[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Sykesville 4-1-1979 by Ord. No. 112. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is adopted to regulate the distribution of certain materials, peddling, soliciting and related activities within the Town of Sykesville. 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 Town 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 Town and to prevent dishonest business practices and dishonest solicitation of funds in the Town.
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 Town any newspaper, periodical, book, magazine, handbill, circular, card or pamphlet or printed material of any kind.
- All goods, wares, food, meat, fish, ice cream, fruit, vegetables, magazines, periodicals, printed material, 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 Town or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street, traveling by foot or 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" and "huckster."
- Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, organization, club, association or any principal or agent thereof.
- Any person, whether a resident of the Town or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street, traveling by foot or 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 present or future performance or delivery, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the merchandise or services and whether or not he is collecting advance payments on such sales or orders, or who engages in any of the foregoing activities from a stationary location on any street or 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 and/or who collects funds from a stationary location on any street or other public place.
- TRANSIENT MERCHANT
- Any person engaging in the activities commonly referred to as "transient merchant" or "itinerant vendor," who merchandises or sells with the intent to close out or discontinue such business within a period of one year from the date of commencement and occupies a room, building, tent, lot or other premises for the purpose of selling merchandise.
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 Town without first registering with, filing an application for registration, paying a registration fee and obtaining a registration certificate from the Town of Sykesville.
Upon obtaining a registration certificate as hereinafter provided, a peddler, solicitor, distributor, or transient merchant may conduct his activities within the Town only as long as he adheres to the regulations set forth herein and carries the 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 person or police officer upon request. A registration certificate shall be valid for a period of six months from its date of issue.
Every applicant for a certificate under this chapter shall file with the Town Manager or authorized agent a sworn, written application on a form to be furnished by said Town Manager or authorized agent which shall give or be accompanied by the following information or documents:
[Amended 6-11-2007 by Ord. No. 268]
The name and description of the applicant, including color of hair and eyes, height and weight.
The permanent home address and full local address and telephone number of the applicant.
A brief statement of the nature of the business, including frequency of solicitations, and a description of the merchandise or service to be sold.
If representing an organization of any nature, the name, address and telephone number of the organization, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship.
If a vehicle is to be used, a description of such vehicle and its license number.
The place where the merchandise or services to be sold or offered for sale are manufactured or produced, where such goods or property are located at the time such application is filed and the proposed method of delivery.
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.
The appropriate fee must accompany the application.
When the application is properly filled out and signed by the applicant, the original and duplicate thereof shall be filed with the Chief of Police, who shall make or cause to be made within five days such investigation of the applicant's business responsibility and character as he deems necessary for protection of the public good.
If as a result of such an investigation the applicant's character or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on such application his disapproval and his reasons therefor. Any determination by the Chief of Police that an application is unsatisfactory shall be based on one or more of the following findings with respect to the applicant:
In the absence of any such finding, the Chief of Police shall find the application satisfactory and shall endorse his approval on the application.
If an application is found unsatisfactory by the Chief of Police, or his agent, he shall notify the applicant by mail that the application is disapproved and shall deny the applicant any registration certificate.
If an application is found satisfactory by the Chief of Police, or his agent, he shall issue a registration certificate addressed to the applicant to conduct the business applied for. Such certificate shall contain the signature of the issuing officer and shall show the name, address and telephone number of the applicant, the type of business (peddler, solicitor, distributor, or transient merchant) the applicant has registered for, the kind of goods or services to be sold thereunder, the date of issue, the length of time for which the certificate shall be operative and the license number and other identifying description of any vehicle used in the activity licensed.
At the time of issuance of a registration certificate, a fee of $10 shall be paid by the applicant to cover the costs of investigation and the administration and enforcement of this chapter. Such fee shall be in addition to any fee which may be chargeable under any mercantile licensing or other ordinance of the Town.
Where an organization has several agents peddling, soliciting or distributing merchandise or printed material, each agent shall be registered separately, and each shall pay the appropriate fee.
Upon expiration of a certificate, a new certificate will be issued upon compliance with all provisions of this chapter and the payment of fees, except that the investigation and waiting period therefor may be waived by the Chief of Police.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police in the denial of a certificate, as provided in § 117-7 of this chapter, shall have the right of appeal to the Town Council. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Town Council within 14 days after the notice of the action complained of has been mailed to such person's last known address, a written statement setting forth fully the grounds for the appeal. The Town Council shall set a time and place for hearing on such appeal, and notice of such hearing shall be given to the applicant in the same manner as provided in § 117-10 of this chapter for notice of hearing on revocation. The decision of the Town Council on such appeal shall be final and conclusive.
Certificates issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Town Council after notice and hearing for any of the following causes:
Fraud, misrepresentation or a material incorrect statement contained in the application for a certificate.
Fraud, misrepresentation or a material incorrect statement made in the course of carrying on his business as solicitor, peddler, distributor, or transient merchant.
Any violation of this chapter.
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor.
Conducting the business of peddler, solicitor, distributor or transient merchant 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.
Notice of the hearing for revocation of a certificate shall be given by the Town Manager or authorized agent in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the holder of the certificate at the address given on the application at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing or shall be delivered by the agent of the Town in the same manner as a summons at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing.
[Amended 6-11-2007 by Ord. No. 268]
Upon revocation, the certificate shall be surrendered to the Town Manager or authorized agent.
[Amended 6-11-2007 by Ord. No. 268]
No person or certificate holder shall:
Peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise except between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., unless specifically having been invited into a house by the occupant or having made an appointment with a person previously.
Attempt to peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise or printed material without first having identified himself as a peddler, solicitor or distributor registered with the Town and displaying his certificate.
Have exclusive right to any location in the Town.
Operate in any congested area where his operations might impede or inconvenience the public.
Leave at a property or house or in any public place circulars, samples or other matter, except newspapers, which shall be defined as a periodical with a paid circulation of at least 90% of its total circulation, except when handed to a person or house occupant.
Enter or attempt to enter the land of any resident in the Town without an express invitation from the occupant of the house.
Conduct himself in such a manner as to become objectionable to or annoy an occupant of any house.
Distribute obscene merchandise or printed material or that which advocates unlawful conduct.
Litter the streets, public places or properties within the Town with any merchandise or printed material.
The following persons or organizations are exempt from the payment of a fee, and in the discretion of the Chief of Police or Mayor, the application and/or investigation procedures, upon compliance with all other provisions of this chapter and submission of applicable identification and documents to support the claim to exemption:
Any person who is a member of a Volunteer Fire Department serving the Town of Sykesville and its environs.
Any public utility or its employees, which said public utility is subject to regulation by the State Board of Public Works; provided, however, that such employees shall display the identification badge or card issued by their employer.
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 persons who had previously ordered the same or were entitled to receive the same by reason of a prior agreement (includes newsboys).
[Amended 9-27-2004 by Ord. No. 247]
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter, whether by a principal agent or an employee of another, shall constitute a municipal infraction. The penalties for such municipal infraction shall be as follows: