[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Mount Vernon 2-8-1961 as Ch. 45 of the General Ordinances, approved 2-9-1961. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City Council finds that the itinerant or transient retail merchant poses a special problem to the consumer of such merchant's wares. Because of the transitory nature of this type of retailing, the consumer is unable, in many instances, to satisfy a just claim against the transient vendor for the sale of shoddy or misrepresented merchandise. Since the consumer has no way of distinguishing a retail merchant who will be amenable to process because of his relative permanency from the transient retailer who is not to be found when the consumer seeks redress, this chapter has been enacted for the protection of the consumer.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- TRANSIENT BUSINESS
- One conducted in a store, hotel, house, building, structure, lot or vacant land for the sale at retail of goods, wares and merchandise, excepting services, food products and Christmas trees, and which is intended to be conducted for a temporary period of time. If the place in which such business is conducted is rented or leased for a period of six months or less, or if there be no written lease, or if the lease gives the tenant an option to terminate his tenancy before the expiration of a six-month period, such fact or facts shall be presumptive evidence that the business carried on therein is a "transient business."
Every person desiring to conduct a transient retail business in the City shall present to the City Clerk a verified petition or application stating his name and permanent address, the place where and the time during which such business is to be conducted, the name and legal address of the person in immediate charge, the type of merchandise to be dealt in and the value of the opening inventory.
Before any person shall commence the conduct of a transient retail business as herein defined, such person shall obtain from the City Clerk a permit for such business, which permit shall state the place where such business is to be conducted, the type of merchandise to be offered for sale and the period of time covered by the permit. No license shall be issued for a period less than one month, and such license may be renewable monthly for a maximum period of six months within any one year.
Before such permit is issued, the applicant shall deposit with the City Clerk the sum of $500 in cash, which shall be used as a fund for the satisfaction of any judgments recovered by a purchaser against the transient retailer as vendor, to be used as such only in the event such judgment and execution thereon is returned fully or partly unsatisfied. The said deposit of $500 or any portion thereof remaining shall be turned over to the licensee six months after the licensee shall have notified the Clerk in writing of the termination of its business, provided that no vendee's summons, complaint or unsatisfied judgment has been filed with the licensee or with the City Clerk.
No permit shall be issued hereunder unless the applicant transient retailer shall designate, by a duly notarized and acknowledged document, the City Clerk of the City of Mount Vernon as an agent of the retailer for the purpose only of receiving a summons or other process of a civil nature and for the purpose of paying, from the fund aforementioned in § 249-5, any judgment as therein specified. Upon receipt of a summons or complaint or other civil process, the City Clerk shall notify the licensee of the receipt of such by registered letter addressed to the licensee at the address listed by the licensee for such purpose.
The owner, lessor, lessee or agent of any building, warehouse, yard, office, office space, store or show- or salesroom which shall be rented to an itinerant retail merchant or transient retail vendor shall report that fact to the City Clerk within 24 hours after such renting, together with the name of such itinerant merchant or transient vendor who shall rent or lease such space, giving the exact location of such space as is rented or leased and the terms thereof.
The fee for a license granted under this chapter shall be $25 per month, which shall be paid to the City Clerk before any license or renewal thereof shall be issued.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and shall be fined a sum of not less than $100 nor more than $200 for such violation and, in default of payment thereof, shall be imprisoned for a period not to exceed 30 days. Any violation which continues beyond a two-day period shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation for each day it continues beyond said period.
In the event any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter shall be declared invalid for any reason, the remainder of said chapter shall not be affected thereby and shall continue in full force and effect.