Current Status Introducing Body:
HouseBill Number: 3380Ratification Number: 135Act Number: 78Primary Sponsor: GregoryType of Legislation: GBSubject: Private detective businessesCompanion Bill Number: 581Date Bill Passed both Bodies: Apr 25, 1991Computer Document Number: 3380Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: May 27, 1991Introduced Date: Jan 31, 1991Date of Last Amendment: Apr 17, 1991Last History Body: ------Last History Date: May 27, 1991Last History Type: Act No. 78Scope of Legislation: StatewideAll Sponsors: Gregory Nettles Short Boan Wilkins Kirsh J. BrownType of Legislation: General Bill
Bill Body Date Action Description CMN ---- ------ ------------ ------------------------------ --- 3380 ------ May 27, 1991 Act No. 78 3380 ------ May 27, 1991 Signed by Governor 3380 ------ May 21, 1991 Ratified R 135 3380 House Apr 25, 1991 Concurred in Senate amendment, enrolled for ratification 3380 House Apr 24, 1991 Debate adjourned 3380 Senate Apr 18, 1991 Read third time, returned with amendment 3380 Senate Apr 17, 1991 Amended, read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on Thursday, April 18 3380 Senate Apr 04, 1991 Committee Report: Favorable 11 3380 Senate Mar 21, 1991 Introduced, read first time, 11 referred to Committee 3380 House Mar 21, 1991 Read third time, sent to Senate 3380 House Mar 20, 1991 Read second time 3380 House Mar 19, 1991 Debate interrupted 3380 House Mar 06, 1991 Committee Report: Favorable 26 3380 House Jan 31, 1991 Introduced, read first time, 26 referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A78, R135, H3380)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 40-17-55 SO AS TO PROVIDE THE QUALIFICATIONS OF APPLICANTS AND REQUIREMENTS OF APPLICATIONS FOR PRIVATE DETECTIVE BUSINESSES; TO AMEND SECTION 40-17-20, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS IN THE PRIVATE DETECTIVE AND PRIVATE SECURITY AGENCIES ACT, SO AS TO CHANGE THE REFERENCE TO LICENSED PRIVATE DETECTIVE TO REGISTERED PRIVATE DETECTIVE; TO AMEND SECTION 40-17-30, RELATING TO THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE CHIEF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION, SO AS TO PROVIDE SEPARATE POWERS AND DUTIES FOR PRIVATE SECURITY AND DETECTIVE BUSINESSES AND PROVIDE THAT COMPANY TRAINING OFFICERS CERTIFIED BEFORE OCTOBER 3, 1986, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO BE RECERTIFIED WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE ENACTMENT OF THIS AMENDMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 40-17-50, RELATING TO QUALIFICATIONS OF APPLICANTS AND REQUIREMENTS OF APPLICATIONS FOR PRIVATE SECURITY AND DETECTIVE BUSINESSES, SO AS TO DELETE REFERENCES TO PRIVATE DETECTIVE BUSINESSES AND THE CHARACTER REQUIREMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 40-17-60, RELATING TO BONDS OF APPLICANTS, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE BOND REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY TO PRIVATE SECURITY BUSINESSES; TO AMEND SECTION 40-17-70, RELATING TO LICENSES FOR PRIVATE DETECTIVE AND SECURITY BUSINESSES, SO AS TO DELETE THE CHARACTER REQUIREMENT, PROVIDE FOR REGISTRATION INSTEAD OF LICENSING OF PRIVATE DETECTIVES, DELETE THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE DIVISION TO SET LICENSE FEES BY REGULATION, REQUIRE PRIVATE SECURITY BUSINESS LICENSEES TO DISPLAY THE LICENSE CERTIFICATE; TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 40-17-75 SO AS TO REQUIRE REGISTERED PRIVATE DETECTIVES TO PROVIDE THE DIVISION THE ADDRESS OF EACH BUSINESS LOCATION AND BRANCH OFFICE AND CHANGE OF ADDRESS; TO AMEND SECTION 40-17-80, RELATING TO REGISTRATION OF EMPLOYEES OF LICENSEES, SO AS TO DELETE THE REFERENCES TO AGENTS AND CHARACTER; TO AMEND SECTION 40-17-120, RELATING TO PERMITS TO CARRY FIREARMS, SO AS TO CHANGE THE REFERENCE TO LICENSED PRIVATE DETECTIVE TO REGISTERED PRIVATE DETECTIVE; TO AMEND SECTION 40-17-140, RELATING TO SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF LICENSES AND REGISTRATIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE SECTION TO APPLY TO REGISTERED PRIVATE DETECTIVES AND REVISE THE CIRCUMSTANCES FOR SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION AS REGARDS SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED; TO AMEND THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 40-17-145 SO AS TO REQUIRE A PRIVATE DETECTIVE TO MAINTAIN AND MAKE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION COPIES OF WRITTEN CONTRACTS OUTLINING SERVICES TO BE RENDERED FOR THREE YEARS; TO REAUTHORIZE THE EXISTENCE OF THE PRIVATE DETECTIVE AND PRIVATE SECURITY PROGRAM FOR SIX YEARS, AND PROVIDE FOR THE CONTINUATION OF CURRENT LICENSES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 40-17-55. (A) A person desiring to carry on a private detective business in this State shall register with the division. The division may register a person who has not:
(1) been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude.
(2) committed an act constituting dishonesty or fraud.
(B) The application for registration must be made in writing, under oath, on a form furnished by the division. The application must state the applicant's full name, age, date and place of birth, residences and employment within the past five years, and present occupation with the names and addresses of employers, the date and place of conviction of a crime, and additional information the division requires to investigate the integrity of the applicant. The applicant shall submit with the application one set of fingerprints on forms specified and furnished by the division and a photograph in color, two inches wide by three inches high, taken within six months before the application. The application must contain additional information and documentation the division may require by regulation."
Reference changed to registered private detective
SECTION 2. Section 40-17-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-17-20. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) `Private detective business' means engaging in the business of or accepting employment to obtain or furnish information with reference to the:
(a) identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations,transactions, acts, reputation, or character of a person;
(b) location, disposition, or recovery of lost or stolen property;
(c) cause or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents, damage, or injury to persons or property; or
(d) securing evidence to be used before a civil court, a board, an officer, or an investigating committee. Evidence of criminal action or involvement must be reported by the registered private detective to the Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Private detective business does not include persons employed exclusively and regularly by only one employer in connection with the affairs of the employer only and where there exists an employer-employee relationship unless the employer is in the detective business.
(2) `Private security business' means engaging in the business as or accepting employment as a private patrol, watchman, or guard service for consideration on a private contractual basis and not as an employee. Private security business does not include persons employed exclusively and regularly by only one employer in connection with the affairs of the employer only and where there exists an employer-employee relationship unless the employer is in the private security business.
(3) `Division' means the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division."
Powers and duties
SECTION 3. Section 40-17-30 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-17-30.(A) The chief of the division has the following powers and duties as they relate to the practice of private security businesses:
(1) determine the qualifications of applicants for licenses or registration under this chapter;
(2) investigate alleged violations of this chapter and regulations promulgated by the division;
(3) promulgate regulations necessary in carrying out this chapter;
(4) establish and enforce standards governing the safety and conduct of persons licensed and registered under this chapter.
(5) provide training seminars for the purposes of training individuals to be training officers and to train employees of or applicants for employment with licenses to ensure that they have requisite knowledge and skills necessary to the private security business. The fee for attending such seminars shall be set by the designated training facility and retained by that facility for the purpose of defraying the costs of conducting the seminars;
(6) certify and register company training officers prior to their training for private security agencies; and
(7) approve, with the advice and consent of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, the curriculum for the training seminars.
(B) Individuals who engage in the private detective business are not required to be licensed but shall register with the division as provided by this chapter. The chief of the division has the following powers and duties as they relate to the practice of private detective businesses:
(1) determine the eligibility of applicants for registration under this chapter;
(2) investigate alleged violations of this chapter and regulations promulgated by the division;
(3) promulgate regulations necessary to carry out this chapter.
(C) All company training officers certified prior to October 3, 1986, shall be required to be recertified within one year of enactment of this amendment."
SECTION 4. Section 40-17-50 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-17-50. (A) Except as in Section 40-17-40, a person or corporation desiring to carry on a private security business in this State shall make a verified application in writing to the division for a license.
(B) The division may grant a license to a person who or corporation whose head:
(1) is at least eighteen years of age;
(2) is a citizen of the United States;
(3) has not been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude;
(4) has not committed an act constituting dishonesty or fraud;
(5) has satisfied the division that his private security business has a competent training officer and an adequate training program with a curriculum approved by the division or that adequate training will be obtained from another source;
(6) has had at least two years' experience as a supervisor or administrator in industrial security with a licensed private security agency, as a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or as a member of state, county, or municipal law enforcement. This item is satisfied if he complies with other requirements the division may establish by regulation.
(7) meets other qualifications the division may establish by regulation.
(C) The application for a license must be made in writing, under oath, on a form furnished by the division. It must state the applicant's full name, age, date and place of birth, residences and employment within the past five years, and his present occupation with the names and addresses of employers, the date and place of conviction of a crime, and additional information the division requires to investigate the qualification, competency, and integrity of the applicant. The applicant shall submit with the application one set of fingerprints on forms specified and furnished by the division and a photograph in color, two inches wide by three inches high, taken within six months before the application. The application must contain additional information and documentation the division may require by regulation."
SECTION 5. Section 40-17-60 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-17-60. An applicant for a license to operate a private security business shall post with the division a bond in favor of the State with surety of ten thousand dollars. No bond may be accepted for filing unless it is with a surety company authorized to do business in this State and conditioned that the principal may not do an act meriting suspension or revocation of his license under this chapter. In lieu of a bond, a cash deposit or a deposit of other securities acceptable to the division of ten thousand dollars must be accepted. A person aggrieved by an act of the principal named in the bond in violation of this chapter may proceed on the bond against the principal or surety, or both, to recover damages. The aggregate liability of the surety for breaches of the conditions of the bond may not exceed the amount of the bond. The surety on the bond may cancel the bond upon giving thirty days' notice to the division and is relieved of liability for a breach of condition after the effective date of the cancellation."
SECTION 6. Section 40-17-70 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-17-70. (A) Upon being satisfied, after investigation, of the competency and integrity of an applicant or, if the applicant is an association, partnership, or corporation, of the officers and certain stockholders , the division may grant a license to conduct the private security business stated in the application. However, this section does not apply to persons licensed in accordance with Section 40-17-40. The license is for one year and application for renewal must be on a form furnished by the division.
(B) After investigation, if the division is satisfied with an applicant's integrity, it shall register him to conduct a private detective business. The initial and annual renewal registration fee for a private detective must be set by the division by regulation.
(C) The initial and annual renewal license fee for conducting a private security business must be set by the division by regulation.
(D) Immediately upon the receipt of a license certificate issued by the division pursuant to this chapter, the private security business licensee shall post and at all times display the certificate in a conspicuous place at his place of business. A copy or duplicate of the certificate must be posted conspicuously at each branch office."
Private detectives to provide addresses
SECTION 7. Chapter 17, Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 40-17-75. A private detective, registering under the provisions of this chapter, shall provide the division the address of each business location and branch office and notify the division of any change of business address within thirty days of any change of address."
References to agents and character deleted
SECTION 8. Section 40-17-80 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-17-80. (A) A licensee may employ as many operators, assistants, guards, watchmen, and patrolmen he considers necessary for the conduct of his business. The employees must be citizens of the United States and at least eighteen years of age. Except as in Section 40-17-40, immediately upon hiring operators, assistants, guards, watchmen, and patrolmen the licensee shall make application to register the employee with the division. The guards, watchmen, and patrolmen may perform the duties of a security officer without arrest authority or without weapons authority for twenty days following the receipt of their application by the division pending the issuance of their registration. The application must be made on forms furnished by the division, and, under oath, the employee shall give his name,address, date and place of birth, employment for the past five years, experience in the position applied for, arrests and convictions for violations of the law, and other information the division may require by regulation to investigate properly the competency and integrity of the employee. The application for registration must be accompanied by one set of fingerprints of the employee and one photograph of the employee in color, two inches wide by three inches high, full-face, without head covering, taken within six months before the application. No person may be approved for employment who has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude that would tend to question his honesty and integrity, is an alcoholic, a drifter, a vagrant, or a person with a record of mental illness and has not been restored to legal capacity, has been discharged from the military service under other than honorable conditions, or has been refused a license under this chapter for other than minimum experience or whose license has been revoked or is under suspension. Upon being satisfied of the suitability of the applicant for employment and that the applicant has completed an acceptable training program, the division shall register the employee and so notify the licensee. The licensee shall notify the division within five days of the termination of employment of registered employees. The division may waive the submission of fingerprints and photographs for an employee who has been employed by a person licensed under this chapter within the previous six months. Registration is for one year and application for renewal must be on a form furnished by the division.
(B) The initial and annual renewal registration fee for an employee registered in accordance with this section is twenty-five dollars.
(C) In order to insure compliance with this section, licensees shall make employment records available for inspection by the chief or his agents, during normal business hours."
Reference changed to registered private detective
SECTION 9. Section 40-17-120 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-17-120. (A) Except as provided in subsection (D), the division may grant to a person licensed or registered in accordance with this chapter a permit to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm. Application for the permit must be made on forms provided by the division, and the fee is twenty dollars a year. The permit is for one year and application for renewal must be on a form furnished by the division. The permit is not transferable.
(B) No person may be issued a permit until he has presented to the division proof that he is proficient in the use of firearms and has received a minimum of four hours' classroom instruction.
(C) A person engaged in the private security business or registered in accordance with Section 40-17-80 and issued a permit in accordance with this section may carry a firearm in an open and fully-exposed manner only while on duty, in uniform, and going to and from work. However, the division in its discretion may issue an additional written permit to the person to carry the firearm about his person, concealed or not, even though he is not in uniform nor on duty if the division determines that the additional permit will enable the permittee to perform his assigned duties better. No additional permit may be issued to a permittee to be effective in a place where alcoholic beverages, beer, or wine are sold or consumed.
(D) Permits for carrying firearms must not be issued to persons registered as private detectives."
Suspension and revocation of licenses and registrations
SECTION 10. Section 40-17-140 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-17-140. (A) The division, after hearing, may suspend or permanently revoke a license or registration issued under this chapter if it determines that the holder of the license or registration has:
(1) made a false statement or given false information in connection with an application or renewal or reinstatement of a license or registration;
(2) violated this chapter;
(3) violated a regulation promulgated by the division pursuant to the authority in this chapter;
(4) been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude or involving the illegal use, carrying, or possession of a dangerous weapon since becoming licensed or registered;
(5) committed an act in the course of the business constituting dishonesty or fraud;
(6) impersonated or permitted or aided and abetted a person to impersonate a law enforcement officer or employee of the United States, this State or its political subdivisons, or a municipal corporation since becoming licensed or registered;
(7) engaged in or permitted an employee to engage in the detective business or private security business when not lawfully in possession of a valid license or registration issued under this chapter;
(8) wilfully failed or refused to provide a written contract outlining services to be provided and fees charged; or to render a client service as agreed upon; or to provide a written report detailing investigative hours worked and results of the investigation;
(9) committed an unlawful breaking or entering, assault, battery, or kidnapping since becoming licensed or registered;
(10) knowingly violated or advised, encouraged, or assisted the violation of a court order or injunction in the course of business;
(11) committed an act which is a ground for denial of an application for license or registration under this chapter;
(12) undertaken to give legal advice or counsel or to represent that he is representing an attorney or is appearing or will appear in legal proceedings or to issue, deliver, or utter a simulation of process which might lead a person to believe that the simulation, written, printed, or typed, may be a summons, warrant, writ, or court process or a pleading in a court proceeding.
(B) Pending the hearing in subsection (A) the division may suspend a license or registration issued under this chapter when it has good reason to believe that grounds for revocation exist.
(C) The revocation of a license or registration as in subsection (A) must be in writing, signed by the chief of the division, stating the grounds upon which the revocation order is based. The aggrieved person may appeal from the order within twenty days after a copy has been served upon him to the court of common pleas of the county where the person resided at the time of revocation. Trial on appeal is de novo. However, if the parties so agree, the trial may be confined to a review of the record made at the hearing by the division. Appeals are from the court of common pleas as in other civil cases."
Maintenance and inspection of contracts outlining services
SECTION 11. Chapter 17, Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 40-17-145. A private detective, registered under the provisions of this chapter, shall maintain copies of all written contracts outlining services to be rendered for a period of three years. These copies shall be available for inspection by the division during regular business hours."
SECTION 12. In accordance with Section 1-20-60 of the 1976 Code, the existence of the Private Detective and Private Security Program is reauthorized for six years.
Continuation of current licenses
SECTION 13. A person licensed to operate a detective business on the effective date of this act may continue to operate until the expiration of his license. At that time he shall register pursuant to Section 40-17-55 of the 1976 Code added by this act.
SECTION 14. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 27th day of May, 1991.