Township of Clinton, NJ
Hunterdon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from Sec. 4-1 of the 1999 Code of the Township of Clinton; amended in its entirety 4-22-2009 by Ord. No. 980-09. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Littering — See Ch. 169.
Noise — See Ch. 178.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 201.
The purposes of this chapter are:
A. 
To protect the safety of both residents of the Township of Clinton and peddlers, solicitors and canvassers engaging in such activities within the Township;
B. 
To prevent fraud, crime, undue public annoyance, and unethical and dishonest business practices; and
C. 
To protect the privacy of residents while balancing the same against the opportunity for commercial, political, charitable and nonprofit organizations to exercise their rights of free speech.
A. 
Word usage. For the purpose of this chapter, certain words or phrases shall be interpreted in the following manner:
(1) 
Words used in the present tense include the future tense.
(2) 
Words used in the singular include the plural, and, conversely, words in the plural include the singular.
(3) 
The word "shall" is mandatory and not discretionary.
(4) 
The use of the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender.
B. 
Definitions. Unless specifically defined below, words or phrases in this chapter shall be interpreted so as to give them the meaning they have in ordinary and common usage and to give this chapter its most reasonable interpretation. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CANVASSER
See definition of "solicitor" below.
MERCHANDISE
All goods, wares, food, drinks, fruits, vegetables, farm products, magazines, subscriptions, periodicals, printed materials, all types of articles of personal property for domestic use, all types of orders or contracts for a service, home improvement or alterations, and anything that may be sold or distributed.
(1) 
Any organization that is tax exempt under Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3);
(2) 
Any organization created under or otherwise subject to the provisions of Title 15A of the New Jersey statutes;
(3) 
Any organization, whether or not qualified under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or subject to the provisions of Title 15A of the New Jersey statutes, whose primary purpose is to benefit the school-age children of the Township, including, but not limited to, schools, school clubs and organizations, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts and similar youth groups;
(4) 
Any organization whose primary purpose is to advocate for religious or political causes, whether or not qualified under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or subject to the provisions of Title 15A of the New Jersey statutes; or
(5) 
Any department within the Township's governmental structure, including, but not limited to, the Police Department and the Fire Department, and any volunteer first-aid or rescue squad that is located in, has a substantial membership from, or serves the Township.
PEDDLER
Any person who goes from house to house or place to place by any means of conveyance, carrying or transporting merchandise for the purpose of selling and delivering the merchandise to customers. The term "peddler" shall include the words "hawker" and "huckster," and shall also include a person who from time to time offers merchandise for sale from one or more fixed locations out-of-doors, when the merchandise is displayed or stored in a motor vehicle located on the property, whether the property is owned by that person or by others.
PERSON
Any natural person, firm, partnership, corporation, organization, club or association, or any principal, agent, employee or representative thereof.
RESIDENT
Any person owning or lawfully occupying property located within the Township.
SOLICITOR
Any person who goes from house to house or from place to place by any means of conveyance, soliciting or attempting to take orders for the sale of merchandise or services of any kind for future performance or delivery, whether or not such person 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 in any public place. The word "solicitor" shall also mean any person who goes from house to house or from place to place for the purpose of obtaining contributions or subscriptions, or who does research analyses, make surveys or opinion polls, obtains data or similar information, distributes advertisements or handbills of a commercial or partially commercial nature or who engages in any similar work which involves a door-to-door or place-to-place activity. The word "solicitor" shall also include the word "canvasser."
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Clinton, New Jersey.
It shall be unlawful for any peddler, solicitor or canvasser, with the exception of those qualifying for an exemption enumerated in § 204-4 of this chapter, to peddle, solicit or canvass within the Township without first having obtained a license pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. Failure to obtain a license prior to engaging in peddling, soliciting or canvassing shall constitute a violation of this chapter. Each day of peddling, soliciting or canvassing without a valid license shall constitute a separate violation of this chapter.
A. 
The license requirement enumerated in § 204-3 of this chapter shall be held not to include the following persons or organizations, who are hereby expressly exempt from its application:
(1) 
Any nonprofit organization as defined in § 204-2B of this chapter, provided that the means of identification assigned by such organization, if any, is carried by the peddler, solicitor or canvasser. If no means of identification is assigned by such organization, the peddler, solicitor or canvasser shall be required to carry a bona fide means of identification, including, but not limited to a valid driver's license.
(2) 
Any person intending to distribute noncommercial or not-for-profit handbills, pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, advertisements or printed material.
(3) 
Any person:
(a) 
Campaigning for any elected public office or public question, which is to be voted upon in the Township at a general, special, primary or school board election, or in a national or state election;
(b) 
Distributing handbills, pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, advertisements or printed material with respect thereto; or
(c) 
Otherwise engaging in political speech.
(4) 
Any person engaging in the spontaneous advocacy of social, civic, political or religious causes, whether or not in connection with a larger organization, or engaging in spontaneous speech, including but not limited to speech between neighbors.
(5) 
Any person holding a solicitation license or permit issued under any state or federal law or by any state or federal agency, or any veteran or volunteer fireman who holds a license issued pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 and 45:24-10, provided that such licensee shall notify the Police Department of the Township, in writing, prior to any peddling, soliciting or canvassing, detailing the following:
(a) 
His license number, if any;
(b) 
The date of issuance of the license;
(c) 
The state or county where the license was issued;
(d) 
The dates on which the licensee intends to peddle, solicit or canvass;
(e) 
His driver's license number, together with the name of the state that issued such license; and
(f) 
The motor vehicle registration number, make and model of any motor vehicle to be used by the licensee in connection with his peddling, soliciting or canvassing.
B. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed as exempting the aforesaid persons or organizations from compliance with the provisions of this chapter that do not deal with or relate to licenses.
A. 
Any person seeking to obtain a license shall file with the Township Clerk an application, to be supplied by the Clerk, containing the following information:
(1) 
Name and permanent address of the applicant.
(2) 
Name and address of the employer or organization on whose behalf the applicant is engaging in peddling, soliciting or canvassing.
(3) 
Name and telephone number of a contact person at the offices of the aforesaid employer or organization.
(4) 
Motor vehicle registration number, make and model of any motor vehicle to be used by the applicant in connection with his peddling, soliciting or canvassing.
(5) 
Length of time for which the license is desired.
(6) 
Number of arrests or convictions for crimes involving deceptive business practices or fraud, or violations of ordinances enacted in other municipalities concerning peddling, solicitation or canvassing, when and where the offenses occurred, and the penalty imposed, if any.
B. 
The applicant shall also be required to produce valid photo identification, which the Township Clerk will photocopy and attach to the application.
C. 
If the applicant is an agent, employee or representative, he shall attach to the application a letter from the person or organization for whom the applicant works, authorizing the applicant to act as its agent or representative and assuming responsibility for each individual applicant's conduct.
D. 
The application shall be signed by the applicant under penalty of perjury.
E. 
Any fraud, misrepresentation, or false statements contained on the application, or the failure to disclose information on the application, shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
F. 
The application, including the photocopy of photo identification, shall be retained by the Township Clerk.
A. 
Application fees for the issuance of licenses shall apply to all applicants and shall be in the amount of $15 per day or $50 per year.
B. 
All application fees to be collected for the issuance of licenses are not to be considered as revenue but are charged for the purpose of covering the expenses of administering the provisions of this chapter, including the investigation and regulation of the conduct of licensees.
A. 
Following the filing of a completed application and payment of the application fee, the Township Clerk shall forward the application to the Police Department. It shall be the duty of the Police Department to investigate the statements made therein, and not more than 14 days shall be allowed for such investigation.
B. 
The Police Department shall conduct such investigation within the limits of the resources available to it, which may include background checks on the business responsibility of the applicant or any principal, agent, employee or representative who shall engage in the licensed activity, for the protection of the public good.
C. 
If, as a result of such investigation, the business responsibility of the applicant, or any principal, agent, employee or representative who shall engage in the licensed activity, is found to be unsatisfactory pursuant to Subsection D of this section, the Police Director, or his designee, shall endorse on such application his disapproval and the reasons therefor and, return the application to the Township Clerk.
D. 
The Police Director, or his designee, may disapprove an application if such disapproval is based on one or more of the following findings with respect to the applicant:
(1) 
Prior violation of the provisions set forth in this chapter.
(2) 
Record of breaches of peddling, solicitation or canvassing contracts.
(3) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements contained in the application for license.
(4) 
Violation of ordinances enacted in other municipalities concerning peddling, solicitation or canvassing.
E. 
Upon the return of the application to the Township Clerk, the Clerk shall, within two business days, indicate approval or disapproval, in writing, to the applicant.
F. 
In the case of disapproval of an application, the applicant may appeal to the Township Council. The Township Council shall set a time and place for a hearing, which shall be held within 21 days after the appeal is taken by the applicant. At such hearing, the applicant will be given an opportunity to present his reasons why a license should issue. The decision of the Township Council shall be final.
G. 
The investigatory process used by the Police Department and the aforesaid criteria for the denial of an application shall be applied equally to all applicants and shall not be subject to the discretion of any Township officials.
It shall be the duty of the Township Clerk to issue licenses where there has been compliance with the provisions of this chapter. A license will be in the form of a card bearing the following:
A. 
A license number;
B. 
The name of the Township;
C. 
The name of the licensee and the word "peddler," "solicitor," or "canvasser" or other suitable inscription;
D. 
The name of the business or organization for which peddling, soliciting or canvassing is conducted;
E. 
The date of issue; and
F. 
The date of expiration.
A separate license shall be obtained for each and every agent, employee, or representative working for any person or organization.
A. 
The Township Council, or its designee, may revoke a license for any of the following causes:
(1) 
Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, any Township ordinance, or any state or federal law.
(2) 
Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements contained in the application for license or made by the licensee in the course of carrying out his peddling, soliciting or canvassing activities.
(3) 
Engagement of peddling, soliciting or canvassing activities in an unlawful manner or in such a manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or to constitute a menace, disturbance or nuisance to residents of the Township.
(4) 
Violation of ordinances enacted in other municipalities concerning peddling, solicitation or canvassing.
B. 
Notice of revocation shall be communicated to the licensee, in writing, and thereafter it shall be unlawful for him or any of his agents, employees or representatives to sell, offer for sale, or distribute merchandise or services in the Township.
C. 
The licensee shall be granted a hearing by Township Council upon his written request. Notice of the time and place of hearing shall be provided, in writing, to the licensee, at which hearing he will be given an opportunity to present reasons why his license should not be revoked. The decision of the Township Council shall be final.
It shall be unlawful for a person to:
A. 
Attempt to peddle, solicit or canvass without first having identified himself as a peddler, solicitor or canvasser and displaying any identification card or license issued therefor.
B. 
Have exclusive right to any location on public property.
C. 
Enter or attempt to enter the property of any resident where such resident has posted a "No Solicitation" sign in accordance with § 204-13 of this chapter.
D. 
Refuse to leave a private dwelling or property after having been once requested to do so by the owner or occupant thereof.
E. 
Shout, cry out, blow a horn, ring a bell, or use any soundmaking or amplifying device on any streets, parks or public places of the Township, or upon private property, that would create or become a noise disturbance, as set forth in Chapter 178 of this Code.
F. 
Distribute obscene merchandise, handbills, pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, advertisements or printed material.
G. 
Litter the streets, public places or other property within the Township with any merchandise, handbills, pamphlets, leaflets, circulars, advertisements or printed material.
H. 
Station, place, set up or maintain a cart, wagon, motor vehicle or other vehicle or allow it to remain on any sidewalk in such a way as would:
(1) 
Restrict, obstruct, interfere with or impede pedestrians' right-of-way.
(2) 
Restrict, obstruct, interfere with or impede the ingress to or egress from the abutting property.
(3) 
Increase traffic congestion or cause or increase traffic delay or hazard.
(4) 
Cause, create or constitute a danger to life, health or property.
I. 
Engage in peddling, soliciting or canvassing within 10 feet of any location where the curb has been depressed to facilitate pedestrian or vehicle movement.
J. 
Engage in peddling, soliciting or canvassing on any sidewalk or along any street within 15 feet of any fire hydrant, crosswalk or driveway.
K. 
Station, place, set up or maintain a cart, wagon or goods against display windows of fixed-location businesses, or within 20 feet of an entranceway to any building, store, theater, library, school, museum, movie house, sports arena or other place of public assembly, without the permission of the property owner and in such a manner as to restrict, obstruct, interfere with or impede pedestrians' right-of-way.
L. 
Engage in peddling, soliciting or canvassing on any sidewalk or along any street within 20 feet of a bus stop. For purposes of this section, the terms "bus stop" shall include the sidewalk and the adjoining street where there is a designated bus stop.
M. 
Sell food, drinks, ice cream, confections or other items for immediate consumption unless the seller has available, for public use, his litter receptacle which shall be clearly marked and maintained for his patrons' use, nor shall any seller leave any location without first picking up, removing and disposing of any trash or refuse remaining from the sales made by him. It shall also be unlawful for any person to sell food, drinks, ice cream, confections or other food items for consumption without having first received any permit or license required by the Township or the Board of Health for food handling.
N. 
Leave any cart unattended at any time or place or leave the same overnight on any sidewalk.
A. 
There shall now be created a registry in the Township titled the "Do-Not-Solicit Registry."
B. 
The Do-Not-Solicit Registry shall be applicable only to those persons:
(1) 
Who are required to obtain a license pursuant to § 204-3 of this chapter; or
(2) 
Who hold a solicitation license or permit issued under any state or federal law or by any state or federal agency for commercial purposes.
C. 
The registry shall be available to any resident of the Township. By participating in the registry, residents make an affirmative decision not to receive commercial peddlers, solicitors or canvassers at their property located within the Township.
D. 
Any resident seeking to register his property shall file an application, to be supplied by the Township, with the Township Clerk. The application shall require the following information:
(1) 
Name of the applicant and address of the property, located within the Township, to be included on the registry.
(2) 
Contact information, including the best telephone number at which to reach the applicant, should such applicant need to be contacted with regard to the registry.
(3) 
A space for the initials of the applicant to acknowledge that the registry will be enforceable against only those peddlers, solicitors and canvassers set forth in § 204-12B. To all other peddlers, solicitors and canvassers, the registry is merely notice of a preference.
E. 
The applicant shall also be required to produce photo identification or other proof, including but not limited to a lease agreement, demonstrating the applicant's lawful right to occupy such property.
F. 
The Township Clerk shall approve the application once completed and forward the information contained therein to the Police Department.
G. 
The Do-Not-Solicit Registry itself shall be maintained by the Township Clerk and shall only include the property addresses within the Township where peddling, soliciting or canvassing are prohibited to licensees. No further identifying information will be listed.
H. 
The Township Clerk, or his designee, shall provide a copy of the registry to each and every applicant to whom a license is issued pursuant to this chapter. Copies of the registry shall also be available at the Office of the Township Clerk and on the Internet website of the Township.
I. 
The Township Tax Assessor shall notify the Township Clerk of any change in the ownership of property which is registered on the Do-Not-Solicit Registry. The Township Clerk shall remove from the registry any property that has changed ownership.
J. 
Any resident who wishes to end his participation in the registry can do so by written notification to the Township Clerk. Upon receiving such notice, the Clerk shall remove the property from the registry. The Township Clerk shall also forward any such notice to the Police Department.
K. 
Peddling, soliciting or canvassing at any address listed on the registry shall constitute a violation of this chapter and shall be grounds for revocation of such person's license under § 204-10A(1).
A. 
A resident may place, on any property he owns or lawfully occupies within the Township, a sign indicating that he does not wish to be disturbed by peddlers, solicitors or canvassers. Said sign shall be posted in such a manner as to be clearly visible to any person wishing to peddle, solicit or canvass on the property.
B. 
A "No Solicitation" sign shall be applicable to all peddlers, solicitors and canvassers, including those persons listed in § 204-4 of this chapter.
C. 
A "No Solicitation" sign shall be deemed a warning or safety sign for purposes of the Township's Sign Ordinance. (See § 165-109 of this Code.)
D. 
Peddling, soliciting or canvassing at any address where a "No Solicitation" sign is posted shall constitute a violation of this chapter and shall be grounds for revocation of such person's license under § 204-10A(1).
Each person shall at all times while soliciting, canvassing or peddling within the Township:
A. 
Display prominently on his person the license; and
B. 
Wear a warning vest or other suitable garment marked with or made of reflectorized or high-visibility material in conformance with OSHA Regulation 29 C.F.R. 1926.651(d), as the same may be amended from time to time. The reflectorized garments referred to herein must be obtained by each person at his own expense and shall not be provided by the Township.
A. 
No peddling, soliciting or canvassing shall be conducted in the Township except between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., prevailing time.
B. 
No peddling, soliciting or canvassing shall be conducted on Sundays, except by the persons and organizations governed by § 204-4.
[Amended 5-27-2009 by Ord. No. 984-09]
At the request of the Township Council, the Township Clerk shall issue a report concerning the number of licenses issued, the period of time of each license, and the fees paid for licenses. The Township Clerk shall also submit, at the time of his report, a check in payment of all license fees collected since the date of his last report.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following persons, organizations or activities:
A. 
Any federal census takers.
B. 
Any surveys taken pursuant to federal, state or local laws.
C. 
Any employees of a public utility which 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.
Any person or any licensee who violates any of the provisions or terms of this chapter shall be subject to the penalty provided for in Chapter 1, § 1-17, of this Code. Each violation of a provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.