[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Whiteland 1-9-2019 by Ord. No. 305-2019. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 136, Peddling and Soliciing, adopted 11-5-1958 by Ord. No. 15, as amended.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, for the purpose of this chapter the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
- One who engages in the practice of canvassing, the practice of going from residence to residence in order to:
- A. Make surveys or collect information for the federal, state, county, or East Whiteland Township government or any agency thereof, or for any bona fide educational or quasi-governmental agency.
- B. Make analyses, to take opinion polls, to compile rating data;
- C. Obtain or seek contributions for any charitable, religious, political, or nonprofit organization or cause;
- D. Advance religious or political causes and proselytizing with regard thereto; or
- E. Conduct any similar work which, by its nature, involves door-to-door or place-to-place activity, including distribution of circulars, but not for commercial activity of any kind.
- DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITATION
- The activity of going onto the premises of other persons, without prior arrangement with the owner or occupant of such premises, for the principal purpose of the sale or taking of orders for future sales of any type of tangible goods, including, but not limited to, books, magazines, or other periodicals, to offer to perform any services or to enter into any agreement for the provision of services, or any combination of the sale of goods or provision of services, or the distribution of advertising circulars relating to the sale of goods or provision of services.
- DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITOR
- A person engaging in the activity of door-to-door solicitation.
Any person or organization intending to engage or to cause persons to engage in the activity of door-to-door solicitation, as defined in this chapter, prior to commencing such activity shall obtain a permit from the East Whiteland Township Police Department. In the case of an organization, each person engaging in door-to-door solicitation shall be required to provide the necessary information and documentation with the permit application and obtain an individual permit for that person, and the organization may not simply obtain one permit applicable to all persons engaging in door-to-door solicitation on its behalf. All information provided on the permit application shall be provided under the penalty of law as provided in 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904, False Swearing.
Editor's Note: See 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904, Unsworn falsification to authorities.
Every person to whom a permit shall have been issued under this chapter shall carry the permit on his or her person at all times and exhibit it, upon request, to any police officer or to any person on whom he or she shall call or with whom he or she shall talk.
Any person engaging in door-to-door solicitation or any organization employing any door-to-door solicitors that shall engage in such activity without obtaining the required permit shall be in violation of this chapter and shall be liable for the penalty provided for herein.
The permit application process shall be made to the East Whiteland Township Police Department. As part of the application process, the East Whiteland Township Police Department shall obtain the person's criminal history/record from the Pennsylvania State Police. The applicant shall pay the East Whiteland Township Police Department the costs thereof for obtaining the person's criminal history/record. Alternatively, the applicant may obtain the person's criminal history/record directly from the Pennsylvania State Police and present it to the East Whiteland Police Department as part of the application process, with the criminal history/record search being performed within 30 days of the application. If the person's current driver's license or other form of government issued identification indicates that the person engaging in door-to-door solicitation is from a different state, such person's certified criminal background information shall be provided from such state indicated on the identification.
The application for a door-to-door solicitation permit shall request the following information from each door-to-door solicitor:
Person's date of birth;
Person's telephone number;
A photocopy of the person's current driver's license or other government-issued identification;
Person's social security number;
The address where notices under this chapter should be sent;
The name and address of the person's employer, company, or principal;
The address and phone number of the person's employer, company or principal;
The type of business and/or description of product or service offered;
Person's vehicle make/model, year, color, license plate number and state to be utilized;
A statement as to whether the person has ever been arrested in any jurisdiction and, if so, the date of the arrest and of what crime(s) charged, regardless of whether such arrest was subsequently expunged;
The approximate neighborhoods and locations of the solicitation.
The permit fee for each door-to-door solicitor shall be the fee as set from time to time by resolution of the East Whiteland Township Board of Supervisors.
Permits shall expire 90 days from the date of issuance.
A permit may be renewed annually by the applicant by sending a request in writing to the East Whiteland Township Police Department within 10 days prior to the permit's expiration date along with payment of the applicable fee and any amendments to the original application to reflect any changes in the information originally provided.
The issuance of a permit by the Township shall not be represented or construed by the door-to-door solicitor as an endorsement of the Township of the door-to-door solicitor's business or activity, and by issuing the permit, the Township does not make any representations or warranties related to, or otherwise ensure, the safety of the door-todoor solicitor.
It is hereby declared unlawful and a public nuisance, punishable as set forth in this chapter, for any person, company, corporation or organization, regardless of whether a door-to-door solicitation permit was obtained, to undergo door-to-door solicitation under the following circumstances:
When the owner or occupant of the residence has conspicuously posted a "No Trespassing" or "No Soliciting" sign, or any other similar sign against soliciting or entry;
When the door-to-door solicitor remains on the premises after the owner or occupant of the residence requests the door-to-door solicitor to leave the premises;
When the door-to-door solicitor enters or attempts to enter any residence without the invitation or permission of the occupant;
When the door-to-door solicitor is not carrying, or otherwise able to exhibit upon request, the door-to-door solicitation permit obtained;
When door-to-door solicitation is conducted before 9:00 a.m. or after 8:00 p.m.;
If it is determined that false, incomplete, or misleading information was provided on the solicitation permit application.
The terms of this chapter, including the need to obtain a permit for door-to-door solicitation, shall not apply to:
Persons under the age of 18 years who take orders for, and make delivery of, printed materials, greeting cards, candy, cookies, flowers, coupon cards/books, and similar products on behalf of any charitable, school, sport, community or other similar organization;
Persons defined as "canvassers" herein;
Candidates for elective office;
Farmers engaged in selling the products of their farms;
Persons who have been licensed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to engage in door-to-door solicitation, when so engaged; including, without limitation, real estate, insurance or securities brokers and salespeople.
A door-to-door solicitation permit shall not be issued to any person who:
Has not completed the permit application in full or has not provided the necessary documentation requested in the application;
Has previously been found guilty of violating any provision of this chapter;
Has been convicted, within the seven years preceding the date of the application for a permit, of any theft or theft-related crime, fraud or any fraud-related crime, or any similar offense tending to show dishonesty of character;
Has been convicted of any felony;
Has provided false or misleading information on the permit application.
A door-to-door solicitation permit shall be revoked if it is determined by the East Whiteland Township Police Department that the door-to-door solicitor violated this chapter, including any provisions set forth under § 136-3. Notice of revocation shall be given by written notice personally served or sent by registered mail to the address designed for this purpose in the application for the solicitation permit.
If a company or other entity has more than one person engaging in door-to-door solicitation in East Whiteland Township, and the permit issued to any one such person is revoked, the permits for all door-to-door solicitors working for that company or entity shall be revoked.
In the event that a door-to-door solicitation permit is revoked under this section, no administrative or other fees shall be refunded to the permit holder.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be required to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 per violation, plus all court costs and reasonable attorneys' fee incurred by the Township. After such person is notified that he or she is in violation, each and every subsequent day that violations of this chapter continue shall be punishable as separate offenses.