[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Plainsboro 11-12-1979 by Ord. No. 0-79-15; amended in its entirety 12-9-2009 by Ord. No. 0-09-22. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any peddler, hawker, vendor, canvasser or solicitor to engage in such activity within the Township without first obtaining a license therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Licenses and permits shall be issued to individual persons only, and if an employer or other person desires that more than one employee or member engage in the activities of a peddler, solicitor or canvasser within the Township, each such employee or member must obtain a separate license. Any person seeking such license shall apply annually as such license shall expire 12 months from the date of issue. No licensee shall engage in a licensed activity before 9:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, except where expressly invited onto the property of the owner/occupants thereof.
Canvasser, peddler, hawker, vendor and solicitor shall mean any person traveling by foot or vehicle who:
Distributes printed material or other goods or conveys or transports printed materials or other goods from house to house; or
Calls in person upon the occupants of houses seeking contributions of money or other items of value; or
Conveys or transports goods for the purpose of offering for sale, selling and delivering the same to customers; or
Sells or offers to sell goods or services of any kind for immediate or future delivery, with or without accepting payment or partial payment for the same.
Applicants for a license under this chapter shall file with the Township Clerk a sworn application in writing on a form to be furnished by the Township Clerk which shall give the following information:
Name and description of the applicant.
Permanent home and business address and local mailing address, if any, of the applicant.
A brief description of the nature of the business, the goods to be sold and the name and address of the principal office of their manufacturer, as well as the name and address of the agent designated to receive service of process in the state.
If employed, the name and address of the employer.
The length of time for which the right to do business is desired and the days of the week and hours of the day within which the business will be conducted.
Two photographs showing the applicant's face, front and profile, representative of the applicant's appearance taken within 60 days prior to the date of the filing of the application, of a minimum size of two inches by two inches, which photographs shall be affixed to the application.
The names of at least two references who will certify to the applicant's good character and business responsibility or, in lieu of such names of reference, such other available evidence of good character and business responsibility of the applicant as will enable an investigator to evaluate properly such character and business responsibility. Approval or recommendation by the Better Business Bureau or the Chamber of Commerce may be accepted in lieu of the above references.
A statement as to whether or not the applicant has been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or violation of any municipal ordinance other than a traffic violation, the nature of the offense and the punishment or penalty assessed therefor. The applicant shall submit a detailed explanation of mitigating factors that should be considered in the Chief of Police's evaluation of negative information in the applicant's background. This may include statements of rehabilitation, reference letters and any other information that the applicant deems relevant.
Whether or not orders are to be solicited or taken for future delivery of goods or performance of services.
Where applicable, written permission from the owner of the property on which the sale is to take place.
Description of vehicle and vehicle license number of all vehicles from which the applicant proposes to conduct business.
The applicant shall provide a copy of a valid driver's license or picture I.D. for identification purposes.
A fee of $50 shall be paid by each applicant seeking a license to peddle, hawk, canvass or solicit at the time the application is presented to the Township Clerk, except as otherwise provided by law. Such fee is intended to return only the average cost to the Township of administrative processing and investigation of applicants made pursuant to this chapter and not to produce revenue therefrom.
A background investigation is required for each applicant. No license or permit shall be issued until the application has been approved by the Police Department, allowing adequate time for investigation of the facts stated therein. Upon receipt of an application, the original shall be referred to the Chief of Police who shall cause to be made such investigation of the applicant's business and moral character as he or she deems necessary for the protection of the public welfare.
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 or her disapproval and his or her reasons for the same and return the application to the Township Clerk, who shall notify the applicant that his or her application is disapproved.
If, as a result of such investigation, the character and business responsibility of the applicant are found to be satisfactory, the Chief of Police shall endorse his or her approval on the application, returning the application to the Township Clerk who shall execute and deliver to the applicant his or her license. The Clerk shall keep a record of all licenses issued and of all complaints received, if any, concerning each license.
All personnel holding a license under this chapter shall carry it on their person and shall exhibit same upon the request of any resident at all times when engaged in the activities regulated herein.
All licenses issued under this chapter shall expire 12 months from the date of issue. Licenses shall not be transferable or assigned or authorize any person other than is therein mentioned or named to carry on such business and shall be surrendered after expiration before a renewal license can be issued.
Licenses issued under this chapter may be revoked by the Chief of Police, after reasonable notice and hearing, for any of the following causes:
Misrepresentation or false statement contained in the application for the license.
Misrepresentation or false statement made in the course of carrying on activities regulated herein.
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
Conducting the business of soliciting and canvassing in an unlawful manner, in violation of this chapter 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.
Notice of hearing for revocation of a license shall be given in writing, setting forth the grounds of complaint and the time and place of the hearing. Such notice shall be served personally upon the licensee or mailed postage prepaid to the licensee at addresses given by the licensee in making application at least five days prior to the date set for the hearing.
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Chief of Police or the Township Clerk in the denial of an application for a permit or license, or in the decision with reference to the revocation of a license, shall have the right of appeal to the Township Committee. Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Township Committee, within 14 days after 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 a hearing on such appeal, and notice of such hearing shall be given to the appellant in the same manner as provided in § 75-7 for notice of hearing on revocation. The decision and order of the Township Committee on such appeal shall be final and conclusive.
This article shall not apply to:
Any nonprofit, religious, charitable, school, political, civic or veteran organization, service club or volunteer fire or ambulance corps desiring to solicit or have solicited in its name by other than a profit-making organization money, donations or financial assistance of any kind or desiring to sell or distribute any item for which a fee is charged, provided that there is on file with the Township Clerk a statement containing the following information:
An employee of any public utility which is subject to regulation by the State Board of Public Utilities Commissioners; provided, however, that such employee shall display the identification badge or card issued by his/her employer.
A member of any committee or organization of a duly constituted political party as defined by N.J.S.A. 19:1-1 when any such member is engaged in the lawful activities, functions or objectives of the political party.
Any person honorably discharged from military service of the United States possessing a peddler's license issued in conformity with N.J.S.A. 45:24-9 et seq.
Any person who is an exempt firefighter 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 that law.