PA 09-243—SB 1128

Judiciary Committee

Energy and Technology Committee

Public Safety and Security Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING INTERRUPTION OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE, SCRAP METAL PROCESSORS AND MOTOR VEHICLE RECYCLERS

SUMMARY: This act makes changes regarding theft of telecommunications equipment, scrap metal processors, and motor vehicle recyclers.

By law, taking property illegally is punishable by six degrees of larceny crimes, with penalties generally based on the amount of the property taken ranging from a class C misdemeanor to a class B felony (see Table on Penalties). The act generally increases the penalties for taking wire, cable, or other telecommunications service equipment and causing an interruption in emergency telecommunications service by making it 2nd degree larceny (a class C felony) regardless of the value of the property taken (see Table on Penalties). Under prior law, this conduct would have been punished as a class D felony or class A, B, or C misdemeanor, depending on the property's value.

The law imposes certain requirements on scrap metal processors when they receive wire that could be used in transmitting telecommunications or data. The act extends these requirements to (1) cable that could be used in transmitting telecommunications or data and (2) scrap equipment, wire, or cable that could be used in transmitting or distributing electricity by an electric distribution company. These requirements are:

1. segregating and holding the scrap for five days unless it is from (a) a registered business for demolishing buildings or (b) someone who already segregated the scrap as required by law and provides a written statement;

2. photographing the vehicle delivering the load, including its license plate, and the load of scrap; and

3. copying the vehicle's registration and recording a description of the material received and its source.

By law, violations of these provisions are a class C misdemeanor for a first violation, a class B misdemeanor for a second violation, and a class A misdemeanor for a third or subsequent violation.

By law, after notice and a hearing, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can impose a civil penalty of up to $2,000 on a person, firm, or corporation who operates a motor vehicle recycler business without a license. The act also allows DMV to impose this civil penalty on an unlicensed person, firm, or corporation who (1) uses the title “motor vehicle recycler” or (2) advertises or holds itself out as a motor vehicle recycler.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

BACKGROUND

Motor Vehicle Recyclers

DMV licenses motor vehicle recyclers and the law places certain requirements on how they conduct their businesses. Violators of these provisions are subject to up to 30 days in prison, a fine of up to $100, or both and each day in violation is a separate offense. DMV or a local authority can also sue to enjoin further operation of the business and to abate it as a public nuisance.

Related Act

PA 09-138 doubles most, but not all, of the values of the property which must be taken to commit each of the six degrees of larceny crimes.

OLR Tracking: CR: KM: PF: ts