[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Abington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I General Provisions
Article II Door-to-Door Solicitation
[Adopted 5-8-1952 by Ord. No. 693; amended in its entirety 12-8-1988 by Ord. No. 1645]
Going in and upon private residences in the Township of Abington, Pennsylvania, by solicitors, peddlers, hawkers, itinerant merchants or transient vendors of merchandise and persons of similar occupations, not having been requested or invited to do so by the owner or owners, occupant or occupants of said private residences, for the purpose of selling or soliciting orders for the purchase of goods, wares, merchandise, books, newspapers, foodstuffs or services of any kind or disposing of or peddling or hawking the same is declared to be a nuisance and punishable as such nuisance as a summary offense, except as provided in § 118-3.
Any persons, company, corporation or organization desirous of going from residence to residence in the Township of Abington to obtain donations of funds or goods for any charitable, religious, political or nonprofit organization or to seek orders for the purchase of goods, wares, merchandise, books, magazines, newspapers, foodstuffs or services of any kind for any charitable, religious, political or nonprofit organization shall first register with the Police Department of the Township of Abington and apply for and obtain a solicitation permit from the Township of Abington.
[Amended 12-11-2003 by Ord. No. 1904]
In no event shall solicitation of any kind be conducted before 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
[Amended 8-10-1989 by Ord. No. 1662]
Solicitation, as set forth in this section, conducted without evidence of a permit or conducted prior to 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
[Amended 8-10-1989 by Ord. No. 1662]
It is hereby declared to be unlawful and a public nuisance punishable as a summary offense for any person, company, corporation or organization to enter upon the premises of a private residence at any time of the day or night for the purpose of conducting any form of soliciting where the owner or occupant of the residence has posted a "No Trespassing" sign or a "No Soliciting" sign.
Any person, company, corporation or organization violating any of the provisions of this article, upon summary conviction before a District Justice, shall be liable to a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $600 and, in default of payment thereof, shall be sentenced to the county jail for a period not exceeding 10 days.
[Adopted 1-10-2013 by Ord. No. 2040]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have these meanings:
- One who engages in the practice of canvassing, the practice of going from dwelling unit to dwelling unit to:
- (1) Conduct surveys for research purposes (other than those conducted by an agency of the state or federal government);
- (2) To make analyses, to take opinion polls, to compile rating data;
- (3) To obtain or seek contributions for any person or organization or cause;
- (4) Advance religious or political causes and proselytizing with regard thereto; or
- (5) Conduct any similar work which, by its nature, involves door-to-door or place-to-place activity, including distribution of circulars, but not for commercial activity of any kind.
- DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITATION
- The activity of going onto the premises of other persons, without prior arrangement with the owner or occupant of such premises, for the principal purpose of the sale or taking of orders for future sales of any type of tangible goods, including, but not limited to, books, magazines, or other periodicals, or to enter into any agreement for the provision of services, or any combination of the sale of goods or provision of services, or the distribution of advertising circulars relating to the sale of goods or provision of services.
- DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITOR
- A person engaging in the activity of door-to-door solicitation.
- STREET SALES
- The activity of a person selling any goods from any type of portable stand or table or in a vehicle located on any street, roadway or public right-of-way, except a sidewalk abutting a property of which such person is the owner or a lawful occupant thereof
Any person or organization intending to engage or to cause persons to engage in the activity of door-to-door solicitation, as defined in this article, prior to commencing such activity shall obtain a permit from the Abington Township Police Department. In the case of an organization, each person engaging in door-to-door solicitation shall be required to obtain an individual permit; the organization may not simply obtain one permit applicable to all persons engaging in door-to-door solicitation on its behalf. Such permit or permits shall be issued only after the person or persons seeking to obtain such permit shall have provided on the application form appropriate information as to the identities and current addresses of all persons that shall be engaged as door-to-door solicitors, which information shall be provided under the penalty of law as provided in 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904, and shall have completed such registration. In addition, the applicant shall execute an acknowledgement of receipt of the terms of § 118-11 of this article with respect to private "No Solicitors" or "No Solicitation" or similar signs, and shall provide notice to the Abington Township Police Department of the approximate neighborhoods and locations in which the activity is to take place.
Every person to whom a permit shall have been issued under this article shall carry the permit on his or her person at all times and exhibit it, upon request, to any police officer or to any person on whom he or she shall call or with whom he or she shall talk.
Any person engaging in door-to-door solicitation or any organization employing any door-to-door solicitors that shall engage in such activity without obtaining the required permit shall be in violation of this article and shall be liable for the penalty provided for in § 118-13.
The application process shall be performed by the Abington Township Police Department. As part of the application process the Abington Township Police Department shall obtain the applicant's criminal history/record from the Pennsylvania State Police. The applicant shall pay a fee of $10 to the Abington Township Police Department for obtaining the applicant's criminal history/record. Alternatively, the applicant may obtain his or her criminal history/record directly from the Pennsylvania State Police and present it to the Abington Police Department as part of the application process.
The permit fee for each person engaging in door-to-door solicitation shall be $200 per month for each month or fractional part thereof during which the door-to-door solicitation is continued.
The terms of this section shall not apply to:
Boys or girls under the age of 18 years who take orders for and deliver newspapers, greeting cards, candy and the like, or who represent the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts or similar organizations and take orders for and deliver cookies and the like.
Persons defined as "canvassers" herein.
Bona fide candidates for elective office.
No person shall engage in any door-to-door solicitation and no canvasser shall enter upon the premises of another person prior to 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. prevailing time.
No person shall engage in any "street sales" as defined in this article.
The owner or lawful occupant of any premises within the Township not desiring to have persons enter onto their premises may post on such premises a legible sign stating "No Solicitors," "No Solicitation," or words of similar meaning. Any door-to-door solicitor or canvasser who shall enter upon the premises in defiance of such sign shall be in violation of this section and shall be liable for the penalty provided for in § 118-13.
The owner or lawful occupant of any premises within the Township not desiring to have persons enter onto his or her premises may, in addition to posting his or her premises according to § 118-10, register with the Abington Township Police Department to have his or her address placed on a registry to be distributed to those door-to-door solicitors required to obtain a permit under § 118-7. Door-to-door solicitors who enter onto premises appearing on the registry shall be subject to the penalty provided for in § 118-13.
A door-to-door solicitation permit shall not be issued to any person who:
Has previously been found guilty of violating any provision of this article.
Has been convicted, within the seven years preceding the date of the application for a permit, of any theft or theft-related crime, fraud or any fraud-related crime, or any similar offense tending to show dishonesty of character.
Has been convicted of any felony.
A door-to-door solicitation permit shall be revoked for any of the following reasons:
Conduct by any permit holder that constitutes a violation of this article.
A permit holder going upon premises either posted "No Solicitors" or "No Solicitation," or appearing on the No Solicitors or No Solicitation Registry provided for in § 118-11 of this article, or both.
Conduct by any permit holder while on private premises that constitutes a summary offense or criminal act, including, but not limited to, defiant trespass.
If a company or other entity has more than one person engaging in door-to-door solicitation in Abington Township, and the permit issued to any one such person is revoked under Subsection B, above, the permits for all door-to-door solicitors working for that company shall be revoked.
In the event that a door-to-door solicitation permit is revoked under this section, no administrative or other fees shall be refunded to the permit holder.
Any person violating any provision of this article shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be required to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $300 and/or be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 90 days. Each and every violation of this article shall be punishable as a separate offense.