Township of Bridgewater, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater 10-3-1977 by Ord. No. 77-36. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 94.
Littering and handbills — See Ch. 132.
Noise — See Ch. 142.
Food and beverage vending machines — See Ch. 208.
This chapter is adopted to regulate the distribution of certain materials, peddling, soliciting and related activities within the Township of Bridgewater. The registration of persons engaged in the above-mentioned activities is required so that the identity of persons going door to door or distributing materials within the Township may be established, so that general regulations may be more effectively enforced, for the protection and maintenance of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Township and to prevent dishonest business practices and dishonest solicitation of funds in the Township.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MERCHANDISE
All goods, wares, food, meat, fish, ice cream, fruits, vegetables, magazines, periodicals, printed material, farm products, services, and orders or contracts for services, home improvements or alterations, and anything that may be sold or distributed by peddlers or solicitors, as defined herein.
PEDDLER
Any person, whether a resident of the Township or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street, traveling by foot, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, carrying or transporting merchandise for the purpose of selling and delivering the merchandise to customers. The word "peddler" shall also include the words "hawker" and "huckster."
PERSON
Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, organization, club, association or any principal or agent thereof.
SOLICITOR
Any person, whether a resident of the Township or not, who goes from house to house, from place to place or from street to street, traveling by foot, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance, soliciting, taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of merchandise or services of any kind for future performance or delivery, whether or not such individual has, carries or exposes for sale a sample of the merchandise or services, and whether or not he is collecting advance payments on such sales or orders, or who engages in any of the foregoing activities from a stationary location on any street or other public place. The word "solicitor" shall also include the word "canvasser."
TRANSIENT MERCHANT
Any person engaging in the activities commonly referred to as "transient merchant" or "itinerant vendor" who merchandises or sells with the intent to close out or discontinue such business within a period of one year from the date of commencement, and occupies a room, building, tent, lot or other premises for the purpose of selling merchandise.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
It shall be unlawful for any peddler, solicitor, distributor or transient merchant to sell, offer for sale or distribute merchandise, printed material or services within the Township without first registering with the Chief of Police by filing an application for a permit, paying a permit fee and obtaining a permit from the Chief of Police.
[Amended 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
Upon obtaining a registration permit as hereinafter provided, a peddler, solicitor or transient merchant may conduct his activities within the Township only as long as he adheres to the regulations set forth herein and carries the registration permit upon his person at all times during the conduct of his activities. The registration permit shall identify the person and the type of activity for which he has registered and shall be shown to any Township official or police officer upon request. All permits shall expire December 31 of the calendar year in which they are issued.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
Every applicant for a permit under this chapter shall file with the Chief of Police a sworn written application on a form to be furnished by said Chief of Police, which shall give or be accompanied by the following:
A. 
Name and description of the applicant.
B. 
Permanent home address and full local address of the applicant.
C. 
A brief statement of the nature of the business and a description of the merchandise or service to be sold.
D. 
If employed, the name and address of the employer, together with credentials establishing the exact relationship.
E. 
The length of time for which the permit is desired.
F. 
If a vehicle is to be used, a description of such vehicle and its license number.
G. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection G, regarding merchandise or services to be sold, was repealed 11-21-1983 by Ord. No. 83-30.
H. 
A photograph of the applicant taken within 60 days immediately prior to the date of the application, which photograph shall clearly show the head and shoulders of the applicant and shall measure two inches by two inches.
I. 
Three business references located in the County of Somerset, State of New Jersey, or in lieu thereof such other available evidence of the character and business responsibility of the applicant as will enable an investigator to properly evaluate such character and responsibility.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45]
J. 
A statement as to whether the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor.
K. 
The fingerprints of the applicant.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
A. 
When the application is properly filled out and signed by the applicant, the original and duplicate thereof shall be filed with the Chief of Police, who shall make or cause to be made within 15 days such investigation of the applicant's business responsibility and character as he deems necessary for protection of the public.
B. 
If, as a result of such investigation, the applicant's character or business responsibility is found to be unsatisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse on such application his disapproval and his reasons therefor. Any determination by the Chief of Police that an application is unsatisfactory shall be based on one or more of the following findings with respect to the applicant:
(1) 
Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.
(2) 
Prior violation of a peddling or soliciting ordinance.
(3) 
Previous fraudulent acts or conduct.
(4) 
Record of breaches of solicited contracts.
C. 
In the absence of any such finding, the Chief of Police shall find the application satisfactory and shall endorse his approval on the application.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
A. 
If an application is found unsatisfactory by the Chief of Police and he endorses his disapproval upon the application, he shall notify the applicant by mail that the application is disapproved and shall deny the applicant any registration permit.
B. 
If an applicant is found satisfactory by the Chief of Police, he shall issue a registration permit addressed to the applicant to conduct the business applied for upon payment of the proper fee by the applicant. Such permit shall contain the number of the permit, photograph, name, description and signature of the applicant, the kind of goods or services to be sold thereunder and the location of such sale or service. It shall also show the date of issue, date of expiration and signature of the issuing authority.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
A. 
Permits issued under the provisions of this chapter may be revoked by the Township Council, after notice and hearing, for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or a material incorrect statement contained in the application for a permit.
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or a material incorrect statement in the course of carrying on the permit holder's business as solicitor, peddler or transient merchant.
(3) 
Any violation of this chapter.
(4) 
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor.
(5) 
Conducting the business of peddler, solicitor 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.
B. 
Notice of the hearing for revocation of a permit shall be given by the Chief of Police in writing, setting forth specifically the grounds of complaint and the time and place of hearing. Such notice shall be mailed, postage prepaid, to the permit holder at the address given on the application at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing, or shall be delivered by the agent of the Township in the same manner as a summons at least three days prior to the date set for the hearing.
C. 
Upon revocation, the permit shall be surrendered to the Chief of Police.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police in the denial of a permit, as provided in § 154-7 of this chapter, shall have the right of appeal to the Township Council. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Chief of Police, 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 the appeal. The Township Council shall set a time and place for hearing on such appeal, and notice of such hearing shall be given to the applicant in the same manner as provided in § 154-8 of this chapter for notice of hearing on revocation. The decision of the Township Council on such appeal shall be final and conclusive.
[Amended 7-19-1982 by Ord. No. 82-29; 8-1-1983 by Ord. No. 83-18; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
No person or permit holder shall:
A. 
Time limitations.
(1) 
Peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise except between the following hours:
(a) 
First day of summer through Labor Day: 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. or sunset, whichever occurs earlier.
(b) 
Day following Labor Day through last day of spring: 8:00 a.m. to 6: 00 p.m. or sunset, whichever occurs earlier
(2) 
The aforesaid time limitations shall apply unless such person or permit holder has been invited to a dwelling by an occupant thereof or shall have previously made an appointment with an occupant. When the sale or attempted sale of merchandise is not involved, and canvassing or soliciting is in connection with a political campaign or charitable or religious organization recognized as tax exempt under the United States Internal Revenue Code, solicitation may take place from 8:00 a.m. to sunset at any time of year, unless other arrangements have been made with the occupant.
B. 
Attempt to peddle, solicit or distribute merchandise or printed material without first having identified himself as a peddler, solicitor or distributor registered with the Township and displaying his permit.
C. 
Have exclusive right to any location in the public streets or operate in any congested area in such a manner as to impede the flow of traffic or of pedestrians or create a breach of the peace.
D. 
Leave at a property or house or in any public place circulars, samples or other matter, except newspapers which shall be defined as a periodical with a paid circulation of at least 90% of its total circulation, except when handed to a person or house occupant or except when in accordance with Chapter 132, Littering and Handbills, of this Code.
E. 
Enter or attempt to enter the land of any resident in the Township where such resident has posted a notice prohibiting such entry.
F. 
Refuse to leave any private dwelling or property after having been once requested to do so by the owner or occupant thereof.
G. 
Shout, cry out, blow a horn, ring a bell or use any sound-making or -amplifying device upon any of the streets, parks or public places of the Township or upon private premises where sound of sufficient volume is emitted or produced therefrom to be capable of being plainly heard upon private premises, for the purpose of attracting attention to any merchandise or services, without first obtaining written authorization for same from the appropriate Township official.
H. 
Distribute obscene merchandise or printed material or that which advocates unlawful conduct.
I. 
Litter the streets, public places or public or private properties within the Township with any merchandise or printed material.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
A. 
At the time of the application for a registration permit for a peddler, solicitor or transient merchant, the amount of the fee therefor shall be paid by the applicant, which fee shall be as provided for in Chapter 94, Fees.
B. 
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 expiration of a permit, a new permit will be issued upon compliance with all provisions of this chapter and the payment of fees, except that the investigation and waiting period therefor may be waived if approved by the Chief of Police.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45]
The following persons are exempt from the payment of a fee and, in the discretion of the Chief of Police, the investigation procedures, upon compliance with all other provisions of this chapter and submission of applicable identification and documents to support their claim to exemption:
A. 
Any charitable or religious organization or society which is recognized as tax exempt under the United States Internal Revenue Code that shall conduct sales of personal property where the proceeds thereof shall be applied to the payment of the expenses thereof and to the charitable or religious object for which the society exists.
B. 
Any person honorably discharged from the military services of the United States, possessing a peddler's license issued in conformity with N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 and 45:24-10.
C. 
Any person who is an exempt fireman of a volunteer fire department as defined by N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 and 45:24-10, possessing a license in conformity with said law.
D. 
Any public utility or its employees, which said public utility is subject to regulation by the State Board of Public Utility Commissioners; provided, however, that such employees shall display the identification badge or card issued by their employer.
E. 
Any person selling fruits and farm products grown by himself, with or without the help of others.
F. 
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 who had previously ordered the same or were entitled to receive the same by reason of a prior agreement.
G. 
Any school, political or civic organization, benevolent society, service club or organization not for profit which is located in the Township or has a majority of its membership from the Township.
[Amended 12-18-1978 by Ord. No. 78-45; 12-1-1997 by Ord. No. 97-26]
A. 
Any person canvassing or soliciting in connection with a political campaign or charitable or religious organization or society or any representative of such organization or society, recognized as tax exempt under the United States Internal Revenue Code, when such canvassing or solicitation does not involve the sale or attempted sale of merchandise, shall, at least 24 hours prior to such canvassing or solicitation, register with the Chief of Police by filing an application and obtaining a permit from the Chief of Police.
B. 
The purpose of such registration is that the identity of persons going door to door or distributing materials within the Township may be established for the protection and maintenance of the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Township and to prevent dishonest solicitation of funds in the Township. A permit but no fees shall be required.
Any person violating the terms of this chapter, whether as principal, agent or employee of another, shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court, be subject to a fine not exceeding $500 or to imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 90 days, or both, in the discretion of the Judge.