2010 Tennessee Code
Title 45 - Banks And Financial Institutions
Chapter 6 - Pawnbrokers
Part 2 - Pawnbrokers Act of 1988
45-6-213 - Identification of pawnors Disposition of stolen property.

45-6-213. Identification of pawnors Disposition of stolen property.

(a)  When any person sells property to a pawnbroker or pledges property as security for a loan, the pawnbroker shall obtain and record the information provided for in § 45-6-209(b)(6) and obtain a statement of the pledgor that the pledgor is the lawful owner of the item, as provided in § 45-6-211(d), and have the record signed by the person from whom the pawnbroker receives the property. This record shall be made available to any law enforcement agency or officer upon request.

(b)  (1)  The party asserting ownership of any property, which the party alleges is stolen and which is in the possession of a pawnbroker, may recover the property by making a report to any law enforcement agency of the location of the property and providing the law enforcement agency with proof of ownership of the property; provided, that a report of the theft of the property was made to the proper authorities within thirty (30) days after obtaining knowledge of the theft or loss; and provided further, that the party asserting ownership will assist in the prosecution of the party pawning the item. Upon the receipt of proof of ownership, any law enforcement officer is authorized to recover the property from the pawnbroker, without expense to the rightful owner thereof, unless the pawnbroker presents evidence of having received proof of ownership of the property by the person who sold same to pawnbroker or pledged the property as security for a loan. Any property recovered from a pawnbroker, pursuant to this section, shall be returned to the rightful owner thereof, subject to evidence in any criminal proceeding.

     (2)  In the event that the party asserting ownership of the pawned article has provided a timely report of the theft or loss, of the article, and the pawnbroker presents acceptable evidence to the law enforcement agency of having received proper proof of ownership from the person selling or pledging the property, then and only then shall it be understood the law enforcement agency has satisfied its processes, duties and responsibilities. It shall then inform the party alleging ownership that it will be necessary for that person to commence an appropriate civil action for the return of the items within thirty (30) days of receiving the notice. The pawnbroker shall not be required to surrender the property to any law enforcement officer or agency or any other person absent an appropriate warrant.

     (3)  If for any reason after the local authorities have seized certain property and are unable to locate the rightful owner of the property after due diligence, then the property may be returned to the pawnbroker upon the pawnbroker executing a hold-harmless agreement to the local authorities pursuant to title 40, chapter 33.

[Acts 1988, ch. 724, § 13; 1995, ch. 186, § 10.]  

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