[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Mayor and Council) of the Township of North Brunswick as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
No person, except as in this Article provided, shall canvass, solicit or call from house to house in the township without having first reported to and received a permit from the Chief of Police.
[Amended 2-21-1973; 10-15-1973]
Before the permit required by the preceding section may be issued, the canvasser or solicitor shall make an application in writing to the Chief of Police, giving the following information: full name and address; age, height and weight; place of birth; fingerprints; length and place of residence; whether or not previously arrested or convicted of a crime; by whom employed and address of employer; a description of the project for which he is canvassing or soliciting. Each application shall require a fee of $10. In the event the applicant is a member or representative of an organization which shall have more than one application filed, then in that event only the first application shall require the fee of $10. No additional fees shall be required for additional applications for a period of one year, which shall run from the time the first application is filed.
Each applicant shall supply three photographs, two inches wide by two inches high, showing the head and shoulders of the applicant, before a permit shall be issued, and one photograph shall be attached to the permit.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to grant the permit required by § 143-1 of this chapter. Such officer shall refuse to issue a permit in all cases where the application, upon its face or upon further investigation, to be made at the discretion of such officer, shows that the canvasser or solicitor is not of good character or that he is canvassing for a project that is not free from fraud.
Every permit issued under the provisions of this chapter shall specify the number of hours or days that the permit will be in effect.
The Chief of Police shall revoke any permit issued under the provisions of this chapter for failure or refusal on the part of the permittee to observe the provisions set forth in this chapter.
No person shall canvass or solicit within the township except between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A permit with photograph attached shall be worn on lapel area by the permittee at all times while canvassing and soliciting. The permittee shall exhibit his permit to any police officer or other person on request. On expiration of the permit, the holder thereof shall surrender the same to the Chief of Police.
This Article shall not affect 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 ordering or entitled to receive same nor any person engaged in activities for or on behalf of any volunteer fire company, first aid squad, charitable, religious, civic or political organization.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article, organizations and persons soliciting for charitable purposes at public premises, which shall include retail store areas, shall be permitted to solicit from the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on said public premises. Said organizations and persons shall not be required to pay a fee for said solicitations, but each organization shall be required to apply to the Township Clerk at least 21 days before the first day of solicitation for a permit. Upon receipt of an application for solicitation, the Township Clerk shall immediately refer said application to the Chief of Police, who shall review said application. Said application shall include within it the names of all organizations and persons who shall solicit. The application shall also include the times and places when solicitations shall be made.
No permit fee shall be charged.
No permit for solicitation shall be issued without the approval of the Police Chief and the Mayor and Council.
[Added 12-4-2006 by Ord. No. 06-39]
Do Not Drop Registry. There is hereby established a "Do Not Drop Registry" to be maintained in the Office of the Township Clerk. The purpose of the Do Not Drop Registry is to permit residents to bar the receipt of unsolicited or nonsubscribed printed materials at their properties. Residents may register for such list by personal delivery, regular mail or e-mail to the Township Clerk. After registration on the Do Not Drop Registry, it shall be a violation of the terms of this section to distribute such unsolicited or nonsubscribed materials to any registered person and/or such person's property. No circulars, publications, handbills, brochures, shoppers or flyers, whether of a commercial, religious or charitable nature, shall be distributed to any properties which have been listed with the Do Not Drop Registry, to be maintained at the Township Clerk's office.
Distribution of unsolicited or nonsubscribed materials. It shall be unlawful to place upon, deliver, deposit, throw upon, leave or abandon within or upon any private property or public ways adjacent to private property any circulars, publications, handbills, brochures, shoppers or flyers, or other unsolicited commercial matter, printed or otherwise, of every kind or nature whatsoever.
Do Not Knock Registry. There is hereby established a "Do Not Knock Registry" to be maintained in the Office of the Township Clerk. The purpose of the Do Not Knock Registry is to permit residents to bar any commercial solicitation, peddling or hawking taking place by foot, wagon, motor vehicle or any other conveyance on a door-to-door basis. Residents may register for such list by personal delivery, regular mail or e-mail to the Township Clerk. After registration on the Do Not Knock Registry, it shall be a violation of the terms of this section to visit any residences for commercial solicitation, peddling or hawking to any registered person and/or such person's property. No commercial solicitation, peddling or hawking of any nature or kind whatsoever shall be permitted on any properties which have been listed with the Do Not Knock Registry, to be maintained at the Township Clerk's office.
Commercial solicitation and peddling. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in commercial solicitation, peddling or hawking without first having obtained a license and/or permit therefor pursuant to Chapter 188 of the Code of the Township of North Brunswick, Hawking and Peddling. It shall be a violation of this section to undertake commercial solicitation, peddling or hawking of any nature or kind whatsoever on any properties which have been listed with the Do Not Knock Registry. Commercial solicitation, peddling or hawking shall mean any personal traveling by foot, wagon, motor vehicle or any other conveyance from place to place or door to door or from street to street taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of books, wares, merchandise, personal property or any nature whatsoever for future or present delivery or for services to be performed and shall also include persons undertaking polling activities for commercial purposes.
Exceptions. These provisions shall not be applicable to the delivery or personal solicitation of:
Mail, parcels or packages by and in accordance with the rules of the United States Postal Service;
Parcels, packages and materials delivered by a commercially recognized courier service or overnight express delivery agency, such as, by way of example, Federal Express or United Parcel Service;
Newspapers and other publications and periodicals if subscribed to by the owner or occupant of the recipient premises, provided same are placed firmly in a receptacle designed for such purpose, or, in the absence of such receptacle, tightly wrapped to prevent blowing or scattering upon the recipient premises or adjacent areas;
Delivery of laundry, dry cleaning, dairy, bakery and similar food products and commercial product sampling by agreement with or invitation of the owner or occupant of the recipient premises;
Personal delivery or drop off of noncommercial handbills of a political, charitable, or religious nature whose distribution is or may be protected by constitutional rights of free speech, provided that same are packaged and placed in such a manner as not to blow and scatter upon the recipient premises or adjacent areas; and
[Amended 9-6-1977; 4-17-2006 by Ord. No. 06-06]
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the Judge. The continuation of such violation on each successive day shall constitute a separate offense, and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above for each separate offense.
Whenever used in this Article, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- Includes the words patriotic, philanthropic, social service, welfare, benevolent, nonprofit educational, civic, nonprofit and fraternal.
- Includes the words alms, food, clothing, money, subscription, ticket, chance, pledge, property or any donation of any of the foregoing or any of the above under the guise of a loan of money or property.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, church, religious sect, religious denomination, society, organization or league, and includes any trustees, receiver, assignee, manager, agent or other similar representative thereof. The word "person" shall also include the singular and plural.
- SOLICIT and SOLICITATION
- The request directly or indirectly of money, credit, property, financial assistance or other thing of value which will be used for a charitable or religious purpose as those purposes are herein defined. The foregoing terms shall also include the practice of passing or leaving envelopes or containers in any location within the township.
No person or organization shall solicit contributions for any charitable or religious purpose, other than from their active membership and other than solicitation by school children when approved by school authority, within the Township of North Brunswick, without the issuance of a written permit, which shall be obtained in the manner hereinafter set forth.
An application for a permit to solicit shall be made in person to the officer in charge at police headquarters, upon a form provided by the township, which shall read substantially as follows:
The applicant shall also furnish such supplemental information or data as may be reasonably required by the officer in charge at police headquarters in order for said officer to determine the kind and character of the proposed solicitation and whether such solicitation is in the interest of and not inimical to the public welfare. Said application shall be filed at least 30 days prior to the time when the permit applied for shall become effective, provided, however, that the Chief of Police may, after investigation, upon good cause shown, allow the filing of an application within a shorter period of time.
After due investigation and after fingerprinting the person executing the application, and upon being satisfied that the applicant is soliciting for a project free from fraud; that all the statements made in the application are true; that every member, manager, officer, solicitor or agent of the applicant has a good character and reputation for honesty and integrity; that the control and supervision of the solicitation will be under responsible and reliable persons; that the applicant has not engaged in any fraudulent transaction or enterprise; and that the solicitation is prompted solely by a desire to finance the charitable or religious cause described in the application and will not be conducted for private profit, said officer shall have the power to issue the permit requested. Said permit shall specify the number of hours or days the permit will be effective. Under no condition shall the same be valid for more than 60 days. The permit shall not be transferable. No permit shall be issued to any applicant within 45 days of the commencement of a previous solicitation by the applicant or another permittee, unless specifically authorized by the Mayor and Council.
All applicants to whom permits have been issued shall furnish proper credentials to their agents and solicitors. Such credentials shall include the name of the permittee, the date, a statement describing the permittee's charitable or religious activities, a description of the purpose of the solicitation, the signature of the managing officer of the permittee, and the name, address, signature and solicitor's number of the solicitor to whom such credentials are issued, and the specific period of time during which said solicitor is authorized to solicit. A copy of such credentials, less the signature, must be filed with the officer in charge at police headquarters prior to commencement of the solicitation. No a person shall solicit under any permit granted without the credentials required by this subsection in his possession. Said credentials must be shown upon request to any person being solicited and to any police officer of the township. Said credentials shall be accompanied by a badge bearing the words "Registered Charitable Solicitor, Township of North Brunswick." Said badge shall bear a serial number corresponding with the solicitor's number on file with the officer in charge at police headquarters. Said solicitor shall, at all times when engaged in soliciting, wear said badge in such a way so that the same may be easily discernible. Said badge shall be furnished by the Police Department upon receiving a deposit of $1 per badge, which will be returned when said badge is surrendered.
Within 30 days after an application is filed, the Chief of Police shall inform the applicant in writing whether or not the application has been granted. Within five days after receiving notification by registered mail that his application for a permit to solicit has been denied, with the reasons for the denial set forth in said notification, any applicant may file a written request for a public hearing on the application before the Police Committee, together with written exceptions to the findings of fact upon which the Chief of Police based his denial of the application. Upon the filing of such a request, the Police Committee shall fix a time and place for the hearing and shall notify the applicant thereof. The hearing shall be held within five days after the request is filed. Within 10 days after the conclusion of the hearing, the Police Committee shall render a written decision either granting or denying the application for a permit.
No soliciting shall be conducted except between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on each weekday and between 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Sundays, unless special permission is granted by the Mayor and Council. No permittee shall solicit in an unlawful manner nor in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace nor in such a manner as to constitute a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public. No permittee shall accost anyone against his or her will or desire.
Whenever it shall be shown, or whenever the Chief of Police has knowledge, that any person to whom a permit has been issued under this Article has violated any of the provisions of this Article or that any promoter, agent or solicitor of a permittee has misrepresented the purpose of the solicitation, the Chief of Police shall immediately suspend the permit and give the permittee written notice by registered mail of a hearing to be held within five days of such suspension to determine whether or not the permit should be revoked. This notice must contain a statement of the facts upon which the Chief of Police has acted in suspending the permit. If, after such hearing, the Chief of Police finds that the Article has been violated or the purpose of the solicitation has been misrepresented, he shall, within two days after the hearing, revoke the permit and give the applicant written notice of the revocation and the reasons therefor. If, after such hearing, the Chief of Police finds that the Article has not been violated and the purpose of the solicitation has not been misrepresented, he shall, within two days after the hearing, give the permittee a written statement canceling the suspension of the permit. The permittee is hereby granted the right to appeal to the Police Committee from any action of the Chief of Police which results in revocation, provided he files a notice of appeal in writing, containing grounds for appeal, with the Township Clerk within 10 days after receipt of written notice of the revocation. The Police Committee shall fix a time and place for the hearing and shall notify the applicant thereof. Said hearing shall be held within 10 days after the filing of the aforesaid notice or appeal. Within 10 days after conclusion of the hearing, the Police Committee shall render a written decision either confirming or reversing the decision of the Chief of Police.
No person shall directly or indirectly solicit contributions for any purpose by misrepresentation of his name, occupation, financial condition, social condition or residence, and no person shall make or perpetrate any other misstatement, deception or fraud in connection with any solicitation of any contribution for any purpose in the Township of North Brunswick or in any application or report filed under this section.
[Amended 9-6-1977; 4-17-2006 by Ord. No. 06-06]
Any person violating any of the provisions of this Article or filing or causing to be filed an application for a permit hereunder containing a false or fraudulent statement shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $2,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both.