We’ve all been visited at our front door by solicitors selling magazines, looking for donations, etc. We’ve also seen solicitors on the Borough streets. Do they have a permit to solicit? And, what about the rules required? Feel free to print it for future reference.
The following guidance on solicitation has been provided by Moosic Borough:
Question: What are the rules regarding permits for solicitors that come to my door, and that occasionally stand on the sidewalks in Moosic Borough?
Answer: The rules depend on whether the solicitor is a commercial or charitable organization. The Zoning Officer and the Police Department (MPD) handles the commercial solicitor permits, which require the applicant to go through the fingerprinting and criminal background check at the owners expense, process and approved by Moosic Borough Council. These permits allow door-to-door solicitation. However there is a provision in the law that prohibits solicitors from ringing or knocking at residences that have “No Peddlers” signs. The law is Chapter 219 of the Moosic Municipal Code, which you can access from the boroughs homepage, www.moosicborough.com
Anyone soliciting must have a copy of the permit. Each person must be carrying their own permit with the expiration date of their solicitation listed on the top of the permit. The excuse that a supervisor, or the Headquarters Office, has it is not acceptable.
No person licensed shall engage in peddling, hawking, selling or soliciting during the following times:
- At any time on a legal holiday, or at any residence on Sunday.
- Before 10:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Saturday at any residence within the Borough of Moosic.
- Before 7:00 a.m. or after 10:00 p.m. along the streets of the Borough of Moosic
No License shall be issued for a period greater than 31 days at any one time. The Fee for such a permit is $25.00 per person for each day of intended activity.
Question: Who issues the permits to solicitors, and who enforces the rules regarding carrying permits?
Answer: The Zoning Officers issues the permits. If complaints are received from the public indicating abuse of the privilege, it is unlikely the permit would be renewed. However, for the most part, MPD Officers enforce the law by asking solicitors to see permits and citing and/or shutting them down when they are not properly permitted. However, when instructed by Council, the Zoning Officer, Code Enforcement Officer, the Mayor or Borough Administrator, any Borough police officer can enforce this, but In both cases, calls from citizens are helpful in locating people who are soliciting without permits.
Question: Do charitable organizations such as the Girl or Boy Scouts, School Groups, etc… need permits?
Answer: Solicitation permits shall not apply to any person, firm, organization, association or corporation selling or soliciting the sale of goods or merchandise solely for charitable or nonprofit purposes, nor shall apply to officers or employees of any municipal state or federal government or any subdivision or agency thereof, while on official business.
Question: What should I do if a solicitor comes to my door? Should I answer the door?
Answer: If you have posted a “No Peddlers” sign and solicitors still come to your door, call MPD at (570)374-9111 because it is illegal. Do not be afraid to call MPD about it. Whether you answer the door or not is a judgment call you must make. If you do not feel safe doing so, do not answer the door. If they are behaving in a disruptive manner, do not answer the door. Immediately call 911.
Question: What should I do if a solicitor appears to be doing something other than soliciting, such as behaving in a manner that is inappropriate or possibly casing the neighborhood to commit a crime?
Answer: Do not answer the door and do not confront them. Immediately call 911.