Assemblymember Cheryl Brown introduces AB 801 (2013) to deal with copper theft.

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown introduced AB 801 four days ago, which strengthens the law regarding the theft of copper.  When I was an in-house municipal lawyer, particularly in Redlands, the theft of copper, including things like plaques from City parks was a big problem.  This bill is an attempt to further deal with this issue.  The bill is attempting to amend Business and Professions Code section 21608.5.

BILL NUMBER: AB 801	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Brown

                        FEBRUARY 21, 2013

   An act to amend Section 21608.5 of the Business and Professions
Code, relating to business.

	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

   AB 801, as introduced, Brown. Junk dealers and recyclers:
nonferrous materials.
   Existing law requires junk dealers and recyclers, as defined, to
maintain written records of all sales and purchases made in the
course of their business, and makes a violation of the recordkeeping
requirements a misdemeanor. Existing law prohibits a junk dealer or
recycler from providing payment for nonferrous material, as defined,
unless the payment is made by cash or check, the check is mailed or
the cash or check is provided no earlier than 3 days after the date
of sale, and the dealer or recycler obtains a photograph or video of
the seller and certain other identifying information, as specified,
which information is to be retained by the dealer or recycler, as
part of the written record of purchases, for a specified period of
time.
   This bill would require junk dealers and recyclers to obtain
specified information before providing payment for nonferrous
materials marked with an indicia of ownership, as defined, and would
require that this information be retained as part of the written
record of purchases. Because a violation of the recordkeeping
requirement would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated
local program.
   The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 21608.5 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   21608.5.  (a) A junk dealer or recycler in this state shall not
provide payment for nonferrous material unless, in addition to
meeting the written record requirements of Sections 21605 and 21606,
all of the following requirements are met:
   (1) The payment for the material is made by cash or check. The
check may be mailed to the seller at the address provided pursuant to
paragraph (3) or the cash or check may be collected by the seller
from the junk dealer or recycler on or after the third business day
after the date of sale.
   (2) At the time of sale, the junk dealer or recycler obtains a
clear photograph or video of the seller.
   (3) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the junk dealer or
recycler obtains a copy of the valid driver's license of the seller
containing a photograph and an address of the seller, a copy of a
state or federal government-issued identification card containing a
photograph and an address of the seller, a passport from any other
country in addition to another item of identification bearing an
address of the seller, or a Matricula Consular in addition to another
item of identification bearing an address of the seller.
   (B) If the seller prefers to have the check for the material
mailed to an alternative address, other than a post office box, the
junk dealer or recycler shall obtain a copy of a driver's license or
identification card described in subparagraph (A), and a gas or
electric utility bill addressed to the seller at that alternative
address with a payment due date no more than two months prior to the
date of sale. For purposes of this paragraph, "alternative address"
means an address that is different from the address appearing on the
seller's driver's license or identification card.
   (4) The junk dealer or recycler obtains a clear photograph or
video of the nonferrous material being purchased.
   (5) The junk dealer or recycler shall preserve the information
obtained pursuant to this subdivision for a period of two years after
the date of sale.
   (6) (A) The junk dealer or recycler obtains a thumbprint of the
seller, as prescribed by the Department of Justice. The junk dealer
or recycler shall keep this thumbprint with the information obtained
under this subdivision and shall preserve the thumbprint in either
hardcopy or electronic format for a period of two years after the
date of sale.
   (B) Inspection or seizure of the thumbprint shall only be
performed by a peace officer acting within the scope of his or her
authority in response to a criminal search warrant signed by a
magistrate and served on the junk dealer or recycler by the peace
officer. Probable cause for the issuance of that warrant must be
based upon a theft specifically involving the transaction for which
the thumbprint was given. 
   (7) If the materials are marked with an indicia of ownership, the
junk dealer or recycler obtains a proof of ownership record,
including, but not limited to, a receipt from the indicated owner or
a bill of lading, from the person selling or delivering the materials
that shows that person has lawful possession or ownership of the
materials. Copies of these documents shall be maintained by the junk
dealer or recycler as part of the written record of the transaction.

   (b) Paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) shall not apply if, during
any three-month period commencing on or after the effective date of
this section, the junk dealer or recycler completes five or more
separate transactions per month, on five or more separate days per
month, with the seller and, in order for paragraph (1) of subdivision
(a) to continue to be inapplicable, the seller must continue to
complete five or more separate transactions per month with the junk
dealer or recycler.
   (c) This section shall not apply if, on the date of sale, the junk
dealer or recycler has on file or receives all of the following
information:
   (1) The name, physical business address, and business telephone
number of the seller's business.
   (2) The business license number or tax identification number of
the seller's business.
   (3) A copy of the valid driver's license of the person delivering
the nonferrous material on behalf of the seller to the junk dealer or
the recycler.
   (d) (1) This section shall not apply to the purchase of nonferrous
material having a value of not more than twenty dollars ($20) in a
single transaction, when the majority of the transaction is for the
redemption of beverage containers under the California Beverage
Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act, as set forth in
Division 12.1 (commencing with Section 14500) of the Public Resources
Code.
   (2) Materials made of copper or copper alloys shall not be
purchased under this subdivision.
   (e) This section shall not apply to coin dealers or to automobile
dismantlers, as defined in Section 220 of the Vehicle Code.
   (f) For the purposes of this section,  "nonferrous
  the following te   rms have the following
meanings:  
   (1) "Indicia of ownership" means words, symbols, or registered
trademarks printed, stamped, etched, attached, or otherwise displayed
on the exterior surface of the materials that reasonably identify
the owner. 
   (2)     "Nonferrous  material" means
copper, copper alloys, stainless steel, or aluminum, but does not
include beverage containers, as defined in Section 14505 of the
Public Resources Code, that are subject to a redemption payment
pursuant to Section 14560 of the Public Resources Code.
   (g) This section is intended to occupy the entire field of law
related to junk dealer or recycler transactions involving nonferrous
material. However, a city or county ordinance, or a city and county
ordinance, relating to the subject matter of this section is not in
conflict with this section if the ordinance is passed by a two-thirds
vote and it can be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence
that the ordinance is both necessary and addresses a unique problem
within and specific to the jurisdiction of the ordinance that cannot
effectively be addressed under this section.
  SEC. 2.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.
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About Michael Reiter
Michael Reiter is a Redlands, California-based lawyer, serving San Bernardino County and Riverside County in Southern California's Inland Empire. Michael Reiter is a lawyer practicing in the following fields of law: Personal Injury Law, Municipal Law, Code Enforcement Law, Small Business Law and Real Estate Law. Michael Reiter practices in all the local courts, including San Bernardino Superior Court, Riverside Superior Court, and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Michael Reiter was admitted to the California State Bar in 1998. Michael Reiter was Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands, a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Bernardino, and Staff Attorney for Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino. Michael Reiter serves all of San Bernardino and Riverside County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County. Michael Reiter can be reached at (909) 708-6055, or by electronic mail at michael@michaelreiterlaw.com.

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