[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of West Haven 6-10-1996 by Ord. No. 357. Amendments noted where applicable.]
No person, corporation or partnership shall engage in or carry on the business of loaning money upon deposits or pledge of wearing apparel, jewelry, ornaments, household goods or other personal property, or of purchasing such property on condition of selling the same back again at a stipulated price, unless such person, corporation or partnership is first licensed as a pawnbroker.
Loans on intangible property are excepted from this ordinance.
The granting of a license pursuant to this chapter is subject to issuance of a special permit by the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of West Haven in accordance with the Land Use Regulations. The issuance of a special permit is a condition precedent to the filing of an application for a pawnbroker's license in accordance with this ordinance.
The Chief of Police for the City of West Haven, with the approval of a majority vote of the Police Commissioners, may grant licenses to suitable persons to be pawnbrokers and to carry on the business of lending money on the pledge of personal property, or of purchasing such property on condition of selling it back again at a stipulated price, and may revoke such licenses for cause. The person so licensed shall pay a fee of $50 and $25 per year thereafter for renewal of such license. At the time of receiving such license, the applicant shall file a bond with competent surety in the sum of $2,000 and conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties and obligations pertaining to the business so licensed. Each license shall designate the place where such business is to be carried on and shall continue for one year unless sooner revoked. The issuance of such license is personal and as such may not be assigned or delegated. Violations of this requirement is grounds for revocation.
Any license issued pursuant to this chapter shall remain on public display at all times and shall be conspicuously placed and readily accessible. Any holder of such license shall be at least 18 years of age and shall not have been convicted of any criminal offense. A current list of employees shall be provided to the Chief of Police at least semi-annually, or upon reasonable demand. Such list shall include employees' full name, address, date of birth, social security number and home phone number.
Each such pawnbroker or person carrying on such business of loaning money or any other transaction, including but not limited to an exchange of goods of equal, lessor or greater value, on the pledge of personal property shall keep a book, to be furnished by the Chief of Police, in which shall be written, in English, at the time such licensee receives any article of personal property by way of pledge or pawn, a description of such article, including serial number, the name and residence and a general description of the person, including the means or method of positive identification of such person from whom and the day and hour when such property was received. Such book and the place where such business is carried on and all articles of property therein may be examined at all times by any police officer, acting in an official capacity, and it shall be the responsibility of the licensee to maintain said records, including each page within the book required to be maintained pursuant to this section.
Each such broker shall, at the time of making any loan on a pawn or pledge, deliver to the person who pawns or pledges any goods, article or thing a memorandum containing the entry required to be made in the pawnbrokers book by the provisions of Subsection B. No charge shall be made or required by any pawnbroker for such memorandum. A copy of such memorandum shall be kept on the premises at all times, and such memorandum is to be subject to examination pursuant to Section B of this section.
Each such pawnbroker shall make weekly a sworn statement of his transactions, describing the goods received and setting forth the name and residence and description of the person from whom the goods are received, to the Chief of Police's office each week on Monday, no later than 12:00 noon. Any such broker who willfully fails to make such report required by this section shall be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and for the third offense shall be fined not more than $500 and shall also be subject to revocation of his or her license.
A business operating under a Pawnbrokers license shall post the hours of operation in a conspicuous area. It shall be unlawful for places operating under these licenses to operate before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m. The City of West Haven may, by a vote of the City Council or by amendment of this ordinance, reduce the numbers of hours during which a business under this section shall be conducted.
No pawnbroker or loan broker or person who loans money on the pledge of personal property shall take or receive, directly or indirectly, for the use of money loaned on personal property, any more than the following rates:
Such rates shall be conspicuously displayed to the public at the place of business of such licensee at all times.
No such lender shall sell or dispose of any personal property left with him in pledge for the money loaned in less than six months from the date when the same is left in pledge as aforesaid. All such property shall be sold or disposed of at a public or private sale only after advertisement in a newspaper having circulation within the City of West Haven at least two days before the date of the sale or sales, which advertisement shall state the numbers of the pledge tickets representing the property offered for sale and the date or dates when such tickets were issued. Such advertisement shall also be provided to the Chief of Police.
A notice shall be prominently displayed at all times within the licensed premises stating that no one under the age of 18 years shall pawn or sell items. Items may be sold or pawned only by a natural person who has proper identification that shall include a full face photograph of such person.
Any person, corporation or partnership which engages in the business of pawnbroker, unless licensed according to law, or after notice that its license has been revoked, or which violates any of the provisions of this ordinance, or neglects to keep a book in the English language or to make the entries therein as provided by law, or refuses to allow the same to be inspected by the proper officers, or receives an article of personal property by way of pawn or pledge from a minor, shall be fined not more than $50 for the first offense and not more than $100 for the second offense, and for the third offense shall be fined not more than $500. Any violation of this ordinance may result in revocation of such license; such revocation will require that all business conducted as a pawnbroker cease, pending hearing by the Board of Police Commissioners within 10 days of said revocation.