SECOND REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 1189
96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES ALLEN (Sponsor), ZERR, LICHTENEGGER AND FLANIGAN (Co-sponsors).
4753L.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To repeal section 367.044, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to pawnbrokers.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Section 367.044, RSMo, is repealed and one new section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 367.044, to read as follows:
367.044. 1. As used in sections 367.044 to 367.055, the following terms mean:
(1) "Claimant", a person who claims that property in the possession of a pawnbroker is misappropriated from the claimant and fraudulently pledged or sold to the pawnbroker;
(2) "Conveying customer", a person who delivers property into the possession of a pawnbroker, either through a pawn transaction, a sale or trade, which property is later claimed to be misappropriated;
(3) "Hold order", a written legal instrument issued to a pawnbroker by a law enforcement officer commissioned by the law enforcement agency of the municipality or county that licenses and regulates the pawnbroker, ordering the pawnbroker to retain physical possession of pledged goods in the possession of a pawnbroker or property purchased by and in the possession of a pawnbroker and not to return, sell or otherwise dispose of such property as such property is believed to be misappropriated goods;
(4) "Law enforcement officer", the sheriff or sheriff's deputy designated by the sheriff of the county in which the pawnbroker's pawnshop is located, or when the pawnbroker's pawnshop is located within a municipality, the police chief or police officer designated by the police chief of the municipality in which the pawnbroker's pawnshop is located;
(5) "Misappropriated", stolen, embezzled, converted, or otherwise wrongfully appropriated or pledged against the will of the rightful owner or party holding a perfected security interest;
(6) "Pledgor", a person who pledges property to the pawnbroker;
(7) "Purchaser", a person who purchases property from a pawnbroker; and
(8) "Seller", a person who sells property to a pawnbroker.
2. A pawnbroker shall have no recourse against the pledgor for payment on a pawn transaction except the pledged goods themselves, unless the goods are found to have been misappropriated.
3. A pawnbroker shall require of every person from whom the pawnbroker receives sold or pledged property valid proof of identification which includes the person's name, a current address, date of birth, and, if applicable, telephone number, and a current picture identification issued by state or federal government.
4. [If any seller fails to provide a pawnbroker with proof of identification, the pawnbroker shall hold such property for a period of thirty days prior to selling or otherwise transferring such property, provided, the seller has submitted a signed statement that the seller is the legal owner of the property and stating when or from whom such property was acquired by the seller.
5.] To obtain possession of tangible personal property held by a pawnbroker which a claimant claims to be misappropriated, the claimant shall provide the pawnbroker with a written demand for the return of such property, a copy of a police or sheriff's report wherein claimant reported the misappropriation or theft of said property and which contains a particularized description of the property or applicable serial number, and a signed affidavit made under oath setting forth they are the true owner of the property, the name and address of the claimant, a description of the property being claimed, the fact that such property was taken from the claimant without the claimant's consent, permission or knowledge, the fact that the claimant has reported the theft to the police, the fact that the claimant will assist in any prosecution relating to such property, the promise that the claimant will respond to court process in any criminal prosecution relating to said property and will testify truthfully as to all facts within the claimant's knowledge and not claim any testimonial privilege with respect to said facts. These documents shall be presented to the pawnbroker concurrently.
[6.] 5. Upon being served with a proper demand by a claimant for the return of property pursuant to subsection 5 of this section, the pawnbroker shall return the property to the claimant, in the presence of a law enforcement officer, within seven days unless the pawnbroker has good reason to believe that any of the matters set forth in the claimant's affidavit are false or if there is a hold order on the property pursuant to section 367.055. If a pawnbroker refuses to deliver property to a claimant upon a proper demand as described in subsection 5 of this section, the claimant may file a petition in a court of competent jurisdiction seeking the return of said property. The nonprevailing party shall be responsible for the costs of said action and the attorney fees of the prevailing party. The provisions of section 482.305 to the contrary notwithstanding, a court of competent jurisdiction shall include a small claims court, even if the value of the property named in the petition is greater than three thousand dollars.
[7.] 6. If a pawnbroker returns property to a claimant relying on the veracity of the affidavit described in subsection 5 of this section, and later learns that the information contained in said affidavit is false or that the claimant has failed to assist in prosecution or otherwise testify truthfully with respect to the facts within the claimant's knowledge, the pawnbroker shall have a cause of action against the claimant for the value of the property. The nonprevailing party shall be responsible for the cost of said action and the attorney fees of the prevailing party.
[8.] 7. Nothing contained in this section shall limit a pawnbroker from bringing the conveying customer into a suit as a third party, nor limit a pawnbroker from recovering from a conveying customer repayment of the full amount received from the pawnbroker from the pawn or sales transaction, including all applicable fees and interest charged, attorney's fees and the cost of the action.