[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Green Lake County 2-19-2019 by Ord. No. 1-2019. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 196, adopted 2-13-1964 by Ord. No. 25, as amended.
This chapter is intended to protect against criminal activity, including but not limited to fraud and burglary, to minimize the unwelcome disturbance of citizens and the disruption of privacy and to otherwise preserve the public health, safety and welfare by regulating, controlling and licensing door-to-door solicitors.
The regulations contained in this chapter are not intended to regulate speech by any person, but merely regulate the activities of those individuals selling or offering for sale merchandise.
It is unlawful for any door-to-door solicitor to engage in sales and solicitation within Green Lake County without first obtaining a license in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. Each individual door-to-door solicitor is required to have an individual license.
During door-to-door solicitor activity, each door-to-door solicitor shall wear or otherwise visibly exhibit a picture identification issued by the entity or organization with which he or she is affiliated, and shall also carry the license issued by the Clerk, evidencing that the door-to-door solicitor is licensed by the County, and shall produce the license for inspection upon request.
Any person claiming to be legally exempt from the regulations set forth in this chapter, or from the payment of a license fee, shall cite to the County Clerk the statute or other legal authority under which the exemption is claimed and shall present the County Clerk proof of qualification for such exemption.
The following shall be exempt from all provisions of this chapter.
Any person delivering newspapers, fuel, dairy products or bakery goods to regular customers on established routes, or any other person making a regular delivery of goods ordered by a customer;
Any person selling agricultural products which the person has grown;
Any person who takes orders away from or delivers goods to an existing established place of business, for merchandise regularly ordered for sale by the merchant within this County and who delivers such merchandise in their regular course of business;
Any person who has an existing established place of business where the merchandise being sold is ordered for sale on a regular basis, and in which the buyer has initiated contact with, and specifically requested or consented to a home visit by, said person;
Any person who has had, or one who represents a company that has had, a prior business transaction, such as a prior sale or credit arrangement, with the prospective customer, and in which the customer has specifically requested or consented to a home visit by said person;
Any person holding a sale required by statute or by order of any court and any person conducting a bona fide auction sale pursuant to law;
Any person permitted to do business at special events authorized by the County Board or one of its committees.
Any person doing business with the permission of, and upon the premises of, existing retail establishments, which establishments are located within zoning districts allowing retail sales, and having occupancy permits allowing retail sales operations, provided such door-to-door solicitor does business within the enclosed building structure. This exemption shall apply only to establishments and buildings wherein any sales conducted pursuant to this exemption are of the same type and nature as sales generally occurring therein, and provided further that the primary business of the establishment is retail sales. This exemption specifically shall not apply to hotels and motels.
Any person engaging in proselytizing on behalf of any bona fide religion or religious group, or campaigning, or otherwise engaging in political activity, including pamphleteering.
Any persons under the age of 18 who are residents of the county, or pupils in any school district located in the County or a private or parochial school located within the County, and who are engaging in occasional door-to-door sales in order to raise funds for school, school-related, school extra-curricular-related, scouting-related, athletic or religious activities.
Applicants for a license shall complete and return to the County Clerk an application form furnished by the County Clerk which shall require the following information:
Full name (first, middle, last), permanent address and telephone number and temporary address and telephone number, if any;
Height, weight, gender, color of hair and eyes, date of birth, driver's license number or state-issued identification number and state-issued driver's license or identification;
Name, address, email address and telephone number of the person, firm, association or corporation that the direct seller represents or is employed by, or whose merchandise is being sold;
Nature of business to be conducted and a description of the goods offered, and any services offered;
Proposed method of delivery of goods, if applicable;
Make, model and license number of any vehicle to be used by applicant in the conduct of his or her business, and state of vehicle registration;
Address and phone number where applicant can be contacted for at least seven days after leaving the county.
Applicant statements. All statements made by the applicant upon the application shall be under oath and notarized.
Upon receipt of a completed application, the County Clerk shall promptly refer it to the Sheriff, who shall investigate the statements in the application and the individual who it is proposed will carry out door-to-door solicitor activities in Green Lake County.
The Sheriff shall indicate his approval or disapproval in a written report to the clerk within three business days after the investigation is complete. A denial shall state the reasons for disapproval. The Sheriff shall determine whether:
There is any material omission or materially inaccurate statement on the application; or
The applicant has been convicted of a crime or ordinance violation within the last five years, the nature of which is directly related to the applicant's fitness to engage in door-to-door solicitor activities, including, but not limited to, theft, burglary, possession of stolen property, other crimes or ordinance violations related to property or any offenses related to crimes against life and bodily security, public health and safety, sexual morality and children; or
Whether the applicant has been denied a permit under this chapter within the immediate past year. The applicant may present information to the satisfaction to the Sheriff that the reasons for the former denial no longer exist; or
The applicant failed to comply with any applicable provision of this chapter.
Approval and issuance of license.
The Clerk may not issue a license if the Sheriff indicates his disapproval of the application based on the factors enumerated in Subsection A(2) above.
The Sheriff may suspend licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter pending a hearing by the Judicial/Law Enforcement and Emergency Management committee for a period not to exceed 30 days if after an investigation there is sufficient evidence to believe that one of the following exist:
Fraud, misrepresentation or incorrect statement contained in the application.
Fraud, misrepresentation or incorrect statement made in the course of carrying on business as a door-to-door solicitor.
Conviction of any crime or misdemeanor.
Conducting the licensed door-to-door solicitor activities in an unlawful manner or in such manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
Notice of the suspension shall be mailed to the address provided in the application.
Revocation of license.
A license may be revoked by the Judicial/Law Enforcement and Emergency Management committee after notice and hearing if the committee finds that the applicant:
Made any material omission or materially inaccurate statement in the application; or
Made any fraudulent, false, deceptive or misleading statement or representation while engaging in transient sales; or
Was convicted of any crime or ordinance or statutory violation which is directly related to the applicant's fitness to engage as a door-to-door solicitor; or
Conducted the licensed door-to-door solicitor activity in an unlawful manner or in such manner as to constitute a breach of the peace or a menace to the health, safety or general welfare of the public.
Written notice of the hearing shall be served personally on the applicant, or by registered mail, return receipt requested, sent postage prepaid to the address provided in the application at least 72 hours prior to the time set for the hearing. Such notice shall contain the time and place of the hearing and a statement of the acts or omissions alleged which form the basis of the proposed revocation of the license.
Appeal. Any person denied a license may file an appeal to the Judicial/Law Enforcement and Emergency Management committee by submitting the appeal, in writing to the Clerk within 10 days from receipt of the denial.
After the initial greeting and before any other statement is made to a prospective customer, a door-to-door solicitor shall expressly disclose his or her name, the name of the company or organization he or she is affiliated with, if any, and the identity of the goods or services he or she offers to sell.
If any sale of goods is made by a door-to-door solicitor, or any sales order for the later delivery of goods is taken by the solicitor, the buyer shall have the right to cancel such transaction if it involves the extension of credit or is a cash transaction of more than $25, in accordance with the procedure as set forth in § 423.203, Wisconsin Statutes; the door-to-door solicitor shall give the buyer two copies of a typed or printed notice of the fact. Such notice shall conform to the requirements of § 423.203(1)(a), (b) and (c), (2) and (3), Wisconsin Statutes.
If the door-to-door solicitor takes a sales order for the later delivery of goods, he or she shall, at the time the order is taken, provide the buyer with a written statement containing the terms of the agreement, the amount paid in advance, whether full, partial or no advance payment is made, the name, address and telephone number of the door-to-door solicitor, the delivery or performance date and whether a guarantee or warranty is provided and, if so, the terms thereof.
Any door-to-door solicitor is prohibited from:
Failing to display their license to anyone requesting to see the license.
Misrepresenting the purpose of the solicitation.
Solicit in a manner that intimidates, threatens or harasses the persons solicited.
Calling at any dwelling or other place between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. except by appointment.
Calling at any dwelling or other place where a sign is displayed bearing the words "no peddlers," "no solicitors," or words of similar meaning.
Calling at the rear door of any dwelling place, unless otherwise directed by the owner, occupant or any other person having authority over such premises.
Remaining on the premises after being asked to leave by the owner, occupant or any other person having authority over such premises.
Making false, deceptive or misleading statements concerning the quality, quantity or character of any goods offered for sale, the purpose of their visit, or identity of the organization being represented.
Having more than two individuals engaging in door-to-door solicitor activity upon any premises for the same goods or services or for the same religious or charitable purposes.
Conducting business with persons in motor vehicles upon a road, street or alley, as defined by § 340.01(22), Wis. Stats.
Invitation required. No door-to-door solicitor shall go in or upon any private residence, business establishment or office in the County without having been requested or invited to do so by the owner, occupant or occupants of said private residence, business establishment or office for the purpose of soliciting orders for goods, wares or merchandise, or peddling or hawking the same.
Using a license of another person to conduct business.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, together with the cost of prosecution, and in default in payment of such forfeiture and costs of prosecution shall be imprisoned in the County Jail until such forfeiture and costs are paid, but not exceeding 60 days.
The Green Lake County Corporation Counsel is authorized to prosecute or otherwise enforce this chapter.
When used in this chapter, the following terms shall mean:
- A person who files an application form with the Clerk for the purpose of obtaining a license.
- CALLING AT
- To make an appearance in person at a residence or business.
- Any person who goes from place-to-place in Green Lake County or attempts to take orders for the sale of goods, wares or merchandise or personal service to be performed in the future, including but not limited to any person who hires, leases, uses or occupies any building, structure, vehicle or street or alley or other place or part thereof within Green Lake County for the primary purpose of exhibiting samples or taking orders for future delivery.
- The Green Lake County Clerk.
- DIRECT SELLER
- Any individual who, for him/herself, or for a partnership, association or corporation, sells goods or services, or takes sales orders for the later delivery of goods or services, at any location other than the permanent business place or residence of the individual, partnership, association or corporation. The sale of goods includes donations or contributions, whether direct or indirect, required by the direct seller for the retention of goods by a donor or prospective customer.
- DOOR-TO-DOOR SOLICITOR
- A canvasser, direct seller, peddler, or transient merchant who is mobile by traveling from residence to residence, or business to business, to solicit business.
- Personal property of any kind, and shall include goods provided incidental to services offered or sold.
- A license to engage in peddler, transient merchant, direct seller, canvasser or solicitation activity within Green Lake County, as regulated hereunder.
- Any natural person or entity who engages in the retail sale of merchandise by the direct selling, door-to-door method. For purposes of this section, sale of merchandise includes a sale in which the personal services rendered upon or in connection with the merchandise constitutes the greatest part of value for the price received, but does not include a farm auction sale conducted by or for a resident farmer of personal property used on the farm, or the sale of produce or other perishable products at retail or wholesale by a resident of this state.
- Any individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, church, religious sect, religious denomination, society, organization or league, or one purporting to be.
- SOLICIT and SOLICITATION
- Includes any one or more of the following:
- A. Selling or offering for sale, or taking or attempting to take orders for the sale of goods or services of any kind, character or description.
- B. Selling or offering for sale, or taking or attempting to take orders for books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers and every other type or kind of publication.
- C. Requesting, directly or indirectly, contributions on the plea or representation that such contributions will be used for a charitable or religious purpose.
- TRANSIENT MERCHANT
- Any person who engages in the retail sale of merchandise at any place in this County and who does not intend to become and does not become a permanent merchant of this County.