HB 343-FN – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 343-FN
This bill revises certain laws regulating pawnbrokers.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Thirteen
AN ACT relative to laws regarding pawnbrokers.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Pawnbrokers; Definitions. RSA 398:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
398:1 Definitions. In this chapter:
I. “Antique” means any object with special value because of its age, which is over 100 years old, including but not limited to, a work of art or handicraft.
II. “Article” means any article, regardless of value, including but not limited to, gold or gold-plated ware, silver or silver-plated ware, antiques, watches, jewelry, precious stones, coins, junk, old metals, scrap, rags, waste paper, and any other secondhand items.
III. “Buy/sell” means the act of purchasing an article or antique by a pawnbroker from the public, whether it is in exchange for money or by barter.
IV. “Pawn” means the act of pledging an article or antique as security for a loan.
V. “Pawnbroker” means:
(a) A person who engages in the business of purchasing and/or bartering articles from the public and reselling said articles to the public.
(b) A person who engages in the business of purchasing and/or bartering jewelry, precious metals, precious stones or scrap metal, to be resold at retail, or raw materials to be manufactured into a suitable form for use by consumers.
(c) Any person previously classified by a city or town as a secondhand, antique, precious metal, junk or swap shop dealer.
2 New Section; Pawnbrokers; Tickets. Amend RSA 398 by inserting after section 1 the following new section:
398:1-a Tickets. If any person shall engage in business as a pawnbroker he or she shall, for any article or thing of value received in pawn or otherwise for the security of any loan, transfer, service, undertaking or advantage, give to the pledgor, or person for whom or for whose benefit the transaction is made or done, a ticket or coupon stating the name and address of such pawnbroker, the property, security, or thing received in pawn, and the amount loaned thereupon.
3 Pawnbrokers; Prohibited Pledges. Amend the introductory paragraph of RSA 398:2 to read as follows:
398:2 Prohibited Pledges. No person shall receive in pawn or buy/sell, whether as security for any loan, transfer, service, undertaking, or advantage:
4 New Section; Pawnbrokers; Criminal Conviction. Amend RSA 398 by inserting after section 6 the following new section:
398:6-a Criminal Conviction. Any person who has a conviction related to theft, as defined in RSA 637, shall be prohibited from running, managing, working or in any other manner engaging in a business designated as a pawnbroker, for a period of 5 years from the date of such conviction.
5 Retention of Pledged Articles. Amend RSA 398:8 to read as follows:
398:8 Retention of Pledged Articles. Articles deposited in pawn with a licensed pawnbroker shall, unless redeemed, be retained by him, on the premises occupied by him for his business, for at least 4 months after the date of deposit, if not of a perishable nature; and, if of a perishable nature, for at least one month after said date. Articles of personal apparel, jewelry, precious metals, precious stones, and coins shall not be deemed to be of a perishable nature.
6 New Section; Retention of Buy/Sell Articles. Amend RSA 398 by inserting after section 8 the following new section:
398:8-a Retention of Buy/Sell Articles. Articles deposited in pawn with a licensed pawnbroker shall, unless redeemed, be retained by the pawnbroker, on the premises occupied by the pawnbroker for his or her business, for at least 14 calendar days after the date of sale, if not of a perishable nature; and, if of a perishable nature, for at least 7 calendar days after said date. Articles of personal apparel, jewelry, precious metals, precious stones, and coins shall not be deemed to be of a perishable nature.
7 Records. RSA 398:12 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:
398:12 Records. Every such pawnbroker shall keep a book in which, at the time of making a loan or buy/sell, shall be legibly written in the English language the following:
(a) An account and description of the goods, articles or things pawned, pledged, bought, or sold which shall include:
(1) The make, model, and serial number of the article; or
(2) If no make, model, or serial number of the article exists, a photographic image of the article, with sufficient detail to record any unique physical features shall be taken.
(b) The amount of money loaned or exchanged thereon.
(c) The time of the pledge or sale.
(d) The rate of interest to be paid on such loan.
(e) The name and residence of the pledgor, verified by photo identification issued by a governmental agency.
(f) A photographic or video image of the pledgor at the time of the transaction.
8 Inspections. Amend RSA 398:13 to read as follows:
398:13 Inspections. Any sworn law enforcement officer, [
having jurisdiction] within this state investigating a criminal offense within their jurisdiction, may enter upon any premises used by a licensed pawnbroker for the purposes of business, ascertain how the pawnbroker conducts his or her business and examine all articles taken in pawn, buy/sell, or kept or stored in or upon said premises and all books and inventories relating thereto. Every such pawnbroker, his or her clerk, agent, servant, or other person in charge of the premises shall exhibit to such officer on demand any or all of such articles, books, and inventories.
9 Repeal. RSA 398:4, relative to enforcement of laws regulating pawnbrokers by municipalities, is repealed.
10 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
HB 343 FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to laws regarding pawnbrokers.
The Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, Department of Justice, and New Hampshire Association of Counties state this bill, as introduced, may increase state and county expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this bill will have an indeterminable impact on local revenue and expenditures in FY 2013 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state and county revenue.
The Judicial Branch states this bill will amend several sections and add new sections to RSA 398 which regulates pawnbrokers. The Branch states the fiscal impact to the Judicial Branch would be from additional offenses which could arise as a result of the proposed bill. The Judicial Branch states all offenses under RSA 398 are misdemeanors but it does not have information on which to estimate how many additional misdemeanor prosecutions may result from this proposed bill. Regarding the cost of an average misdemeanor to the Judicial Branch, misdemeanors can be either class A or class B. The Judicial Branch states the cost to the Branch of a class A misdemeanor in the district division of the circuit court will be $62.71 in FY 2014 and $64.40 in FY 2015. The cost for a class B misdemeanor is $44.32 in FY 2014 and $45.84 in FY 2015. At those rates, if the proposed bill resulted in 160 additional class A or 226 additional class B misdemeanors in FY 2014, or 156 additional class A or 220 additional class B misdemeanors in FY 2015, the proposed bill would have a fiscal impact over $10,000 annually. These numbers do not consider the cost of any appeals of a misdemeanor that may be taken following trial in the district court, including the potential to appeal a class A misdemeanor to the superior court for a jury trial or a class A or B misdemeanor to the supreme court on issues of law, or to both. The potential for appeals makes the number of misdemeanors needed for a fiscal impact to the Judicial Branch in excess of $10,000 significantly fewer.
The Judicial Council states this bill may result in an indeterminable increase in general fund expenditures. The Council states class B misdemeanors do not carry the possibility of incarceration, and therefore do not trigger the right to the assistance of counsel at state expense. To the extent that class A penalties are sought in future prosecutions against individuals for violation of the laws regulating pawnbrokers, because this analysis assumes that an indeterminate number of people violating the terms of this statute would do so within the context of their employment, or would be defended or indemnified by their employer, it is unlikely these accused persons would require the assistance of appointed counsel. Also, since a gainfully employed person would probably not meet the indigence eligibility requirements, the accused would not qualify for appointed counsel. There is nonetheless, a possibility that someone charged with a class A misdemeanor under this statute could or would require or would receive the assistance of counsel through the indigent defense system. The Council states if an individual is found to be indigent, the state would be subject to expenditures of $275 per misdemeanor case handled by a public defender or contract attorney. If an assigned counsel attorney is used the fee is $60 per hour with a cap of $1,400 for a misdemeanor charge. The Council also states additional costs could be incurred if an appeal is filed. The public defender, contract attorney and assigned counsel rates for Supreme Court appeals is $2,000 per case, with many assigned counsel attorneys seeking permission to exceed the fee cap. Requests to exceed the fee cap are seldom granted. Finally, expenditures would increase if services other than counsel are requested and approved by the court during the defense of a case or during an appeal.
The Department of Justice states the criminal offenses created by the bill would be prosecuted by a local prosecutor or county attorney’s office so there would not be any fiscal impact on the Department of Justice. However, the Department would represent the state in the appeal from any resulting conviction but the Department anticipates any increase in the appellate workload would be nominal and could be handled within the Department’s current budget. The Department is unable to estimate how many cases would be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties states to the extent more individuals are charged, convicted, and sentenced to incarceration in a county correctional facility, the counties may have increased expenditures. The Association is unable to determine the number of individuals who might be charged, convicted or incarcerated as a result of this bill to determine an exact fiscal impact. The average annual cost to incarcerate an individual in a county correctional facility is approximately $35,000. There is no impact on county revenue.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association (NHMA) states this bill would repeal RSA 398:4 requiring licensing of pawnbrokers in municipalities with populations larger than 40,000 and allowing municipalities discretion on whether to license pawnbrokers in municipalities with populations fewer than 40,000. The NHMA states the fiscal impact of this bill is indeterminable because it has no information regarding how many municipalities would choose to license pawnbrokers or what their income is from license fees.