Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 8-16-1979 by L.L. No. 24-1979]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPLIANCE REPAIR CONTRACTOR
A person who engages in the appliance repair business upon residential property.
BOARD
The Electrical Licensing Board, as established in Article IX of this chapter.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by L.L. No. 19-2014]
ESTABLISHMENT
Any shop, residence, place or premises from which an appliance repair business is transacted.
HOME APPLIANCE REPAIR BUSINESS
An establishment which operates or holds itself out to the public as operating a business which will repair or reconstruct home appliances, which shall include but not be limited to refrigerators, freezers, stoves, ranges, ovens, dishwashers, trash compactors, microwave ovens, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, washing machines, clothes dryers, air conditioners and home electronics equipment.
[Amended 3-1-1988 by L.L. No. 7-1988]
HOME ELECTRONICS EQUIPMENT
Includes but is not limited to televisions, radios, videocassettes, recorders, phonographs, disk players, home electronic video games and UHF, VHF and satellite antennas or antenna systems.
[Added 3-1-1988 by L.L. No. 7-1988]
INSTRUMENTALITY OF AN OFFENSE
A vehicle and the tools of the trade contained therein, the use of which contributed directly and materially to the commission of an offense as described in this article.
[Added 12-21-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2005]
OFFENSE
A violation of the home appliance licensing requirements contained in § 563-27.
[Added 12-21-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2005]
OWNER
Any owner of residential property, tenant or any other person who contracts for the services of an appliance repair contractor or the person entitled to performance of the work of an appliance repair business pursuant to a contract.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY
One- or two-family houses and property associated therewith.
[Amended 8-24-1982 by L.L. No. 17-1982; 3-1-1988 by L.L. No. 7-1988;[2] 6-21-1994 by L.L. No. 13-1994]
A. 
It is unlawful for any person to engage in the business of appliance repair without obtaining a license therefor from the office in accordance with and subject to the provisions of this article, Article I of this chapter, and Article IX of this chapter. Every licensee shall maintain an establishment within the State of New York.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by L.L. No. 19-2014]
B. 
An individual applicant, other than for the repair of home electronics equipment, shall demonstrate at least five years' experience, within the past 10 years, in the business for which a license is sought by that applicant before said applicant may take the examination for that business license. An applicant for a license to repair home electronics equipment shall demonstrate at least two years' experience, within the past five years, in the field of home electronics equipment repair before said applicant may take the examination for that business license.
C. 
No applicant for a license or license renewal shall have any outstanding judgment for child support against him or her, or be in arrears in child-support payments as determined by official court records or official government records, at the time an application is filed for such license or license renewal. If an applicant has such a judgment against him or her, or is in such arrears, but is current in payments on a judicially approved, or Child Support Enforcement Bureau sanctioned, payment schedule to pay off or reduce such judgment or arrears, then such individual shall not be deemed ineligible for a license or license renewal on the grounds of such judgment or arrears. At least 30 days prior to the expiration of a license, the Office shall send a written notice to a licensee informing said licensee of his or her obligation to comply with the provisions of this section pertaining to compliance with child-support obligations. If necessary, a second written notice shall be sent by the Office to a licensee 60 days after the license has lapsed informing said licensee of his or her obligation to comply with the provisions of this section pertaining to compliance with the child-support obligations. In addition, the County Department of Social Services, through its Child Support Enforcement Bureau, shall notify all current noncustodial parents of the obligations contained herein.
[Amended 6-6-2000 by L.L. No. 11-2000]
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 563-27, Licensing Board, as amended, was repealed 6-3-2014 by L.L. No. 19-2014. This local law also renumbered former §§ 563-28 through 563-35 as §§ 563-27 through 563-34, respectively.
[2]
Editor's Note: This local law also provided that any person presently engaged in the business of repair of home electronics equipment shall be entitled to receive from the Department of Consumer Affairs a license under the provisions of the law without examination, provided that such person applies for such license within one year from the effective date of the law, and provided further that such applicant pays such fees as may be required under the provisions of the law.
A. 
Within the license for home appliance repair, there shall be five areas of certification. No licensee or his employee may service or repair or reconstruct any appliance for which he does not have the proper certification.
B. 
The areas of certification shall be:
(1) 
Refrigeration (includes air conditioners, humidifiers and dehumidifiers).
(2) 
Laundry equipment (includes dishwashers).
(3) 
Stoves and ovens.
(4) 
Domestic disposal (trash).
(5) 
Home electronics equipment.
C. 
The Director and the Board shall establish written and/or practical tests to qualify the licensee for each area of certification.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
Identification cards.
(1) 
It is unlawful for any employee of an appliance license repair business, other than the individual who subscribes his name to the application for an appliance repair license pursuant to the provisions of § 563-5, to engage in any business on behalf of an appliance repair business without obtaining an identification card from the Officer, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of this article and Article I.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
(2) 
No identification card shall be issued unless a valid appliance repair license has been issued to the appliance repair business on whose behalf such employee is engaged.
(3) 
A transfer or assignment of a license pursuant to the provisions of § 563-6F shall be deemed to transfer or assign without charge the identification cards of employees engaged by the original licensee.
B. 
Decals. Any vehicle which is regularly used for the operation of a home appliance repair business shall display a decal to be supplied by the Office. This decal shall be displayed on the outside of said vehicle and shall contain the number of the licensee. The decal shall also contain such other information as the Director may determine.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
[Amended 6-6-1989 by L.L. No. 19-1989; 11-30-2001 by L.L. No. 23-2001; 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
An application fee of $200 shall accompany each application for an appliance repair business.
[Amended 8-5-2008 by L.L. No. 32-2008]
B. 
The fee for an appliance repair business license or renewal thereof shall be $200 per annum.
C. 
The fee for an identification card or renewal thereof shall be $50 per annum for each employee. No fee shall be charged for an application for an individual's employee.
D. 
The fee for reapplication, in the event that an applicant fails to receive certification in one or more areas, is $25.
A. 
An identification card issued to an employee may be suspended or revoked in the same manner as a license may be suspended or revoked pursuant to this chapter.
B. 
The acts of an employee carried out in the ordinary course of business shall be deemed to be the acts of the licensee, and such licensee shall be responsible for such acts pursuant to the provisions of this article and Article I.
C. 
The suspension or revocation of an appliance repair license shall automatically suspend or revoke all identification cards issued to employees engaged by such licensee.
[Amended 11-30-2001 by L.L. No. 23-2001; 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
The Office shall issue a temporary license to any applicant for an appliance repair license if the Office has not, within 30 days after receipt of the application for such license, approved or disapproved the application. The temporary license shall contain the certification for which the applicant has applied.
B. 
The temporary license shall be for a period of 90 days. If within such ninety-day period the Office shall have failed to approve or disapprove the application, the Office shall then issue a regular license to the applicant. If the application is approved during the term of the temporary license, the Office shall issue a regular license to the applicant.
C. 
The fee for a temporary license shall be $50. The fee for a regular license issued to replace a temporary license shall be $150.
D. 
A regular license issued pursuant to the provisions of Subsection B shall expire on the last day of the 24th month following the issuance of the temporary license.
No license or identification card shall be required of any retail clerk, clerical, administrative or other employee of a licensed appliance repair business who transacts business from an establishment.
[Added 12-21-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2005]
A. 
Warrantless seizures.
(1) 
Any vehicle and any tools of the trade contained therein which constitute an instrumentality of an offense, as defined in § 563-26, may be seized by any peace officer acting pursuant to his or her special duties or police officer upon probable cause to believe that an offense, as defined in this chapter, has been committed, and may be forfeited as hereinafter provided. Probable cause is deemed to exist if a complaint is investigated by the Department of Consumer Affairs and is determined to be substantiated.
(2) 
Notice of seizure.
(a) 
The seizing agency shall send notification of the seizure of the property to all titled owners and registrants on file with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles by certified mail, return receipt requested, within five business days of the seizure. Such notification shall inform the recipient that there will be a hearing promptly scheduled before a neutral magistrate to determine whether probable cause existed for the warrantless seizure of the defendant's property, whether the County is likely to succeed on the merits on the forfeiture action, whether retention is necessary to preserve the property from destruction or sale during the pendency of the forfeiture proceeding, and whether any other measures would better protect the County's interest during the proceedings, including, but not limited to: issuance of a restraining order prohibiting the sale, transfer, or loss of the property with imposition(s) of appropriate penalties for violation of said restraining order; taking of a bond; and/or use of an interlock device.
(b) 
When a hearing is held, the neutral magistrate shall review the documents supporting the seizure and any other relevant documents and take any testimony to determine whether the seizing agency has sustained its burden of proof as set forth in Subsection A(2)(a) of this section. If the seizing agency has sustained its burden of proof, the neutral magistrate shall authorize the continued retention of the property by the seizing agency pending a judicial determination of any civil forfeiture action. Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude a party with a legal interest in the seized property from commencing an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction for its return.
(c) 
The Suffolk County Executive shall designate neutral magistrates to conduct hearings in accordance with Subsection A(2)(b).
(3) 
Any action for forfeiture under Subsection B(1) of this section shall be commenced, in the manner prescribed by the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 304, within 180 days after the seizure. Failure to commence such an action within 180 days after the seizure shall result in the immediate return of the property to its lawful owners as of the time of the seizure.
B. 
Civil authority. A civil action shall be commenced by the County Attorney, or her or his designee, against a defendant to forfeit seized property which constitutes the instrumentality of an offense or to recover a money judgment in an amount equivalent in value to the property which constitutes the instrumentality of an offense, if it can be demonstrated that the property was seized in connection with an offense by an individual who has been found by the Department to be in violation of Article III of Chapter 563 of the Suffolk County Code at least once before within a period of 10 years prior to the offense at issue, except that:
(1) 
No property shall be forfeited under the provisions of this subsection by reason of any act or omission established by the owner thereof to have been committed or omitted by any person other than the owner while the subject property was unlawfully in the possession of a person other than the owner.
(2) 
All actions commenced under this article shall be governed by the procedures enumerated in Article 13-A of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, where not specifically outlined herein.
(3) 
No property shall be forfeited under this article unless the County Attorney, or her or his designee, produces clear and convincing evidence that a non-home appliance repair business defendant engaged in affirmative acts which aided, abetted or facilitated the conduct of the defendant. The non-home appliance repair business defendant must take all prudent steps to prevent the illegal use of his or her property, and willful disregard by the non-home appliance repair business defendant of the acts giving rise to forfeiture shall not constitute a defense to such forfeiture.
(4) 
Any action to forfeit seized property under Subsection B of this section shall be commenced within 180 days after the seizure when the property has first been seized under Subsection A(1) of this section and said action shall be civil, remedial, and in rem in nature and shall not be deemed to be a penalty or criminal forfeiture for any purpose. An action under this section shall not be deemed a criminal proceeding of any type. The action shall be commenced in the manner prescribed by New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 304. Potential claimants to the seized asset shall be served with a summons and notice or summons and verified complaint. No property shall be forfeited without service of notice upon potential claimants to the seized asset and the opportunity for a prompt post-seizure hearing given prior to such forfeiture.
(5) 
In order to establish its case in any action commenced under this section, the County shall demonstrate, by clear and convincing evidence, that the property in question is subject to forfeiture at the time of the commission of the offense, as defined in this article, precipitated the seizure, or the commencement of an action for the seizure of the property, without regard to the final determination of any actions brought against the individual for such offense. The non-home appliance repair business defendant shall then have the burden of proving a lack of knowledge or lack of consent on behalf of said non-home appliance repair business defendant sufficient to constitute a defense to such forfeiture.
(6) 
If, after a seizure of property has been made under Subsection A(1) of this section, it is determined that the non-home appliance repair business defendant whose property constitutes an instrumentality of an offense, or the individual whose actions precipitated the seizure, has not been previously found to be in violation of Article III of Chapter 563 of the Suffolk County Code by the Department in a ten-year period, then the property which constitutes an instrumentality of an offense so seized shall immediately be returned to its lawful owner as of the time of seizure.
(7) 
All property seized pursuant to this section is subject to reasonable and customary towing, maintenance and daily storage fees as may be established by the Suffolk County Police Commissioner. Such fees shall be payable to the seizing agent prior to the release of said property.
C. 
Discretionary action.
(1) 
Nothing contained in this section shall require the County Attorney, or her or his designee, to commence a forfeiture action when, in her or his discretion, it is in the best interests of justice not to commence such an action.
(2) 
Nothing contained in this section shall require a court to order a forfeiture when it determines, in its discretion, that it is in the interests of justice not to do so.