[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Lewiston 10-21-1966 by L.L. No. 2-1966 (Ch. 13 of the 1965 Code); amended in its entirety 4-28-2014 by L.L. No. 2-2014. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any person, within the territorial limits of the Town of Lewiston (outside of any incorporated village), to act as a hawker, peddler or solicitor as herein defined without first having obtained, and having in force and effect, a license to conduct the activity.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
- HAWKER or PEDDLER
- Any person traveling by foot, vehicle or other conveyance from street to street, from house to house or from place to place carrying or transporting goods, wares or merchandise and offering the same for sale, except one engaged in the distribution of farm products.
- SOLICITOR or CANVASSER
- Any person traveling by foot, vehicle or other conveyance from street to street, from house to house or from place to place soliciting and taking orders for the sale of goods, wares or merchandise, including books and periodicals for future delivery, or for services to be performed, whether or not payment in advance for such sale or services is solicited. The term "canvasser" shall also include a person going from house to house, or place to place, surveying or seeking information from the occupants with respect to ownership, use or experience with any article of commerce or thing of value, whether or not the sale or use thereof is then solicited, but shall not include a representative of any governmental agency or public utility corporation.
Every applicant for a license as herein provided shall submit to the Town Clerk a written application, under affidavit, setting forth the following information, to wit: that he or she has never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor (if so, give details); a detailed statement of the particular business, trade or occupation or purpose for which the license is requested; the make, model and license plate number of vehicle(s), if any, to be used by the applicant in carrying on the business for which the license is requested; the kinds of goods, wares and merchandise he/she desires to sell or the kind of service he/she desires to render; the name, address and age of the applicant; the name and address of the person, firm or corporation he/she represents; the name and addresses of all partners of a partnership; and the names and addresses of a person upon whom a legal notice may be served; and such other information as may be required by the Town Clerk.
Every vehicle used in support of hawking, peddling or soliciting shall have the name and address of the licensee plainly, distinctly and legibly displayed in letters and figures at least two inches in height in a conspicuous place on the dashboard of the vehicle.
A yearly fee of $100 shall be paid before a license is issued to engage in the business of hawking, peddling, soliciting and canvassing. All such licenses shall be issued for a calendar year expiring on December 31 of the year in which such license is issued. A separate license shall be required for each separate vehicle or conveyance used by any license hereunder. Each license issued shall contain the New York State motor vehicle license number of the vehicle used and shall be visibly displayed upon such vehicle. Any use of such license on any other vehicle shall constitute grounds for the revocation of any and all of the offending licensee's licenses hereunder.
Every applicant for a solicitor's and canvasser's license who shall not be a resident of the County of Niagara or who being a resident of the County of Niagara represents any person whose principal place of business is located outside the State of New York, shall file with the Town Clerk a surety bond running to the Town in the amount of $1,000 with surety given by an insurance carrier licensed by the State Insurance Department, conditioned that the applicant shall comply with this chapter and the laws of the State of New York and guaranteeing to any resident of the Town that all money paid as a down payment will be accounted for and applied according to the representations of the solicitor or canvasser and that any property purchased will be delivered in compliance with the representations made by the solicitor or canvasser. Such bond shall provide that action thereon may be brought by any person to whom a judgment has been awarded because of loss caused by such licensee's failure or default.
The Town Clerk shall waive the annual fee for a license to solicit or canvass in the event that the employer of the solicitor or canvasser is a not-for-profit corporation.
Any applicant holding a license issued by the Niagara County Clerk, pursuant to § 32 of the General Business Law, shall be entitled to obtain a license without payment of any fee therefor, but no such person shall engage in any of the occupations specified in this chapter without first having been issued a license by the Town Clerk.
The Town Clerk shall issue the licenses required by this chapter upon filing of application therefor and payment of the prescribed fee and furnishing of bond, if required, but no license shall be issued to any person not of good moral character or who has previously been convicted of a crime.
The Town Clerk has the power to limit the hours of operation by the license holder, said hours to be 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., in the interests of Town residents.
No applicant to whom a license has been refused or who has had a license which has been revoked shall make further application until a period of at least 12 months shall have elapsed since the last previous rejection or revocation, unless he or she can show that the reason for such rejection or revocation no longer exists. Every licensee, while exercising his/her license, shall carry the license with him/her and shall exhibit the same upon demand to any police officer or citizen.
Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be an offense against such chapter.
For every violation of any provision of this chapter, the person violating the same shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $150 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both.
Conviction for any of the above-mentioned violations shall constitute and effect an immediate forfeiture of any license issued pursuant hereto.
If there are complaints of undue pressure to purchase, donate or otherwise accept services offered by the license holder by a resident to the office of the Town Clerk, the Town Clerk shall have the right to rescind that license.
A licensed hawker, peddler or solicitor shall:
Not falsely or fraudulently misrepresent the quantity or quality of any article offered for sale or offer for sale any unwholesome, tainted or diseased provisions or merchandise.
Keep the vehicles and receptacles being used in a clean and sanitary condition and the foodstuffs and edibles offered for sale well covered and protected from dirt, dust and insects.