Tompkins County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors (now Board of Representatives) of Tompkins County 6-8-1981 by L.L. No. 4-1981. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ESTABLISHED PLACE OF BUSINESS
Includes a building or store in which or where the person transacts business and deals in the goods, wares or merchandise he hawks, peddles or solicits for during regular hours of business daily or the home of an individual residing in Tompkins County who accepts orders for merchandise but accepts no payment until the time of delivery.
HAWKER and PEDDLER
Includes any person, either principal or agent, who, in any public street or public place, or by going from house to house on foot or on or from any vehicle or animal, sells or barters, offers for sale or barter, or carries or exposes for sale or barter any goods, wares or merchandise, except milk, newspapers, periodicals and nonprocessed foods.
PRIVATE SALE
Includes any sale of personal goods, by the owner of such at their place of residence (such sales are sometimes referred to as "garage sales," "lawn sales," etc.).
SOLICITOR
Includes any person who solicits publicly, goes from place-to-place or house-to-house, requests or accepts orders by telephone or who stands in any street or public place taking or offering to take orders for goods, wares or merchandise, except newspapers or milk, or for services to be performed in the future or for making, manufacturing or repairing any article or thing whatsoever for future delivery.
TRANSIENT BUSINESS
Includes one conducted in a store, hotel, motel, house, building, structure, on property owned by another or one conducted house-to-house or one conducted by telephonic communications for the sale or purchase at retail of goods, wares and merchandise, excepting food products, and which is intended to be conducted for a temporary period of time, and not permanently.
It shall be unlawful for any person, except as provided in § 127-3 below, within the county limits to act as a hawker, peddler or solicitor or to conduct a transient business as herein defined without first having obtained and paid for, and having in force and effect, a license therefor.
A. 
Generally. Nothing in this chapter shall apply to sales or purchases conducted pursuant to statute or by order of any court, or to any persons selling personal property at wholesale to dealers in such article. The licensing provisions of this chapter shall not apply to merchants having an established place of business within the county or their employees; to farmers and truck gardeners who themselves or through their employees vend, sell or dispose of the products of their own farms or gardens; party plans; private sales or sales or services by prior invitation, nor shall this chapter be construed to prevent route salesmen or other persons having established customers to whom they make periodic deliveries from calling upon such customers or from making calls upon prospective customers to solicit an order for future periodic route deliveries.
B. 
This chapter shall not apply to solicitations by local charitable, religious or civic organizations. Similar organizations from outside the County of Tompkins shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter, but must obtain and display a certificate of exemption, which shall be issued by the Sheriff upon payment of a fee of $5. The provisions for use and display of this permit shall be the same as those required of any licensed transient business.
A. 
Form, contents. Any person desiring to procure a license as herein provided shall file with the Sheriff a written application upon a blank form provided by the Sheriff and furnished by the county and shall file at the same time character references from the Sheriff, Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau from three different communities where the applicant or his firm has previously conducted a similar business endeavor. Such information must contain the name, current address and telephone number of the references. Such application shall give the number and kind of vehicles to be used by the applicant in carrying on the business for which the license is desired, the kind of goods, wares and merchandise the desires to sell or purchase or the kind of service he desires to perform, the method of distribution, the names, permanent and local address and age of the applicant, the name and address of the person or firm he represents, the length of time the applicant desires a license, and such other information as may be required by the Sheriff.
B. 
Accompanying documents. Such application shall be accompanied by a certificate from the sealer of weights and measures certifying that all weighing and measuring devices to be used by the applicant have been examined and approved.
(1) 
Bonds, conditions, amount, duration. An application for a license as a hawker, peddler, solicitor or transient business that demands, accepts or receives a payment or deposit of money in advance of final delivery or purchases items from individual or any entity shall also be accompanied by a bond to the county approved as to form and security by the county attorney in the penal sum of $1,000 with sufficient surety or sureties or sufficient collateral security conditioned for making a final delivery of goods, wares or merchandise ordered or services to be performed in accordance with the term of such order, or failing therein that the advance payment of such order be refunded, and further conditioned that in the event the purchaser stops payment on its payment instrument or has insufficient funds to make payment for goods purchased from individuals or entities, then, and in that event, such bond to be used to make payment to the seller in such amount up to the limit of the bond. It is also required that any such bond applicant will make a full, complete and true report of the gross amount of sales made in such business within the county in accordance with § 127-11 below and will comply in good faith with the provisions of this chapter and in paying the amount of taxes fixed. Any person aggrieved by the action of any licensed hawkers, peddlers, solicitors or transient business shall have the right of action on the bond for the recovery of money or damages, or both. Such bond shall remain in full force and effect, and in case of a cash deposit, such deposit shall be retained by the county for a period of 90 days after the expiration of any such license, unless sooner released by the Sheriff.
(2) 
Certificate, applicability. The requirement for a certificate of weights and measures and bond shall apply to those claiming any one of the exemptions under § 127-3.
A. 
Grant, refusal. Upon the filing of the application as provided in § 127-4, the Sheriff shall, upon his approval of such application, issue to the applicant a license as provided in § 127-2 hereof. Except as hereinafter provided, no license shall be refused except for a specific reason and for the protection of the public safety, health, morals, or the general welfare.
B. 
A license shall not be assignable. Any holder of such license who permits it to be used by any person, and any person who uses such license granted to any other person, shall each be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
(1) 
Contents. All licenses shall be issued from a properly bound book with proper reference stubs kept for that purpose, numbered in the order in which they are issued, and shall state clearly the kind of vehicle, if any, to be used, and the kind of goods, wares or merchandise to be sold or service to be rendered, the dates of issuance and expiration of the license, the fee paid and the name and address of the licensee.
(2) 
Every licensee, while exercising his license, shall at all times display the license conspicuously, or if engaged in telephone solicitation, shall upon the commencement of each call state his name and address and the number of his license.
The following fees shall be paid for the license herein required:
A. 
Where a vehicle or vehicles is or are to be used by the applicant, the fees shall be:
(1) 
For the first such vehicle so used: for one year, $50; for any period less than one year, at the rate of $10 per month, except that the minimum fee shall be $20.
(2) 
For each additional vehicle so used by any one licensee: for one year, $25; for any period less than one year, at the rate of $5 per month, except that the minimum fee shall be $10.
B. 
Where no vehicle is used by the applicant, or where an additional license is required by Subsection A of § 127-7 hereof: for one year, $25; for any period less than one year, at the rate of $5 per month, except that the minimum fee shall be $10.
A. 
Number, limited. Any person using a vehicle may employ under the same license not more than one person to assist in selling and delivering but such person shall so act only when accompanying a licensed hawker, peddler, solicitor or transient business, and when any additional persons are so employed, an additional license shall be required for each such additional person and the fee fixed in Subsection B of § 127-6 shall be paid therefor.
B. 
Identification card required. The one employee, agent or sales person mentioned in Subsection A above who acts with a licensee shall at all times carry and on demand display a card of identification issued by the Sheriff, which card shall contain the following information: the name of the employee, agent or sales person, the name of the employer or company and the date of expiration of the employer's or company's license. Such identification cards shall be valid until the expiration of the license under which they are issued.
C. 
Personal statement required. Each such employee or sales person shall file with the Sheriff a statement including his name, age, permanent and county address and name and address of his employer or company and the telephone numbers of all such firms and/or individuals responsible for supervision of such activity.
D. 
Refusal, revocation of card. The provisions of § 127-8 respecting revocation of license shall apply to the revocation of cards of identification. The issuance of a card of identification may be refused upon the same grounds as set forth in § 127-5A for the refusal of a license.
A. 
The Sheriff may at any time for a violation of this chapter, or any other ordinance of any law, revoke the license. When a license shall be revoked, no refund of any unearned portion of the license fee shall be made.
B. 
Notice of such revocation and the reason or reasons therefor, in writing, shall be served upon the person named in the application by delivering the same to him personally, or, if circumstances render this impossible, by mailing the same to the address given in the application, certified mail, return receipt requested; such revocation shall be immediately effective if served personally and shall become effective 24 hours after mailing if served by mail.
C. 
Licenses obtained by fraud or misrepresentation of any material fact shall be wholly invalid and shall be surrendered upon demand; no refund of the license fee shall be made, and the violators shall be subject to the provisions of § 127-13.
A written statement of all orders taken by licensed solicitors who demand, accept or receive payment or deposit of money in advance of final delivery, setting forth the terms thereof, the amount paid in advance, the name of the solicitor and the name of the person or firm he represents, shall be given to the purchaser at the time the money is paid to or deposited with such individual or firm.
A. 
Unlawful sales. A hawker, peddler, solicitor or transient businessman shall not falsely or fraudulently misrepresent the quantity, character or quality of any article offered for sale or purchase; or offer for sale any unwholesome, tainted or diseased provisions or merchandise.
B. 
Sanitary conditions. A hawker, peddler, solicitor or transient businessman shall keep the vehicles and receptacles used by him in a clean and sanitary condition and the food stuffs and edibles offered for sale well covered and protected from dirt, dust and insects.
C. 
Noises. A hawker, peddler, solicitor or transient businessman shall not blow a horn, ring a bell or use any other noisy device to attract public attention to his wares, or shout or cry his wares.
D. 
Obstructions. A hawker, peddler, solicitor or transient businessman shall not create or maintain any booth or stand or place any barrels, boxes, crates or other obstruction upon any street or public place for the purpose of selling or exposing for sale or purchasing any goods, wares or merchandise.
E. 
Measuring devices. A hawker, peddler, solicitor or transient businessman shall not use any weighing or measuring device unless the same shall have been examined and sealed by the city or county sealer of weights and measures.
Any person or firm permitted to conduct business under the provisions of this chapter shall file and attest to its accuracy a report containing the gross amount of sales for each week or portion thereof that such business is conducted. This report is to be filed on or before 12:00 noon, on Monday or the first business day of each week for any portion of the preceding week in which sales were made. The report is to be filed with the County Clerk unless otherwise stipulated. The bond will not be returned until the report has been filed.
A. 
In addition to the standing provisions of this chapter governing transient business transactions, the following provisions will apply to the purchase and/or sale of precious metals:
(1) 
All transactions shall be in the "accepted trade standards" (i.e.: karat, metric, troy, etc.).
(2) 
The range of prices being paid must be conspicuously posted at a place where business is transacted.
(3) 
Advertising must clearly state purchase prices being offered in relation to "accepted trade standards."
(4) 
Scales used in any purchase or sale must be New York State approved for both lightweight and heavyweight metals.
B. 
All purchases must be recorded and conform to the following:
(1) 
Full description of item purchased.
(2) 
Name of seller, address and telephone number. (Identification used for confirmation of information will be a driver's license, social security card or other satisfactory ID with picture normally accepted as approved documents.)
(3) 
Physical description of seller (i.e.: height, weight, color hair, eyes and complexion, etc.).
(4) 
No transactions shall be made with any individual under the age of 18.
(5) 
No transactions shall be conducted after 9:00 p.m. Any records so maintained shall be made available to any law enforcement officials at any time covering transient business transactions conducted in this community and for a period of 90 days thereafter if such is requested.
C. 
Any hawker, peddler, solicitor or transient business that purchases or sells precious metals must secure a bond in accordance with provisions outlined in § 127-4B of this chapter.
The violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute an offense, and a person guilty of such offense may be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or by both fine and imprisonment.
This chapter shall not supersede the local law of any other municipality in effect now and hereinafter adopted.