[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Foxborough as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-1-2018 STM by Art. 8]
Editor's Note: This article also repealed former Ch. 184, Peddling and Soliciting, adopted by Art. V, § 1, Para. 26 through 40, of the General Bylaws.
This bylaw is intended to secure for residents of the Town of Foxborough the tranquility which they reasonably expect to enjoy in the privacy of their homes and to protect them from unreasonable intrusion by unrequested and unwanted solicitation and canvassing and perpetration of fraud or other crimes. It is framed with respect for and in alignment with the principles embodied in the constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and attempts to achieve a workable balance between the right to free speech and the right to privacy.
As used in this section, the terms "solicit" and "canvass" shall mean and include any one or more of the following activities conducted at residences without the previous consent of the owner:
Seeking to obtain the purchase, or orders for the purchase, of goods, wares, merchandise, foodstuffs, or services of any kind, character, or description whatsoever for any consideration whatsoever; or
Seeking to obtain subscriptions to books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, and every other type or kind of publication.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to officers or employees of the Town, county, state, or federal government, or any subdivision thereof when on official business, or to neighborhood youth and students who solicit for the shoveling of snow or cutting of lawns or similar services to residents, nor shall it apply to Foxborough-based charitable, benevolent, religious, and community organizations, nor shall it be construed to prevent route salespersons or other persons having established customers to whom they make periodic deliveries from calling upon such customers.
If any solicitor or canvasser is under the age of 18 years and is selling goods or periodicals for a commercial purpose, the provisions of MGL c. 101, § 34, shall apply.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any person soliciting solely for religious, charitable, or political purposes.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to hawkers and peddlers, which shall be governed by rules and regulations adopted by the Board of Selectmen in accordance with MGL c. 101, § 17.
It shall be unlawful for any person to solicit or canvass or engage in or conduct business as a canvasser or solicitor without first having obtained a certificate of registration from the Chief of Police as provided in this section.
Application for a certificate of registration shall be made upon a form provided by the Police Department along with a nonrefundable application fee of $ 25. The fee for charitable organizations seeking a hawker and peddler license shall be waived.
An authorized representative of the sponsoring organization shall apply to the Chief of Police or his/her designee either in person or by mail. All statements made on the application or in connection therewith shall be made under the pains and penalties of perjury. The applicant shall provide all information requested on the application, including:
Name, address and telephone number of the sponsoring organization, along with a listing of all officers and directors;
State and/or federal tax identification number of the sponsoring organization;
Applicant name, residential and business address, length of residence at such residential address, telephone number, social security number, and date of birth of each representative of the sponsoring organization who will be soliciting or canvassing in the Town;
Description sufficient for identification of the subject matter of the soliciting or canvassing in which the organization will engage;
Period of time for which the certificate is applied (every certificate shall expire on December 31 of each calendar year);
The date of the most recent previous application for a certificate under this section;
Any previous revocation of a certificate of registration issued to the organization or to any officer, director, or representative of the organization by any city or town and the reasons therefor;
Any convictions for a felony, either state or federal, and any conviction in the last five years of any misdemeanor involving crimes against persons or property by the sponsoring organization, any of its officers or directors, or any representative who will be soliciting or canvassing in the Town;
Names of the three communities where the organization has solicited or canvassed most recently;
Proposed dates, hours, and method of operation in the Town;
Signature of authorized representative of the sponsoring organization;
A complete CORI background check of each individual applicant and each individual who will be canvassing or soliciting on behalf of a representative or organization. The applicant shall provide a license and the Police Department shall conduct the CORI check;
Applicants shall provide the make, model, color and plate number of any vehicle to be used in the solicitation as allowed by MGL c. 101 § 34(c).
A color copy of a current driver license or valid government photo identification card of each applicant who will be soliciting or canvassing in the Town shall be made by the Police Department and shall be attached to the application.
No certificate of registration shall be issued to any person or to any organization having an officer or director who was convicted of commission of a felony, either state or federal, or of a misdemeanor crime against persons or property within five years of the date of the application, nor to any organization or person whose certificate of registration has previously been revoked as provided below.
Fully completed applications for certificates shall be acted upon within seven business days of receipt. The Chief of Police shall cause to be kept accurate records of every application received together with all other information and data pertinent thereto and of all certificates of registration issued under this section and of all denials.
Upon approval of an application, each solicitor or canvasser shall be issued a certificate of registration to carry upon his/her person at all times while soliciting or canvassing in the Town and to display the certificate whenever asked by any police officer or any person solicited.
Any certificate of registration issued hereunder may be revoked by the Chief of Police for good cause, including violation of any of the provisions of this section or a false statement in the application or the commission of a crime against persons. Immediately upon such revocation, the Chief of Police shall give written notice to the holder of the certificate in person or by certified mail addressed to his/her residence address set forth in the application.
Immediately upon the giving of such notice, the certificate of registration shall become null and void. In any event, every certificate of registration shall state its expiration date, which shall be one year from date of issue.
No solicitor or canvasser may use any plan, scheme, or ruse to misrepresent the true status or mission of any person conducting the solicitation or canvas in order to gain admission to the home, office, or other establishment of any person in the Town.
It shall be the duty of every solicitor and canvasser going onto any premises in the Town to first examine whether there is a notice posted stating that no solicitors are welcome. If such notice is present, then the solicitor or canvasser shall immediately and peacefully depart from the premises.
Any solicitor or canvasser who has gained entrance to any residence, whether invited or not, shall immediately and peacefully depart from the premises when requested to do so by the occupant.
All canvassing or soliciting under this section shall be confined to the hours between 9:00 a.m. through 1/2 hour after sunset throughout the year.
This bylaw may be enforced by the noncriminal disposition process of MGL c. 40, § 21D. For the purpose of noncriminal enforcement, the enforcing persons shall be any police officer or duly authorized official of the Town of Foxborough and the fine shall be $300 for the second and all subsequent offenses. The Town may additionally seek response costs associated with enforcement of this bylaw. However, violation of MGL c. 101, § 34, may be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment of not more than six months, as provided therein.
The provisions of this bylaw shall not limit the authority of police officers to make arrests for any criminal offense arising out of conduct regulated herein, nor shall they limit the Town of Foxborough's or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' ability to initiate and prosecute any criminal offense arising out of the same circumstances necessitating the application of any provision of this bylaw.