[HISTORY: Adopted by Dutchess County 2-11-2009 by L.L. No. 2-2009. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Junk dealers — See General Business Law Art. 6, § 60 et seq.
Scrap processors — See General Business Law Art. 6-C, § 69-e et seq.
Regulation of automobile junkyards — See General Municipal Law § 136.
Making punishable false written statements — See Penal Law § 210.45.
CODE OF LOCAL LAWS REFERENCES
Precious metals and coin exchanges — See Ch. 226.
Solid waste — See Ch. 256.
The Dutchess County Legislature finds that scrappable metal, including copper and aluminum, have led to a spike in reported thefts throughout Dutchess County. Furthermore, households, businesses, construction sites and churches have reported a high value of items stolen with the intent to sell these items as scrap metal. While the County and state both have laws regulating precious metals and some scrap metal, there are no regulations of scrap metal transactions when the transaction is less than $50. In order to avoid reporting requirements, scrap metal thieves are breaking up their transactions to under $50 and scrapping their goods to numerous scrap metal processing facilities, severely hindering the ability to investigate and prosecute the theft. Stolen goods are being processed throughout the County at scrap processing facilities. This chapter will serve to deter such illegal activity by requiring scrap metal processors to conduct an ID check, record identification of the parties, and record description of property.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
- Any scrap metal processor or secondary metals dealer or recycler, but does not include junk dealers.
- FERROUS METAL
- A metal that contains significant quantities of iron or steel.
- A form of positive identification issued by a governmental entity that:
- JUNK DEALER
- All persons, firms, or corporations engaged in the business of purchasing or selling secondhand or castoff material, including ropes, cordage, bottles, bagging, rags, rubber, paper, and other like materials, including regulated metal.
- LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
- The law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the area in which the dealer's business is located.
- NONFERROUS METAL
- A metal that does not contain significant quantities of iron or steel; includes copper, brass, aluminum, bronze, lead, zinc, nickel and their alloys.
- A. Means any item composed in whole or in part of any ferrous or nonferrous metal, except as provided in Subsection C.
- B. "Regulated metal" includes:
- (1) Aluminum, brass, copper, lead, chromium, tin, nickel, or alloys of these metals, except under Subsection C;
- (2) Metals and alloys that include materials and equipment commonly used in construction, agricultural operations, and electric power generation;
- (3) Railroad equipment;
- (4) Oil well rigs; and
- (5) Nonferrous materials, stainless steel, and nickel.
- SCRAP METAL PROCESSOR
- Any person who, from a fixed location, utilizes machinery and equipment for processing and manufacturing iron, steel, or nonferrous scrap into prepared grades, and whose principal product is scrap iron, scrap steel, or nonferrous metallic scrap, not including precious metals, for sale for remelting purposes. "Scrap metal processor" shall not be construed to mean "automobile salvage yard" as defined by § 136 of the New York General Municipal Law.
- SECONDARY METALS DEALER OR RECYCLER
- Any person who:
- SUSPECT METAL ITEMS
- The following items made of regulated metal:
- A. Manhole covers and sewer grates;
- B. Gas meters and water meters;
- C. Traffic signs, street signs, aluminum streetlight poles, communications transmission towers, and guard rails;
- D. Grave site monument vases and monument plaques;
- E. Any monumental plaque;
- F. Brass or bronze bar stock and bar ends;
- G. Ingots;
- H. Inconel, monel, and hast alloy;
- I. #1 and #2 copper, as defined by the most recent Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc., Scrap Specifications Circular;
- J. Catalytic convertors; and
- K. Statues and religious artifacts.
The dealer shall require the following information of the seller and shall record the information as required under Subsection A for each purchase of regulated metal:
A complete description of the regulated metal, including weight and metallic description, as well as the origin of the location from where it was obtained;
The full name and residence of each person selling the regulated metal;
The vehicle type and license plate number, if applicable, of the vehicle transporting the regulated metal to the dealer;
The price per pound and the amount paid for each type of regulated metal purchased by the dealer;
The date, time, and place of purchase;
At least one form of identification;
The seller's signature on a certificate stating that he/she has the legal right to sell the scrap metal or junk; and
A digital photograph or still video of the seller, taken at the time of the sale, or a clearly legible photocopy of the seller's identification;
No entry in the log may be erased, deleted, mutilated or changed.
The log and entries shall at all times be open to inspection by any law enforcement authority having jurisdiction over the area in which the dealer does business.
A dealer shall make these records available for inspection by any law enforcement agency, upon request, at the dealer's place of business during the dealer's regular hours.
Log entries made under this section shall be maintained for not less than three years from date of entry.
A dealer shall at all times maintain in a prominent place at the dealer's place of business, in open view to a seller of regulated metal, a clearly legible notice in not less than two-inch-high lettering that contains the following language: "A PERSON ATTEMPTING TO SELL ANY REGULATED METAL MUST PROVIDE IDENTIFICATION AS REQUIRED BY LOCAL LAW."
A dealer may conduct purchase transactions involving regulated metal only during regular business hours.
A dealer may not purchase any of the following regulated metal without obtaining and keeping on file written proof that the seller is an employee, agent, or contractor of a governmental entity who is authorized to sell the item of regulated metal property on behalf of the governmental entity:
Purchase of suspect metal.
A dealer may not purchase suspect metal without obtaining the information under Subsection C(2) identifying the owner of the suspect metal.
The owner of the suspect metal shall provide, in writing:
Transactions with businesses that have an established account with the dealer are exempt if:
The business holds a valid business license;
The dealer has on file a statement from the business identifying those employees authorized to sell metals to the dealer; and
The dealer conducts regulated metal transactions only with those identified employees of the business and records the name of the employees when recording the transaction.
A dealer may not destroy, disfigure, or obliterate any identification marks or cause the identity of an article to otherwise be destroyed so long as the item is in the dealer's possession.
Each violation of this chapter by a scrap metal processor shall be a violation subject to a fine of not more than $200; unless such violation shall be willful, in which event it shall be a misdemeanor, punishable by fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 in the case of a corporation or $1,000 in the case of an individual, and/or a term of imprisonment in excess of 15 days, but not in excess of one year, as fixed by a court of competent jurisdiction. Each such violation shall be deemed a separate offense. A scrap metal processor shall not be liable for any violation of this chapter by a seller, his/her agent or purported agent of a seller.
Any such seller who willfully violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Each such violation shall be deemed a separate offense. Every such violation shall be punishable by fines of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 in the case of a corporation or $1,000 in the case of an individual, and/or a term of imprisonment in excess of 15 days, but not in excess of one year, as fixed by a court of competent jurisdiction. A seller shall not be liable for any violation of this chapter by a scrap metal processor.
Any seller who, in providing any information as required by this chapter in selling, offering, or attempting to sell regulated metal, willfully makes a false statement or provides any untrue information is guilty of a misdemeanor. The following statement must be signed for all transactions:
"False statements made in the foregoing instrument are punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor pursuant to § 210.45 of the Penal Law. Accordingly and with notice of the foregoing, I hereby affirm that the foregoing statements are true, under penalty of perjury, this __________ day of __________, __________."
If a law enforcement agency has reasonable cause to believe that items of regulated metal in the possession of a dealer are stolen, the law enforcement agency may issue a written hold notice. The hold notice shall:
For 60 days after the date of receiving a hold notice, a dealer may not process or remove from the dealer's place of business any regulated metal identified in the hold notice, unless the property is released earlier by the law enforcement agency or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
On the expiration of the hold notice period, the hold is automatically released and the dealer may dispose of the regulated metal, unless otherwise directed by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The records maintained as required herein shall be kept confidential except as otherwise provided, and are not public records subject to Article 6 of the New York Public Officers Law.