[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Middletown 2-3-1986; amended in its entirety 11-6-2017 by Ord. No. 16-17. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Bazaars and raffles — See Ch. 115.
Food and food products — See Ch. 166.
Noise — See Ch. 206.
Parks and recreation areas — See Ch. 214.
Sales — See Ch. 241.
Editor’s Note: The title of this chapter was changed from "Peddling and Soliciting" to "Licensing and Peddling" 7-5-2016 by Ord. No. 12-16.
Unless excluded or the event constitutes a special event as defined herein, it shall be unlawful for any person, as defined herein, to solicit, peddle, or vend on a transient basis within the City of Middletown without first obtaining a license from the Police Department in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. All licenses shall be issued by the Chief of Police or his/her duly authorized designee. The Chief of Police or his/her duly authorized designee shall issue licenses, collect any necessary fees, and conduct any necessary background checks required under this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An organization or economic system where goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money. Businesses can be privately owned, not-for-profit or state-owned.
- PERSON or VENDOR
- Any individual, organization, trust, foundation, group, association, partnership, corporation, society or any combination of them, whether principal or agent, who or which shall:
- A. Go from place to place within the City soliciting orders for future delivery of any goods, wares or merchandise, including magazines and other printed matter, and shall include the words "solicitor" and "canvasser"; or
- B. Go from place to place within the City selling or bartering or carrying for sale or barter or exposing any goods, wares or merchandise, either on foot or from any animal or vehicle, and shall include the words "peddler," "hawker" and "huckster"; or
- C. Engage in a temporary or transient business in the City either in one locality or in traveling from place to place, selling goods, wares and merchandise, and who, for the purpose of carrying on such business, shall lease or occupy any building or structure for the exhibition and sale of such goods, wares, and merchandise in the City.
- SPECIAL EVENT
- An event occurring for a limited or fixed duration organized through a person as defined herein and involving two or more vendors.
- TEMPORARY OR TRANSIENT BUSINESS
- Includes any exhibition and sale of goods, wares or merchandise which is carried on in any tent, booth, building, mobile unit, or other structure, unless such place is legally open for business in the same locale during usual business hours for a period of at least nine months in each year.
The provisions of this chapter, except as herein provided, shall not apply to the following. Notwithstanding these exemptions, the Police Department may require that persons falling within these exemptions and hosting a special event as defined herein register with the Middletown Police Department by providing a description of the event, a list of all vendors who will sell goods, wares, or merchandise at the event, a government-issued identification with photograph for each such vendor, as well as evidence of a current State of Connecticut sales and use tax permit or a tax exemption permit, as applicable. The Middletown Police Department reserves the right to conduct a background check for any vendor and its employees who will sell goods, wares, or merchandise at such special event, to collect a fee of $5 to conduct a background check for each such vendor or representative, to ensure that all vendors are complying with state and federal law associated with the sale of goods, wares, or merchandise, and/or to require such private duty police support as the Police Department deems necessary to maintain public safety, health, and wellness during such sales activity.
Sales made to dealers by commercial travelers or selling agents in the usual course of business; to bona fide sales of goods, wares and merchandise by sample for future delivery; to sales on approval; to conditional sales of merchandise; to taking orders for merchandise for future delivery when full payment is not required at the time of solicitation; or to the sale, distribution and delivery of milk, teas, coffees, spices, groceries, meats, bakery goods and newspapers.
Sales by farmers and gardeners of the produce of their farms and gardens conducted off their own premises at a public farmers' market, provided that they register with the Police Department. A copy of such registration certificate shall be retained and displayed at the place where sales are conducted. Said public farmers' markets shall be held at the locations and dates designated by the Common Council.
Sales by a local business which shall be limited to 10 days in any calendar year in a location other than that of its usual business location if such business has been established within the City and remained opened for business for at least 12 months prior hereto. The Chief of Police or his designee is authorized to issue a license to any business requesting the same, provided said business qualifies under the terms of this subsection. The fee shall be $25 per year. If such business fails to qualify once a license has been issued for any reason under the terms of this subsection, the license shall immediately become null and void.
Sales of goods, wares or merchandise on the grounds of any incorporated agricultural society during the continuance of any annual fair held by such society or any general sale, fair, auction or bazaar held or sponsored by an ecclesiastical society or church corporation or tag sales, yard sales or garage sales on premises devoted to residential use.
Sales by representatives of any organization which is tax exempt pursuant to state or federal law, provided that such representative(s) registers with the Police Department and, upon request, files a copy of documentation evidencing tax-exempt status with the City/Town Clerk. A copy of such registration certificate shall be retained and displayed conspicuously at the place where sales are conducted.
Sales of goods, wares or merchandise, provided lapel pins, buttons, flowers, small flags and similar novelties and books and magazines shall not be construed to be goods, wares or merchandise within the meaning of this subsection, by a veteran who has resided within the State of Connecticut for a period of two years next preceding the date of application for such license and who served in time of war, as defined in C.G.S. § 27-103. Issuance of a license shall be stayed for seven days pending an investigation. Upon request, the veteran shall produce his certificate of honorable discharge from the service or a copy thereof certified by the Town Clerk from the records of the town where such discharge or certificate of discharge is recorded as provided in C.G.S. § 12-93 for inspection, together with a certificate from the City/Town Clerk that the applicant is a resident of the state. Any person who makes a false representation for the purpose of obtaining a license under this subsection shall be fined not more than $25 and said license shall be automatically revoked.
Except in the situation of a special event, the rules of which are set forth in § 218-10, every person desiring to peddle or vend on a transient basis in the City of Middletown, other than those exempted herein, must obtain a license from the Middletown Police Department on a form prescribed by the Middletown Police Department, and said application must be signed under oath. Among other things, the application may require proof of compliance with all state requirements, if any; place of residence of the applicant; a physical description of the applicant, including the submission of two photographs taken within 60 days of the date of application; a government-issued identification with photograph; the nature of the applicant's business; a list of employees to be covered under the license; a current State of Connecticut sales and use tax permit pursuant to C.G.S. § 12-409 or a tax exemption permit; and whether or not the applicant or any of its employees have been convicted of any crime(s).
No one under 16 years of age shall be eligible for a license.
The Middletown Police Department will make every effort to consider and act upon an application for a license within 60 days and, if denied, shall state the reasons for such denial.
If granted by the Chief of Police or his/her designee, the license shall cover the business as well as employees of the business and shall cover all locations, stands, and vehicles to be used by the vendor. Each business or person granted a license under this chapter shall conspicuously display the license at all times.
Each license shall not be transferable or give authority to sell goods, wares or merchandise in more than one place at the same time and shall be valid only for the persons listed on the license unless sooner revoked or voided by reason of having been obtained, held, or used in violation of this chapter and/or the Connecticut General Statutes. All licenses issued hereunder shall expire on the date listed on the license unless sooner revoked or voided under the provisions of this chapter and/or the Connecticut General Statutes. If applicable, no license issued hereunder shall continue in effect for a longer term than the unexpired period of the state license under which it is issued.
The fees set forth under Subsection A herein do not apply to the following businesses or persons and instead the below-mentioned businesses or persons are subject to the following fees:
Each person, upon applying for a license, must show acceptable proof to the Chief of Police or his designee of having been issued a current State of Connecticut sales and use tax permit pursuant to C.G.S. § 12-409 or must provide a tax exemption permit.
Before any license shall be issued, the applicant must provide the endorsement adding the City of Middletown, its officers, agents, servants and employees as additional insureds on a liability insurance policy having a minimum of $1,000,000 combined single limit bodily injury and property damage liability along with a copy of said policy, which insurance shall be in force for the duration of the license hereunder covering the activity for which the license is being issued. In the instance of a special event, the organizer of the event must obtain the required insurance as set forth in this section. This insurance shall be in lieu of each individual business, person, or vendor involved in the special event obtaining individual insurance for the special event.
The applicant shall also provide a certificate of insurance naming the City of Middletown, its officers, agents, servants and employees as certificate holders. Said certificate shall also include a notification of cancellation clause which shall provide that the issuing company will mail written notice to the certificate holder within 10 days of the proposed cancellation date of the endorsed insurance policy.
No license shall be issued unless said endorsement and copy of the liability policy, required herein, of the principal are on file with the City of Middletown Police Department.
It is further required that any person or duly authorized representative applying for a license under the provisions of this chapter sign a hold harmless agreement indemnifying the City of Middletown, its officers, agents, servants and employees from any liability arising out of or in the course of his, her or its business.
Revocation, expiration or cancellation of said insurance shall automatically render the license granted null and void.
All employees subject to a license issued under § 218-4 must pass a background check before being listed as an employee on the license. Before being listed on the license, the employee must report to the Police Department, fill out the necessary paperwork, provide at least one picture identification, and submit to a background check.
There shall be a fee of $5 per person for a local police record check for employees, vendors, persons, and/or representatives licensed under this chapter.
It shall be the responsibility of the licensed person, as defined herein, to notify the Chief of Police or his/her designee, in writing, within 10 business days, of any additions to or deletions from the list of names of said employees or agents. Any additions to the list of employees for a license must occur at least five business days prior to any scheduled event. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the additional employee(s) not being able to work at the upcoming event. Any additions or deletions will not alter the expiration date of the original license.
Each business or person granted a license, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, shall conspicuously wear or exhibit the license at all times.
A special event license may be issued to the organizer of any event that has two or more vendors associated with it. Special events may include, but are not limited to, parades, sidewalk sales, fund-raising events, fairs, and other events open to the public in which merchandise may be sold or bartered. A special event, as described herein, may be held on private property, so long as it has an impact on the public. A special event could be open to the public or require a ticket.
Application for said license shall be submitted to the Chief of Police or his designee along with a fee of $100. A list of vendors who will participate in the special event shall also be submitted to the Chief of Police or his designee in advance. Applicants and all vendors, including employees, may be subject to a background check as set forth in § 218-8. Under the special event license, any employees, agents, and vendors need not obtain a separate license.
Said license shall be displayed conspicuously at all times. All sales under this special event license will be limited only to the hours of the special event and shall be conducted where the special event is being held.
The application fee of $100 may be waived by the Chief of Police or his/her designee if there is a showing that the organizer is a nonprofit exempt from federal taxation by Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, a tax-exempt organization under state or federal law, or that the event is charitable in nature. The applicant shall maintain insurance coverage as required under § 218-7 of this chapter even if said applicant is exempt under the provisions of § 218-3.
The Middletown Police Department reserves the right to require such private duty police support as the Police Department deems necessary to maintain public safety, health, and wellness during any special event.
No person as defined under Subsection C of the definition of "person or vendor" herein shall be relieved or exempted from the provisions or requirements of this chapter by reason of associating himself, herself or itself temporarily with any local dealer, auctioneer, trader or merchant, or by conducting such temporary or transient business, as defined herein, in connection with or in the name of any local dealer, auctioneer, trader or merchant.
Any person, including those exempted under § 218-3, shall not vend, solicit, peddle or offer for sale any goods, wares or merchandise, except newspapers and periodicals, within the limits of the highway of Main Street.
From May 1 through September 15, any business located on Main Street may vend, solicit, peddle or offer for sale any goods, wares or merchandise in front of its own business only.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be fined in an amount not to exceed $100 per violation per occurrence.
No person regulated under this chapter, including those exempted under § 218-3, shall operate on the public streets within 500 feet of the boundary line of property on which there is located any public or private elementary or secondary school, and said person shall not create a disturbance in the public streets by the continued blowing of a horn or other loud sound-producing device, such as a loudspeaker or equivalent thereto, but may make a signal on any street reasonably loud enough to attract attention of customers in the immediate vicinity. No person shall make any noise or signal before 8:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of attracting customers for his business, and no soliciting or peddling of any kind, except the vending of ice cream and refreshments, shall be conducted within the City after 8:00 p.m. of any day, and no soliciting or peddling of any kind shall be conducted after 9:00 p.m. of any day.
Except as provided herein, any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be fined not more than $199 per violation, and any license shall be automatically revoked in the following circumstances:
For failure of the licensee to carry the necessary insurance coverage naming the City of Middletown, its officers, agents, servants and employees as insureds;
For any false statement(s) or misrepresentation(s) of fact which induced the issuance of the license hereunder;
For conviction of two violations of the terms of this chapter; or
If facts arise after the issuance of the license which, if present when the application for the license was approved, would have resulted in a denial of the granting of said license.
Upon the cancellation, revocation or expiration of any license, the person shall surrender or return the same to the Chief of Police or his designee. If said license has been lost or destroyed, the licensee must submit a sworn affidavit to the Chief of Police or his designee describing the circumstances surrounding how it was lost or destroyed.