City of Fitchburg, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fitchburg as §§ 10-1 through 10-14 of the 1965 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licenses — See Ch. 120.
Signs — See Ch. 149.
Wrecked and abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 172.
[Amended 5-4-2011 by Ord. No. 054-2011; 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
No person, unless he or she is duly licensed by the Chief of Police, shall:
A. 
Be a dealer in or keeper of a shop for the purchase, sale or barter of junk, old metals or secondhand articles.
B. 
Go about picking up or collecting rags, paper, junk, old metals or other waste matter or secondhand articles as a junk collector.
C. 
Buy, sell or otherwise deal in, as a principal business, secondhand motor vehicles for the purpose of remodeling, taking apart or rebuilding the same, or buy or sell, as a principal business, parts of secondhand motor vehicles or tires.
D. 
No person licensed or required to be licensed under the provisions of Chapter 130, either as a pawnbroker or as a dealer in metals, needs to obtain a license under this Chapter 116.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of the Fitchburg Police Department or his or her designee.
[Added 5-4-2011 by Ord. No. 054-2011; amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
JUNK COLLECTOR
A person who, by going from place to place, collects, by purchase or otherwise, junk, old metals or secondhand articles, whether or not by previous contract or arrangement.
[Amended 5-4-2011 by Ord. No. 054-2011]
A. 
The Chief of Police may, for a fee set by him, and based upon an application devised by him, license suitable persons to be junk collectors or junk dealers in and keepers of shops or locations for the purchase, sale or barter of junk, old metals or secondhand articles at such places within the City as may be designated in such license. The Chief of Police may place reasonable conditions on such licenses which shall be inscribed on the face of the license. A license for a shop shall be limited to a specific address stated thereon. Subject to the notice and appeal provisions contained in § 116-14G of this chapter, the Police Chief may deny a license to any person who, in the exercise of his or her reasonable discretion, is unsuitable.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
B. 
All junk dealer licenses shall expire annually on June 30. The license holders shall be responsible for submitting an application for license renewal with the license fee to the Police Chief at least 30 days prior to June 30. Upon receipt of an application for renewal, the Police Chief shall consider the performance of the licensee during the previous year and shall determine whether the licensee had been found in violation of this chapter and other ordinances and regulations of the City applicable to junk dealers.
C. 
The Police Chief may promulgate reasonable regulations not inconsistent with this chapter which shall be binding upon all licensees. No regulation shall take effect until the expiration of 30 days from the date the regulation(s) is delivered or mailed to the persons then licensed. The Police Chief shall deliver a complete set of regulations and any amendments thereto to the City Clerk. The Police Chief and the City Clerk shall maintain the complete set of all regulations in a book available to the public.
D. 
Junk collectors shall display badges upon their persons and upon their vehicles when engaged in collecting, transporting or dealing in junk, metals or secondhand articles. Badges displayed upon the person shall be circular in form, of a diameter of not less than 2 1/2 inches, and shall bear upon the face thereof, in plain letters, the words "Junk Collector," together with the number of the license of such junk collector. The badge displayed upon the vehicle shall be rectangular in form, of a dimension of not less than eight by six inches, and shall bear upon its face the words "Junk Collector" and the number of the license of such collector.
[Amended 5-4-2011 by Ord. No. 054-2011]
A. 
Every licensee shall electronically create and send to the Police Chief, on a form, in the manner and at the time prescribed by the Police Chief, a legible, a complete and accurate list containing an accurate description of all junk and secondhand articles, except books, magazines or furniture, received by the licensee during the previous 24 hours. The description must include: the type of article; the size and/or quantity; whether the article is or may be a precious metal; if applicable, whether the article is typically used by or associated with a male or female; the wording of any engraving; whether the article has any gems or precious stones; any identifying number and every other identifiable trait. The licensee shall also submit to the Police Chief a photograph of each article purchased or received during the previous 24 hours.
B. 
The licensee shall also provide to the Police Chief electronically, on a daily basis, a copy of a photograph, photographic identification of the person from whom the licensee received such article(s) and the person’s name, age, permanent address, and telephone number.
C. 
Every licensee shall, at the time of making any exchange or receipt of any article assign and attach a number to each article received and shall make entry of such number in the book described in Subsection D.
D. 
Every licensee shall keep a book in which shall be legibly written in ink, in the English language, at the time the licensee receives any article the following information:
(1) 
An account and description, including all distinguishing or identifying marks and numbers of every article, except books, magazines or furniture, received by the licensee.
(2) 
The amount of money, if any, paid for the article.
(3) 
The date and hour when it was received.
(4) 
The name, age, permanent address and telephone number of the person from whom purchased or received.
(5) 
A copy of the document used to identify the person giving the article to the licensee.
E. 
Every licensee shall require positive identification from any person selling or exchanging any article. The licensee shall copy and record the type of identification presented and the date of birth from any person giving or exchanging any article. Positive identification means only a government issued document with the person’s name and photograph. The licensee shall photograph any person exchanging any article(s). A copy of the identification and the photograph shall be kept with the book required by this section as part of his or her records.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
F. 
No entry made in the book, required by this section, shall be erased, obliterated or defaced in any manner whatsoever. The book shall, at all times, be open for the inspection by the Police Chief or any police officer. The licensee shall keep and maintain all the records required by this chapter for a period of three years from the date of the last entry in any book.
Rags and wastepaper kept or collected by junk dealers or junk collectors shall not be kept or stored within the limits of the fire district except in substantial brick or stone buildings, unless the terms of this section are waived, in writing, for the City by the Chief of the Fire Department.
[Amended 5-4-2011 by Ord. No. 054-2011]
All persons licensed under this chapter shall be required to have a suitable and presentable place of business and shall be required to conform to such reasonable rules and regulations as may, from time to time, be passed by the Chief of Police.
[Amended 5-4-2011 by Ord. No. 054-2011[1]]
Every shop, place, vehicle or receptacle used for the collecting, storage or keeping of junk, old metals or secondhand articles and all articles of merchandise therein may be examined at all times by the Chief of Police.
[1]
Editor’s Note: This ordinance also repealed former § 116-7, Dealers from outside City limits. In addition, said ordinance provided for the renumbering of former §§ 116-8 through 116-14 as §§ 116-7 through 116-13, respectively.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
No keeper of a junk shop and no junk collector shall, directly or indirectly, either purchase or receive by way of barter or exchange any of the articles mentioned in § 116-1 from a minor, knowing or having reason to believe him or her to be such.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
Every keeper of a junk shop shall put in a suitable and conspicuous place on his or her shop a sign having his or her name and occupation legibly inscribed thereon in large letters.
Keepers of junkyards shall erect and maintain a suitable fence around their junkyards.
[Amended 5-4-2011 by Ord. No. 054-2011]
Every keeper of a junk shop for the purchase, sale or barter of junk, old metals or secondhand articles within the limits of the City shall keep a book in which shall be written, at the time of purchase of any articles, a description thereof, the name, age and residence of the person from whom purchased and the day and hour when such purchase was made, and such book shall at all times be open to the inspection of the Chief of Police.
A. 
No article purchased or received by any shopkeeper or dealer in junk shall be sold until at least seven days from the date of its purchase or receipt has elapsed.
B. 
Persons who buy or sell no secondhand articles except books or furniture shall be exempted from the provisions of this section.
All junk shops shall be closed except between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. of each weekday, and no keeper thereof and no junk collector shall purchase any of the articles mentioned in § 116-1 except during such hours.
[Added 5-4-2011 by Ord. No. 054-2011]
A. 
Whoever, not having a valid license as required by this chapter, exchanges, collects, deals in or barters junk or secondhand articles or whoever having a license in any place or manner other than that designated in his or her license, or after notice to him or her that his or her license has been revoked, or whoever violates this chapter or any rule, regulation or restriction contained in his or her license, or any regulation promulgated by the Chief of Police shall be subject to the fines and sanctions described in this section. Each day of such violation shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
B. 
The fine for breach of the duty imposed by this chapter is $300. Each day on which the person continues in violation shall be considered as a separate violation.
C. 
All invoices for the payment of municipal charges and bills, fines or violations under any provision of this chapter or arising in connection with enforcing the chapter are due and payable within 14 days after they are mailed or delivered unless a different due date is otherwise provided by law or ordinance. Any invoice remaining unpaid after its due date will accrue interest from the due date at the rate of interest charged on tax bills under the provisions of MGL c. 59, § 57, as the same may from time to time be amended. The fees and charges assessed under this chapter, together with interest thereon and costs relative thereto, shall be a lien upon the real estate as described in MGL c. 40, § 58. The lien shall take effect upon the recording of a list of unpaid municipal charges and fees by parcel of land and by the name of the person assessed for the charge or fee in the Registry of Deeds and, if a charge or fee which is secured by a municipal charges lien remains unpaid when the Assessors are preparing a real estate tax list and warrant to be committed under MGL c. 59, § 53, the enforcing authority in charge of collecting the charge or fee, or the Collector of Taxes shall certify the charge or fee to the Assessors, who shall forthwith add the charge or fee to the tax on the property to which it relates and commit it with their warrant to the Collector of Taxes as part of such tax.
D. 
If the property to which such charge or fee relates is tax exempt, the charge or fee shall be committed as a tax. A lien under this section may be discharged by filing a certificate from the Tax Collector that all municipal charges or fees constituting the lien, together with any interest and costs thereon, have been paid or legally abated. All costs of recording or discharging a lien under this section shall be borne by the owner of the property.
E. 
This section may also, in the discretion of the Chief of Police, be enforced by civil process or by noncriminal disposition as provided in MGL c. 40, § 21D. The Chief of Police or any Fitchburg police officer may issue tickets to enforce this chapter. If enforced civilly by ticket, each day on which a violation exists shall be deemed to be a separate offense and the violator shall be subject to the following fines:
(1) 
First violation: $150.
(2) 
Second violation: $200.
(3) 
Third violation: $300.
(4) 
Fourth and each subsequent violation: $300.
F. 
In addition to the penalties set forth above, the enforcing authority may seek an injunction from an appropriate court to restrain any violation of this chapter, any regulation promulgated by the Chief of Police or any condition inscribed on a license.
G. 
The Chief of Police may terminate any license or refuse to renew any license for violation of this chapter, a regulation promulgated by the Chief of Police or any condition inscribed on the license. He or she shall use the procedure described in this section.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
(1) 
Notice of violation. Whenever it comes to the attention of the Police Chief or any police officer that there is a violation of this chapter, a regulation of the Police Chief or a condition inscribed on a license, the Police Chief shall, by written notice, delivered personally or sent by certified mail to the licensee notify him or her of the violation and order the person to cease and desist. Depending on the severity of the violation as determined by him, the Chief of Police may terminate the license. The Police Chief shall also provide notice if he or she determines to deny an application for a license stating the reasons therefor.
(2) 
Contents of notice. The written notice to the licensee shall contain a description of the violation(s) and the date(s) of occurrence and a citation to the section of the chapter, regulation or license condition which the licensee is alleged to have violated. The notice will, if applicable, describe what the licensee must do to comply, whether the Police Chief intends to terminate the license and the effective date of the termination which shall afford the licensee at least seven days to file an appeal of the proposed termination to the Mayor. In the case of denial of a license the notice shall state the reasons for the denial.
(3) 
Appeal. Upon receipt of a notice of license termination, or denial, the licensee may within seven days of receipt of the notice file a written appeal by delivery or certified mail to the Mayor's office during the hours of 8:30 to 4:30 on days when City Hall is open for business. When the Mayor receives an appeal, he or she shall appoint a neutral hearing officer who will take testimony from any persons with knowledge of the facts, including any police officer and the appellant. The appellant may be represented by counsel, and any person so testifying will be subject to cross examination. The proceedings will be governed by the rules of evidence applicable to an informal administrative hearing. The hearing officer will assure that an appropriate record, including any documents submitted, is made and kept. The decision of the hearing officer will be written and final.
H. 
The Chief of Police, subject to the process described in this section, may refuse to renew any license. The Chief shall not issue a license to any person convicted of a felony.
A. 
Each section, each provision or requirement of any section of this chapter shall be considered separable. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
B. 
It is the intent of the City of Fitchburg, acting by and through its legislative and executive branches, to regulate the business of buying, selling and metals including precious metals and to prohibit certain behaviors and conduct as set forth in this chapter consistent with the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the statutory provisions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Any ambiguity or doubt in interpreting or construing any section, word or provision of this chapter shall be resolved in a manner so as to further the expressed intent of the chapter.