[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Shrewsbury 9-27-1973 by Ord. No. 346 as Ch. 45 of the 1973 Code; amended in its entirety 5-21-2012 by Ord. No. 982. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CANVASSER or SOLICITOR
- Any person who goes from place to place, house to house, or person to person, selling, offering to sell or purchase, or taking orders for goods, wares, merchandise, real estate or any article for future delivery or for services to be performed in the future or for the making, manufacturing or repairing of any article or thing whatsoever for future delivery or for the solicitation of money. Canvassing shall also include any person going from house to house for the purpose of obtaining the views of any person upon any economic or social question or a project for the purpose of distributing literature, pamphlets, circulars, samples and the like for purposes of information and advertising for noncommercial purposes. Canvasser or solicitor shall not include wholesale salespersons calling on retail merchants.
- COMMERCIAL HANDBILL
- Means and includes any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper, booklet, or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original copies of any matter of literature which:
- A. Advertises for sale any merchandise product, commodity or thing;
- B. Directs attention to any business or mercantile or commercial establishment or other activity for the purpose of, either directly or indirectly, promoting the interest thereof by sales;
- C. Directs attention to or advertises any meeting, theatrical performance, exhibition or event of any kind, for which an admission fee is charged for the purpose of private gain or profit; or
- D. While containing reading matter other than advertising matter, is predominately and essentially an advertisement and is distributed or circulated for advertising purposes or for the private benefit and gain of any person so engaged as advertiser or distributor.
- HANDBILL DISTRIBUTOR
- Means and includes any person engaging or engaged in the business for hire or gain of distributing commercial or noncommercial handbills, other than newspapers distributed to subscribers thereof, and any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly for the distribution of such handbills.
- Any newspaper of general circulation as defined by general law, any newspaper duly entered with the United States Postal Service in accordance with federal statute or regulation and a newspaper filed and recorded with any recording officer as provided by law; and, in addition thereto, includes any periodical or magazine regularly published with not less than four issues per year and sold to the public.
- NONCOMMERCIAL HANDBILL
- Means and includes any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, paper booklet, or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter or literature not included in the aforesaid definitions of a sign, or a commercial handbill, or a newspaper.
- NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION
- An organization or entity possessing a tax-exempt status which shall be evidenced by furnishing to the Borough a tax-exempt number provided by the State of New Jersey and/or the government of the United States.
- PEDDLER, HAWKER or VENDOR
- Any person who goes from house to house, place to place, or person to person, carrying, conveying or transporting goods, wares, merchandise or services and offering or exposing the same for sale or delivering articles for purchasers. The words "peddler," "hawker" and "vendor" shall not include a wholesale salesperson calling on retail merchants.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, voluntary association, incorporated association, and any principal or agent thereof, who has not been convicted of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and has not been convicted of any prior violation of this chapter.
- TRANSIENT MERCHANT, ITINERANT MERCHANT and ITINERANT VENDOR
- Any person, whether as owner, agent, servant, employee or consignee, who engages in a temporary business of selling and delivering goods, wares and merchandise within the Borough of Shrewsbury and who, in furtherance of such purposes, hires, leases, uses or occupies any building, structure, motor vehicle, shops or any street, alley or other public place within the Borough for the exhibition and sale of such goods, wares and merchandise, either privately or at public auction.
The purpose of this chapter is to prevent unfair competition, dishonest business practices and fraudulent solicitation, traffic hazards and undue annoyance to householders and tenants by the regulation of transient merchants, hawkers, peddlers, junk dealers, solicitors, canvassers and handbill distributors as defined in § 132-1.
Except as herein provided, it shall be unlawful for any transient merchant, hawker, peddler, canvasser and solicitor or handbill distributor to sell, dispose of or offer for sale or disposal any goods, wares, merchandise or publications or to solicit money, services or other things of value within the Borough of Shrewsbury without first applying for and obtaining a license as required by Chapter 152, Licenses, and complying with all other requirements for applicants for licenses and licensees set forth in said Chapter 152.
The following persons shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter, except for the provisions of § 132-12 (Time restrictions) and § 132-10 (Regulations for licensees; code of conduct):
Any person who conducts a judicial sale under the authority of state or federal laws.
Any exempt member of a volunteer fire department, volunteer fire engine, hook and ladder, hose or supply company, first aid squad or salvage corps of any municipality or fire district in this state, who holds an exemption certificate issued to him as an exempt member of any such department, company or corps, who is a resident of the State of New Jersey and who has procured a license in the manner and under the conditions prescribed in N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 et seq., as amended, supplemented and in force.
Any person honorably discharged from the military forces of the United States, who is a resident of the State of New Jersey and who has procured a license in the manner and under the conditions prescribed in N.J.S.A. 45:24-9, as amended, supplemented and in force.
Any persons who are the owners or authorized operators of any business or activity described in Subsections A through C above, who hold any unexpired license or permit issued by the Borough under any other ordinance in such business or activity, provided that such employer or authorized operator submits to the Borough Clerk, for approval, the name and address of such employed person, and provided that, following such approval by the Chief of Police, to be submitted by him to the Borough Clerk, the employer or authorized operator applies to and obtains from the Borough Clerk a permit showing the name and address of the employer or authorized operator, the name and address of the person so employed, the character of the business or activity and such other matters as may, from time to time, be required by the Police Committee of the Borough.
Children 18 years of age or younger that are members of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, any local grammar/high school educational fundraisers, local recreation/ travel sports teams, whether they are soliciting, peddling or canvassing door to door or at a storefront. These individuals/organizations must first get the approval of the business owners prior to any storefront solicitation or peddling of merchandise.
Bell ringers collecting for the Salvation Army at storefronts during the holiday season. Approval by the store owners prior to any solicitation is required.
Store owners or their employees handing out coupons or store fliers within 10 feet of the main entrance to their store.
Persons engaged in the sale or delivery of newspapers qualified as legal newspapers within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 35:1-1 et seq., as amended, supplemented and in force.
Officers or employees of the Borough, state or federal government when on official business.
Any public utility or its employees, which said utility is subject to regulation by the State Board of Public Utility Commissioners; provided, however, that such employee shall display the identification badge or card issued by his employer.
Any person, not otherwise subject hereto, engaged in the delivery of goods, wares or merchandise or other articles or things in the regular course of business to the premises of persons who had ordered the same or were entitled to receive the same by reason of a prior agreement.
Any person, soliciting votes or support of any bona fide political candidate seeking public office, including primary election; any activity or conduct connected with or relating to voter registration; or any conduct or activity relating to the expressing of opinion on, or soliciting support for, any public candidacy or public issue or question. As a courtesy to the Borough, these persons should alert the Borough's administrative offices and Borough Police Department when they plan to canvass.
Persons soliciting or canvassing for a lawful recognized nonprofit religious or charitable organization shall be exempt from the licensing fees set forth in Chapter 152. Persons deemed to be lawful, nonprofit religious or charitable organizations must provide the following materials to the Borough Clerk's office and the Borough Police Department prior to the issuance of a canvassing or soliciting license:
A completed application to obtain a canvassing/soliciting license must include the following:
Name of the organization and the purpose of the canvassing/solicitation.
Proof of tax-exempt status from the State of New Jersey or the government of the United States.
Bylaws or mission statement of the organization, if applicable, confirming the solicitation is prompted by a desire to finance the charitable or religious cause described in the application and is not for private profit.
Name of all solicitors/canvassers, including the specific dates and times on where in the Borough the solicitation will occur. A copy of said list shall be provided to the Borough Police Department.
The canvassing/soliciting license will be issued to each of the solicitors/canvassers noted in § 132-5A(4). This license must be carried at all times during solicitation within the Borough and must be presented when requested by Borough officials and/or Borough residents.
In addition to the requirements of § 152-7 of Chapter 152, Licenses, persons applying for licenses as transient merchants, itinerant merchants, itinerant vendors, peddlers, solicitors, canvassers or handbill distributors shall furnish this further information on their respective applications or attach the same thereto:
Name, address and phone number of business applying for a soliciting, canvassing, peddling or handbill distribution license.
A statement of the nature, character and quality of the goods, wares or merchandise to be sold or offered for sale, where manufactured and located and the proposed method of delivery.
A brief statement of the nature and character of the advertising done or proposed to be done in order to attract customers.
The place or places within or outside the Borough of Shrewsbury where the applicant, within two years next preceding the date of said application, did carry on business, peddle, solicit, canvass or distribute.
Such other reasonable information as to the identity or character of the person or persons having the management or supervision of the applicant's business or the method or plan of doing such business as the Borough Clerk may deem proper to fulfill the purposes of this chapter in the protection of the public good.
A listing of all misdemeanors, felonies or violations of any municipal ordinances for which the applicant has been convicted, the nature of the offense and the punishment assessed therefor. If the applicant is not an individual, these provisions shall apply to its officers and managers.
The name, personal address and contact number for each person authorized by § 132-6F to canvass, solicit, peddle or distribute handbills on their behalf.
Credentials from the person, firm or corporation for which the applicant proposes to do business, authorizing the applicant to act as such representative.
Criminal history background check.
A criminal history background check will be required for each solicitor, canvasser, peddler or handbill distributor. The Borough Police Department requires that the background check be completed by Morphotrak, the only firm recognized by the New Jersey State Police. The fingerprint forms will be supplied by the Borough's Police Department when the applicant completes the license application.
For any canvassing, soliciting, peddler or handbill distribution licenses being renewed, the police may decide to allow a name check, instead of a fingerprint background check, if the initial New Jersey State Police and FBI fingerprint check, performed by Morphotrak, yielded the approval of the Chief of Police.
No person will be permitted to commence peddling, soliciting, canvassing or distributing handbills prior to the successful completion of the criminal history background check process. Any person who refuses to consent to this procedure shall not be issued a license.
The costs associated with the criminal history background check are the responsibility of the applicant, not the Borough.
The Borough Police Department will be responsible for maintaining and reviewing the results of the criminal history record information received from the New Jersey State Police Bureau of Identification and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Chief of Police will advise the Borough Clerk's office whether to endorse or deny the license application.
Two photographs of the applicant, taken within 30 days immediately prior to the date of filing of the application, which pictures shall be two inches by three inches, showing the head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishing manner.
If a vehicle is to be used, a description of the same, together with the license registration number or other means of identification.
A complete schedule of the date, time and place or places in the Borough where the applicant proposes to solicit, canvass, peddle or distribute handbills. The license will only be good for one month at a time, with a maximum of three months within a twelve-month period.
Upon receipt of the completed license application, including the results of the completed background check, the original will be reviewed by the Chief of Police or police designee to assure the moral character of the solicitor, canvasser, peddler or handbill distributor which is necessary for the protection of public welfare.
If, as a result of such review, the licensee's character and/or owner's business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on such application his disapproval and his reasons for same and return the application to the Borough Clerk, who shall notify the applicant that his application is disapproved. Any determination by the Chief of Police that an application is unsatisfactory shall be based only upon one or more of the following findings with respect to the licensee/applicant:
The criminal background check reveals a record of conviction of any crime or disorderly offense:
Involving danger to the person, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 et seq. (criminal homicides); N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 et seq. (assault; reckless endangering; threats); N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1 et seq. (kidnapping and related offenses); N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1 et seq. (sexual offenses); or N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 et seq. (robbery); or
Against the family, children or incompetents, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-1 et seq.; or
Involving theft as set forth in Chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; or
Involving any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as set forth in Chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, except for N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10a (4) (minimal amounts of marijuana or hashish).
In any other state or jurisdiction, conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes or disorderly person's offenses described herein.
Prior violation of a canvassing, peddling, soliciting or similar ordinance.
Previous fraudulent acts or conduct.
Records of breaches of soliciting contracts.
Misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for the license.
Concrete evidence of bad moral character.
If the Chief of Police disapproves of an application for a license the applicant may appeal to the Borough Council to grant the license. Such appeal may be heard by the Borough Council at any special or regular meeting, and shall be made on five days' notice to the Chief of Police. Either the Chief of Police, or a member of the Police Department shall attend such hearing, and shall state the reasons for disapproval. There shall be no administrative appeal from the decision of the Borough Council on this appeal.
After review of the completed license application that the character and business responsibility of the owner and licensee are found to be satisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse his approval of the application. Upon approval the Clerk's office shall, upon payment of the license fee set forth in Chapter 152, Licenses, execute and deliver the license.
The license issued hereunder shall contain the signature of the Chief of Police and the Borough Clerk and shall show:
The name and address of the licensee.
The name and address of the business or organization the licensee is representing.
The type of license issued (canvassing, solicitation, handbill distribution).
The purpose or reason for the license request; kinds of goods or services being sold, discussed or distributed thereunder.
The date of issue.
The expiration date of the license.
The license number and description of the vehicle, if applicable.
The areas of the Borough the licensee is allowed to canvass, peddle or distribute handbills.
The days and times licensee is permitted to canvass, solicit, peddle or distribute handbills.
All licenses shall be issued on forms drawn in accordance with this section and shall be consecutively numbered.
A ledger will be kept in the Borough Clerk's office that maintains a list of all applications, showing what kind of license was issued, whether new or renewal, name of licensee, name of business, date of approval, date the license is issued, date of expiration and the areas in which the licensee is allowed to canvass, peddle or distribute handbills.
The Clerk shall keep the original license application and supporting paperwork.
The Clerk's office will provide the Police Department with a copy of each approved license. The Clerk's office shall keep a record of all complaints received, if any, concerning each license.
Every holder of a license issued by the Borough under authority of this section shall be required to carry such license while engaged in the licensed activity within the limits of the Borough. The licensee shall produce such license at the request of any official of the Borough or of any resident of the Borough with whom the holder wishes to conduct the licensed activity.
Upon the expiration, cancellation, suspension or revocation of any license issued under the provisions of this chapter, the licensee shall surrender the same to the Borough Clerk within 24 hours after notice of such cancellation. The Borough Clerk shall notify the Chairman of the Police Committee and the Chief of Police of the failure of any person to surrender, as herein required, any expired license or any license which may have been canceled or revoked.
The holder of any license shall not canvass or solicit orders for any articles from pedestrian or vehicular traffic on or adjacent to any public street, avenue or highway within the limits of the Borough of Shrewsbury in such manner as will interfere with the normal and usual use of such public street, avenue or highway.
The holder of any license shall not enter in or upon any house, building or other structure or any land or property without the prior consent of the owner or occupant thereof, where there is placed or posted on the premises in a conspicuous position at or near the usual means of ingress thereto a sign or other form of notice stating or indicating that the owner or occupant thereof forbids or does not desire persons engaged in any business or activity for which a license or permit is required to enter upon the premises.
The holder of any license, on delivery of any article, ware, product or merchandise paid for in full, or on the payment in full of any sum of money, shall give a written, dated receipt therefor in full.
The holder of any license shall, if payment is not fully made in the first instance or if payment is to be made in installments, give written, dated receipts for all payments. Such receipt shall show the price of the article, ware, product or merchandise ordered or sold, or the total amount solicited; the down payment, if any; the time and amounts of installment payments and the time of the final payment, including the time for the final delivery, if any, of any article, ware, product or merchandise purchased or ordered. Copies of any receipts herein required shall be kept by the holder of any such license and produced on demand by the Chief of Police.
The licensee shall not transact any business which shall concern any goods, wares, real estate, merchandise or services other than that specified in the application for license or which shall consist of fraud, cheating or material misrepresentation.
The licensee must remove themselves from the premises immediately after being asked to leave by anyone.
No person shall shout, make any outcry, blow a horn, or any loudspeaker, radio or sound-amplifying system upon any streets, alleys, parks or other public places of the Borough or upon any private premises where sound of sufficient volume is emitted or produced therefrom to be capable of being plainly heard upon the streets, avenues, alleys, parks or other public places for the purposes to sell.
Distribution of commercial handbills on cars, moving or standing, on private property or in public streets or parking areas is prohibited. It shall not be unlawful for a person to hand out or distribute without charge to the receiver therefor a noncommercial handbill to any person willing to accept it.
No person shall have exclusive right to any location in or upon the public streets or rights-of-way thereof, nor shall any vested rights arise from the use of any location, and no person shall be permitted to operate in any location or area where his presence presents a public hazard, danger or inconvenience, contributes to vehicular or pedestrian congestion or constitutes a public nuisance.
The licensee shall not leave on or about the resident's property any circular, samples or other manner or materials unless same is handed to an occupant of the property.
The licensee shall not indicate that the Borough endorses or sponsors any of the views expressed or the organization for which support or contributions are sought.
The licensee shall not make false claims, misrepresentations or materially incorrect statements concerning the solicitation, organizations represented, or the use to be made of the amount solicited.
The licensee shall not engage in any course of alarming conduct or conduct himself/herself so as to alarm or seriously annoy the residents.
The licensee shall not engage in any conduct which is prohibited by any statute, regulation or ordinance in effect in the Borough of Shrewsbury.
The distribution or dissemination of such shall be done without causing any litter or debris to accumulate upon the public or private areas of the Borough of Shrewsbury.
The licensee shall not be permitted to wear any kind of mask or head covering which in any way conceals his identity.
The requirements of this chapter shall not affect or apply to any person engaged in the delivery of goods, wares, merchandise or other article in the regular course of business to the premises of persons ordering or entitled to receive the same.
No soliciting, canvassing, peddling or handbill distribution shall be conducted in the Borough of Shrewsbury before 9:00 a.m. or later than 8:00 p.m.
Any person required by this chapter to procure a license who violates the terms thereof or fails to comply with N.J.S.A. 45:24-1 through 45:24-8, inclusive, as amended, supplemented and in force, or who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,250, a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or any combination thereof.