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Town of Hackettstown v. Tomas

Decided: December 8, 1964.

TOWN OF HACKETTSTOWN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THOMAS TOMAS AND RONALD F. WICK, DEFENDANTS



Paulis, J.c.c.

Paulis

Thomas Tomas and Ronald F. Wick, the defendants herein, were convicted in the Municipal Court of the Town of Hackettstown for violating the ordinance of said town relating to circular distribution, and were fined $15 and $5 costs, and have appealed to this court.

The section they allegedly violated was sec. 6-3. This section provides as follows:

"6-3 Placing Circulars on or in Automobiles Prohibited

Circulars shall not be placed in automobiles parked along the streets in the Town nor shall they be attached thereto in any manner without the consent of the owner or occupant thereof and under no circumstances

shall circulars be placed in or attached to an automobile or other conveyance which is unoccupied at the time of such delivery or distribution."

The charge against the defendants was that they did, on January 26, 1964, attach circulars to unoccupied motor vehicles parked on High Street in the Town of Hackettstown, and that these circulars were attached to the windshields of said motor vehicles without the consent or knowledge of the owners or occupants of said vehicles and thereby violated the afore-mentioned section 6-3 of the ordinance.

It appears that the defendants, prior to distributing the circulars, made an application for a license, pursuant to section 6-5 of the ordinance, paid the required fee, and were granted and obtained a license from the Town of Hackettstown.

Section 6-6 of said ordinance provides as follows:

"The purpose of the Article is to regulate and prevent the careless distribution of the articles enumerated in Section 6-1 hereof and thereby reduce the governmental costs of street cleaning in the Town."

The matter came before this court on a stipulation of facts and briefs. The record does not contain the nature of the circular distributed; however, upon a telephone call to Albert B. Thorp, Esquire, representing the plaintiff town, it was represented to the court that it was a lawful communication expressing a political philosophy, put ...


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