Please Note: West Virginia Section 31-2-17 imposes restrictions on Railroad Scrap Metal that are separate from the rest of the Scrap Metal statutes; it is included at the end of the summary.
"Scrap Metal" means any nonferrous metal of any kind, a catalytic converter or any materials derived from a catalytic converter, or steel railroad track and track material.
"Scrap Metal Dealer" is used but undefined. "Purchaser" means any person in the business of purchasing scrap metal or used auto parts, any salvage yard owner or operator, or any public or commercial recycling facility owner or operator, or any agent or employee thereof, who purchases any form of scrap metal or used auto parts.
As used in Section 31-2-17, "Railroad Scrap Metal" means any materials derived from railroad track, railroad track material, worn or used links, pins, journal bearings, or other worn, used, or detached appendages of railroad equipment or railroad track.
The following are exempted:
Purchasers of catalytic converters when the catalytic converter is:
A "scrap metal dealer" (undefined) must do all of the following:
Purchasers of scrap metal must record the following for each transaction:
A signed certificate of ownership or a signed authorization to sell from the owner;
For deliveries of 5 or more non-exempt catalytic converters, the Seller shall also:
For any purchases made at wholesale under a contract or as a result of a bidding process, instead of the record requirements above a Purchaser may retain the contract, bill of sale, or similar documentation of the purchase. The Purchaser may redact any pricing or other commercially sensitive information before making it available for inspection.
A Purchaser may only purchase a stainless steel or aluminum beer keg or parts for reselling as scrap metal from the beer manufacturer or its authorized representative.
A scrap metal dealer may only purchase the following or any reasonably recognizable part thereof if the dealer obtains written documentation that the Seller is authorized to possess and sell the item or items and that the seller is in lawful possession of the item:
Purchasers must either:
If the Purchaser retains records, they must be available for inspection by any law enforcement officer or, upon written request and during the purchaser's regular business hours, by any investigator employed by a public utility or railroad to investigate the theft of public utility or railroad property. Such investigators may accompany law enforcement upon the premises of a purchaser in the execution of a valid warrant or assist law enforcement in the review of transaction records.
Upon the entry of a final determination and order by a court of competent jurisdiction, scrap metal found to have been misappropriated, stolen or taken under false pretenses may be returned to the proper owner of such material.
Violating the law with knowing or fraudulent intent, including knowingly failing to make a report or falsifying information, is a misdemeanor punishable by:
Section 11-12-5a provides that no person may apply for a business registration certificate that would permit them to own, conduct, or operate any business involving the purchase of scrap metal or the operation or any salvage yard or recycling facility if:
A person having or taking possession of scrap metal, or a scrap metal dealer purchasing, possessing, or receiving scrap metal from a seller, when the person or dealer knows or has reason to know the metal has been stolen or unlawfully obtained, is guilty of a larceny
Section 61-3-49b provides the following penalties for a person who causes a disruption of communications or public utility services by the theft or intentional damaging of equipment and causes either: a disruption of communication or public utility services to 10 or more households or subscribers; or a loss in the value of property of $1,000 or more:
A Scrap metal dealer, pursuant to a written agreement with law-enforcement officials, is not prohibited from purchasing or taking possession of scrap metal the dealer knows or has reason to know has been stolen or obtained illegally.
As provided in Section 31-2-17 Railroad Scrap Metal may only be sold by an authorized agent or employee of the company that owns it. A sale or disposition is void if the purchaser knowingly makes it with an unauthorized Seller. Railroad Scrap Metal must be:
In a civil suit between a purchaser and the formerly owning company:
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