[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown 4-6-1987 by Ord. No. 943. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is adopted to regulate the distribution of certain materials, peddling, soliciting and related activities within the Borough of Middletown. The registration of persons engaged in the above-mentioned activities is required so that the identity of persons going door to door or distributing materials within the Borough may be established, so that general regulations may be more effectively enforced for the protection and maintenance of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Borough and to prevent dishonest business practices and dishonest solicitations of funds in the Borough.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person who distributes or causes to be distributed on any street or public place within the Borough any handbill, advertisement, circular, card, pamphlet or printed material of any kind other than a regularly delivered newspaper, magazine or periodical.
- All goods, wares, food, meat, fish, ice cream, fruit, vegetables, magazines, periodicals, printed materials, farm products, services and orders or contracts for services, home improvements or alterations and anything that may be sold or distributed by peddlers, solicitors or distributors, as defined herein.
- Any person, whether a resident of the Borough or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street traveling by foot, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, carrying or transporting merchandise for the purpose of selling and delivering the merchandise to customers. The word "peddler" shall also include the words "hawker," "huckster" and "transient merchant."
- Any person, whether a resident of the Borough or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street traveling by foot, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, soliciting, taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of merchandise or services of any kind for future performance or delivery, whether or not he is collecting advance payments on such sales or orders, or who engages in such activities from a stationary location on any street or in any other public place. The word "solicitor" shall also include the word "canvasser" or any person who goes from door to door as described above for the purpose of soliciting contributions and/or who collects funds from a stationary location on any street or other public place.
It shall be unlawful for any peddler, solicitor, distributor or transient merchant to sell, offer for sale or distribute merchandise, printed material or services within the Borough without first filing an application for registration and obtaining a registration certificate from the Chief of Police of the Borough of Middletown.
Upon obtaining a registration certificate as hereinafter provided, a peddler, solicitor, distributor or transient merchant may conduct his activities within the Borough only as long as he adheres to the regulations set forth herein and carries his registration certificate upon his person at all times during the conduct of his activities. The registration certificate shall identify the person and the type of activity for which he has registered and shall be shown to any police officer or citizen upon request. All certificates shall expire on the date shown thereon, but in no case shall any certificate be issued for a period of time of more than one month.
Every applicant for a certificate under this chapter shall file with the Chief of Police of the Borough a sworn written application on a form to be furnished by the Borough, which shall give or be accompanied by the following information or documents:
The name and description of the applicant.
The permanent home address and full local address of the applicant.
A brief statement of the nature of the activity and a description of the merchandise or service to be sold or performed.
If employed, the name and address of the employer, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship.
The length of time for which the certificate is desired.
If a vehicle is to be used, a description of such vehicle, the operator's license number, the vehicle registration number and the vehicle license number.
A statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor.
In the case of solicitation of contributions, one person shall make application for the organization, at least 30 days prior to the proposed date the solicitations will begin, which application shall give or be accompanied by the following:
The name and local address of the applicant.
The name and address of the organization represented and the names and addresses of the organization's legal officers and managers.
The purpose of soliciting.
The name and address of the person or persons who will be in direct charge of conducting the solicitation.
A list of names and addresses of all sponsors, promoters and solicitors connected with the solicitation.
An outline of the methods to be used in conducting the solicitation.
The dates when the solicitation is to be made, giving the commencement and termination dates.
A statement as to whether or not any commission, fee, wage or other compensation is to be paid in connection with such solicitation and, if so, details as to the amount to be expended from the funds collected.
The fees to be paid in conjunction with the issuance of a nontransferable registration certificate pursuant to this chapter, payable to the Borough of Middletown at the time the application is made, shall be $20 per day or $100 per year. Such fee is imposed for the purpose of defraying the costs of administering and enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
Upon receipt of the completed application form and payment of the fee herein required, a registration certificate shall be issued by the Chief of Police. The certificate shall give such information as shall be deemed necessary to adequately identify the registrant and the activity in which he is involved. The expiration date of the registration certificate shall in all cases be indicated.
In the case of solicitation of contributions, the certificate shall be issued to the organization, which shall supply each of its agents or solicitors with credentials, in a form approved by the Chief of Police, giving the name of the solicitor, the name of the sponsoring organization, the purpose for which the solicitation is being made, the signature of the managing officer of the organization, the date during which the solicitation is authorized to be made and the number of the registration certificate issued to the organization by the Borough.
Except as provided in Subsection B above, where an organization has several agents peddling, soliciting or distributing merchandise or printed material, each agent shall be registered separately. Upon expiration of a certificate, a new certificate may be issued upon compliance with all the provisions of this chapter.
Any certificate issued under this chapter may be suspended or revoked by the Chief of Police upon proof being furnished to him that the application for the certificate contained false information or that the applicant was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude after the issuance of such certificate or that the applicant was convicted of disorderly conduct under any law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any ordinance of the Borough of Middletown.
[Added 5-6-1991 by Ord. No. 1016, approved 5-6-1991]
No person shall:
Peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise except during daylight hours only, but, in any event, not later then 8:00 p.m. during summer months.
Attempt to peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise or printed material without first having identified himself as a peddler, solicitor or distributor registered with the Borough and having displayed his certificate or credentials.
Have exclusive right to any location in the public streets or operate in any congested area where his operations might impede or inconvenience the public.
Enter or attempt to enter the residence of any person in the Borough without an express invitation from the occupant of such residence.
Conduct himself in such a manner as to become objectionable to or annoy an occupant of any residence.
Shout, cry out, blow a horn, ring a bell or use any sound-making or amplifying device upon any of the streets, parks or public places of the Borough or upon private premises, where sound of sufficient volume is emitted or produced therefrom to be capable of being plainly heard upon the streets, avenues, parks or other public places of the Borough or upon private premises, for the purpose of attracting attention to any merchandise or services.
Distribute obscene merchandise or printed material or that which advocates unlawful conduct.
Litter the streets, public places or properties within the Borough with any merchandise or printed material.
Violate any motor vehicle law of the Borough or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The following persons or organizations are exempt from the payment of fees upon compliance with all other provisions of this chapter and submission of applicable identification and documents to support the claim of exemption:
Any charitable or religious society that shall conduct solicitations or sales of personal property when the proceeds thereof shall be applied to the payment of the expenses thereof and to the charitable or religious object for which the society exists.
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 of the persons who had previously ordered the same or were entitled to receive the same by reason of a prior agreement.
Any school, political or civic organization, benevolent society, service club or organization, not for profit, whose principal office is located in the Borough.
Any person selling fruits and farm products grown by himself, with or without the help of others, or any person delivering bread and bakery products, meat and meat products or milk and milk products.
Persons conducting a bona fide auction sale pursuant to law or a sale required by statute or by order of any court.
This chapter shall not be applied so as to occasion any undue burden upon interstate commerce with respect to any business or activity referred to herein. It is the intent of the Council that this chapter be interpreted so as to achieve the primary purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Borough and not to unduly regulate or control the proper conduct of any business or commercial property.
[Amended 7-11-1988 by Ord. No. 972, approved 7-11-1988]
Any person who shall be convicted of violating or failing to comply with the provisions of this chapter before any District Justice shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, together with costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, the violator shall be subject to imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed 30 days. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of a violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.