[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Morris 2-2-2011 by Ord. No. 3-11 (Ch. 63 of the 1969 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
No person, firm or corporation shall canvass, solicit, distribute circulars or other matter or call from house to house in the Township of Morris to sell, promote the sale of or attempt to sell goods by sample or to take or attempt to take orders for the future delivery of goods, merchandise, wares or any property, personal or real, of any nature whatsoever, or take or attempt to take orders for services to be furnished or performed presently or in the future without first having obtained a written permit therefor from the Police Department of the Township of Morris.
Any person, firm or corporation soliciting or canvassing on behalf of a bona fide religious, charitable, benevolent, educational or political organization or candidate shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter, except for the hours of solicitation hereinafter provided.
Any person, firm or corporation delivering goods or performing services which have previously been ordered by the person owning, leasing or occupying the property where such delivery is made or service performed shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
Minors engaged in business or operating a concern where no other person is employed shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
Any person seeking a permit to canvass or solicit shall file an application with the Morris Township Police Department on a form supplied by said Department.
The Morris Township Police Department shall only accept applications and applicants for processing between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. No applicants shall be processed on weekends or holidays.
The application form shall require the following information:
Name of the applicant.
Permanent home address.
Name and address and telephone number of the employer or firm represented.
Place or places of residence of the applicant for the preceding three years.
Date on which soliciting or canvassing is to commence and end.
Nature of goods or merchandise to be sold or offered for sale or the nature of the services to be furnished.
Whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense or violation of any ordinance relating to canvassing or soliciting and, if so, when, where and the nature of the offense.
The names of other municipalities in New Jersey where the applicant has been issued a permit to solicit in the past two years.
Whether any motor vehicle will be used in connection with the canvassing or soliciting and, if so, the make, year, color, type and license plate number.
Physical description of the applicant.
Marital status and social security number.
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.
All applicants shall be fingerprinted and photographed by the Morris Township Police Department and shall be subject to a criminal history check at the cost and expense of the applicant.
All applicants for a solicitation permit shall be required to produce a government-issued photographic identification which the Police Department will photocopy and attach to the application form.
Any applicant who fails to fully comply with the requisites established for issuance of a permit shall be denied a permit.
Any falsification of information required to be provided in the application process shall result in denial or immediate revocation of the applicant's permit.
Any failure to comply with the other provisions of this chapter shall result in immediate revocation of the permit holder's permit.
Any failure of a permit holder to prominently display his permit upon his person when soliciting shall result in immediate revocation of the permit.
Permit holders shall be allowed to solicit only on Monday to Saturday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Solicitors are encouraged to wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight if soliciting after dark.
The Morris Township Police Department shall issue all permits within 48 hours of the time when an applicant has completed the requisites set forth in § 374-3A, B, C, D and E and the results have been received. In computing the forty-eight-hour period, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays shall be excluded from such computation.
Each permit holder shall be issued a permit which shall be prominently displayed upon the person of the permit holder whenever such permit holder is engaged in canvassing or soliciting.
Each applicant for a permit shall pay a fee of $25 for an annual permit. The permit shall expire on December 31 of each year, and no permit fee shall be prorated for part of the year.
No permit shall be transferable. In the case of a firm or corporation, each person representing such firm or corporation shall be issued a separate permit.
The Police Department of the Township of Morris shall have the power and authority to grant, deny or revoke permits, as provided for and in accordance with the terms of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BONA FIDE RELIGIOUS, CHARITABLE, BENEVOLENT, EDUCATIONAL OR POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
- Any organization that is qualified under state or federal law as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization or any organization or group that espouses or advocates a position or belief on any subject of public interest or on behalf of any candidate for public office or acting in furtherance of any candidate, educational or benevolent interest or cause.
- To call upon persons to elicit or determine opinions, feelings, sentiments or information of any nature.
Any person, firm or corporation charged with violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable for a fine not exceeding $200 or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 90 days, or both.
In any case where, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, a permit should be revoked or should not be issued to a person applying under any provision of this chapter, the Police Chief shall immediately forward such matter to the governing body of the Township of Morris for its consideration. The Police Chief shall forward any application file, together with supporting data and information and the reasons which form the basis of his opinion, to the governing body for its review and decision. The governing body may deny or revoke a permit where it finds the applicant or permit holder has failed to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or has been convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense or ordinance violation which relates adversely to the activity for which the permit has or would be issued.
In cases where a permit is subject to revocation for any reason provided for in this chapter, the Chief of Police may temporarily suspend such permit, pending consideration of the matter by the governing body of the Township of Morris.
Any candidate for public office or person campaigning on behalf of such a candidate, where such candidate is seeking election to an office to be voted upon by the residents of the Township of Morris who are duly registered to vote in elections in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey, shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter.
The office of the Township Clerk shall collect, prepare and maintain a list of addresses of premises where the owner and/or occupant has notified the Township Clerk that soliciting or canvassing is not desired or permitted at or on his, her or their premises. This form shall be available at the office of the Clerk during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except legal holidays.
The Tax Assessor shall notify the Township Clerk of any change in ownership of property within the Township. The Township Clerk shall remove from the "Do Not Solicit" list (hereinafter the "list") any property which has changed ownership.
The Township Clerk shall submit the nonsolicitation list to the Chief of Police on a quarterly basis. The Clerk, however, shall maintain a current database accessible by the Chief of Police. The nonsolicitation list shall consist solely of property addresses and shall include no further identifying information concerning ownership of each property.
The nonsolicitation list shall be distributed to applicants seeking a permit to solicit or canvass pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The permit holder shall not solicit or canvass at any address on the nonsolicitation list.
Solicitation or canvassing at any address identified on the "Do Not Solicit" list shall constitute a violation of this chapter. Each and every solicitation at an address identified on the list shall constitute a separate violation of this chapter.
Upon request, the Chief of Police or his designee shall also make available a copy of the list to any individual or entity otherwise exempt from the provisions of this chapter which intends to engage in door-to-door canvassing, campaigning, advocacy, education, proselytizing, handbill distribution or similar activity.
The sole authority for the administration of this chapter shall be the Police Department of the Township of Morris.