[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of West Chester 9-10-1975 as Ord. No. 11-75. Sections 79-8 and 79-9 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable.]
From and after the effective date of this chapter, no person, corporation or other business entity shall use, exercise or carry on the business of pawnbroker within the Borough of West Chester without having first obtained a license from the Borough Manager, as hereinafter provided.
The Borough Manager of West Chester shall, from time to time, give and grant licenses to all persons, corporations or other business entities applying for the same, who shall produce satisfactory testimonials of good character, to use, exercise and carry on the trade or business of a pawnbroker, which said license shall state the location of the building in which said business is to be carried on, and continue in force up to and until the first Monday of January of the following year and no longer. Each person, corporation or other business entity applying for such license shall pay to the Borough of West Chester the sum of fifty dollars ($50.) for which the Borough Manager shall give to said applicant his official receipt, and, upon the filing of such receipt with the Borough Manager by said applicant, he shall receive from the Borough Manager a license to carry on the trade or business of a pawnbroker within the Borough of West Chester for the period aforesaid.
No person, corporation or other business entity licensed as a pawnbroker in the Borough of West Chester shall, by virtue of one (1) license, keep more than one (1) place of business for receiving or taking goods in pawn, nor shall he at any time take goods in pawn at any other place than the place for which said license was granted.
Every person, corporation or other business entity conducting the business of a pawnbroker shall keep a book or books in which shall be fairly written in English, at the time of each loan or purchase, an accurate account and description of the goods, articles or things pawned, pledged or purchased, the amount of money loaned thereon or the amount of money paid therefor, the time of pledging or purchasing the same and the rate of interest to be paid on such loan, together with the description of the person, his name and address, pawning, pledging or selling such goods, articles or things, including the color of his complexion, color of eyes and hair and his or her stature and general appearance. Said books are to be subject to the inspection and approval of the Chief of Police or his representative. It shall also be the duty of any person, corporation or other business entity engaged in the business of pawnbroker to furnish to each applicant or customer a ticket on which is printed a number corresponding with the number used to identify the article placed in pawn, the amount given in cash together with all charges and the total amount to be paid when the article is to be redeemed. Every such pawnbroker shall return to the office of the Chief of Police of the Borough of West Chester, before 12:00 noon on the following business day, a form, to be furnished by said Chief of Police, showing all business transacted by him on the previous business day and giving an accurate description of the goods, articles or things pawned, pledged or purchased, the amount of money loaned thereon or the amount of money paid therefor, the time of pledging or purchasing the same and the rate of interest to be paid on such loan, together with a description, the name, address of the person pawning or pledging such goods, articles or things, including the color of his or her complexion, color of eyes and hair and his or her general appearance.
No pawnbroker or his agents, servants or employees shall sell any article until the same has been in his possession at least four (4) months beyond the time in which it was to be redeemed.
No pawnbroker or his agents, servants or employees shall receive or take in pledge or purchase any article from any person under the age of eighteen (18) years of age, anyone intoxicated, any habitual drunkard, any person known to be a thief, an associate of thieves or a receiver of stolen property, or any person he has reason to suspect or believe to be such.
No pawnbroker or his agents, servants or employees can keep his office or place of business open for the purpose of doing the business of a pawnbroker on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday before 7:30 a.m. and after 6:00 p.m., except on Friday when his office can be kept open from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and on Saturday when it can be kept open from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. No such office or place of business can be kept open on Sunday.
[Amended 5-10-1989 by Ord. No. 11-1989]
Any person, corporation or other business entity that engages in the aforesaid business of pawnbroker without taking out a license as aforesaid and any such pawnbroker or his agent, servants or employees failing, neglecting or refusing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter which pertain to each respectively shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed six hundred dollars ($600.), and costs of prosecution, for such offense and, in default of payment, be committed and imprisoned in the county jail of the proper county for thirty (30) days.
[Amended 5-10-1989 by Ord. No. 11-1989]
Any pawnbroker convicted of violating this chapter or the Pawnbroker License Act of Pennsylvania, 63 P.S. § 281-1 et seq., as amended, shall, in addition to such other penalty or fine prescribed therefor, have his license suspended and face possible license revocation in accordance with the following procedure:
A suspension shall be made by the Chief of Police, and notice thereof shall be served upon the accused pawnbroker. Notice of such suspension shall also be served upon the Secretary of Banking of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Within ten (10) days from the beginning of the suspension, a hearing shall be scheduled and held, by a panel of any three (3) Borough Council members, unless continued by the panel for cause at the request of the Police Chief or the accused pawnbroker.
The accused pawnbroker shall be served with notice of the hearing at the same time he is served with notice of the suspension.
The Police Chief shall present the case against the accused pawnbroker, who may also appear at the hearing and present a defense.
Upon the conclusion of the hearing, the panel shall issue a ruling lifting the suspension or continuing the suspension for up to thirty (30) days from the date the suspension began.
Upon order of the Secretary of Banking, the suspension shall be dissolved or the license of the accused pawnbroker revoked, whichever shall be the case.