CHAPTER 122

PEDDLERS, SOLICITORS AND TRANSIENT MERCHANTS

122.01  Purpose

122.11  Revocation of License

122.02  Definitions

122.12  Notice

122.03  Sales Regulation

122.13  Hearing

122.04  License Required

122.14  Record and Determination

122.05  Application for License

122.15  Appeal

122.06  License Fees

122.16  Effect of Revocation

122.07  Bond Required

122.17  Rebates

122.08  License Issuance

122.18  License Exemptions

122.09  Display of License

122.19  Charitable and Nonprofit Organizations

122.10  License Not Transferable

122.20  Penalty


122.01    PURPOSE. 
The purpose of this chapter is to protect residents of the City against fraud, unfair competition and intrusion into the privacy of their homes by licensing and regulating peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants.

122.02    DEFINITIONS.  For use in this chapter the following terms are defined:

1.         “Peddler” means any person carrying goods or merchandise who sells or offers for sale for immediate delivery such goods or merchandise from house to house or upon the public street.  

2.         “Solicitor” means any person who solicits or attempts to solicit from house to house or upon the public street any contribution or donation or any order for goods, services, subscriptions or merchandise to be delivered at a future date.

3.         “Transient merchant” means any person who engages in a temporary or itinerant merchandising business and in the course of such business  hires, leases or occupies any building or structure whatsoever, or who operates out of a vehicle which is parked anywhere within the City limits.  Temporary association with a local merchant, dealer, trader or auctioneer, or conduct of such transient business in connection with, as a part of, or in the name of any local merchant, dealer, trader or auctioneer does not exempt any person from being considered a transient merchant.

122.03    SALES REGULATION.  All sales by peddlers, solicitors and transient merchants shall be restricted as follows:

1.         No person shall engage in activities regulated under this chapter on public property without first procuring special authorization from the City Council.

2.         No person shall shout or use any sound device upon any of the public places of the City or upon any private premises in said City where sound of sufficient volume is emitted or produced therefrom to be capable of being plainly heard from the public places, for the purpose of attracting attention to any goods, wares, merchandise or services which such person proposes to sell.

3.         No person shall engage in business as a transient merchant in defiance of any notice exhibited at a residence or business indicating that peddlers or solicitors are not welcome or not invited.

4.         No person shall engage in the activities regulated under this chapter from door to door prior to 9:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. of any weekday or Saturday or at any time on a Sunday or on a state or national holiday.

5.         No person shall continue to remain on another's private property in an attempt to intimidate or coerce a sale after being told that the seller's merchandise was not wanted or after being told to leave.

122.04    LICENSE REQUIRED.  Any person engaging in peddling, soliciting or in the business of a transient merchant in the City without first obtaining a license as herein provided is in violation of this chapter.

122.05    APPLICATION FOR LICENSE.  An application for a transient merchant license shall give the following information:

1.         The name, date of birth, social security number, permanent and local addresses of each person who will be selling goods or merchandise within the City.

2.         The name and permanent address of the person, firm or corporation for whose account the business will be carried on, if any; and if a corporation, under the laws of what state the same is incorporated, its federal employer identification number, and a copy of its state sales tax permit.

3.         The place or places in the City where the applicant proposes to carry on its business and the length of time during which it is proposed that said business shall be conducted.

4.         The place or places other than the permanent place of business of the applicant, where applicant within three (3) years of the date of said application conducted a transient business, stating the nature thereof and giving the street address of any building or office in which said business was conducted.

5.         A description of the tangible personal property or service to be sold or offered for sale by the applicant in the City; whether the goods are new, damaged or rejects; whether the same are proposed to be sold from stock in possession or by sample, or at auction or by direct sale or by taking orders for future delivery; where the goods or property proposed to be sold are manufactured or produced and where such goods or products are located at the time said application is filed.

6.         Whether or not any person having management or supervision of the applicant’s business or any salesperson has been convicted of a felony within the five (5) years immediately preceding the date of said application or of the violation of any law or ordinance relating to the same or similar business to be conducted by applicant, the nature of such offense and the punishment therefor.

7.         Whether the applicant has ever applied for a license under this chapter, which has been denied.

8.         Whether the applicant has ever held a license under this chapter, which has been revoked.

122.06    LICENSE FEES.  The following license fees shall be paid to the Clerk prior to the issuance of any license.

1.         One or more days.............................................. $    10.00 per day

2.         One week.......................................................... $    50.00 per week

3.         Six months........................................................ $  100.00

4.         One year........................................................... $  150.00

122.07    BOND REQUIRED.  Before a license under this chapter is issued to a transient merchant, an applicant shall provide to the Clerk evidence that the applicant has filed a bond with the Secretary of State in accordance with Chapter 9C of the Code of Iowa.

122.08    LICENSE ISSUANCE.  Upon receipt of an application, the Clerk shall thereupon forward the application to the Police Chief, who shall investigate, or cause to be investigated, the reputation and character of the applicant and salespersons. The investigation will be completed within ten (10) days. The Police Chief shall deny the application if the applicant has been convicted of any crime, dishonesty or moral turpitude. If, upon completion of such investigation the Police Chief is satisfied that the statements and representations contained in the application are true, and that the applicant is of good reputation and character, and has met all of the permit requirements contained in this chapter, the Police Chief shall so advise the Clerk in writing and the Clerk shall issue to the applicant a permit upon receipt of the fee as herein prescribed for the period of time requested in said application and for use at the location(s) as stated in said application. This permit shall be carried by each person selling goods or merchandise for the applicant and shall be displayed upon demand to any potential customer, or police officer.

122.09    DISPLAY OF LICENSE.  Each solicitor or peddler shall keep such license in possession at all times while doing business in the City and shall, upon the request of prospective customers, exhibit the license as evidence of compliance with all requirements of this chapter.  Each transient merchant shall display publicly such merchant’s license in the merchant’s place of business.

122.10    LICENSE NOT TRANSFERABLE.  Licenses issued under the provisions of this chapter are not transferable in any situation and are to be applicable only to the person filing the application.

122.11    REVOCATION OF LICENSE.   After notice and hearing, the Clerk or peace officer may revoke any license issued under this chapter for the following reasons:

1.         Fraudulent Statements.  The licensee has made fraudulent statements in the application for the license or in the conduct of the business.

2.         Violation of Law.  The licensee has violated this chapter or has otherwise conducted the business in an unlawful manner.

3.         Endangered Public Welfare, Health or Safety.  The licensee has conducted the business in such manner as to endanger the public welfare, safety, order or morals.

122.12    NOTICE.  The Clerk shall send a notice to the licensee at the licensee’s local address, not less than ten (10) days before the date set for a hearing on the possible revocation of a license.  Such notice shall contain particulars of the complaints against the licensee, the ordinance provisions or State statutes allegedly violated, and the date, time and place for hearing on the matter.

122.13    HEARING.  The Clerk or peace officer shall conduct a hearing at which both the licensee and any complainants shall be present to determine the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint and notice.  Should the licensee, or authorized representative, fail to appear without good cause, the Clerk or peace officer may proceed to a determination of the complaint.

122.14    RECORD AND DETERMINATION.  The Clerk shall make and record findings of fact and conclusions of law, and shall revoke a license only when upon review of the entire record the Clerk finds clear and convincing evidence of substantial violation of this chapter or State law.

122.15    APPEAL.  If the Clerk or peace officer revokes or refuses to issue a license, the Clerk or peace officer shall make a part of the record the reasons therefor.  The licensee, or the applicant, shall have a right to a hearing before the Council at its next regular meeting.  The Council may reverse, modify or affirm the decision of the Clerk or peace officer by a majority vote of the Council members present and the Clerk or peace officer shall carry out the decision of the Council.

122.16    EFFECT OF REVOCATION.  Revocation of any license shall bar the licensee from being eligible for any license under this chapter for a period of one year from the date of the revocation.

122.17    REBATES.  Any licensee, except in the case of a revoked license, shall be entitled to a rebate of part of the fee paid if the license is surrendered before it expires.  The amount of the rebate shall be determined by dividing the total license fee by the number of days for which the license was issued and then multiplying the result by the number of full days not expired.  In all cases, at least five dollars ($5.00) of the original fee shall be retained by the City to cover administrative costs.

122.18    LICENSE EXEMPTIONS.  The following are excluded from the application of this chapter.

1.         Newspapers.  Persons delivering, collecting for or selling subscriptions to newspapers.

2.         Club Members. Members of local civic and service clubs, Boy Scout, Girl Scout, 4-H Clubs, Future Farmers of America and similar organizations.

3.         Local Residents and Farmers.  Local residents and farmers who offer for sale their own products.

4.         Students.  Students representing the North Scott School District conducting projects sponsored by organizations recognized by the school.

5.         Route Sales.  Route delivery persons who only incidentally solicit additional business or make special sales.

6.         Resale or Institutional Use.  Persons customarily calling on businesses or institutions for the purposes of selling products for resale or institutional use.

122.19    CHARITABLE AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS.  Authorized representatives of charitable or nonprofit organizations operating under the provisions of Chapter 504 of the Code of Iowa desiring to solicit money or to distribute literature are exempt from the operation of Sections 122.05 and 122.06.   All such organizations are required to submit in writing to the Clerk the name and purpose of the cause for which such activities are sought, names and addresses of the officers and directors of the organization, the period during which such activities are to be carried on, and whether any commissions, fees or wages are to be charged by the solicitor and the amount thereof.  If the Clerk finds that the organization is a bona fide charity or nonprofit organization the Clerk shall issue, free of charge, a license containing the above information to the applicant.  In the event the Clerk denies the exemption, the authorized representatives of the organization may appeal the decision to the Council, as provided in Section 122.15 of this chapter.

122.20    PENALTY.  Any person or entity that violates the terms of this chapter shall be assessed a civil penalty as follows:

1.         For a first violation, $250.00.

2.         For a second violation, $500.00.

3.         For a third violation, $1,000.00.