Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 6-10-2008 by L.L. No. 24-2008 (Ch. 413 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Precious metal and gem exchanges — See Ch. 563, Art. IV.
721a Uncod LL Pro

§ 721-1 Legislative intent.

This Legislature finds and determines that the increase in market value of scrap metal potentially induces the theft of ferrous and nonferrous metal, end-of-life vehicles and catalytic converters. Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to require additional record-keeping requirements for scrap metal processors, auto dismantlers, junk dealers, core buyers, and entities operating as such, and to establish significant penalties for the violation of the provisions enacted hereunder.

§ 721-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CORE BUYER
A person, association, partnership, corporation of an itinerant nature or other entity which is engaged in the business of purchasing and/or acquiring catalytic converters, automobile radiators, batteries and other small-component motor vehicle parts for resale as such.
END-OF-LIFE VEHICLE
Any motor vehicle sold, given, or otherwise disposed of as junk or salvage.
GOVERNMENT-ISSUED PHOTO IDENTIFICATION
A valid federal, state or local government-issued identification card bearing a current photograph of the card's holder. Examples include a driver's license, passport, military identification or resident alien card.
JUNK DEALER
Any person, association, partnership, corporation or other entity engaged in the business of purchasing or selling old metal and/or core motor vehicle parts such as catalytic converters, radiators, batteries and such.
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department, his or her designee, the chief of any town or village police department within the County of Suffolk, his or her designee, or any officer of such police department.
PURCHASER
A scrap metal processor, vehicle dismantler, junk dealer, core buyer and/or a person, association, partnership, corporation or other entity who or which purchases or contracts to purchase ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, end-of-life vehicles and catalytic converters, including any such person or entity who or which does not maintain a fixed place of business in the County of Suffolk but enters into the County of Suffolk to purchase scrap metal.
SCRAP METAL
Ferrous and nonferrous metal, including but not limited to copper, aluminum, bronze, brass, tin and metals commonly purchased for reprocessing, and material which is or may have been a vehicle or vehicle part purchased for processing into a form other than a vehicle or vehicle part.
SCRAP METAL PROCESSOR
A person, association, partnership, corporation or other entity engaged primarily in the purchase, processing and shipment of ferrous and/or nonferrous scrap, the end product of which is the production of raw material for remelting purposes for steel mills, foundries, smelters, refiners, and similar users, or who or which purchases material which is or may have been a vehicle or vehicle part for processing into a form other than a vehicle or vehicle part, but who or which, except as otherwise provided by regulation of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, does not sell any such material as a motor vehicle, a trailer or a major component part thereof.
SELLER
A person, association, partnership, corporation or other entity who or which sells or contracts to sell scrap metal, end-of-life vehicles and catalytic converters.
VEHICLE DISMANTLER
A person, association, partnership, corporation or other entity who or which is engaged in the business of purchasing and/or acquiring motor vehicles or trailers for the purpose of dismantling the same for parts or reselling such vehicles as scrap.

§ 721-3 Recordkeeping requirements.

A. 
All purchasers of ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal, end-of-life vehicles and catalytic converters shall create a record for each such purchase which shall include a copy of the seller's government-issued photographic identification; provided, however, that such seller is a natural person; the date of purchase; the name of the seller; the residence or business address of the seller; and the type, quantity and consideration paid for the items so purchased.
B. 
When ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal is purchased, the record shall detail the type and quantity of the scrap metal so purchased as described by industry standards, as defined by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).
C. 
When an end-of-life vehicle is purchased, the record shall detail the year, make, model, color and VIN number of the vehicle so purchased.
D. 
When a catalytic converter is purchased, the record shall detail the quantity by piece count, and the type shall be described as "catalytic converter."

§ 721-4 Transaction receipt requirements.

A. 
No alterations or erasures are to be made to any record or receipt of sale.
B. 
All records of transactions shall be kept in an electronically searchable database.
C. 
Records and receipts shall be stored in receipt number order in good and legible condition in a secure volume subdivided by year and month for no less than three years as measured from the date of the receipt. Each volume of article transaction receipts shall be kept at the business establishment of the scrap processor. Such records shall be archived electronically in lieu of other formats.

§ 721-5 Inspection of records and books.

A. 
All records and books described herein shall, at all reasonable times, be open for inspection by a law enforcement officer.
B. 
A law enforcement officer may request, and a purchaser shall satisfy such request within 72 hours of receiving such request, information as to copies of all purchase receipts and/or a comparable document detailing purchase information for one specific seller(s) for a time frame of no more than 90 days.
C. 
Should a law enforcement officer request information for one specific seller for a time frame greater than 90 days, then the purchaser shall have an additional 72 hours to comply with the request.

§ 721-6 Order to hold property.

A. 
Upon a showing that probable cause exists that a crime relating to the theft of ferrous or nonferrous scrap metal, end-of-life vehicles, or catalytic converters has occurred, the District Attorney may seek and obtain a judicial order for service upon a purchaser, ordering said purchaser to hold such for purposes of an investigation.
B. 
Such request for an order to hold shall specify with particularity the ferrous or nonferrous scrap metal, end-of-life vehicle or catalytic converters subject to such order to hold. In the event such order is issued, said purchaser shall not sell or remove from the business establishment the purchased item(s) which is the subject of the order. The order shall remain in effect for a period not to exceed five days from the date of issuance of the order.

§ 721-7 Report to County Executive and Legislature.

A. 
The Police Department shall prepare and file annually a status report with the County Executive, the Presiding Officer and all Legislators of the County Legislature.
B. 
The report, which shall be made available to the public, shall include a list of all entities (purchasers) that fall under the regulation of this chapter, along with a status report of which entities the Department has confirmed are in compliance and which are not. It will include records and a description as to the implementation and enforcement of this chapter, detailing how often the purchasers have been visited, records of investigations, arrests, convictions and fines levied against purchasers for violations of this chapter.

§ 721-8 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
Any purchaser who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Each such violation shall be deemed a separate offense. A purchaser shall not be liable for any violation of this chapter by a seller, his agent or purported agent of a seller.
(1) 
If such violation is committed by a natural person, such violation shall be punishable by a fine of $1,000 per offense and/or a term of imprisonment as fixed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) 
If such violation is committed by a corporation, such violation shall be punishable by a fine of $5,000 per offense. A conviction of a corporation for a subsequent violation of this chapter within two years of an earlier conviction shall be a felony punishable by a fine of $10,000 per offense.
B. 
Any seller who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Each such violation shall be deemed a separate offense. A seller shall not be liable for any violation of this chapter by a purchaser.
(1) 
If such violation is committed by a natural person, such violation shall be punishable by a fine of $1,000 per offense and/or a term of imprisonment as fixed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) 
If such violation is committed by a corporation, such violation shall be punishable by a fine of $5,000 per offense. A conviction of a corporation for a subsequent violation of this chapter within two years of an earlier conviction shall be a felony punishable by a fine of $10,000 per offense.

§ 721-9 Injunctive relief.

The County Attorney or the District Attorney may commence an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin any violation of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder.

§ 721-10 Applicability.

This chapter shall apply to the sale or purchase of any ferrous or nonferrous scrap metal, end-of-life vehicle, or catalytic converter on or after the effective date. The requirement of § 721-4B of this chapter regarding the maintenance of records of transactions in an electronically searchable database shall apply one year after the effective date of this chapter.