[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarkstown 5-13-2008 by L.L. No. 3-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This local law superseded former Ch. 208, Peddling and Soliciting, adopted 7-8-1980 by L.L. No. 4-1980 (Ch. 75 of the 1974 Code), as amended.
This chapter shall be entitled the "Peddling, Hawking and Soliciting Law of the Town of Clarkstown."
This chapter is enacted for the purpose of regulating local activities of itinerant sellers, hawkers and solicitors of orders for sale in order that the peace, health, safety, welfare and good order of the Town and its inhabitants shall be preserved.
For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police of the Town of Clarkstown or a representative authorized by the Chief of Police to perform the acts of the Chief of Police in accordance with this chapter.
- Includes the words "alms," "food," "clothing," "money," "subscription," "property" or "donation," under the guise of a loan of money or property.
- HAWKING OR PEDDLING
- Engaging in either:
- A. The business of selling or attempting to sell or soliciting orders for the sale of any property or any services by going from house to house, place of business to place of business or any combination thereof; or
- B. Soliciting contributions for any person, organization, entity or any other purpose by going from house to house, place of business to place of business or any combination thereof.
- Includes an individual, corporation, partnership, association or any other organized group of persons, or legal successor or representative of any of the foregoing.
- SOLICIT AND SOLICITATION
- The request, directly or indirectly, of money, credit, property, financial assistance or other thing of value.
No person shall engage in the business of selling or attempting to sell or solicit orders for the sale of any property or any services on any public street or public place.
The hawking, peddling and soliciting orders for the sale of any personal property or any services within the Town of Clarkstown without having obtained a license therefor from the Town Clerk is prohibited. Additional authorization may be required in certain areas under private ownership.
This chapter shall not apply to:
The holder of a license granted pursuant to § 32 or § 35 of the General Business Law of the State of New York.
A wholesaler selling articles to dealers or merchants who have an established place of business within the Town.
A truck gardener or farmer who, himself or through his employees, sells products of his own farm or garden.
Any person selling goods, wares, commodities or services regularly to those who are his established customers, patrons or purchasers.
Activities which are regulated by the New York State Insurance Law.
All persons and organizations who are exempted from the license requirements of § 208-4 of this chapter or not required to obtain a license under § 208-4A of this chapter shall maintain and keep records identifying all persons selling, attempting to sell, or soliciting funds within the Town, and such records shall contain at least the name and the address of such person, the area in which such person sold or solicited and the date or dates of such sales or solicitation. Said records shall be made available for inspection by the Chief of Police upon request.
Every applicant for a license shall submit to the Town Clerk a written verified application, blank forms of which are available from the Office of the Town Clerk. A license may be taken out only by an individual and not in the name of a firm, corporation, association, club or other group or business entity. Said application shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
The name, date of birth, social security number and motor vehicle driver's license ID number of the applicant.
The applicant's permanent home residence and the address of his current place of sojourn, if different from the home address.
The name and address of all entities whose products he intends to sell or for which he intends to solicit orders and a description of the type of goods, wares or merchandise for sale.
An itemized statement of all property or services to be sold or offered for sale and whether the applicant proposes to require either a cash deposit or the signing of a finance agreement for the future delivery of such property or services.
All municipalities (name and state) in which the applicant has carried on the business of hawking, selling or soliciting orders during the six months immediately preceding the application.
A statement of the name, address and telephone number of any person and of any corporation or business entity supervising the applicant's local selling activities under contractual or employment arrangement.
Copies of all forms of order and of receipt used by the applicant in soliciting sales or orders.
Enumeration of the number and kind of vehicles, if any, to be used by the applicant in carrying on the business for which the license is requested.
The names and addresses of all partners, if a partnership, and the names and addresses of the principal officers, if a corporation.
The name and address of a person upon whom a legal notice may be served.
Appended to the application, a letter of authorization from each entity supplying any property or services to be sold or for which orders are to be solicited by the applicant.
A statement to the effect that if a permit is granted, it will not be used or represented in any way as an endorsement by the Town of Clarkstown or by any department or officer thereof.
If the applicant is a nonprofit corporation of the State of New York, a certified copy of its certificate of incorporation, together with any amendments or supplements thereto.
Two references who can confirm the applicant's identity and the nature of his business.
Three photographs, two inches by two inches in size, taken within 30 days prior to the date of the filing of the application, full face on white background.
When the application is properly filled out and signed by the applicant, the original and duplicate thereof shall be filed with the Town Clerk, and the Town Clerk shall refer the original to the Chief of Police, who shall make or cause to be made within five days such investigation as is necessary to determine whether the applicant is satisfactory.
If, as a result of such an investigation, the applicant is found to be unsatisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on such application his disapproval and his reasons therefor and shall return said application to the Town Clerk. Any determination by the Chief of Police that an application is unsatisfactory shall only be based on one or more of the following findings with respect to the applicant:
The applicant is a New York State Level 3 sex offender or is the subject of an order of protection.
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, burglary or violence.
The applicant is wanted by a law enforcement authority.
Prior violation of a peddling or soliciting ordinance or law.
Previous fraudulent acts or conduct.
Record of breaches of solicited contracts.
The application reveals a material misrepresentation of fact.
In the absence of any such finding, the Chief of Police shall find the application satisfactory, shall endorse his approval on the application and shall return the application to the Town Clerk.
If an application is found unsatisfactory by the Chief of Police and he has endorsed his disapproval upon the application, the Town Clerk shall notify the applicant, by certified mail or personal service, that the application is disapproved and shall deny the applicant a license.
Upon receipt of the fee, application, report of the Police Chief's investigation and upon compliance with all the requirements of this chapter, the Town Clerk shall issue a license to the applicant specifying the particular business authorized. This license shall be nontransferable and will be valid for a period of 90 days. It shall be in the continuous possession of the licensee while engaged in the business licensed. The license shall be produced upon the demand of any police officer or Code Enforcement Officer and shall be exhibited to each prospective buyer or person solicited before making any offer or solicitation.
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 the expiration of a license, a new license will be issued upon compliance with all the provisions of this chapter and the payment of fees and the posting of the bond, except that the investigation and waiting period therefor may be waived if approved by the Town Clerk and Chief of Police.
The application fee for such license shall be in an amount set by resolution of the Town Board and may be amended from time to time. It shall be paid by each person to be licensed hereunder, and said fee, payable to the Town Clerk, shall be applied to the cost of processing the license applications and otherwise enforcing and effectuating the objectives of this chapter. Any applicant may apply to the Clerk for an adjustment of such fee where same appears discriminatory or unreasonably or unduly burdensome in the circumstances as shown by affidavit and appropriate supporting evidence. Any applicant aggrieved by a determination of the Clerk shall be advised of his right to appeal to the Town Board.
The Town Clerk shall supply badges to licensed hawkers, peddlers and solicitors. Such badges shall not be transferred or assigned. A picture of the applicant/licensee shall appear on the badge with the Town Seal imprinted on same. On expiration of the license, the licensee shall surrender his badge to the Town Clerk. It shall also be unlawful for any person to wear or have in his possession such badge unless the license is issued. Such licensee, while exercising his license, shall wear the badge, as provided, on the front of his outermost garment. A deposit for the badge will be set in the schedule of fees by the Town Board. The deposit will be returned upon the return of the badge at the expiration of the license.
Prior to the issuance of any license, an applicant who proposes to require either a cash deposit or the signing of a finance agreement for the future delivery of goods shall file with the Town Clerk a bond running to the Town in the amount of $1,500, with good and sufficient surety, in such form as shall be approved by the Town Attorney or his designated representative. Said bond shall remain in force for the term of the license and shall be conditioned to indemnify and pay the Town for any penalties or costs incurred in the enforcement of any of the provisions of this chapter and to indemnify or reimburse any purchaser of personal property from the holder of the license in a sum equal to at least the amount of any payment such purchaser may have been induced to make through the misrepresentation as to the kind, quality or value of the personal property, whether the misrepresentations were made by the licensee or said licensee's agents, servants or employees either at the time of making the sale or through any advertisements printed or circulated with reference to such personal property or any parts thereof.
The Town Board may, by resolution, exempt persons from the bond and fee requirements, provided that the applicant satisfies the Board that the nature of his activity does not jeopardize the position of the Town or the protection given herein to the residents.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police or of the Town Clerk in the denial of a license, as provided in § 208-8 of this chapter, shall have the right of appeal to the Town Board. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Board, 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 such appeal. The Town Board shall set a time and place for a hearing on such appeal, and notice of such hearing shall be given in the same manner as provided in § 208-16 of this chapter for notice of hearing on revocation. The decision of the Town Board on such appeal shall be final and conclusive.
A licensed person shall:
Not willfully misstate any fact about any article offered for sale.
Not willfully offer for sale any article of an unwholesome or defective nature.
Not call attention to his goods by blowing a horn, by ringing a bell, other than a house doorbell, by shouting or crying or by any loud or unusual noise, except that peddlers of ice cream and ice cream products for immediate consumption are exempted from the foregoing prohibition of the use of a bell.
Not frequent any street, sidewalk or public place so as to cause a private or public nuisance.
Keep any vehicle or receptacle used by him in his licensed business in a sound, clean and sanitary condition.
Keep any edible articles offered for sale well-protected from dirt, dust and insects.
Deliver to every person to whom a sale is made or from whom an order is taken a legibly written receipt, signed and dated by the licensee, setting out the total price, a description of the goods or services sold or ordered and a statement of any payment received by the licensee.
Not enter upon any residential premises clearly displaying a sticker provided by the Town or any sign with letters at least one inch in height reading PEDDLERS AND SOLICITORS PROHIBITED, NO TRESPASSING, DO NOT KNOCK, or similar language.
[Amended 6-21-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
Not sell or solicit between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and not on Sundays, except that this subsection shall not be applicable to peddlers of ice cream and ice cream products for immediate consumption.
Leave all premises promptly upon request of any occupant of such premises.
Permit any vehicle from which products are sold to stand or remain for more than 10 minutes on the same street or place.
Whenever the Town Clerk shall have probable cause to believe that any person to whom a license has been issued under this chapter has violated any of the provisions of this chapter or that any promoter, agent or solicitor of a permit holder has misrepresented the purpose of the solicitation, the Town Clerk shall immediately suspend the license temporarily and give the license holder written notice, by certified mail, of a hearing to be held within two days of such temporary suspension to determine whether or not the license should be suspended. This notice must contain a statement of the facts upon which the Town Clerk has acted in suspending the license. If, after such hearing, the Town Clerk finds that the chapter has been violated and the purpose of the solicitation has been misrepresented, he or she shall, within two days after the hearing, suspend the license and give the applicant written notice of the suspension and the reasons therefor. Such suspension shall be appealable to the Town Board in the manner set forth in § 208-13 of this chapter, except that the Town Clerk shall bear the burden of proof. Any conviction of the license holder, his employees, agents or representatives of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be prima facie grounds for suspension.
Licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Town Board after notice and hearing for any of the following causes:
Fraud, misrepresentation or a materially incorrect statement contained in the application for a license.
Fraud, misrepresentation or a materially incorrect statement made in the course of carrying on the business of solicitor, peddler, distributor or transient merchant.
Any violation of this chapter.
Conviction of any crime, misdemeanor or violation.
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.
A notice of the hearing for the revocation of a license shall be given by the Town Clerk, 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 license at the address given on the application at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing or shall be delivered by an agent of the Town in the same manner as a summons at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing.
This chapter is enforced by the Clarkstown Police Department and Town of Clarkstown Code Enforcement Officials with the authority to issue appearance tickets.
[Added 6-21-2016 by L.L. No. 7-2016]
Any owner or occupant of property located in the Town who wishes to prohibit soliciting on the premises shall complete a form available in the Town Attorney's office and on the Town's website. The completion of the form will allow the owner/occupant's premises to be included on a list of properties that do not permit solicitation (herein referred to as the "Do-Not-Knock Registry" or "registry"). Stickers prohibiting solicitation may be obtained from the Office of the Town Attorney.
In order to be removed from the registry, the owner and/or occupant must complete a form indicating that he/she does not want his/her property to be included on the registry.
All solicitors shall obtain the current Do-Not-Knock Registry from the Town Clerk at the time of issuance of a permit or at the time of registration to solicit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The Office of the Town Attorney shall provide the Town Clerk with the latest registry.
Solicitors shall not solicit at any premises identified on the then-current Do-Not-Knock Registry, or at any premises displaying a sign or sticker prohibiting soliciting, trespassing or knocking.
It shall be the responsibility of the solicitor to obtain updated copies of the registry.
Activities related to a service requested by the owner or occupant of the property and undertaken in the ordinary course of business including, but not limited to, deliveries of utility notices, telephone directory deliveries, regular newspaper deliveries, work order notices and service inquiries, are presumed to be requested or invited for the purpose of this section.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the distribution of leaflets, pamphlets or other literature, such as commercial, political or religious material, distributed in a lawful manner, nor shall it limit the activities of entities with whom the Town of Clarkstown presently has a franchise agreement, in force at the time of the passage of this section, for the current duration of said franchise agreement.
[Amended 4-9-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]
Any person found guilty of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of up to $2,500. Any person found guilty of a second offense of any provision of this chapter within 18 months of the date of the first conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $2,500 and not more than $5,000. Any person found guilty of a third offense of any provision of this chapter within 18 months of the date of the second conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $7,500 and not more than $10,000. Any person found guilty of a fourth or subsequent offense of any provision of this chapter within 18 months of the date of the third conviction shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10,000 and not more than $15,000. The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct violation hereunder.
The provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable. If any provision, clause, sentence or paragraph of this chapter or the application thereof to any person, establishment or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or application of this chapter.