City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Rochester City Council 12-23-1980 by Ord. No. 80-574; amended in its entirety 3-27-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-122.[1] Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Municipal Code Violations Bureau — See Ch. 13A.
Auctions and auctioneers — See Ch. 32.
Sale of dangerous articles — See Ch. 47.
Enforcement procedures — See Ch. 52.
Commercial travelers, solicitors and special promotional events — See Ch. 62.
Junkyard operators, junk dealers and scrap processors — See Ch. 66.
Licenses for businesses and trades — See Ch. 68.
Pawnbrokers — See Ch. 80.
Transient merchants — See Ch. 109.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 6-1-2012.
A. 
No person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, trust or any type of business enterprise shall carry on the business of secondhand dealer without obtaining a license from the Chief of Police.
B. 
The business of secondhand dealer shall mean a business which engages in the purchase of any secondhand gold, silver, platinum, diamonds or other precious gems or any items containing gold, silver, platinum, diamonds or other precious gems; bicycles; radios; televisions; stereo equipment; jewelry; watches; cameras and accessories; furniture; appliances; consumer electronics and office equipment; tools; stamps; coins; automotive parts or equipment; or motor vehicles. A "purchase" of a secondhand item, as used in this chapter, in addition to its usual meaning of "buy" or "pay for," shall also be construed to include an exchange, trade, transfer or other means of acquisition for consideration of a secondhand item.
This chapter shall not apply to:
A. 
Any person licensed as a junkyard operator, junk dealer or scrap processor under Chapter 66 of this Code; or
B. 
Any secondhand dealer that is exempt from taxation under § 501(c)(3) or § 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code; or
C. 
Garage sales, basement sales, porch sales, yard sales and other such events at which a person desires to sell or trade his or her personal used items, household goods, furniture or equipment upon his or her premises, said premises not being a regular place of business for purchase or sale of secondhand items, shall be exempted from the license requirement of this chapter. No more than one such sale shall be conducted by the same person or persons upon the same premises within one calendar year, and each such sale shall not exceed three consecutive days; or
D. 
Sales conducted for charitable purposes shall be exempted from the license requirement of this chapter. The determination of whether a sale is being conducted for a charitable purpose shall be made by the Chief of Police; or
E. 
This chapter shall not apply to the return of secondhand items for credit, exchange or refund to the person from whom said items were originally obtained, provided that the items were not secondhand items when originally obtained.
A. 
An application for a secondhand dealer's license shall be made by the owner and operator, if other than owner, on forms provided by the Chief of Police and filed with the City Clerk. The application shall request relevant information relating to the owner and operator, if any, of the business to be conducted at the premises and names and dates of birth of all employees. Where the owner is not directly involved with the day-to-day operation of said business, the operator must also be included on the application. If a partnership, corporation or other business entity is involved, the application must designate an operator who is involved in the day-to-day operation of the business. In this situation, the secondhand dealer's license shall be issued to the operator; the names, addresses and phone numbers of the partners, officers or principals shall be listed on the application. All addresses of persons involved shall be home addresses listing street and number. The application shall also require the legal address of the premises where such business is to be carried on and whether the applicant or any officer and operator has previously been involved in the purchase or sale of secondhand goods and, if so, the name of the business, its location and the dates of involvement. The application shall be signed and sworn to before a notary public or other official authorized to administer oaths in the City.
B. 
Applications shall only be accepted where all information requested has been supplied and verified for accuracy. Anyone currently serving a period of suspension or revocation, or who has had an application for a secondhand dealer's license denied, is ineligible to apply for a secondhand dealer's license during a period of suspension or for a period of one year from the date of revocation or denial. The applicant(s) must also demonstrate to the Chief of Police that he or she has procured all necessary licenses and permits for the business.
C. 
Upon receipt of an application for a secondhand dealer's license, and after approval for Zoning Code compliance by the Director of Buildings and Zoning, the Chief of Police shall cause an inspection to be made of the applicant's business premises to determine whether public safety problems exist, and the Chief of Police shall cause an investigation to be made of the background of the owner and operator of the business. Before the issuance of a license, the Chief of Police and his or her representatives shall have the right to enter upon such premises during normal business hours for the purpose of making inspections. After a license has been issued, further inspections of the premises, to ensure compliance with the laws, ordinances and rules and regulations relating to secondhand businesses, may be made in areas open to the public or other areas with consent, and the Chief of Police shall have the authority to seek warrants where the same are constitutionally required.
[Amended 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-170]
D. 
The Chief of Police shall cause an application to be administratively canceled if the applicant fails, with respect to the business or business premises, upon receipt of written notice and time to cure, to abate code violations or to pay any outstanding judgments rendered by the Parking/Municipal Code Violations Bureau or avoidable alarm fees or to complete a building permit or zoning application.
E. 
Any changes in any facts or information required on said application occurring after filing thereof shall be reported by the licensee, in writing, to the Chief of Police within five days of the change.
The Fire Chief may cause an inspection of the premises to be made to determine whether the applicant is in compliance with the laws and ordinances which the Rochester Fire Department is charged with enforcing. The Fire Chief and members of his or her staff shall have the right to enter upon any premises for which a secondhand dealer's license is sought when the business is open for the purpose of making such an inspection of areas open to the public, or other areas with consent, and shall also have the authority to seek warrants where the same are constitutionally required.
A. 
All new applications for a secondhand dealer's license shall be issued or denied within 30 days after a fully completed application has been accepted and an inspection has found the premises to be code compliant.
B. 
The owner, operator and employees of any secondhand business shall be of good moral character and shall maintain good order on the business premises at all times.
C. 
Except as provided in New York Correction Law, Article 23-A, the Chief of Police reserves the right to deny a secondhand dealer's license to any person who has pled guilty to or has been convicted of any crime which is related to the operation of the business.
D. 
No secondhand dealer's license shall be issued unless the applicant and business have fully complied with the provisions of this chapter and have obtained all necessary licenses and permits for the operation. No secondhand dealer's license shall be issued to a premises while charges are pending pursuant to § 10-12 of the City Charter or while any other nuisance abatement proceeding or action is pending against the premises or owner or operator.
[Amended 6-19-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-173]
E. 
No secondhand dealer's license shall be issued unless the business premises is in compliance with the Municipal Code.
F. 
No secondhand dealer's license shall be issued to any business or applicant against whom judgment has been rendered by the Parking/Municipal Code Violations Bureau and avoidable alarm fees relating to the business or business premises, which judgment has not been satisfied.
G. 
No secondhand dealer's license shall be issued for a period of one year after the applicant has been found guilty of operating a business without a secondhand dealer's license.
H. 
It shall be the duty of all holders of a secondhand dealer's license to notify the Chief of Police of any changes in information supplied on their license applications within 20 days of such changes.
Secondhand dealer licenses shall expire on May 31 of each year except for licenses issued for the 2012 licensing year, which licenses will be valid until May 31, 2013.
[Amended 4-24-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-166[1]]
The annual fee for a secondhand dealer's license shall be $200, except that in 2013 the renewal fee shall be $283. There shall be a fee of $10 for replacement of a lost license.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 6-1-2012.
A. 
Secondhand dealers shall comply with all provisions of federal, state and local laws and ordinances relating to the conduct of businesses and the occupation, use and maintenance of the premises and shall ensure that all of their employees and agents do also. Where the secondhand dealer is also a pawn dealer, the secondhand dealer shall comply with Article 5 of the New York State General Business Law entitled Collateral Loan Brokers Law.
B. 
Secondhand dealers shall comply with all the notices, orders, decisions and rules and regulations made by the Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development and the Director of Buildings and Zoning governing the occupation and use of the premises.
[Amended 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-170]
C. 
Secondhand dealers shall not employ any person who has been convicted within three years of any felony related to the operation of a business or who has had a secondhand dealer's license revoked or denied within the past year.
D. 
Secondhand dealers shall cause the secondhand dealer's license and business permit to be posted in a conspicuous place immediately visible upon entering the business.
E. 
No secondhand dealers shall have his or her place of business open for the transaction of business except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. The hours of operation of secondhand businesses may be further limited by the Zoning Code of the City of Rochester, and whichever section is more restrictive shall govern.
F. 
Secondhand dealers shall maintain good order on and about the premises at all times when the business is open. The premises shall include the building in which the business is located, as well as accessory structures and uses, including parking lots and the land on which the building is located. The owner or operator of any secondhand dealer's business shall be responsible to remove refuse and obstructions from the sidewalk in accordance with Municipal Code requirements and to operate the business so that neither the business nor its patrons become a source of disruption on the sidewalks, streets or other private property in the vicinity of the business. The lack of good order shall include, but not be limited to, suffering or permitting the following:
(1) 
The premises to become disorderly, including fighting or lewdness.
(2) 
Gambling.
(3) 
Prostitution.
(4) 
Illegal possession, use, gift, sale or offer for sale of alcoholic beverages.
(5) 
Illegal possession, use, gift, sale or offer for sale of cigarettes or tobacco products.
(6) 
Food stamp or welfare fraud or criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions.
(7) 
Litter.
(8) 
Possession, use, gift, sale or offer for sale of illegal drugs.
(9) 
Noise violations.
(10) 
Knowingly be in possession of stolen property.
(11) 
Operating beyond the legal hours of operation.
(12) 
Illegal possession, use, gift, sale or offer for sale of dangerous weapons.
(13) 
Unlawfully dealing with a child or allowing or permitting sexual performances by a child.
(14) 
Any other nuisance activity listed in § 10-12 of the City Charter.
[Amended 6-19-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-173]
G. 
In case any suspicious or known dishonest person shall offer for sale to any secondhand dealers any article of value or the secondhand dealer has reason to believe from any circumstances that an article has been stolen or acquired by dishonest means, it shall be his or her duty to immediately report the offer to the Chief of Police or his or her representatives.
H. 
Secondhand dealers shall only purchase, sell or offer for sale new items which have been purchased from authorized retailers or wholesalers. This provision shall not apply to the purchase or sale of new items purchased from individuals who sell less than three of an identical or same type of goods within one calendar year.
A secondhand dealer's license shall be valid only for the location designated upon the application. All activities regarding secondhand dealing must be conducted at the licensed premises.
A. 
Secondhand dealers shall not receive or purchase any secondhand goods from any person under the age of 18 years unless said minor is accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian, nor shall secondhand dealers receive or purchase any secondhand goods from any person who is visibly intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
B. 
Secondhand dealers shall not make any purchase or otherwise receive any secondhand goods from any person without first ascertaining, in writing, that such goods are the property of the person offering to sell the goods and were not stolen.
C. 
Secondhand dealers shall not purchase or sell any pharmaceuticals, prescription medicine or any other new items that have been identified as a problem by the Chief of Police and listed in the Chief of Police's Rules and Regulations.
An individual who transfers or otherwise disposes of an item to a secondhand dealer shall not fail or refuse to give:
A. 
The individual's true name, date of birth and residence address which shall be verified by a New York State driver's license, New York State nondriver's identification card, police identification card or other means of identification approved by the Chief of Police; and
B. 
If the individual is acting as an agent for a principal, proof of the principal's true name, date of birth and residence address.
Every secondhand dealer shall keep a substantially bound book, not less than six inches in either length or width, in which shall be legibly written in ink and in English at the time of every purchase or sale a description of every secondhand article so purchased, the number or numbers, any monograms, inscriptions or other marks of identification that may appear on the article, the name, date of birth, residence address, general description and signature of the person from whom such purchase was made, the date and time when the purchase was made, the purchase price, the tag number attached to each item, and the name of the employee who accepted the item. All such record books shall be open to inspection by any member of the Rochester Police Department during the hours of business operations. No entry in such book shall be erased, obliterated, altered or defaced, and such book shall be maintained for a period of three years from the date of the latest purchase or sale entry made therein. All such record books shall be open to inspection by any member of the Rochester Police Department. The Police Chief shall promptly notify individual licensees that entries in such book may be discontinued, upon confirmation of satisfactory electronic reporting by said licensee pursuant to § 96-15.
Every secondhand dealer shall at the time of purchase and until resale attach and keep affixed a properly numbered tag to, or otherwise keep legibly numbered, each secondhand article purchased and shall also make entry of such number in the book provided for in § 96-12 and on the purchase receipt.
Each secondhand dealer shall submit to the Chief of Police a daily report of each purchase of secondhand goods that day. The report shall:
A. 
Be for each item purchased or each group of substantially similar items purchased as part of a single transaction which has an aggregate price equal to or greater than $10.
B. 
Include the following information:
(1) 
The date, place, and time of each transaction, including the location where the secondhand dealer purchased or received the item or group of items;
(2) 
A description of the item or group of items, including:
(a) 
The specific type and number of items;
(b) 
The manufacturer, model number and year of manufacture, if known, and any unique identifying number found on the item;
(c) 
The color, size, style and approximate age;
(d) 
For jewelry (other than costume jewelry meeting standards set by the Chief of Police), a description by weight (if payment is based on weight), style, gender, number and configuration of stones and any initials or distinguishing marks or inscriptions;
(e) 
A statement of whether or not the item appears to have been altered by any means, including:
[1] 
Obscuring a serial number or identifying feature;
[2] 
Melting; or
[3] 
Recutting a gem.
(f) 
The amount paid or other consideration; and
(g) 
Additional items added identified by the Chief of Police in the Rules and Regulations.
(3) 
For each individual from whom the secondhand dealer purchases an item: the individual's name, date of birth, residence address and physical description of the person from whom the purchase was made and the date and time when the purchase was made, and the name of the employee purchasing the item. The identity of the seller shall be verified by use of a New York State driver's license or New York State nondriver's identification card, police identification card or other means of identification approved by the Chief of Police. The license or identification card number shall also be recorded in the record with the other identifying information, and the license or identification card shall be precisely recorded electronically through scanning or webcam and maintained for one year.
(4) 
When the Police Department, after review of the electronic form submitted by a secondhand dealer, has reason to believe that an item on that electronically submitted form is stolen, then the Police Department shall request that the secondhand dealer submit a photograph of the item, by electronic transmittal or by mail or hand delivery.
A. 
From and after the date called for by the phase-in schedule in Subsection E, every secondhand dealer, except those exempted by operation of Subsection F, shall, by close of business each day, upload to the Chief of Police electronic records of all reportable transactions occurring the same business day. Each transaction record shall contain all information required by § 96-14 and shall be uploaded via Internet connection to an electronic reporting service provided by the Rochester Police Department according to the following procedures:
(1) 
Secondhand dealers using point-of-sale software shall review compatibility of their software with the electronic reporting service provided by the Police Department, and dealers with compliant point-of-sale software shall electronically upload all required information from their point-of-sale software to the specified electronic reporting service via Internet connection using the upload process of the reporting service; or
(2) 
Secondhand dealers using noncompliant point-of-sale software, or not using point-of-sale software, shall manually enter all reportable transactions into the electronic reporting service via Internet connection.
B. 
The Chief of Police shall establish by rule the format and requirements of the transmission of data and may restrict the scope of the items that are to be electronically reported. A transaction reported by electronic transmission under Subsection A shall not be reported on paper forms unless the Chief of Police so requests.
C. 
In the event a secondhand dealer is unable to successfully upload transaction records via the electronic reporting service, the secondhand dealer shall, within 24 hours, notify the Police Department of the reason for the submission failure and shall provide the Police Department with an estimated time of compliance. For every day the secondhand dealer is unable to upload electronic transactions records via the electronic reporting service, the secondhand dealer shall provide the Chief of Police a daily electronic data table or spreadsheet of all transactions that would otherwise have been submitted via the electronic reporting service. This data shall be either hand delivered or e-mailed to the Police Department no later than one business day after the transaction date.
D. 
If the upload problem is determined by the Police Department to be the fault of the secondhand dealer, the secondhand dealer shall be charged a daily reporting failure fee of $10 until the error is corrected. This fee is to offset the Rochester Police Department's costs in converting the data from paper format into electronic format. If the problem is determined by the Police Department to be due to factors not associated with the secondhand dealer, the secondhand dealer shall not be charged the reporting failure fee. Upon correction of the problem, the secondhand dealer shall electronically upload the required information.
E. 
Secondhand dealers shall report their transactions electronically to the Chief of Police as required by Subsections A and B from and after the following dates:
(1) 
For each secondhand business for which a secondhand dealer license is first obtained on or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section, effective upon commencing business or one month after the effective date of the initial rules adopted pursuant to Subsection B, whichever is later;
(2) 
For each secondhand business for which a secondhand dealer license was first obtained before the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section, no later than one month after the effective date of the initial rules adopted pursuant to Subsection B;
(3) 
The Chief of Police may, for good cause shown, grant a secondhand dealer an extension of the otherwise applicable deadline to a date not later than 90 days after the effective date of this chapter. An extension may only be granted upon written application by the secondhand dealer; upon a showing that the secondhand dealer is making satisfactory progress toward acquiring computer programs and equipment to make the necessary transmission; and upon agreement by the secondhand dealer to pay to the City a daily reporting fee of $10 to offset the Rochester Police Department's costs in converting the data from paper format into electronic form.
F. 
If, after establishing the format and requirements for the transmission of computerized reports of transactions, the Chief of Police alters the required format, secondhand dealers shall be given at least 30 days to comply with the new format requirements.
A. 
No secondhand dealer shall permit any item which has been purchased or received by him or her to be sold, defaced or broken down until five days have elapsed after the giving of the notice of purchase of such article as required in § 96-14, unless the secondhand dealer is also a pawnbroker. As required by § 47 of the New York State General Business Law, secondhand dealers who are also pawnbrokers shall not permit any jewelry, watches, precious stones, precious metals or coins which have been purchased or received by him or her to be sold, defaced or broken down until 14 days have elapsed after the giving of the notice of purchase of such article as required in § 96-14.
B. 
After the initial holding period required by Subsection A of this section, a secondhand dealer shall continue to hold an item if:
(1) 
The Rochester Police Department requests that the secondhand dealer hold the item; and
(2) 
The Rochester Police Department has reasonable cause to believe that the item has been stolen; and
(3) 
The item has not been identified under § 96-17.
C. 
If an item is placed on additional police hold under this subsection, the secondhand dealer shall:
(1) 
Continue to hold the item until:
(a) 
The police seize it;
(b) 
The Police Department releases the police hold or directs the item to be released to its owner; or
(c) 
Ninety days after the additional police hold was imposed.
(2) 
If requested to do so, submit to the Police Department a photograph of the item, either by electronic transmittal or by mail or hand delivery, by the same deadline as required by § 96-15.
A. 
A secondhand dealer shall release to the Police Department any item in the secondhand dealer's possession:
(1) 
If the item is established to be stolen;
(2) 
The owner of the item or the victim of the theft has positively identified the item and provided an affidavit of ownership and made a report of the theft to a law enforcement agency;
(3) 
The stolen property report describes the item by one or more of the following: date, initials, an insurance record, a photograph, a sales receipt, a serial number, specific damage, a statement of facts that show the item is one of a kind or a unique engraving; and
(4) 
The secondhand dealer is given a receipt for the item released.
B. 
When the police no longer need an item for evidence, it shall be returned to the owner.
C. 
A secondhand dealer who is required to release an item under this section is not entitled to demand, or to condition the release on, any reimbursement from the Police Department, the owner of the item or the victim of the theft. A secondhand dealer who is a victim of a crime may seek restitution or reparation in accordance with § 60.27 of the Penal Law.
The Chief of Police shall, consistent with the express standards, purposes and intent of this chapter, promulgate, adopt and issue such interpretations, procedural rules, regulations and forms as are in the Chief of Police's opinion necessary to effective administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. These interpretations, rules, regulations and forms shall be available to the public at the License Clerk's office. Such rules, regulations and forms shall be effective upon filing with the City Clerk as a communication to the City Council.
A. 
Secondhand dealer's licenses shall not be transferred. In the event of any change involving the owner or operator of the business, the type of business, the name of the business or the business location, a new secondhand dealer's license shall be required. A secondhand dealer's license shall not be transferred to any person who holds a power of attorney.
B. 
A secondhand dealer's license shall be deemed null and void when the licensee is not found to be operating the business for a period of one month and fails to respond in person to the Chief of Police or his or her designee after having been sent a seven-day notification letter.
A. 
The Chief of Police may deny a license or deny the renewal of a license to any applicant who does not comply with the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated under this chapter or who makes a material misrepresentation on the license application. The Chief of Police shall give a written notification to an applicant of the reasons for the denial of a license.
B. 
When the investigation conducted pursuant to § 96-3 reveals that the applicant has violated either federal, state or local laws or rules and regulations, the Chief of Police may authorize the issuance of a conditional license. The conditional license shall state the grounds for the conditional license, the conditions under which the applicant shall operate his or her business, be signed by the applicant, and contain a provision which provides that any violation of the conditional license, as solely determined by the City of Rochester, shall be deemed to be grounds for revoking the conditional license.
C. 
The Chief of Police shall have the power to investigate and inquire into license applicants under this chapter and to require and enforce by subpoena the attendance of witnesses at such investigations.
A. 
Violations of this chapter may be referred to the Municipal Code Violations Bureau, wherein violators shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 13A-11 of the Municipal Code.
B. 
Violations of this chapter may also be enforced pursuant to Chapter 52 of the Municipal Code, and violators shall be subject to the penalties set forth in said chapter.
C. 
Violations of the licensing provisions of this chapter may be enforced pursuant to Chapter 68 of the Municipal Code, and violators shall be subject to the penalties set forth in said chapter.
D. 
The Chief of Police shall revoke, without a hearing, the license of any person found guilty in court or in the Municipal Code Violations Bureau of five or more violations of this chapter arising from separate incidents during any period of two years. Nothing herein shall prevent the Chief of Police from revoking a license of any person with fewer than five violations, on written charges and an opportunity for a hearing thereon, pursuant to § 68-10 of the Municipal Code.
Should any section, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase in this chapter be declared unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remainder of the chapter shall not be affected thereby and shall remain in full force and effect, and to this end, the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.