[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Cohasset as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-27-2007 (Art. VII, § 16A, of the 1988 General Bylaws)]
It shall be unlawful for any solicitor as defined in this bylaw to engage in such business within the Town without first obtaining a license therefor in compliance with the provisions of this bylaw. The provisions of this bylaw shall not apply to any person exempted under Chapter 100 or 101 of the Massachusetts General Laws.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any solicitor who has been issued a license in accordance with the provisions of this bylaw.
- Any person who, for himself/herself, or for any other person, firm, organization, entity, or corporation, travels by foot, automobile, or any other type of conveyance from place to place, from house to house, or from street to street, for the purpose of:
- A. Taking or attempting to lease or take orders for sales of goods, wares, merchandise, or services, including without limitation the selling, distributing, exposing for sale or soliciting orders for magazines, books, periodicals or other articles of a commercial nature, or the contracting of all home improvements or services to be performed in the future, whether or not such person has, carries, or exposes for sale a sample of the subject of such sale or whether such person is collecting advance payment on such sale; or
- B. Soliciting contributions for or donations to any charitable or nonprofit organization and who receives any wage, salary, percentage of contribution or donation, or other remuneration with respect to such activities.
Applicants for a license shall file with the Cohasset Chief of Police, on a form issued by the Police Department, a written application signed under penalties of perjury, containing but not limited to the following information:
Name of applicant;
Address of applicant (local and permanent home address);
Applicant's date of birth, height, weight, and eye and hair color;
Applicant's social security number;
The length of time for which a license to solicit and/or canvass is desired and the dates, times, and locations where solicitation or canvassing activities are intended;
A brief description of the nature and purposes of the intended solicitation, including but not limited to the type of business and goods to be sold;
The name and address of the applicant's employer. If the applicant is self-employed, such application shall disclose whether the applicant receives any wage, salary, percentage of contribution or donation, or any other remuneration for solicitation activities, and shall identify by name and address the entity, organization, or person from whom the applicant receives such remuneration;
A recent photograph of the applicant. The picture shall by supplied by the applicant and measure two inches by two inches, showing the head and shoulders of the applicant in a clear and distinguishable manner;
If using a motor vehicle, the year, make, model, color, vehicle identification number, registration number, state of registration, and vehicle owner's name and address.
At the time of filing the application, each applicant shall pay a fee of $75.
[Amended 11-2-2015 STM by Art. 11]
Upon receipt of the application, the Chief of Police or his designee shall investigate whether the applicant has a criminal record or has been assessed regulatory fines, penalties, or other administrative action for past soliciting activities. After an investigation, but no later than seven business days after the filing of the application, the Chief of Police shall endorse on such application his approval or disapproval. Failure of the Police Chief to act on said application within seven business days of the applicant's filing shall constitute an approval.
If disapproved, the applicant shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Selectmen upon the filing of a request in writing with the Board of Selectmen no later than seven business days from issuance of the denial by the Chief of Police. The Board of Selectmen must act upon the appeal at one of its next two regularly scheduled meetings. Failure to act shall constitute an approval of the application. If the applicant is aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Selectmen, the applicant may appeal to the Superior Court pursuant to MGL c. 249, § 4.
Such license when issued shall contain the signature of the Police Chief or the Board of Selectmen and shall show the name and address of the licensee, a recent photograph of the licensee, the date of issuance, an expiration date, and the license number.
Each solicitor is required to possess an individual license. Solicitors, when engaged in the activities described in § 184-2 above, must display the identifying badge issued by the Police Department. The badge shall be worn on an outer garment or otherwise prominently displayed so as to be easily readable by any person facing said solicitor.
Any solicitor representing any charitable, civic, or political cause or purpose who receives any wage, salary, percentage of donation or contribution, or other remuneration shall inform each person being solicited that the solicitation is a "paid solicitation." Any such solicitor's license shall display prominently the words "Paid Solicitor."
No license shall be transferred.
No license shall be required for officers or employees of the Town, county, state, or federal government when on official business. No license shall be required for minors under the age of 18 unless in connection with a commercial activity. No license shall be required for any candidate for public office or any person representing a candidate for public office, nor shall a license be required for any person soliciting support for or membership in any cause, political purpose or organization, or religious organization. No license shall be required for any person soliciting for any charitable or nonprofit organization unless such person meets the criteria set forth in Subsection B of the definition of "solicitor" in § 184-2 above.
As a condition of the license, each licensee is required to report to the Cohasset Chief of Police changes to the licensee's address or vehicle information whenever these occur but no later than the day on which the licensee intends to engage in solicitation.
The Chief of Police and the Board of Selectmen are hereby vested with jurisdiction over the revocation of licenses. A license issued under this bylaw may be revoked where there is a reasonable basis for concluding that the licensee has violated any of the provisions of this bylaw, has made a false or misleading statement in the application, has violated any other local, state, or federal law or regulation, or has engaged in conduct which presents a danger to members of the public. Any person aggrieved by revocation may request a hearing before the Board of Selectmen, which request must be made in writing no later than seven business days from issuance of notice of revocation. A hearing shall be scheduled for one of the next two regularly scheduled meetings of the Board of Selectmen. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Board of Selectmen may appeal to the Superior Court pursuant to MGL c. 249, § 4.
Each license issued under the provisions of this article shall continue in force for a period determined by the Chief of Police, not to exceed one year, unless sooner revoked.
[Amended 4-30-2018 ATM by Art. 18]
A license issued under the provision of this article may be renewed by the Chief of Police upon request by the applicant. An applicant requesting a renewal of a license must apply in person for such license renewal, must provide such information as required by § 184-3 to obtain the initial license, and must pay a fee of $75.
No licensee, and no person exempted from license, may misrepresent in any manner the buyer's right to cancel as provided for in Chapters 93, 93A, and 255 of the Massachusetts General Laws. No licensee, and no person exempted from license, may use any play, scheme, or ruse which misrepresents the true status or mission of the person making the call in order to gain admission to a prospective buyer's home, office, or other establishment for the purpose of making a sale of goods or services or obtaining donations or contributions.
It shall be unlawful for any licensee or person exempted from license to enter the premises of a person who has displayed a "no trespassing" or "no soliciting" sign or poster. It shall be unlawful for licensees or persons exempted from license to ignore a person's "no solicitation" directive or to remain on private property after its owner or occupant has indicated that the solicitor is not welcome.
Any person violating any provision of this article shall be subject to loss of the solicitation license and may be arrested without a warrant, and upon conviction be punished by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100 for each and every offense.