site by the presence of persons of general or local interest or by the conduct of activities unrelated to the usual business of the retail establishment. The application for such a license shall be in writing and shall fully and specifically describe the conditions of the proposed retail promotional event and the premises upon which the proposed retail promotional event is to take place, to the extent that such conditions or premises would affect the public safety, health or order and shall provide such further information as the Chief of Police may require in order to assess actions to be taken to prevent danger to the public safety, health or order. Within 30 days following receipt of such application, the Chief of Police shall grant a license or shall order a hearing preceded by at least 10 days written notice to the applicant. Within 45 days next following the close of such hearing, the Chief of Police shall grant such license or shall deny such license upon a finding that issuance of such a license would lead to the creation of a nuisance or would endanger the public health, safety or order by (a) unreasonably increasing pedestrian traffic in the area in which the premises are located or (b) increasing the incidence of disruptive conduct in the area in which the premises are located or (c) unreasonably increasing the level of noise in the area in which the premises are located. The Chief of Police may impose conditions upon a license to protect the public safety, health or order, to guard against creation of a nuisance or to insure adequate safety and security for patrons or the affected public. The fee for such permit shall be as set forth in Chapter 150, Article I. This section shall not apply to paid appearances or performances by such persons at schools, restaurants, theaters, churches, or other places of public assembly for purposes other than retail promotion.
No person shall sell any commodity whatsoever or solicit monies for any purpose whatsoever upon any public way or upon land abutting any public way in the Town of Dedham, unless:
A. 
Said party has been duly licensed, at least 10 days in advance of the date(s) of such sale or solicitation, by the Board of Selectmen; under the provisions of M.G.L., Chapter 101 Sections 17 and 22. The Selectmen may impose such restrictions as to location, hours, etc. as they may deem appropriate, and in appropriate cases may impose a license fee; or
B. 
Said sale or solicitation is conducted by a person who has a legitimate place of business, legally situated, in the Town, and said sale or solicitation is conducted upon the property appurtenant to that place of business or the public way adjoining, if approved in writing by the Chief of Police (see Article I of this chapter and § 204-12, above); or
C. 
Said sale constitutes a "yard sale" or "garage sale" so-called, and is conducted on residential premises by the legal owner thereof for no more than three sale days in any calendar year, with each day, consecutive or not, constituting a sale day; any sale days in excess of three in any year shall fall under the licensing provisions of Subsection A above; or
D. 
Said solicitation is conducted by a bona-fide non-commercial entity, including but not limited to a charitable, nonprofit or public service agency, which has given written notice to the Board of Selectmen of the dates of such solicitation, and registered all its agents and workers with the Chief of Police; such agencies or organizations which are legitimately and permanently headquartered in the Town of Dedham need only give notice to the Board of Selectmen.
No business or individual shall offer for sale within the Town of Dedham any device or commodity which shall constitute a "stink bomb," "smoke bomb," or "silly string" — however such device or commodity may be titled or under whatever name it may be marketed.