2009 California Civil Code - Section 1789.30-1789.38 :: Title 1.6f. Check Cashers

CIVIL CODE
SECTION 1789.30-1789.38

1789.30.  (a) (1) Every check casher, as applicable to the services
provided, shall post a complete, detailed, and unambiguous schedule
of all fees for (A) cashing checks, drafts, money orders, or other
commercial paper serving the same purpose, (B) the sale or issuance
of money orders, and (C) the initial issuance of any identification
card. Each check casher shall also post a list of valid
identification which is acceptable in lieu of identification provided
by the check casher. The information required by this section shall
be clear, legible, and in letters not less than one-half inch in
height. The information shall be posted in a conspicuous location in
the unobstructed view of the public within the check casher's
premises.
   (2) A check casher may be required to file a return required by
Section 18631.7 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.
   (b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), this section shall
become operative December 31, 2004.
   (2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), paragraph (2) of
subdivision (a) shall apply to checks cashed on or after January 1,
2006.
   (B) The amendments to this section made by the act adding this
subparagraph shall become operative on January 1, 2008.

1789.31.  (a) As used in this title, a "check casher" means a person
or entity that for compensation engages, in whole or in part, in the
business of cashing checks, warrants, drafts, money orders, or other
commercial paper serving the same purpose. "Check casher" does not
include a state or federally chartered bank, savings association,
credit union, or industrial loan company. "Check casher" also does
not include a retail seller engaged primarily in the business of
selling consumer goods, including consumables, to retail buyers that
cashes checks or issues money orders for a fee not exceeding two
dollars ($2) as a service to its customers that is incidental to its
main purpose or business.
   (b) This section shall become operative December 31, 2004.

1789.32.  Failure to post information as required by this title, or
the imposition of fees or identification requirements contrary to the
information posted, shall constitute an unfair business practice
within the meaning of Section 17200 of the Business and Professions
Code.

1789.35.  (a) A check casher shall not charge a fee for cashing a
payroll check or government check in excess of 3 percent if
identification is provided by the customer, or 3.5 percent without
the provision of identification, of the face amount of the check, or
three dollars ($3), whichever is greater. Identification, for
purposes of this section, is limited to a California driver's
license, a California identification card, or a valid United States
military identification card.
   (b) A check casher may charge a fee of no more than ten dollars
($10) to set up an initial account and issue an optional
identification card for providing check cashing services. A
replacement optional identification card may be issued at a cost not
to exceed five dollars ($5).
   (c) A check casher shall provide a receipt to the customer for
each transaction.
   (d) A check casher may charge a fee for cashing a personal check,
as posted pursuant to Section 1789.30, for immediate deposit in an
amount not to exceed 12 percent of the face value of the check.
   (e) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be
liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand dollars
($2,000) for each violation, which shall be assessed and recovered in
a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of
California by the Attorney General in any court of competent
jurisdiction. Any action brought pursuant to this subdivision shall
be commenced within four years of the date on which the act or
transaction upon which the action is based occurred.
   (f) A willful violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
   (g) Any person who is injured by any violation of this section may
bring an action for the recovery of damages, an equity proceeding to
restrain and enjoin those violations, or both. The amount awarded
may be up to three times the damages actually incurred, but in no
event less than the amount paid by the aggrieved consumer to a person
subject to this section. If the plaintiff prevails, the plaintiff
shall be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs. If a court
determines by clear and convincing evidence that a breach or
violation was willful, the court, in its discretion, may award
punitive damages in addition to the amounts set forth above.
   (h) This section shall become operative December 31, 2004.

1789.37.  (a) Every owner of a check casher's business shall obtain
a permit from the Department of Justice to conduct a check casher's
business.
   (b) All applications for a permit to conduct a check casher's
business shall be filed with the department in writing, signed by the
applicant, if an individual, or by a member or officer authorized to
sign, if the applicant is a corporation or other entity, and shall
state the name of the business, the type of business engaged in, and
the business address. Each applicant shall be fingerprinted.
   (c) Each applicant for a permit to conduct a check casher's
business shall pay a fee not to exceed the cost of processing the
application, fingerprinting the applicant, and checking or obtaining
the criminal record of the applicant, at the time of filing the
application.
   (d) Each applicant shall annually, beginning one year from the
date of issuance of a check casher's permit, file an application for
renewal of the permit with the department, along with payment of a
renewal fee not to exceed the cost of processing the application for
renewal and checking or obtaining the criminal record of the
applicant.
   (e) The department shall deny an application for a permit to
conduct a check casher's business, or for renewal of a permit, if the
applicant has a felony conviction involving dishonesty, fraud, or
deceit, if the crime is substantially related to the qualifications,
functions, or duties of a person engaged in the business of check
cashing.
   (f) The department shall adopt regulations to implement this
section and shall determine the amount of the application fees
required by this section. The department shall prescribe forms for
the applications and permit required by this section, which shall be
uniform throughout the state.
   (g) In any action brought by a city attorney or district attorney
to enforce a violation of this section, an owner of a check casher's
business who engages in the business of check cashing without holding
a current and valid permit issued by the department pursuant to this
section is subject to a civil penalty, as follows:
   (1) For the first offense, not more than one thousand dollars
($1,000).
   (2) For the second offense, not more than five thousand dollars
($5,000).
   (h) Any person who has twice been found in violation of
subdivision (g) and who, within 10 years of the date of the first
offense, engages in the business of check cashing without holding a
current and valid permit issued by the department pursuant to this
section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a
county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding five
thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.
   (i) All civil penalties, forfeited bail, or fines received by any
court pursuant to this section shall, as soon as practicable after
the receipt thereof, be deposited with the county treasurer of the
county in which the court is situated. Fines and forfeitures
deposited shall be disbursed pursuant to the Penal Code. Civil
penalties deposited shall be paid at least once a month as follows:
   (1) Fifty percent to the Treasurer by warrant of the county
auditor drawn upon the requisition of the clerk or judge of the
court, to be deposited in the State Treasury on order of the
Controller.
   (2) Fifty percent to the city treasurer of the city, if the
offense occurred in a city, otherwise to the treasurer of the county
in which the prosecution is conducted. Any money deposited in the
State Treasury under this section that is determined by the
Controller to have been erroneously deposited shall be refunded,
subject to approval of the California Victim Compensation and
Government Claims Board prior to the payment of the refund, out of
any money in the State Treasury that is available by law for that
purpose.
   (j) This section shall become operative December 31, 2004.

1789.38.  Any waiver of the provisions of this title is contrary to
public policy, and is void and unenforceable.


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