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Document destruction contractors
General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 39-G
§ 899-bbb. Document destruction contractors. 1. On or after October
first, two thousand eight, no person, firm or corporation shall hold
himself, herself or itself out to be a document destruction contractor
in New York state without first registering with the department as
provided in this section.

2. Any person, firm or corporation seeking a certificate of
registration as a document destruction contractor shall file with the
department an application for registration in such form and detail as
the department shall prescribe, including the following:

(a) the name and residence address of the applicant;

(b) the business name, if other than applicant;

(c) the place, including the city, town or village, with the street
and number, where the business is to be located;

(d) the business telephone of the applicant;

(e) the length of time that the applicant has been a document
destruction contractor;

(f) a statement indicating whether the applicant has:

(i) been convicted of any crime or is a debtor on any unpaid civil
judgment relating to work as a document destruction contractor; and

(ii) at any time in the past been issued a registration pursuant to
this section, and if so, whether such registration was ever revoked or

(g) satisfactory evidence of good moral character;

(h) a statement indicating the methods of document destruction
utilized by the applicant;

(i) a sworn statement by the applicant that the information set forth
in the application is current and accurate; and

(j) a complete set of two fingerprint cards for each principal and
officer of the applicant on a standard fingerprint card approved by the
division of criminal justice services. Such cards shall be retained by
the department and used solely for the purpose of conducting an
investigation pursuant to subdivision twelve of this section. If
additional copies of fingerprints are required the applicant shall
furnish them upon request.

3. In determining whether to issue or renew a registration, the
secretary of state may consider the character, competency and integrity
of the applicant.

4. The secretary of state may refuse to issue a registration to any
person, firm or corporation whom he or she finds has been convicted of
any crime, or failed to pay any final civil judgment, relating to work
as a document destruction contractor, if such refusal will, in the
judgment of the secretary of state, best promote the interests of the
people of this state.

5. (a) A registration issued or renewed under the provisions of this
section shall entitle a person to act as a registered document
destruction contractor in the state of New York for a period of two
years from the effective date of the registration. Any registration
granted under this section may be renewed by the department upon
application and payment of the fee for such renewal by the holder
thereof, in such form as the department may prescribe.

(b) The secretary of state shall have the authority to assign
staggered expiration dates for registrations at the time of renewal. If
the assigned date results in a term that exceeds twenty-four months, the
applicant shall pay an additional pro-rated adjustment together with the
regular renewal fee.

(c) The secretary of state shall issue each document destruction
contractor a unique registration number.

6. (a) Each original application or application for renewal for
registration as a document destruction contractor shall be accompanied
by a fee of fifty dollars for each biennial registration period.

(b) Notice in writing in the manner and form prescribed by the
department shall be given to the department at its offices in Albany
within ten days of changes of name or address by registered document
destruction contractors. The fee for filing each change of name or
address notice shall be ten dollars.

(c) In the case of loss, destruction or damage, the department may,
upon submission of a request in such form and manner as the department
may prescribe, issue a duplicate registration upon payment of a fee of
ten dollars.

7. The fees established by this section shall not be refundable.

8. Each document destruction contractor engaged in making document
destruction contracts shall exhibit his or her certificate upon the
request of any interested party.

9. Every document destruction contract subject to the provisions of
this article, and all amendments thereto, shall be evidenced by a
writing and shall be signed by all the parties to the contract. The
writing shall contain the contractor's registration number issued by the
secretary of state pursuant to this article.

10. No person, firm or corporation shall:

(a) present, or attempt to present, as his, her or its own, the
registration of another;

(b) knowingly give false evidence of a material nature to the
department for the purpose of procuring a registration;

(c) falsely represent themselves to be a registered document
destruction contractor;

(d) use or attempt to use a registration which has expired;

(e) offer to perform or perform any document destruction without
having a current registration as is required under this section; or

(f) represent in any manner that his, her or its registration
constitutes an endorsement of the quality of workmanship or competency
of the contractor.

11. Registrations issued to document destruction contractors shall not
be transferable or assignable.

12. (a) The secretary of state shall promulgate such rules and
regulations as are deemed necessary to effectuate the purposes of this
article, and shall provide written notification of the provisions of
this article to all document destruction contractors registered pursuant
to this article.

(b) The secretary of state shall have the power to enforce the
provisions of this article and upon complaint of any person, or upon the
secretary's initiative, to investigate any violation thereof or to
investigate the business, business practices and business methods of any
person, firm, limited liability company, partnership or corporation
applying for or holding a registration as a document destruction
contractor, if in the opinion of the secretary of state such
investigation is warranted. Each such applicant or registrant shall be
obliged, on request of the secretary of state, to supply such
information, books, papers or records as may be required concerning his,
her or its business, business practices or business methods, or proposed
business practices or methods. Failure to comply with a lawful request
of the secretary shall be a ground for denying an application for a
registration, or for revoking, suspending, or failing to renew a
registration issued under this article.

(c) The department shall have the power to revoke or suspend any
registration, or in lieu thereof to impose a fine not exceeding one
thousand dollars payable to the department, or reprimand any registrant
or deny an application for a registration or renewal thereof upon proof:

(i) that the applicant or registrant has violated any of the
provisions of this article or the rules and regulations promulgated
pursuant to this article;

(ii) that the applicant or registrant has practiced fraud, deceit or

(iii) that the applicant or registrant has made a material
misstatement in the application for or renewal of his or her

(iv) that the applicant or registrant has demonstrated incompetence or
untrustworthiness in his or her actions.

13. The department shall, before denying an application for a
registration or before revoking or suspending any registration, or
imposing any fine or reprimand, and at least fifteen days prior to the
date set for the hearing, and upon due notice to the complainant or
objector, notify in writing the applicant for, or the holder of such
registration of any charge made and shall afford such applicant or
registrant an opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel in
reference thereto. Such written notice may be served by delivery of same
personally to the applicant or registrant, or by mailing same by
registered mail to the last known business address of such applicant or

14. The hearing on such charges shall be at such time and place as the
department shall prescribe and shall be conducted by such officer or
person in the department as the secretary of state may designate, who
shall have the power to subpoena and bring before the officer or person
so designated any person in this state, and administer an oath to and
take testimony of any person or cause his or her deposition to be taken.
A subpoena issued under this section shall be regulated by the civil
practice law and rules. Such officer or person in the department
designated to take such testimony shall not be bound by common law or
statutory rules of evidence or by technical or formal rules of

15. In the event that the department shall deny the application for,
or revoke or suspend any such registration, or impose any fine or
reprimand, its determination shall be in writing and officially signed.
The original of such determinations, when so signed, shall be filed in
the office of the department and copies thereof shall be mailed to the
applicant or registrant and to the complainant within two days after
such filing.

16. The department, acting by the office or person designated to
conduct the hearing pursuant to subdivision fourteen of this section or
by such other officer or person in the department as the secretary of
state may designate, shall have the power to suspend the registration of
any registrant who has been convicted in this state or any other state
or territory of a felony or of any misdemeanor for a period not
exceeding thirty days pending a hearing and a determination of charges
made against him or her. If such hearing is adjourned at the request of
the registrant, or by reason of any act or omission by him or her or on
his or her behalf, such suspension may be continued for the additional
period of such adjournment.

17. The action of the department in granting or refusing to grant or
to renew a registration under this article or in revoking or suspending
or refusing to revoke or suspend such a registration or imposing any
fine or reprimand shall be subject to review by a proceeding instituted
under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules at the
instance of the applicant for such registration, the holder of a
registration so revoked, suspended, fined or reprimanded or the person

18. The department shall maintain and publish a registry of all
registered document destruction contractors, which shall list and
identify on a county by county basis, all registered document
destruction contractors doing business in this state. The department
shall make the registry available on its website. Copies of the roster
shall be made available upon request and payment of a fee to be
determined by the secretary of state and approved by the director of the
division of the budget.

19. (a) Any person, firm or corporation that operates as a document
destruction contractor without being registered shall be required to pay
a civil penalty in the sum of one thousand dollars per document
destruction contract entered into in violation of this section. However,
any such person, firm or corporation against whom such penalty has been
assessed may avoid all but five hundred dollars of such penalty by
obtaining a registration as required by this section, provided that
application for such registration is made not more than ten days after
the imposition of such penalty and the document destruction contractor
has never received a prior fine for failure to register in New York or
in any other state that requires registration.

(b) A document destruction contractor may not maintain a civil action
to recover payment for work under a document destruction contract
performed if such contractor is not registered as required under this

20. Whenever there shall be a violation of this section, an
application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the
people of the state of New York to a court or justice having
jurisdiction by a special proceeding to issue an injunction, and upon
notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin or
restrain the continuance of such violation; and if it shall appear to
the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in
fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by such court
or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violation, without
requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged
thereby. In any such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the
attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of
section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules,
and direct restitution. In connection with any such proposed
application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a
determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance
with the civil practice law and rules.