Authorities in Bound Brook, New Jersey, banned two teens from shoveling their neighbors’ driveways. On Monday, Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf distributed flyers throughout the neighborhood, hoping to make some extra cash during the blizzard. Apparently, the teens unwittingly violated a local ordinance.
Molinari and Schnepf were not arrested. However, they were stopped by a police officer and told to go home.
As reported by USA Today, Bound Brook does not allow “unlicensed solicitors and peddlers” within city limits. As the teens were offering a service for cash, they are not allowed to advertise or solicit their business.
To register as a solicitor, the teens are required to apply for a license. Unfortunately, a license costs $450 and must be renewed every six months.
Police Chief Michael Jannone said he was specifically concerned, as the teens were wandering around outside during a “state of emergency” when “nobody was supposed to be out on the road.”
As reported by Daily Record, the officer was dispatched to the area on reports of a “suspicious person… wearing a hoodie,” who was wandering through people’s yards.
Chief Jannone said he does not personally have any problem with the teens shoveling sidewalks, as “the spirit of the ordinance is to protect residents from gypsy activity.” However, he does want the boys to be safe.
Although the Bound Brook teens were banned from advertising their shoveling business, they will be permitted to work for existing customers.
Molinari said he and his partner were confused, but they were not angry as “the cops were nice about it… they were not jerks.”
Unfortunately, Molinari and Schnepf’s issue is not unique. In 2011, Abigail and Caitlin Mills were ordered to cease and desist selling Girl Scout cookies from their mother’s driveway.
As reported by CBS News, the Mills girls were accused of violated a Hazelwood, Missouri, city code. According to city officials, the “home occupancy code” prevents residents from selling goods from their home without a permit.
City spokesman Tim Davidson said Hazelwood fully supports the Girl Scouts organization. However, “based on this complaint, the city… had to take action.” He further explained that the organization promotes good citizenship. Therefore, as Girls Scouts, the Mills sisters have a responsibility to comply with the law.
The news is often overrun with stories about teens getting into trouble because they are breaking the law. However, in some cases, they are simply unaware that the laws and ordinances even exist. Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf apologized for violating the city ordinance, and agreed to modify their business practices.
Although Bound Brook teens were banned from shoveling their neighbors’ snow, they did manage to make around $150 before they were asked to stop.
[Image via Blogspot]