[HISTORY: Adopted by the North Hempstead Town Board 6-18-1991 as L.L. No. 8, 1991. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of North Hempstead recognizes the constitutional right of any person to disseminate information, including advertising or commercial matter. At the same time, the Town Board must address the concerns of private property owners that distribution of commercial handbills on private property may be injurious to public health, safety and welfare and may constitute a nuisance. The accumulation of unsolicited commercial handbills on private property can be regulated as a matter of public health and safety. The proliferation of such handbills indicates that a dwelling is unoccupied, thereby making it a potential target for vandalism, burglary or other violations and crimes. This provision seeks to promote and preserve the right of any person to distribute such information and at the same time protect the interests of the residents of the Town of North Hempstead.
Word usage. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words used in the plural number include the singular number, and words used in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
Terms defined. For the purpose of this local law, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- COMMERCIAL HANDBILL
- Any printed or written matter, any sample or device, dodger, circular, leaflet, pamphlet, paper or booklet or any other printed or otherwise reproduced original or copies of any matter or literature which:
- (1) Advertises for sale any merchandise, product, commodity or thing;
- (2) Advertises for the employment of any service;
- (3) Directs attention to any business or mercantile or commercial establishment or other activity for the purpose of either directly or indirectly promoting the interests thereof by sales or employment; or
- (4) While containing reading matter other than advertising matter, is distributed or circulated for advertisement purposes or for the private benefit and gain of any person so engaged as advertiser or distributor.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind which actually delivers or causes the delivery of any commercial handbill as herein defined.
- HANDBILL DISTRIBUTOR
- Any person engaging or engaged in the business for hire or gain or distributing commercial or noncommercial handbills, other than newspapers distributed to subscribers thereof, and any person receiving compensation, directly or indirectly, for the distribution of such handbills.
- Any newspapers of general circulation, as defined by general law, and any newspaper duly entered with the United States Postal Service, in accordance with any recording officer as provided by general law; and, in addition thereto, shall mean and include any periodical or current magazine regularly published with not less than four (4) issues per year and sold to the public.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- PRIVATE PREMISES
- Any dwelling, house, building or other structure, designed or used either wholly or in part for private residential purposes, whether inhabited or temporarily or continuously uninhabited or vacant, and shall include any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule or mailbox belonging or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building or other structure.
It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, cast, place or distribute or cause or permit to be thrown, cast, placed or distributed any commercial handbill, circular, card, booklet or other similar commercial or advertising matter or publication whatsoever upon any part of private property or dwelling or in any letterbox or receptacle on said premises unless the name and address of the distributor thereof are clearly and boldly printed thereon and unless the owners or parties in possession of the properties thereof have not sent a written request to said name and address printed thereon via the United States Postal Service, certified mail, return receipt requested, at least fourteen (14) days prior to such action, asking that the said owners or parties in possession not receive such publications, provided that nothing herein contained shall be deemed to prohibit the distribution of sample copies of newspapers regularly sold by the copy or by subscription.
This section is not intended to prevent the lawful distribution of anything other than commercial or business matter or material.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this local law shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in said judgment.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this local law shall be deemed guilty of an offense against this local law and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined in an amount not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500.). Each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.
This local law shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.