[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Van Buren 6-12-1985. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended 10-1-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Peddlers and Solicitors Ordinance of the Town of Van Buren, New York."
The Town Board finds that high-pressure, and misleading, fraudulent, and threatening, activities have been associated with hawking, peddling and soliciting activities in the Town of Van Buren, and that it is the purpose and intent of this chapter to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town by establishing regulations and licensing of hawkers, peddlers and solicitors within the Town.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- HAWKER AND PEDDLER
- Includes, except as hereinafter expressly provided, any person, either principal or agent, who from any public street or public place or by going from house to house or place of business to place of business, on foot or on or from any vehicle, sells or barters, offers for sale or barters or carries or exposes for sale or barter any goods, wares or merchandise, books, magazines, periodicals or any other item or items of value, except milk, newspapers and food distributed on regular customer routes.
- Includes any person who goes from place to place or house to house or by telephone or stands in any street or public place taking or offering to take orders for goods, wares or merchandise, books, magazines, periodicals or any other item or items of value (except newspapers, dairy products, or milk), or for services to be performed in the future or for making, manufacturing, or repairing any article or thing whatsoever for future delivery at the home or residence of any person who has been solicited prior thereto by telephone, or has responded to any type of advertising media requiring an appointment or consultation or sales presentation in the home or place of residence of such person.
- SOLICITOR FOR CHARITY
- Includes any person who requests, directly or indirectly, any money, property, financial assistance, pledge or other thing of value for a charitable or religious purpose and entity.
Generally. Nothing in this chapter shall be held to apply to:
Any sales conducted pursuant to statute or by order of any court.
Any person selling personal property at wholesale to dealers in such articles.
Persons under the age of 18 years.
Peddling of meats, fish, fruit and farm produce by farmers and persons who produce such commodities.
Garage and/or lawn sales held upon private property.
Exempt organizations. Nonprofit organizations and persons working for such organizations shall also be exempt. However, such organizations shall register annually with the Town Clerk in the event they plan to engage in vending, hawking, peddling or soliciting, and shall indicate the type of activities to be undertaken and the time when they will be performed. It shall be the responsibility of such organizations to furnish identification for their representatives which must be exhibited upon demand.
Interstate commerce. This chapter also shall not apply so as unlawfully to interfere with interstate commerce, and to that end all persons claiming to be engaged in interstate commerce or claiming any of the exemptions hereinafter set forth shall apply to the Town Clerk for a certificate of exemption, using the form of application described in § 143-5A, the applicant shall also submit to the Town Clerk satisfactory evidence that he or she is engaged in interstate commerce.
Certificate of exemption. When the applicant shall have established to the satisfaction of the Town Clerk that he or she is engaged in interstate commerce, or is entitled to one or more of the above exemptions, the Town Clerk shall issue to him or her, without charge, a certificate of exemption, stating among other things, that such person has complied with the requirements of this section and has satisfactorily established that he or she is engaged in interstate commerce or entitled to an exemption under Subsection B. Such certificate shall be carried with the person exercising it and shall be exhibited upon demand. Each such certificate shall be invalid after one year from its date of issue. The securing of any such certificate by fraud or misrepresentation by any person not in fact engaged in interstate commerce or entitled to one or more exemptions shall constitute a violation of this chapter. For the purposes of this subsection, the identification issued by a nonprofit organization shall be deemed to be a certificate of exemption required by this subsection if approved by the licensing officer.
It shall be unlawful for any person within the limits of the town to act as a hawker, peddler or solicitor as herein defined or assist same without first having obtained and paid for, and having in force and effect a license therefor.
Any person desiring to procure a license as herein provided shall file with the Town Clerk a written application upon a form furnished by the Town Clerk and shall file at the same time satisfactory proof of good character. Such application shall give:
The quantity and make of vehicle to be used by the applicant in carrying on a business for which the license is desired.
[Amended 11-24-1997 by L.L. No. 7-1997]
The kind of goods, wares and merchandise he or she desires to sell or the kind of service he or she desires to perform.
The method of distribution.
The name, address and age of the applicant.
Whether or not the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, and if so, give date of conviction, nature of offense, penalty imposed and name and address of court.
The name and address of the person, firm or corporation he or she represents.
The length of time the applicant desires the license.
The name and address of a resident of the State of New York upon whom any notice required by this chapter may be serviced.
If applicable, such application shall be accompanied by a certificate from the Director of Weights and Measures certifying that all weighing and measuring devises to be used by the applicant have been examined and approved.
An application for a license as a solicitor who demands, accepts or receives payment or deposit of money in advance of final delivery, shall also be accompanied by a cash deposit of $5,000 or a $5,000 surety company bond or other bond secured by sufficient collateral or letter of credit, said bond or letter of credit to be approved by the Town Attorney as to form and surety conditioned for making a final delivery of the goods, wares or merchandise ordered or services to be performed in accordance with the terms of such order or failing therein, that the advance payment on such order be refunded. Any person aggrieved by the action of any licensed solicitor shall have the right by action on the bond or letter of credit for the recovery of money or damages or both. Such bond or letter of credit shall remain in full force and effect and, in case of a cash deposit, such deposit shall be retained by the town for a period of 90 days after the expiration of any such license, unless sooner released by the Town Board.
Town Clerk to issue or deny. Upon the filing of the application, bond or letter of credit and certificate as provided in the preceding section and payment of the required fee, the Town Clerk shall, upon his or her approval of such application, issue to the applicant a license as provided aforesaid. The Town Clerk may refuse a license to any person who in his or her judgment shall be an undesirable person or incapable of properly conducting the trade or business for which a license is sought.
Appeal to Town Board. Any applicant who has been refused a license by the Town Clerk may apply to the Town Board, therefor, and the same may be granted or refused by the Town Board, except as prohibited by Town Law § 137.
A license shall not be assignable. Any holder of any license who permits it to be used by any other person and any person who uses such license granted to any other person shall each be guilty of a violation.
Whenever a license shall be lost or destroyed on the part of the holder or his or her agent or employee, a duplicate in lieu thereof, under the original application and bond or letter of credit may be issued by the Town Clerk upon the filing with him or her by the licensee of an affidavit setting forth the circumstances of the loss and what, if any, search has been made for its recovery.
All licenses shall be issued from a properly bound book with proper reference stubs kept for that purpose, numbered in that order in which they are issued and stating clearly the kind of vehicle to be used, the kind of goods, wares and merchandise to be sold or service to be rendered, the number of his or her license, the date of issuance and expiration of the license, fee paid and the name and address of the licensee.
[Amended 7-3-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
Such license shall be for a term of either 15 days, 30 days, or one year.
Every licensee, while exercising his or her license, shall carry the license with him or her and shall exhibit the same upon demand.
[Amended 11-24-1997 by L.L. No. 7-1997; 7-3-2007 by L.L. No. 5-2007]
The license fee for each person licensed under this chapter shall be as set by resolution of the Town Board from time to time and reflected on the Town's Schedule of Fees adopted at each organizational meeting.
[Amended 10-1-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
Licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Town Supervisor for any of the following causes:
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for the license;
Fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement made in the course of carrying on any business or affairs for which a license was duly issued;
Any violation of this chapter;
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving fraud, deception or moral turpitude;
Conducting the business of a solicitor in an unlawful manner or in such manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public; or
Refusal of a solicitor to leave a private premises after a request by the owner or lawful occupant or otherwise engaging in conduct that would constitute harassment of the owner or lawful occupant.
A person has the right to appeal the revocation of his or her license pursuant to Subsection C of this section, provided the person notifies the Town Board of his or her intent to appeal the revocation within 20 days of first receiving such notice of revocation.
Appeal to Town Board. A person may appeal any decision relating to his or her license by the Town Clerk to the Town Board. The Town Board shall then schedule a public hearing no later than 30 days from the date it received the person's notice to appeal, and notify the person of the time, date and location of such hearing, in writing, mailed to the applicant at his last known address, at least five days before such public hearing. At the public hearing, the person and any other interested party shall be permitted to speak and submit evidence for or against the denial or revocation of the license, as the case may be. Within 10 business days after the close of such hearing, the Town Board shall notify the person of its decision in writing, mailed to the last known address of the person, setting forth the reasons for its decision. Any decision of the Town Board as to the issuance or revocation of a license shall be deemed final and conclusive.
It shall be unlawful for any person to enter upon private property for the purpose of peddling or soliciting before the hour of 9:00 a.m. of any day or after dusk on any day, except upon the invitation of the householder or occupant.
[Amended 10-1-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
It shall be unlawful for any peddler or solicitor in plying his or her trade to ring the bell or knock upon or enter any building whereon there is painted or otherwise affixed or displayed to public view any sign containing any or all of the following words: "No Peddlers" or "No Solicitors" or "No Agents" or other wording, the purpose of which is to prohibit peddling or soliciting on the premises.
No peddler or solicitor shall peddle, vend or sell his or her goods or wares within 200 feet of any place occupied exclusively as a public or private school or for school purposes, nor shall be or she permit his or her cart, wagon or vehicle to stand on any public highway within said distance of such school property.
No peddler or solicitor shall falsely or fraudulently misrepresent the quantity, character or quality of any article offered for sale. No person shall by any trick or device make any false representation obtain or attempt to obtain admission to the house or garage of any person or corporation in the town.
No peddler or solicitor shall blow a horn, ring a bell or use any other noisy device to attract public attention to his or her wares or shout or cry out his or her wares.
It shall be unlawful to create or maintain any bootblack stand or place any barrels, boxes, crates or other obstruction upon any street or public place for the purpose of selling or disposing for sale any goods, wares or merchandise.
No peddler or solicitor shall stand in any public place for more than 1/2 hour or resume a position within 100 feet where he or she has previously stood in any day.
Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, no person shall enter upon any private residential property in the Town of Van Buren, for the purpose of vending, peddling or soliciting an order for any merchandise, device, work, services, book, periodical or printed matter whatsoever; nor for the purpose of selling or distributing any ticket or chance whatsoever without the consent of the occupant of said premises previously given.
Any contract or sale made in violation of Subsections D or H shall be null and void and of no effect as to the person solicited, and any merchandise delivered shall be forfeited and any sums paid by the person so solicited shall become immediately due and payable jointly and severally by the peddler or solicitor and his or her principal.
All orders taken by licensed solicitors who demand, accept or receive payment or deposit of money in advance of final delivery, shall be in writing, made in duplicate, stating the terms thereof and the amount paid in advance, and one copy shall be given to the purchaser at the time the deposit is paid to the solicitor.
It shall be the duty of the Town Clerk to keep a record of all applications and of all licenses granted under the provisions of this chapter giving the number and date of each license, the fee paid and the date of revocation of all licenses revoked.
[Added 10-1-2013 by L.L. No. 1-2013]
A criminal background check of each person to be hawking, peddling or soliciting within the Town shall be submitted to the Town Clerk within 10 business days after submitting an application for a license under this chapter. The criminal background check must be made at the applicant's expense (or paid by the applicant's employer or contractor) and must be no more than 30 days old. A criminal background check must include national, state and county criminal history and sex offender records.
[Amended 11-24-1997 by L.L. No. 7-1997]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both. Each day of continuance of an offense shall be considered a separate offense.