Section 486 Licensing, Regulation, and Other Oversight of Pawnbrokers and Pawn Transactions
Section 486:00. Purpose. The City Council finds that use of services provided by pawnbrokers provides an opportunity for the commission of crimes and their concealment because pawn businesses have the ability to receive and transfer property stolen by others easily and quickly. The City Council also finds that consumer protection regulation is warranted in transactions involving pawnbrokers. The City Council further finds that the pawn industry has outgrown the city's current ability to effectively or efficiently identify criminal activity related to pawn shops. The purpose of this section is to prevent pawn businesses from being used as facilities for the commission of crimes, and to assure that such businesses comply with basic consumer protection standards, thereby protecting the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the city.
To help the police department better regulate current and future pawn businesses, decrease and stabilize costs associated with the regulation of the pawn industry, and increase identification of criminal activities in the pawn industry through the timely collection and sharing of pawn transaction information, this section also implements and establishes the required use of the automated pawn system (APS).
Section 486:01. Definitions. The terms used in this section shall have the following meanings:
Subd. 1. 'Pawnbroker" means any natural person, partnership or corporation, either as principal, or agent or employee thereof, who loans money on deposit or pledge of personal property, or other valuable thing, or who deals in the purchasing of personal property, or other valuable thing on condition of selling the same back again at a stipulated price, or who loans money secured by chattel mortgage on personal property, taking possession of the property or any part thereof so mortgaged. To the extent that a pawnbroker's business includes buying personal property previously used, rented or leased, or selling it on consignment, the provisions of this section shall be applicable.
Subd. 2. 'Reportable transaction" means every transaction conducted by a pawnbroker in which merchandise is received through a pawn, purchase, consignment or trade, or in which a pawn is renewed, extended or redeemed, is reportable except:
a. The bulk purchase or consignment of new or used merchandise from a merchant, manufacturer or wholesaler having an established permanent place of business, and the retail sale of said merchandise, provided the pawnbroker must maintain a record of such purchase or consignment which describes each item, and must mark each item in a manner which relates it to that transaction record.
b. Retail and wholesale sales of merchandise originally received by pawn or purchase, and for which all applicable hold and/or redemption periods have expired.
Subd. 3. 'Billable transaction" means every reportable transaction conducted by a pawnbroker is a billable transaction except renewals, redemptions or extensions of existing pawns on items previously reported and continuously in the licensee's possession, voided transactions, and confiscations.
Section 486:02. License Required. From and after August 1, 2003, no person shall engage in the business of a pawnbroker without first obtaining a license therefor and paying the fees prescribed herein.
Section 486:03. License Fees.
a. The annual license fee shall be in an amount duly established by the City Council from time to time. No license shall be issued under this section until the appropriate license fee shall be paid in full.
b. The billable transaction fee shall be in an amount duly established by the City Council from time to time and shall reflect the cost of processing transactions and other related regulatory expenses as determined by the City Council, and shall be reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, every six (6) months. Licensees shall be notified in writing thirty (30) days before any adjustment is implemented.
Billable transaction fees shall be billed monthly and are due and payable within thirty (30) days. Failure to do so is a violation of this section.
Section 486:04. Investigation Fee. An applicant for a new license under this section, or for the renewal of an existing license that is more than six (6) months past due, shall pay an investigation fee at the time an original application is submitted to cover the costs involved in verifying the license application and to cover the expense of any investigation needed to assure compliance with this section. The investigation fee shall be in a minimum amount established by the City Council from time to time or the actual cost thereof not to exceed $10,000 if the investigation is required outside the State of Minnesota.
Section 486:05. Expiration of License. All licenses shall expire on January 1st.
Section 486:06. Application Required. An application form provided by the City Administrator must be completed by every applicant for a new license or for renewal of an existing license. Every new applicant must provide all the following information:
Subd. 1. If the applicant is a natural person:
a. The name, place and date of birth, street resident address, and phone number of applicant.
b. Whether the applicant is a citizen of the United States or resident alien.
c. Whether the applicant has ever used or has been known by a name other than the applicant's name, and if so, the name or names used and information concerning dates and places used.
d. The name of the business if it is to be conducted under a designation, name, or style other than the name of the applicant and a certified copy of the certificate as required by Minnesota Statutes, Section 333.01.
e. The street address at which the applicant has lived during the preceding five (5) years.
f. The type, name and location of every business or occupation in which the applicant has been engaged during the preceding five (5) years and the name(s) and address(es) of the applicant's employer(s) and partner(s), if any, for the preceding five (5) years.
g. Whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony, crime, or violation of any ordinance other than a traffic ordinance. If so, the applicant must furnish information as to the time, place, and offense of all such convictions.
h. The physical description of the applicant together with a current photograph of applicant.
i. Applicant's current personal financial statement and true copies of the applicant's federal and state tax returns for the two (2) years prior to application.
j. If the applicant does not manage the business, the name of the manager(s) or other person(s) in charge of the business and all information concerning each of them required in a. through h. of subdivision (1) of this section.
Subd. 2. If the applicant is a partnership:
a. The name(s) and address(es) of all general and limited partners and all information concerning each general partner required in subdivision (1) of this section.
b. The name(s) of the managing partner(s) and the interest of each partner in the licensed business.
c. A true copy of the partnership agreement shall be submitted with the application. If the partnership is required to file a certificate as to a trade name pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 333.01, a certified copy of such certificate must be attached to the application.
d. A true copy of the federal and state tax returns for partnership for the two (2) years prior to application.
e. If the applicant does not manage the business, the name of the manager(s) or other person(s) in charge of the business and all information concerning each of them required in a. through h. of subdivision (1) of this section.
Subd. 3. If the applicant is a corporation or other business organization:
a. The name of the corporation or other business organization and the state of incorporation.
b. A true copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, Articles of Incorporation or Association Agreement, and By-laws shall be attached to the application. If the applicant is a foreign corporation, a Certificate of Authority as required by Minnesota Statutes, Section 303.06, must be attached.
c. The name of the manager(s) or other person(s) in charge of the business and all information concerning each manager, proprietor, or agent required in a. through h. of subdivision (1) of this section.
d. A list of all persons who control or own an interest in excess of five (5) percent in such corporation, organization or business or who are officers of the corporation or business and all information concerning said persons required in subdivision 1 above.
Subd. 4. For all applicants:
a. State whether the applicant holds a current pawnbroker, precious metal dealer or secondhand goods dealer license from any other governmental unit.
b. State whether the applicant has previously been denied, or had revoked or suspended, a pawnbroker, precious metal dealer, or secondhand dealer license from any other governmental unit.
c. State the location of the business premises and whether the premises are owned or leased.
d. If the applicant does not own the business premises, provide a true and complete copy of the executed lease.
e. The legal description of the premises to be licensed.
f. State whether all real estate taxes and assessments, personal property taxes, and any other bills for municipal services on or to the premises to be licensed have been paid, and if not paid, the years and amounts that are unpaid.
g. Whenever the application is for premises either planned or under construction or undergoing substantial alteration, the application must be accompanied by a set of preliminary plans showing the design of the proposed premises to be licensed.
h. Any such other information as the City Council may require.
Section 486:07. New Manager. When a licensee places a manager in charge of a business, or if the named manager(s) in charge of a licensed business changes, the licensee must complete and submit the appropriate application within fourteen (14) days. The application must include all appropriate information required in this section.
Upon completion of an investigation of a new manager, the licensee must pay an amount equal to the cost of the investigation to assure compliance with this section. If the investigation process is conducted solely within the State of Minnesota, the fee shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00). If the investigation is conducted outside the State of Minnesota, the city may recover the actual investigation costs not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00).
Section 486:08. Application Execution. All applications for a license under this section must be signed and sworn to under oath or affirmation by the applicant. If the application is that of a natural person, it must be signed and sworn to by such person; if that of a corporation, by an officer thereof; if that of a partnership, by one of the general partners; and if that of an unincorporated association, by the manager or managing officer thereof.
Section 486:09. Investigation. The police department shall investigate into the truthfulness of the statements set forth in the application and shall endorse the findings thereon. The applicant shall furnish to the police such evidence as the inspector may reasonably require in support of the statements set forth in the application.
Section 486:10. Public Hearing. The council member of the ward in which one proposed business would be located may request a public hearing on the license application before the City Council.
Section 486:11. Persons Ineligible for a License. No licenses under this section will be issued to an applicant who is a natural person, a partnership if such applicant has any general partner or managing partner, a corporation or other organization if such applicant has any manager, proprietor or agent in charge of the business to be licensed, if the applicant:
a. Is a minor at the time that the application is filed;
b. Has been convicted of any crime directly related to the occupation licensed as prescribed by Minnesota Statutes, Section 364.03, Subd. 2, and has not shown competent evidence of sufficient rehabilitation and present fitness to perform the duties of a licensee under this section as prescribed by Minnesota Statutes, Section 364.03, Subd. 3; or
c. Is not of good moral character or repute.
Section 486:12. Bond Required. Before a license will be issued, every applicant must furnish a five thousand dollar ($5,000.00) surety bond executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the State of Minnesota, approved by the city. All bonds must be conditioned that the principal will observe all laws in relation to pawnbrokers, and will conduct business in conformity thereto, and that the principal will account for and deliver to any person legally entitled any goods which have come into the principal's hand through the principal's business as a pawnbroker, or in lieu thereof, will pay the reasonable value in money to the person. The bond shall contain a provision that no bond may be canceled except upon thirty (30) days written notice to the city, which shall be served upon the City Administrator.
Section 486:13. Records Required. At the time of any reportable transaction other than renewals, extensions, or redemptions, every licensee must immediately record in English the following information by using ink or other indelible medium on forms or in a computerized record approved by the police department:
a. A complete and accurate description of each item including, but not limited to, any trademark, identification number, serial number, model number, brand name, or other identifying mark on such an item.
b. The purchase price, amount of money loaned upon, or pledged therefor.
c. The maturity date of the transaction and the amount due, including monthly and annual interest rates and all pawn fees and charges.
d. Date, time and place the item of property was received by the licensee, and the unique alpha and/or numeric transaction identifier that distinguishes it from all other transactions in the licensee's records.
e. Full name, current residence address, current residence telephone number, date of birth and accurate description of the person from whom the item of the property was received, including: sex, height, weight, race, color of eyes and color of hair.
f. The identification number from any of the following forms of identification of the person from whom the item was received:
(1) Current valid Minnesota driver's license.
(2) Current valid Minnesota identification card.
(3) Current valid driver's license or other photo identification card issued by another state or province of Canada.
g. The signature of the person identified in the transaction.
h. The licensee must also take a digitized color photograph and digitize color video recordings of a quality acceptable to the police department of:
(1) Each customer involved in a billable transaction.
(2) Every item pawned or sold that does not have a unique serial or identification number permanently engraved or affixed.
All digitized photographs taken must be at least two (2) inches in length by two (2) inches in width and must be maintained in such a manner that the photograph can be readily matched and correlated with all other records of the transaction to which they relate. Such photographs must be available to the chief of police, or the chief's designee, upon request. The major portion of the photograph must include an identifiable front facial close-up of the person who pawned or sold the item. Items photographed must be accurately depicted. The licensee must inform the person that he or she is being photographed by displaying a sign of sufficient size in a conspicuous place in the premises. A digitized video photograph must also be taken and the video camera must zoom in on the person pawning or selling the item so as to include an identifiable close-up of that person's face. Items photographed by digitized video must be accurately depicted. Video photographs must be electronically referenced by time and date so they can be readily matched and correlated with all other records of the transaction to which they relate. The licensee must inform the person that he or she is being videotaped orally and by displaying a sign of sufficient size in a conspicuous place on the premises. The licensee must keep the exposed videotape for twelve (12) months. Eff. 9/19/06
i. Digitized Photographs. The licensees must fulfill the color photograph requirements in this section by submitting them as digital images, in a format specified by the city, electronically cross-referenced to the reportable transaction they are associated with. Notwithstanding the digital images may be captured from required digitized video recordings, this provision does not alter or amend the requirements in subdivision (h). Eff. 9/19/06
j. Renewals, Extensions, and Redemptions. For renewals, extensions and redemptions, the licensee shall provide the original transaction identifier, the date of the current transaction, and the type of transaction.
k. Inspection of Records. The records must at all reasonable times be open to inspection by the police department. Data entries shall be retained for at least three (3) years from the date of transaction. Entries of required digital images shall be retained a minimum of ninety (90) days.
Section 486:14. Daily Reports to Police. Effective no later than sixty (60) days after the police department provides licensees with the current version of the Automated Pawn System Interchange File Specification, licensees must submit every reportable transaction to the police department daily in the following manner:
a. Licensees must provide to the police department all reportable transaction information by transferring it from their computer to the Automated Pawn System via modem using the current version of the Automated Pawn System Interchange File Specification. All required records must be transmitted completely and accurately after the close of business each day in accordance with standards and procedures established by the city. Any transaction that does not meet the Automated Pawn System Interchange File Specification must be corrected and resubmitted the next business day. The licensee must display a sign of sufficient size, in a conspicuous place in the premises, which informs patrons that all transactions are reported to the police department daily.
b. Billable transaction fees. Licensees shall be charged for each billable transaction reported to the police department.
c. If a licensee is unable to successfully transfer the required reports by modem, the licensee must provide the police department, upon request, printed copies of all reportable transactions along with the video tape(s) for that date, by noon the next business day;
d. If the problem is determined to be in the licensee's system and is not corrected by the close of the first business day following the failure, the licensee must continue to provide the required reports as detailed in this section, and shall be charged a fifty dollar ($50.00) reporting failure penalty, daily, until the error is corrected; or
e. If the problem is determined to be outside the licensee's system, the licensee must continue to provide the required reports in this section, and resubmit all such transactions via modem when the error is corrected.
f. If a licensee is unable to capture, digitize or transmit the photographs required in this section, the licensee must immediately take all required photographs with a still camera, cross-reference the photographs to the correct transaction, and make the pictures available to the police department upon request.
g. Regardless of the cause or origin of the technical problems that prevented the licensee from uploading its reportable transactions, upon correction of the problem, the licensee shall upload every reportable transaction from every business day the problem had existed.
h. Notwithstanding subparagraphs (b) through (e), the police department may, upon presentation of extenuating circumstances, delay the implementation of the daily reporting penalty.
Section 486:15. Receipt Required. Every licensee must provide a receipt to the party identified in every reportable transaction and must maintain a duplicate of that receipt for three (3) years. The receipt must include at least the following information:
a. The name, address, and telephone number of the licensed business.
b. The date and time the item was received by the licensee.
c. Whether the item was pawned or sold, or the nature of the transaction.
d. An accurate description of each item received including, but not limited to, any trademark, identification number, serial number, model number, brand name, or other identifying mark on such an item.
e. The signature or unique identifier of the licensee or employee that conducted the transaction.
f. The amount advanced or paid.
g. The monthly and annual interest rates, including all pawn fees and charges.
h. The last regular day of business by which the item must be redeemed by the pledger without risk that the item will be sold, and the amount necessary to redeem the pawned item on that date.
i. The full name, current residence address, current residence telephone number, and date of birth of the pledger or seller.
j. The identification number and state of issue from any of the following forms of identification of the pledger or seller:
(1) Current valid Minnesota driver's license.
(2) Current valid Minnesota identification card.
(3) Current valid photo driver's license or identification card issued by another state or province of Canada.
k. Description of the pledger or seller including approximate sex, height, weight, race, color of eyes and color of hair.
l. The signature of the pledger or seller.
m. All printed statements as required by state statue 325J.04, subdivision 2, or any other applicable statutes.
Section 486:16. Redemption Period. Any person pledging, pawning or depositing an item for security must have a minimum of sixty (60) days from the date of that transaction to redeem the item before it may be forfeited and sold. During the sixty (60) day holding period, items may not be removed from the licensed location except as provided in section 486:23. Licensees are prohibited from redeeming any item to anyone other than (1) the person to whom the receipt was issued, (2) to any person identified in a written and notarized authorization to redeem the property identified in the receipt, (3) to a person identified in writing by the pledger at the time of the initial transaction and signed by the pledger, or (4) with approval of the police license inspector. Written authorization for release of property to persons other than original pledger must be maintained along with original transaction record in accordance with Section 486:13.
Section 486:17. Holding Period. Any item purchased or accepted in trade by a licensee must not be sold or otherwise transferred for thirty (30) days from the date of the transaction. An individual may redeem an item seventy-two (72) hours after the item was received on deposit, excluding Sundays and legal holidays.
Section 486:18. Police Order to Hold Property.
a. Investigative hold. Whenever a law enforcement official from any agency notifies a licensee not to sell an item, the item must not be sold or removed from the premises. The investigative hold shall be confirmed in writing by the law enforcement agency within seventy-two (72) hours and will remain in effect for fifteen (15) days from the date of initial notification, or until the investigative order is canceled, or until an order to hold/confiscate is issued, pursuant to section 486:18b, whichever comes first.
b. Order to hold. Whenever the chief of police, or the chief's designee, notifies a licensee not to sell an item, the item must not be sold or removed from the licensed premises until authorized to be released by the chief or the chief's designee. The order to hold shall expire ninety (90) days from the date it is issued unless the chief of police or the chief's designee determines the hold is still necessary and notifies the licensee in writing.
c. Order to confiscate. If an item is identified as stolen or evidence in a criminal case, the chief or chief's designee may:
(1) Physically confiscate and remove it from the shop, pursuant to a written order from the chief or the chief's designee, or
(2) Place the item on hold or extend the hold as provided in section 486:18b, and leave it in the shop.
When an item is confiscated, the law enforcement officer doing so shall provide identification upon request of the licensee, and shall provide the licensee the name and phone number of the confiscating agency and investigator, and the case number related to the confiscation.
When an order to hold/confiscate is deemed no longer necessary by the chief of police, the chief, or chief's designee shall notify the licensee.
Section 486:19. Inspection of Items. At all times during the terms of the license, the licensee must allow law enforcement officials to enter the premises where the licensed business is located, including all off-site storage facilities as authorized in section 486:23, during normal business hours, except in an emergency, for the purpose of inspecting such premises and inspecting the items, ware and merchandise and records therein to verify compliance with this section or other applicable laws.
Section 486:20. Label Required. Licensees must attach a label to every item at the time it is pawned, purchased or received in inventory from any reportable transaction. Permanently recorded on this label must be the number or name that identifies the transaction in the shop's records, the transaction date, the name of the item and the description or the model and serial number of the item as reported to the police department, whichever is applicable, and the date the item is out of pawn or can be sold, if applicable. Labels shall not be re-used.
Section 486:21. Prohibited Acts.
a. No person under the age of eighteen (18) years may pawn or sell or attempt to pawn or sell goods with any licensee, nor may any licensee receive any goods from a person under the age of eighteen (18) years.
b. No licensee may receive any goods from a person of unsound mind or an intoxicated person.
c. No licensee may receive any goods, unless the seller presents identification in the form of a valid driver's license, a valid State of Minnesota identification card, or current valid photo driver's license or identification card issued by the state of residency of the person from whom the item was received.
d. No licensee may receive any item of property that possesses an altered or obliterated serial number or operation identification number or any item of property that has had its serial number removed.
e. No person may pawn, pledge, sell, consign, leave, or deposit any article of property not his or her own; nor shall any person pawn, pledge, sell, consign, leave, or deposit the property of another, whether with permission or without; nor shall any person pawn, pledge, sell, consign, leave, or deposit any article of property in which another has a security interest.
f. No person seeking to pawn, pledge, sell, consign, leave, or deposit any article of property with any licensee shall give a false or fictitious name or date of birth; nor give a false or out of date address of residence or telephone number; nor present a false or altered identification, or the identification of another to any licensee.
Section 486:22. Denial, Suspension or Revocation. Any license under this section may be denied, suspended or revoked for one or more of the following reasons:
a. The proposed use does not comply with the any applicable zoning code.
b. The proposed use does not comply with any health, building, building maintenance or other provisions of this Code of Ordinances or state law.
c. The applicant or licensee has failed to comply with one or more provisions of this section.
d. The applicant is not a citizen of the United States or a resident alien, or upon whom it is impractical or impossible to conduct a background or financial investigation due to the unavailability of information.
e. Fraud, misrepresentation or bribery in securing or renewing a license.
f. Fraud, misrepresentation or false statements made in the application and investigation for, or in the course of, the applicant's business.
g. Violation within the preceding five (5) years, of any law relating to theft, damage or trespass to property, sale of a controlled substance, or operation of a business.
h. The owner of the premises licensed or to be licensed would not qualify for a license under the terms of this section.
Section 486:23. Business at Only One Place. A license under this section authorizes the licensee to carry on its business only at the permanent place of business designated in the license. However, upon written request, the police license inspector may approve an off-site locked and secured storage facility. The licensee shall permit inspection of the facility in accordance with section 486:19. All provisions of this section regarding record keeping and reporting apply to the facility and its contents. Property shall be stored in compliance with all federal, state, county and municipal laws, statutes, regulations and ordinances. The licensee must either own the building in which the business is conducted, and any approved off-site storage facility, or have a lease on the business premise that extends for more than six (6) months.
Section 486:24. Violations; Penalty. A violation of this Ordinance shall be a misdemeanor. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the city from pursuing other legal remedies, including injunctive relief for any violation of this Ordinance.
Section 486:25. Separability. Should any section, subsection, clause or other provision of this section be declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid such decision shall not effect the validity of the ordinance as a whole or any part other than the part so declared invalid.