Prohibited Acts

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There are prohibited acts for pawnbrokers that, like any other violation of the act, constitute Class A misdemeanors that will subject the violator upon conviction to a fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) for each offense and imprisonment for up to eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days under T.C.A. § 45-6-218.  These prohibited acts include:

(1) Accepting a pledge from a person under the age of eighteen (18) years; from a person who appears intoxicated; or from any person the pawnbroker knows to be a thief, or to have been convicted of larceny, burglary or robbery, without first notifying a police officer;

(2) Making any agreement requiring the personal liability of a pledgor in connection with a pawn transaction;

(3) Accepting any waiver (in writing or otherwise) of any right or protection accorded a pledgor under the act;

(4) Failing to exercise reasonable care to protect pledged goods from loss or damage;

(5) Failing to return pledged goods to a pledgor upon payment of the full amount due the pawnbroker on the pawn transaction.  In the event the pledged goods are lost or damaged while in the possession of the pawnbroker, it is the responsibility of the pawnbroker to replace the goods with like kinds of merchandise or make reimbursement;

(6) Purchasing property in a pawn transaction for the pawnbroker's own personal use;

(7) Taking any article that is known to the pawnbroker to be stolen;

(8) Selling, exchanging, bartering, or removing from the business, or permitting to be redeemed, any goods for a period of forty-eight (48) hours after making the required report to law enforcement agencies;

(9) Operating more than one house, shop or place of business under one license;

(10) Keeping the business open during prohibited hours; and

(11) Entering into a pawn transaction with a maturity date of less than thirty (30) days after the date of the pawn transaction.

T.C.A. § 45-6-212.

If the violation is knowingly committed by an owner or major stockholder and/or managing partner, T.C.A. § 45-6-218 provides that the license of the pawnbroker may be suspended or revoked at the discretion of the county clerk.  However, the Tennessee Attorney General has opined that this portion of that statute is unconstitutional. Op. Tenn. Att'y Gen. 89-53 (4/10/89).