Township of Hamilton, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hamilton 9-19-2017 by Ord. No. 17-035.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 215.
Licenses and permits — See Ch. 285.
Sales — See Ch. 373.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 349, Peddling and Soliciting, which comprised Art. I, Peddlers, Hawkers and Vendors, adopted as Ch. 102, Art. II, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances, as amended; Art. II, Solicitors and Canvassers, adopted as Ch. 102, Art. III, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances, as amended; and Art. III, Charitable Solicitations, adopted as Ch. 102, Art. IV, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances.
The purpose of this chapter is to prevent fraud, crime and unethical and dishonest business practices and for the general protection, health and welfare of the residents of the community and to deter the use of peddling, soliciting, and canvassing to gain access to homes for criminal purposes and for the preservation of the quiet and privacy for residents of the Township.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
CANVASSER
A person who circulates a petition or seeks contributions for a cause, charitable or otherwise, or distributes literature, pamphlets, handbills and the like for the purpose of distributing information or seeking support for any legal purpose, from a stationary location on a street or other public place, or by going from house to house, place to place or street to street.
CANVASSING
The circulation of a petition or the seeking of contributions for a cause, charitable or otherwise, or the practice of distributing literature, pamphlets, handbills and the like for the purpose of distributing information or seeking support for any legal purpose, from a stationary location on a street or other public place, or by going from house to house, place to place or street to street.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police for the Township of Hamilton.
MOBILE VENDING UNIT
A person or persons engaged in mobile vending and who may be approved to utilize designated parking spaces dedicated for their use in municipal parks.
NON-PROFIT-MAKING VENDORS
A person who sells or collects goods or services, the proceeds of which are devoted exclusively to the purposes of the philanthropic, charitable or religious society on whose behalf he/she acts as an agent.
PEDDLER, CLASS 1
A person or persons engaged in peddling in and on public streets. This term may also be referred to as "mobile vendor," "hawker," or "huckster."
PEDDLER, CLASS 2
A person or persons engaged in peddling in and on public streets with the additional ability to access Hamilton Township municipal parks at designated mobile parking spaces for a period of time.
PEDDLING
The practice of selling services or carrying goods, wares or merchandise, for the purpose of selling and delivering to consumers, either from traveling by foot, automotive vehicle or any other form of travel, from house to house, place to place or street to street. This meaning may also be referred to as "hawker" or "huckster."
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, voluntary association, church, religious denomination, society, organization, political association, incorporated association, or agent thereof.
ROAD SHOWS
A transient merchant, whether an individual, corporation or other business entity, that travels to different locations offering to buy or sell items from or to the public at or from temporary locations for short periods of time. They are typically advertised events held at hotels, banquet halls, convention centers, armories and other similar facilities.
SOLICITING
The traveling by a person, either by foot, wagon, automobile, motortruck or any other type of conveyance, from place to place, house to house or street to street, 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 the person has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the subject of the sale, with or without accepting an advance payment for the goods.
SOLICITOR
A person or persons engaged in soliciting.
TRANSIENT MERCHANTS
Shall mean and include persons, commonly referred to as either "transient merchants" or "itinerant vendors," who engage in a merchandising business, including the sale or purchase of goods and merchandise, in the Township of Hamilton with the intent to close out or discontinue such business within one year from the date of commencement, including those who, for the purpose of carrying on such business, hire, lease or occupy any building, hotel room/banquet facility, lot, or structure for the exhibition and sale of such goods, wares and merchandise, provided that nothing herein shall be construed to affect the sale of fruit, vegetables and farm products, such as meats, poultry, butter and eggs.
It shall be unlawful for any peddler, solicitor, or other person to engage in peddling or soliciting within the Township of Hamilton without first obtaining a license therefor as provided in this section. Transient merchants must also be licensed pursuant to the provisions of this section, as well as N.J.S.A. 45:24-1 et seq. The Township Clerk shall issue all licenses pursuant to the provisions of this section.
A. 
Application fee. At the time an application is filed, the applicant must pay a nonrefundable application fee as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code for the processing and investigation of said application.
B. 
The following fees shall be charged if said application is granted in addition to the application fees:
(1) 
Transient merchants: as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
(2) 
Solicitors: as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
(3) 
Peddler, Class 1: as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
(4) 
Peddler, Class 2. Licenses shall be issued according to the bid process prescribed by the New Jersey Local Public Contract Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq. The minimum bid shall be as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code. Specifications for the bid and lottery process shall be available at the Municipal Clerk's office.
C. 
The following persons are expressly exempt from this license requirement:
(1) 
Non-profit-making vendors.
(2) 
Any person honorably discharged from the military service of the United States, possessing a peddler's license issued pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 and N.J.S.A. 24-10, except such person shall not be exempt if the application is to obtain a transient merchant's license.
(3) 
Any person who is an exempt firefighter, rescue squad member or other individual possessing a license in conformity with N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 and N.J.S.A. 24-10, except such person shall not be exempt if the application is to obtain a transient merchant's license.
(4) 
Any public utility or its employees, which said public utility is subject to regulation by the State Board of Public Utilities; provided, however, that such employees shall display the identification badge or card issued by their employer.
(5) 
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 or persons who had previously ordered the same or were entitled to receive the same by reason of prior agreement.
(6) 
Charitable, religious, cultural and historical societies as defined in and subject to the conditions of N.J.S.A. 45:24-7.
(7) 
Nonprofit sports teams and organizations, senior citizen clubs and organizations, school organizations, and scouting organizations.
(8) 
Canvassers.
D. 
All canvassers intending to canvass within the Township shall register with the Municipal Clerk prior to commencing any canvassing activities. Such registration shall consist of providing the Municipal Clerk with the name of the person that will be canvassing, the proposed dates for which the person seeks to canvass, and the route(s) or neighborhood(s) in which the person intends to canvass. All nonprofit, religious, or political groups canvassing exclusively door-to-door and not in the streets are exempt from this registration requirement.
A. 
Any person seeking a license under this chapter shall file an application with the Municipal Clerk on a form supplied by said Clerk.
B. 
The application form shall contain the following information:
(1) 
Name, address and telephone number of the applicant. The applicant and each representative to be licensed must provide a passport, photo driver's license, or a photo identification card, together with a birth certificate and/or social security card.
(2) 
Date(s) on which soliciting or peddling is to commence and end.
(3) 
The number of representatives of the applicant that will be conducting such activities.
(4) 
Nature of goods or merchandise to be sold or offered for sale or the nature of the services to be furnished.
(5) 
Whether the applicant, or any of its representatives who will be soliciting or peddling, has been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense or violation of any ordinance relating to soliciting or peddling, and, if so, when, where and the nature of the offense.
(6) 
The names of other municipalities in New Jersey where the applicant has been issued a permit to solicit or peddle in the past two years.
(7) 
The route planned to be taken or neighborhood(s) in which the applicant plans to visit and the corresponding list of days the applicant will be soliciting or peddling along that route or in that neighborhood.
C. 
The application shall be accompanied by a letter or other written statement from the individual, firm or corporation employing the applicant certifying that the applicant is authorized to act as the representative of the individual, firm or corporation.
D. 
If the applicant intends to go from house to house or place to place, the application must be accompanied with three passport-size photographs for each person who will be soliciting or peddling for the applicant. Upon approval of the license, one such photograph shall be affixed to a badge issued by the Municipal Clerk; one such photograph shall be affixed to the license issued; and one such photograph shall be retained by the Municipal Clerk.
A. 
When the application for a license under this article is properly filled out and signed by the applicant, the Municipal Clerk shall refer the application to the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police or his designee shall perform a background check of the applicant and investigate the information available as to the good moral character of the applicant, and approve or disapprove the application within 14 days. Reasons for the disapproval shall be set forth on the reverse side of the application. The application shall thereafter be filed with the Municipal Clerk's office.
(1) 
If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's character or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on such application his disapproval and his reasons therefor, and shall return the application to the Municipal 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:
(a) 
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(b) 
Prior violation of an ordinance or law pertaining to solicitors and canvassers.
(c) 
Previous fraudulent acts or conduct.
(d) 
Record of breaches of solicited contracts.
(e) 
Concrete evidence of bad character.
B. 
Upon approval by the Chief of Police and upon payment of the required fees, the Municipal Clerk shall issue to the applicant a license which shall be in writing, bearing the name of the licensee, the purpose for which the license was issued, the date of expiration and the signature of the Municipal Clerk.
C. 
If an application is found unsatisfactory by the Chief of Police and he has endorsed his disapproval upon the application, the Municipal Clerk shall notify the applicant by mail that the application is disapproved, and shall deny the applicant a license.
D. 
Appeal of denial of license. If the application for a license under this section has been disapproved, the applicant may appeal the decision to the Township Council by filing a written notice of appeal with the Municipal Clerk within 14 days after the notice of disapproval. The Township Council shall hold its hearing within 14 days thereafter, and the decision of the council shall be final.
E. 
Every person licensed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall carry the license with him/her at all times while engaged in his trade or occupation in the Township. Every licensee shall produce his/her license at the request of any officer of the Township.
F. 
To every peddler or mobile vendor granted a license or licenses pursuant to this chapter, the Municipal Clerk shall also issue for each automobile, vehicle or wagon used in peddling, a medallion bearing the words "Licensed Peddler, Township of Hamilton," together with the number of the license and the year for which it is issued. In addition, each automobile, wagon, or other vehicle used for such peddling shall have affixed thereon a copy of the license.
G. 
All licenses and badges shall be valid for the period of May 1 through April 30, and, if issued, shall not be transferable or assignable to any person. All licenses and badges must be surrendered after cessation of use or the end of the calendar year, whichever comes first.
A. 
Licenses issued under this chapter may be revoked by the Chief of Police, after notice and a hearing, for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement in application for license:
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement made in the course of carrying on the licensed business or solicitation in the Township:
(3) 
Any violation of this chapter;
(4) 
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or of a violation of any ordinance concerning soliciting, peddling, panhandling or canvassing. In the case of transient merchants, a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or violation of any of the provisions of N.J.S.A. 45:24-1 et seq. or this chapter.
(5) 
Conducting the licensed business or solicitation in the Township in an unlawful manner or in such manner as to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
B. 
Notice of the hearing for revocation of a license shall be given in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds for the complaint and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be given personally or by certified mail to the licensee at his/her last known address at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing.
C. 
Such license may, pending revocation proceedings, be suspended for not more than 10 days by the Chief of Police, if, in his or her opinion, the conduct of the licensee is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the Township.
D. 
The Chief of Police or his designee shall serve as the hearing officer for any hearing pursuant to this section.
Licenses issued under this article shall expire April 30 each year at 11:59 p.m., local time. Applications for the renewal of licenses shall be made not later than April 1 of the year of issue. Licensees are required to surrender their previous year's license at the time of renewal.
The Municipal Clerk shall issue to each licensee under this article, at the time of delivery of his/her license, a badge, which shall contain the words "Licensed Solicitor," 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. The Municipal Clerk shall issue to each registered canvasser under this article, at the time of delivery of his/her registration, a badge, which shall contain the words "Registered Canvasser," the period for which the registration is issued and the number of the registration, in letters and figures easily discernible from a distance of 10 feet. Such badges shall, during the time such licensee is engaged in canvassing, peddling or soliciting, be worn constantly by the licensee or registered canvasser on the front of his or her outer garment in such a way as to be conspicuous.
[Amended 9-18-2018 by Ord. No. 18-041]
No peddling, soliciting or canvassing activities shall be conducted between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.
A. 
Peddling, soliciting and canvassing within any roadway is strictly prohibited. Mobile peddlers, such as ice cream trucks/vendors, must pull over all the way to the curbline and sell only from the curbside. Said activities are permitted on sidewalks and street corners only. Only one group or organization may engage in such activities at a given time. Reflective outerwear must be worn by all persons engaging in said activities. No person under the age of 16 shall conduct peddling, soliciting or canvassing activities anywhere in the Township. Persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. There shall be one adult for every four or fewer minors.
B. 
Peddlers (Class 1 and Class 2).
(1) 
Peddlers cannot stop within 1,000 feet of a transient merchant or another peddler.
(2) 
Peddlers cannot stop within 1,000 feet of any entrance to a school building, unless such school is closed.
(3) 
Peddlers shall conduct sales from the curbside of the vehicle and only to pedestrians.
(4) 
Peddlers cannot conduct sales to any individuals remaining in another motor vehicle.
(5) 
Parking in any no-parking area, handicapped-reserved area or yellow-curbed area, even temporarily, is prohibited.
(6) 
Parking in any fixed location for more than three minutes from the completion of the last sale is prohibited.
(7) 
No sales of glass containers shall be permitted from mobile units.
(8) 
All units shall be required to provide trash containers.
(9) 
The restrictions upon time and place listed above shall not apply to peddlers/mobile vendors at a Township-sponsored or -approved event.
C. 
Peddler (Class 2).
(1) 
Peddlers licenses shall be limited to six.
(2) 
Sales shall only be conducted from the following designated vendor parking in the following parks:
(a) 
Veterans' Park: east side entrance.
(b) 
Veterans' Park: west side entrance.
(c) 
Veterans' Park: north side entrance.
(d) 
Veterans' park: south side entrance.
(e) 
Kuser Park.
D. 
Peddler, Class 2 licenses shall be issued according to the bid process prescribed by the New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq. The minimum bid shall be as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code. Specifications for the bid and lottery process shall be available at the Municipal Clerk's office.
It shall be the duty of any police officer of the Township to require any person seen peddling, soliciting or canvassing, and who is not known by such officer to be duly licensed or registered, to produce his or her license or registration, and to enforce the provisions of this chapter against any person found to be violating this chapter.
Any person or organization receiving money or any other thing for a value of $1 or more from any contributor as a result of canvassing done pursuant to this chapter shall give to the contributor a written receipt signed by the canvasser, showing the date and the amount received; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to any contribution collected by means of a closed box or receptacle used in canvassing where the use thereof has been approved by the Township Council, where it is impractical to determine the amount of each contribution.
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 shall be subject to the inspection by the Division of Health or its authorized agents. Any violation found and not immediately corrected shall be grounds for revocation of the license.
No peddler, solicitor or canvasser shall enter onto any property on which is located a sign or signs stating "No Solicitors" or "No Peddlers" or carrying a similar message forbidding the entry of any person onto the property. This shall include any signage located at the entrance of any housing development on behalf of the occupants of any condominium/townhouse or age-restricted community.
A. 
All residents of the Township may register their name, address and/or unit/apartment number with the Municipal Clerk to be placed on the "Do Not Solicit" list, indicating that they do not want peddlers, solicitors or canvassers to approach their homes and/or seek personal contact with the occupants of the registered home. All nonprofit, religious, or political groups canvassing exclusively door-to-door shall be exempt from the prohibitions of this section.
B. 
Residents shall remain on the "Do Not Solicit" list for a period of four years. If a resident wishes to be removed from the list, it shall be in writing, addressed to the Municipal Clerk, at which time said residence will be removed from the list.
C. 
The Municipal Clerk shall maintain a copy of the "Do Not Solicit" list, which shall be provided to all persons or organizations required to obtain a license or register pursuant to § 349-3 or those persons or organizations within the scope of § 349-19. In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5, the Municipal Clerk shall charge a fee for a copy of the "Do Not Solicit" list.
D. 
The Municipal Clerk shall also maintain a copy of the "Do Not Solicit" list on the township website, which shall be updated on or about January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year. The updated list shall also be forwarded to the Chief of Police in order to provide up-to-date information of registrants for licenses.
E. 
It shall be unlawful for peddler, solicitor or canvasser to approach and/or seek personal contact with the occupants thereof if that residence is registered on the "Do Not Solicit" list. Anyone violating this subsection shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100 for each violation.
F. 
Upon completion of registration on the "Do Not Solicit" list the subscriber will receive a decal stating "DO NOT SOLICIT — Registered on the 'Do Not Solicit' list with Hamilton Township Municipal Clerk's Office. VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED," which must be displayed in a clearly visible location (i.e., front door or window adjacent to the front door).
A. 
Definition. An unsolicited circular shall be defined as a commercial handbill, noncommercial handbill, leaflet, coupon brochure or other writing, which the intended recipient did not request or authorize to be placed on or about his or her property.
B. 
"Do Not Drop" list.
(1) 
There is hereby established a "Do Not Drop" list of residents of the Township of Hamilton.
(2) 
Residents who do not wish to receive unsolicited circulars may do so by completing a form established by the Municipal Clerk and return it to the Municipal Clerk's office.
(3) 
The Municipal Clerk's office shall advise distributors of unsolicited circulars that the resident does not wish to receive unsolicited circulars by posting the list on the Township's website and providing copies upon request, for which a fee shall be charged in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5. The "Do Not Drop" list shall be updated on or about January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year.
(4) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to deliver, or any entity to cause to be delivered, any unsolicited circular to a person registered on the "Do Not Drop" list. Anyone violating this subsection shall be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100 for each violation.
A permit is required to solicit donations at the entrance or exit of any business within the Township of Hamilton, subject to the adherence to the following requirements:
A. 
The person or organization shall prepare on its official letterhead a request to the local business to allow solicitation of donations which shall include the date and time of the proposed solicitation(s).
B. 
The business shall approve the request by original signature and affixing its store stamp to the request.
C. 
The person or organization shall then submit a letter to the Municipal Clerk for placement on the agenda of the Township Council. All requests must be submitted to the Municipal Clerk's office no later than two weeks prior to the next scheduled Council meeting.
D. 
Upon approval by the Township Council, notification to the Chief of Police shall be given by the Municipal Clerk.
E. 
Only one person or organization shall be approved to solicit at any one business at any given time, and it shall be the responsibility of the local business to ensure compliance with this section.
It shall be unlawful to solicit donations at an intersection or roadway within the Township of Hamilton. Any such violation shall be subject to a fine as provided for in § 349-15.
A. 
Definition. Commercial advertising matter, as used in this section, shall mean any sample or device, dodger, bill or handbill, circular, pamphlet, paper, booklet, picture or any other written, printed or reproduced matter:
(1) 
Which advertises any merchandise, product, commodity, service or other thing for sale; or
(2) 
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; or
(3) 
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 advertiser or distributor.
B. 
Permit required. No person shall distribute commercial advertising matter in the Township without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Municipal Clerk as hereinafter provided in this section. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a permit for the distribution of commercial advertising matter on or in any business premises by the proprietor thereof or his agent, servants or employees.
C. 
Compliance with regulations required. The permit issued under this section shall not be deemed to authorize the holder thereof to distribute commercial advertising matter except in compliance with the regulations hereinafter set forth in this section.
D. 
Application for and issuance of permit; investigation.
(1) 
Every applicant for a permit under this section shall file with the Municipal Clerk, in duplicate, a written application signed and verified by him, on a form supplied by the Municipal Clerk.
(2) 
The application shall state:
(a) 
Name and permanent home address of the applicant;
(b) 
Place of applicant's residence(s) during and for each of the three years preceding the filing of the application;
(c) 
Name and address of the business or commercial enterprise that has engaged the applicant to distribute the commercial advertising matter;
(d) 
Number of days for which the applicant seeks a permit;
(e) 
Such other information as the Municipal Clerk may require.
(3) 
Upon filing of the application, the Municipal Clerk shall cause to be forwarded to the Chief of Police the duplicate copy of the application for his or her investigation. After due investigation, and upon being satisfied that the applicant is of good moral character and that the business or commercial enterprise for which the applicant proposes to distribute commercial advertising matter is free from fraud, the Chief of Police shall endorse on such application his approval and return the application to the Municipal Clerk, who shall thereupon issue the permit upon the payment of the permit fee as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code. The permit shall specify the number of days for which it shall be effective. The permitee shall carry the permit with him or her while engaged in distributing any commercial advertising matter and shall exhibit it to any policeman or any other person upon request.
(4) 
Permit fee. The fee for a permit shall be as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
(5) 
Distribution on private premises; regulations and exceptions. No person holding a permit issued under this section shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial advertising matter in or upon private premises which are inhabited, except by handing or transmitting same directly to the owner, occupant or other person then present, except as hereinafter provided. A person, unless requested by anyone upon the premises not to do so, may place or deposit any such commercial advertising matter in or upon inhabited private premises, if the premises are not posted as provided in § 349-14 or § 349-15 and the commercial advertising matter is placed or deposited so as to secure or prevent it from being blown or drifted about the premises or sidewalks, streets or other public places. Mailboxes may not be so used when prohibited by federal postal law or regulations. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the distribution of mail by the United States, or to newspapers.
(6) 
Distribution prohibited where sign posted. No person shall throw, deposit or distribute any commercial advertising matter in or upon any private premises:
(a) 
If requested by anyone in or upon such premises not to do so; or
(b) 
If there is placed on the premises a sign pursuant to § 349-14 or a decal pursuant to § 349-15.
Unless otherwise specified in any other section of this chapter, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a penalty as set forth in § 1-2 of this Code.