Borough of Merchantville, NJ
Camden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Merchantville Borough Council 12-8-1980 by Ord. No. 563. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purposes of this chapter are:
A. 
Deterring the use of soliciting, canvassing and peddling to gain access to homes for criminal purposes.
B. 
Maintaining quiet and privacy for the residents of the Borough of Merchantville.
C. 
Discouraging unethical and dishonest business practices within the Borough of Merchantville.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CANVASS
The act of going from door to door or house to house for the purpose of seeking orders, pledges or information.
PEDDLE
The act of going from door to door or house to house for the purpose of selling or attempting to sell goods or wares.
SOLICIT
The act of going from door to door or house to house for the purpose of attempting to persuade residents, householders or their agents or servants to buy, to sell, to agree to buy or sell, to contract for goods or services, to donate money or property or to solicit participation in any group or organization. In addition, the term "solicit" shall also be deemed to include the act of making surveys for research purposes, analysis, opinion polls, rating data and any such similar work which, by its nature, involves a door-to-door or place-to-place activity.
[Amended 10-22-2018 by Ord. No. 18-12]
Canvassing, soliciting and peddling in the Borough of Merchantville, in the County of Camden, are prohibited:
A. 
Between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on any day of the week.
B. 
At any other time or place unless each such canvasser, solicitor or peddler shall have first registered under the provisions of this chapter.
[Added 10-22-2018 by Ord. No. 18-12]
A. 
The Police Clerk shall prepare a list of addresses of those premises where the owner and/or occupant has notified the Police Clerk that peddling, soliciting, canvassing, hawking and door-to-door sales enterprising as set forth in this chapter are not permitted on the premises (hereinafter referred to as the "Do Not Knock Registry"). Notification shall be by completion of a form available at the Police Department office during normal business hours.
B. 
Any owner and/or occupant who has requested enlistment on the "Do Not Knock Registry," pursuant to this chapter herein, shall be able to obtain from the Police Department office a sticker for display at his/her/its premises indicating enlistment on the "Do Not Knock Registry."
C. 
Owners and/or occupants who are placed on the "Do Not Knock Registry" at their request shall remain on the "Do Not Knock Registry" until such time as they advise the Police Clerk in writing that they wish to be removed from the list.
D. 
The Police Clerk shall distribute the current "Do Not Knock Registry" to a licensee under this chapter at the time of issuance of a license to peddle, solicit, canvas, hawk or otherwise door-to-door sell pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The "Do Not Knock Registry" provided to licensees shall only include the physical address of the enlisted premises. The licensee shall not peddle, solicit, canvas, hawk or conduct door-to-door sales at any premises identified on the then-current "Do Not Knock Registry."
Every person who shall desire to canvass, solicit or peddle must first register with the Merchantville Police Department on a form to be furnished by the Merchantville Police Department. Each such person shall, in writing and on said form, supply the following information:
A. 
His name, age and the address of his residence.
B. 
The name, business address and telephone number of his employer or organization which he represents.
C. 
The name, business address and telephone number of the person, firm or corporation for whom or in whose behalf he desires to solicit pledges, gifts or donations or for whose benefit he seeks information.
D. 
The nature of the activity in which he proposes to engage.
E. 
The route, date and approximate hours of his itinerary in the Borough of Merchantville.
F. 
Whether or not he has ever been convicted of a crime.
G. 
Identification acceptable to the Borough of Merchantville Police Department.
No person seeking to register under the terms of this chapter shall give any false answer to any question required to be answered by this chapter as part of the registration application.
No registration shall be accepted under the authority of this chapter from any person who shall have been convicted of a crime or from any person under the age of 18 years.
Each registrant shall carry on his or her person identification at all times when canvassing, soliciting or peddling, as defined in this chapter, and present same upon request to any person or official requesting same.
Each registration filed pursuant to the terms of this chapter shall be valid for the 90 calendar days next succeeding the date of its issue.
The Merchantville Police Department shall revoke the privilege to solicit upon discovery of any material misrepresentation made by the registrant in his registration application or for any violation by said registrant of any of the provisions of this chapter.
No person shall canvass, solicit or peddle within the Borough of Merchantville, in the County of Camden, without first filing an application acceptable under this chapter or at a time when or at a place where canvassing, soliciting or peddling are prohibited by this chapter.
A. 
This section shall not be construed to include the sale and delivery of milk, eggs, bread, newspapers or such other necessary and perishable articles of food or merchandise of a type commonly delivered on a house-to-house basis at intervals of one week or less nor the selling of products actually grown by the seller or sale by any real estate agent, insurance agent or other professional possessing a valid license issued by the State of New Jersey.
B. 
Any veteran or exempt fireman who holds a special license under the laws of the State of New Jersey shall be exempt from the fee provisions of this section but shall be required to comply with all other applicable provisions hereof.
C. 
Special permits.
(1) 
Any nonprofit, religious, charitable, recreational, civic or veteran's organization, service club, volunteer fire or first-aid company desiring to solicit or canvass, or have solicited or canvassed in its name, money, donations or financial assistance of any kind or desiring to sell or distribute any items of literature for which a fee is charged shall be exempt from the registration of § 38-4, provided that there is filed a sworn application, in writing, with the Chief of Police for a special permit. Said application shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The name and address of the organization.
(b) 
The purpose for which the special permit is requested.
(c) 
The name and address of the officers, directors or trustees of the organization.
(d) 
The period during which canvassing or soliciting is being carried on.
(e) 
The names and addresses of all canvassers or solicitors engaged by the applicant.
(2) 
Upon being satisfied that the organization or association is bona fide and as represented in its application, the Chief of Police shall issue a special permit without charge for the period of time during which canvassing or soliciting is requested within seven days after receipt of a properly completed application.
D. 
Any person canvassing or soliciting for a political candidate or program shall be exempt from this section.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 38-12, Violations and penalties, was repealed 5-27-1997.
[Amended 4-8-2013 by Ord. No. 13-06]
A fee as stated in Chapter 25, Fees, shall be paid by each applicant for the issuance of a license for canvassing, peddling or soliciting, except that no fee shall be required for a special permit as provided for in § 38-11 of this chapter.
[Added 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 05-13]
Except for charitable organizations duly permitted in accordance with this chapter 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.
[Added 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 05-13]
All charitable organizations as defined in N.J.S.A. 45:17A-20 who desire to solicit contributions in roadways situate in the Borough of Merchantville 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 the applicant organization.
B. 
Address of the applicant organization.
C. 
Telephone number of the applicant organization.
D. 
Contact person for the 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. 
Identify 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 Merchantville.
I. 
Such other information as may be required or is otherwise deemed necessary by the Borough Clerk in order to process the application.
[Added 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 05-13]
A. 
Upon the filing of a complete application in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, the Borough Clerk shall forward a copy of the application to the Chief of Police and to the Superintendent of the Public Works Department. The Chief of Police and Superintendent of the Public Works Department shall review the application and shall provide the Borough Clerk with any recommendations regarding the same.
B. 
Upon review and approval by Borough Council, the Borough Clerk shall issue a permit to allow the event including as a condition of the permit any recommendations made by the Chief of Police, Superintendent of the Public Works Department and/or the Borough Council. 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 and/or state.
[Added 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 05-13]
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. 16:401.1 et seq.) and including 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 New Jersey Department of Transportation (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 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. 16:406.1).
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 alcohol 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 local and the NJDOT permit if 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 form any accident arising out of or in the course of solicitations.
O. 
No more than one (1) permit per calendar year shall be issued to a charitable organization for solicitation under this Article.
P. 
No more than one (1) permit per calendar month shall be issued to any charitable organization for solicitation under this Article within any calendar year.
[Added 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 05-13; amended 10-22-2018 by Ord. No. 18-12]
A. 
Unless another penalty is expressly provided by New Jersey statute, every person, firm, association or corporation violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the fines and/or penalties as are set forth in the § 1-9 of the Code of the Borough of Merchantville. Each day that a violation occurs shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation, subject to the penalty provisions of this chapter.
B. 
To the extent the conduct prohibited under this chapter also violates other provisions of the Borough Code, those violations constitute separate offenses subject to additional fines and penalties as prescribed.