PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS IN PA

Nicholas Group Investigative & Security is licensed pursuant to the Pennsylvania Private Detective Act.  Founder Adam Nicholas Nowicki is an Active Member of the Pennsylvania Association of Licensed Investigators

Private Detective / Investigator and Security Company Licensing in Pennsylvania is as follows:

PRIVATE DETECTIVE ACT
Act of Aug. 21, 1953, P.L. 1273, No. 361 Cl. 22
AN ACT
To regulate the business of private detectives, investigators
and watch, guard, or patrol agencies, and the licensing
thereof in each county; providing penalties.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section 1. Short Title.
Section 2. Definitions.
Section 3. Licenses.
Section 4. Application for Licenses.
Section 5. Enforcement of Act; Investigations.
Section 6. Issuance of Licenses; Fees; Bonds.
Section 7. Refund of Fees.
Section 8. Posting and Surrender of License Certificate.
Section 9. Certificate, Pocket Card or Badge Lost or
Destroyed.
Section 10. Removal of Bureau, Agency or Office.
Section 11. Renewal of Licenses.
Section 12. License Certificates, Pocket Cards, Shields or
Badges.
Section 13. Employes.
Section 14. Employes Not to Divulge Information or Make
False Reports.
Section 15. Application of Act.
Section 16. Unlawful Acts.
Section 16.1. Penalty for Unlicensed Acts.
Section 17. District Attorney to Prosecute.
Section 18. Reward May be Presumed.
Section 19. Roster of Licenses.
Section 20. Disposition of Fees and Other Revenue.
Section 21. Repeals.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short Title.–This act shall be known and may
be cited as “The Private Detective Act of 1953.”
Section 2. Definitions.–(a) “Private detective business”
shall mean and include the business of private detective,
private detective business, the business of investigator, or
the business of watch, guard, or patrol agency.
(b) “Private detective business” shall also mean and
include, separately or collectively, the making, for hire,
reward, or for any consideration whatsoever, of any
investigation or investigations for the purpose of obtaining
information with reference to any of the following matters,
notwithstanding the fact that other functions and services may
also be performed for fee, hire, or reward:
(1) Crime or wrongs done or threatened against the
government of the United States of America or any state or
territory of the United States of America.
(2) The identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts,
affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation, or
character, of any person, group of persons, association,
organization, society, other groups of persons, partnership,
or corporation.
(3) The credibility of witnesses or other persons.
(4) The whereabouts of missing persons.
(5) The location or recovery of lost or stolen property.
(6) The causes and origin of, or responsibility for, fires,
or libels, or losses, or accidents, or damage, or injuries, to
real or personal property.
(7) The affiliation, connection, or relation, of any person,
partnership, or corporation, with any union, organization,
society, or association, or with any official member or
representative thereof.
(8) With reference to any person or persons seeking
employment in the place of any person or persons who have quit
work by reason of any strike.
(9) With reference to the conduct, honesty, efficiency,
loyalty, or activities, of employes, agents, contractors and
subcontractors.
(10) The securing of evidence to be used before any
authorized investigating committee, board of award, board of
arbitration, or in the trial of civil or criminal cases.
(11) The furnishing, for hire or reward, of watchmen, or
guards, or private patrolmen, or other persons, to protect
persons or property, or to prevent the theft or the unlawful
taking of goods, wares and merchandise, or to prevent the
misappropriation or concealment of goods, wares or merchandise,
money, bonds, stocks, choses in action, notes, or other valuable
documents, papers, and articles of value, or to procure the
return thereof, or the performing of the service of such guard
or other person, or any of said purposes.
The foregoing shall not be deemed to include persons engaged
in the business of investigators for or adjusters for insurance
companies, nor persons in the exclusive employment of common
carriers subject to regulation by the interstate commerce
commission or the Public Utility Commission of the Commonwealth
of Pennsylvania, nor any telephone, telegraph or other
telecommunications company subject to regulation by the Federal
Communications Commission or the Public Utility Commission of
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or an employe of any such
company while performing any investigatory activities engaged
in by his employer, or investigators in the employment of credit
bureaus.
((b) amended Dec. 3, 1987, P.L.405, No.83)
(c) The terms “the business of detective agency,” the
“business of investigator,” the “business of watch, guard or
patrol agency,” and the terms “private detective” or
“investigator” shall mean and include any person, partnership,
association, or corporation, engaged in the private detective
business, as defined in subsections (a) and (b) of this section,
with or without the assistance of any employe or employes.
(d) The term “commissioner” shall mean the Commissioner of
the Pennsylvania State Police.
(e) The term “patrol agency” shall mean and include any
agency and/or individuals (including therein security guards,
uniformed or nonuniformed) employed full time or part time, on
a temporary or permanent basis, who, for any consideration
whatsoever, patrols, guards, protects, monitors, regulates,
secures or watches over persons and/or property, either real
or personal. This term specifically includes any person employed
in any capacity, for any length of time, to protect property,
either real or personal, against labor strikes or against any
person or persons who have become a party to any labor strike.
((e) added May 26, 1988, P.L.405, No.68)
Section 3. Licenses.–(a) No person, partnership,
association, or corporation, shall engage in the business of
private detective, or the business of investigator, or the
business of watch, guard or patrol agency, for the purpose of
furnishing guards or patrolmen or other persons to protect
persons or property, or to prevent the theft or the unlawful
taking of goods, wares and merchandise, or to prevent the
misappropriation or concealment of goods, wares, merchandise,
money, bonds, stocks, documents, and other articles of value,
for hire or reward, or advertise his or their business to be
that of detective, or of a detective agency, or investigator,
or watch, guard or patrol agency, notwithstanding the name or
title used in describing such agency, or notwithstanding the
fact that other functions and services may also be performed
for fee, hire or reward, without having first obtained a license
so to do as hereinafter provided.
(b) No person, partnership, association, or corporation,
shall engage in the business of furnishing or supplying for
fee, hire, or any consideration or reward, information as to
the personal character or activities of any person, partnership,
corporation, society, or association, or any person or group
of persons, or as to the character or kind of the business and
occupation of any person, partnership, association, or
corporation, or own or conduct or maintain a bureau or agency
for the above mentioned purposes, except exclusively as to the
financial rating, standing, and credit responsibility of
persons, partnerships, associations, or corporations, or as to
the personal habits and financial responsibility of applicants
for insurance, indemnity bonds, or commercial credit, or of
claimants under insurance policies: Provided, That the business
so exempted does not embrace other activities described in
subsections (a), (b) and (c) of section two of this act, without
having first obtained, as hereafter provided, a license so to
do, for each such bureau or agency, and for each and every
sub-agency, office and branch office to be owned, conducted,
managed, or maintained by such persons, partnership,
association, or corporation, for the conduct of such business.
((b) amended Dec. 3, 1987, P.L.405, No.83)
(c) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to
include the business of investigators for or adjusters for
insurance companies, nor persons in the exclusive employment
of common carriers subject to regulation by the interstate
commerce commission or the Public Utility Commission of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, nor any telephone, telegraph or
other telecommunications company subject to regulation by the
Federal Communications Commission or the Public Utility
Commission of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or an employe
of any such company while performing any investigatory
activities engaged in by his employer, or investigators in the
employment of credit bureaus. ((c) added Dec. 3, 1987, P.L.405,
No.83)
Section 4. Application for Licenses.–Any person,
partnership, association, or corporation, intending to conduct
a private detective business, the business of investigator, or
the business of watch, guard or patrol agency, or the business
of a detective agency, and any person, partnership, association,
or corporation, intending to conduct the business of furnishing
or supplying information as to the personal character of any
person, or as to the character or kind of the business and
occupation of any person, partnership, corporation, society,
or association, or any person or group of persons, or intending
to own, conduct, manage or maintain a bureau or agency for the
above mentioned purposes, or, while engaged in other lawful
business activities, also intending to engage in any one or
more of the activities set forth in subsections (a), (b) and
(c) of section two of this act, except exclusively as to the
financial rating, standing and credit responsibility of persons,
partnerships, associations, or corporations, shall, for each
such bureau or agency, and for each and every sub-agency, office
and branch office to be owned, conducted, managed or maintained
by such person, partnership, association or corporation for the
conduct of such business, file, in the office of the clerk of
the court of quarter sessions of the county wherein the
principal office of such business is located, a written
application, duly signed and verified, as follows:
(a) If the applicant is a person, the application shall be
signed and verified by such person, and if the applicant is a
partnership or association, the application shall be signed and
verified by each individual composing or intending to compose
such partnership or association. The application shall state
the full name, age, residence, present and previous occupations,
of each person or individual so signing the same, that he is a
citizen of the United States, and shall also specify the name
of the city, borough, township, or incorporated town, stating
the street and number if the premises have a street and number,
and otherwise such apt description as will reasonably indicate
the location thereof, where is to be located the principal place
of business, and the bureau, agency, sub-agency, office or
branch office for which the license is desired, and such further
facts as may be required by the court of quarter sessions, to
show the good character, competency and integrity of each person
or individual so signing such application. Each person or
individual signing such application shall, together with such
application, submit to the court of quarter sessions his
photograph, in duplicate, in passport size, and also
fingerprints of his two hands, recorded in such manner as may
be specified by the court of quarter sessions. Before approving
such application, it shall be the duty of the court of quarter
sessions to compare such fingerprints with fingerprints of
criminals now or hereafter filed in the records of the
Pennsylvania State Police. Every such applicant shall establish,
to the satisfaction of the court of quarter sessions and by at
least two duly acknowledged certificates, that such applicant,
if he be a person, or, in the case of a partnership,
association, or corporation, at least one member of such
partnership, association, or corporation, has been regularly
employed as a detective, or shall have been a member of the
United States government investigative service, a sheriff, a
member of the Pennsylvania State Police, or a member of a city
police department of a rank or grade higher than that of
patrolman, for a period of not less than three years. Such
application shall be approved as to each person or individual
so signing the same by not less than five reputable citizens
of the community in which such applicant resides or transacts
business, or in which it is proposed to own, conduct, manage
or maintain the bureau, agency, sub-agency, office or branch
office for which the license is desired, each of whom shall
certify that he has personally known the said person or
individual for a period of at least five years prior to the
filing of such application, that he has read such application
and believes each of the statements made therein to be true,
that such person is honest, of good character, and competent,
and not related or connected to the person so certifying by
blood or marriage. The certificate of approval shall be signed
by such reputable citizens and duly verified and acknowledged
by them before an officer authorized to take oaths and
acknowledgment of deeds. ((a) amended Apr. 30, 1957, P.L.98,
No.40)
(b) If the applicant is a corporation, the application shall
be signed and verified by the president, secretary and treasurer
thereof, and shall specify the name of the corporation, the
date and place of its incorporation, the location of its
principal place of business, and the name of the city, borough,
township, or incorporated town, stating the street and number
if the premises have a street and number, and otherwise such
apt description as will reasonably indicate the location
thereof, where is to be located the bureau, agency, sub-agency,
office or branch office for which the license is desired, the
amount of the corporation’s outstanding paid up capital stock
and whether paid in cash or property, and, if in property, the
nature of the same, and shall be accompanied by a duly certified
copy of its certificate of incorporation. Each and every
requirement of clause (a) of this section as to a person or
individual member of a partnership or association shall apply
to the president, secretary and treasurer, and each such
officer, his successor and successors, shall, prior to entering
upon the discharge of his duties, sign and verify a like
statement, approved in like manner, as is by clause (a)
prescribed in the case of a person or individual member of a
partnership or association. In the event of the death,
resignation or removal of such officer, due notice of that fact
shall forthwith be given in writing to the court of quarter
sessions, together with a copy of the minutes of any meeting
of the board of directors of said corporation, certified by the
secretary, indicating the death, resignation or removal of such
officer, and the election or designation of the successor of
such deceased, resigned or removed officer.
Section 5. Enforcement of Act; Investigations.–(a) The
district attorneys of the various counties shall have the power
to enforce the provisions of this act, and, upon complaint of
any person, or on his own initiative, to investigate any
violation thereof, or to investigate the business, business
practices and business methods of any person, partnership,
association or corporation applying for or holding a license
as a private detective or investigator if, in the opinion of
the district attorney, such investigation is warranted. Each
such applicant or licensee shall be obliged, on request of the
district attorney, to supply such information as may be required
concerning his or its business, business practices or business
methods, or proposed business practices or methods.
(b) For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this act
and in making investigations relating to any violation thereof,
and for the purpose of investigating the character, competency
and integrity of the applicants or licensees hereunder, and for
the purpose of investigating the business, business practices
and business methods of any applicant or licensee, or of the
officers or agents thereof, the district attorney, acting by
such officer or person in the office of the district attorney
as the district attorney may designate, shall have the power
to subpoena and bring before the officer or person so designated
any person in the county, and require the production of any
books or papers which he deems relevant to the inquiry, and
administer an oath to, and take testimony of, any person, or
cause his deposition to be taken, with the same fees and mileage
and in the same manner as prescribed by law for civil cases in
a court of record, except that any applicant, or licensee, or
officer, or agent thereof, shall not be entitled to such fees
or mileage. Any person duly subpoenaed who fails to obey such
subpoena without reasonable cause, or without such cause refuses
to be examined or to answer any legal or pertinent question as
to the character or qualification of such applicant or licensee
or such applicant’s or licensee’s business, business practices
and methods, or such violations, shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced
to pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) or
to undergo imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both.
The testimony of witnesses in any such proceeding shall be under
oath, which the district attorney or his subordinate designated
by the district attorney may administer, and wilful, false
swearing in any such proceeding shall be punishable as perjury.
Section 6. Issuance of Licenses; Fees; Bonds.–(a) When
the application shall have been examined, and such further
inquiry and investigation made as the court of quarter sessions
or the district attorney shall deem proper, and when the court
of quarter sessions shall be satisfied therefrom of the good
character, competency and integrity of such applicant, or, if
the applicant be a partnership, association or corporation, of
the individual members or officers thereof, and a period of ten
days from the date of the filing of the application shall have
passed, the court of quarter sessions shall issue and deliver
to such applicant a certificate of license to conduct such
business, and to own, conduct or maintain a bureau, agency,
sub-agency, office or branch office for the conduct of such
business on the premises stated in such application, upon the
applicant’s paying to the court of quarter sessions for each
such certificate of license so issued, for the use of the
county, a license fee of two hundred dollars ($200), if the
applicant be an individual, or of three hundred dollars ($300),
if a partnership, association or corporation, and upon the
applicant’s executing, delivering and filing in the office of
the clerk of the court of quarter sessions a corporate bond in
the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), conditioned for the
faithful and honest conduct of such business by such applicant,
which surety bond must be written by a corporate surety company
authorized to do business in this Commonwealth as surety, and
approved by the court of quarter sessions with respect to its
form, manner of execution and sufficiency. The license granted
pursuant to this act shall last for a period of two years, but
shall be revocable at all times by the court of quarter sessions
for cause shown. In the event of such revocation or of a
surrender of such license, no refund shall be made in respect
of any license fee paid under the provisions of this act. Such
bond shall be executed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and
any person injured by the violation of any of the provisions
of this act, or by the wilful, malicious and wrongful act of
the principal or employe, may bring an action against such
principal, employe, or both, on said bond, in his own name, to
recover damages suffered by reason of such wilful, malicious
and wrongful act: Provided, That the aggregate liability of the
surety for all such damages shall in no event exceed the sum
of such bond. In each and every suit or prosecution arising out
of this act, the agency of any employe as to the employment and
as to acting in the course of his employment shall be presumed.
The license certificate shall be in a form to be prescribed
by the court of quarter sessions, and shall specify the full
name of the applicant, the location of the principal office or
place of business, and the location of the bureau, agency,
sub-agency, office or branch office for which the license is
issued, the date on which it is issued, the date on which it
will expire, and the names and residences of the applicant or
applicants filing the statement required by section four upon
which the license is issued, and in the event of a change of
any such address or residence, the court of quarter sessions
shall be duly notified in writing of such change within
twenty-four hours thereafter, and failure to give such
notification shall be sufficient cause for revocation of such
license. No such license shall be issued to a person under the
age of twenty-five years.
(b) Except as hereinafter provided in this subsection, no
such license shall be issued to any person who has been
convicted in this State or any other state or territory of a
felony, or any of the following offenses: (1) illegally using,
carrying or possessing a pistol or other dangerous weapon; (2)
making or possessing burglar’s instruments; (3) buying or
receiving stolen property; (4) unlawful entry of a building;
(5) aiding escape from prison; (6) unlawfully possessing or
distributing habit forming narcotic drugs; (7) picking pockets
or attempting to do so; (8) soliciting any person to commit
sodomy or other lewdness; (9) recklessly endangering another
person; (10) making terroristic threats; or (11) committing
simple assault.
Except as hereinafter in this subsection provided, no license
shall be issued to any person whose license has been previously
revoked by the court of common pleas or the authorities of any
other state or territory because of conviction of any of the
crimes or offenses specified in this section. The provisions
of this subsection shall not prevent the issuance of a license
to any person who, subsequent to his conviction, shall have
received executive pardon therefor removing this disability.
((b) amended May 26, 1988, P.L.405, No.68)
(c) There shall be kept in the office of the clerk of the
court of quarter sessions a bulletin board, in a place
accessible to the general public, on which shall be posted, at
noon on Friday of each week, the following: a statement of all
pending applications for licenses under this act, giving the
name of the applicant, and whether individual, partnership,
association or corporation, and the proposed business address,
a similar statement of all such licenses issued during the
preceding week, a similar statement of all such licenses revoked
during the preceding week.
(d) No holder of an employment agency license shall be
licensed under this act. While holding a license under this
act, a licensee shall not, simultaneously, hold an employment
agency license, or have financial interest in, or participate
in the control and management of, any employment agency, or any
other person, partnership, association or corporation engaged
in private detective business, except that a licensee hereunder
may own or possess stock in any corporation whose only business
is to undertake, for hire, the preparation of payrolls and the
transportation of payrolls, moneys, securities and other
valuables, or whose only business is to provide or furnish
protective or guard service to the government of the United
States, or any subdivision, department or agency of the
government of the United States. In the event of the filing in
the office of the clerk of the court of quarter sessions of a
verified statement of objections to the issuance of a license
under the provisions of this act, no license shall be issued
to such applicant until all objections shall have been heard
in a hearing and a determination made by the court of quarter
sessions.
Section 7. Refund of Fees.–Moneys heretofore or hereafter
received by the court of quarter sessions pursuant to this act
may, within three years from the receipt thereof, be refunded
to the person entitled thereto on satisfactory proof that:
(1) Such moneys were in excess of the amount required by
this act, to the extent of such excess.
(2) The license for which application was made has been
denied.
(3) The applicant for the license has predeceased its
issuance.
(4) The licensee has enlisted in or been otherwise inducted
into active Federal military, naval or marine service, or in
any branch or division thereof, in which event the refund shall
be such proportion of the license fee paid as the number of
full months remaining unexpired of the license period bears to
the total number of months in such period.
Such refunds shall, upon approval by the court of quarter
sessions, be paid from any moneys received from the operation
of this act and in the custody of the county treasurer.
Section 8. Posting and Surrender of License
Certificate.–Immediately upon the receipt of the license
certificate issued by the court of quarter sessions pursuant
to this act, the licensee named therein shall cause such license
certificate to be posted up and at all times displayed in a
conspicuous place in the bureau, agency, sub-agency, office or
branch office for which it is issued, so that all persons
visiting such place may readily see the same. Such license
certificate shall, at all reasonable times, be subject to
inspection by the district attorney or an authorized
representative or representatives of the Pennsylvania State
Police and the Attorney General. It shall be unlawful for any
person, partnership, association or corporation holding such
license certificate to post such certificate, or to permit such
certificate to be posted, upon premises other than those
described therein, or to which it has been transferred pursuant
to the provisions of this act, or knowingly to alter, deface
or destroy any such license certificate. Every license
certificate shall be surrendered to the court of quarter
sessions within seventy-two hours after its term shall have
expired, or after notice in writing to the holder that such
license has been revoked. Any licensee failing to comply with
any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced
to pay a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) or
to undergo imprisonment for not more than (1) year, or both.
Such failure shall be sufficient cause for the revocation of a
license.
Section 9. Certificate, Pocket Card or Badge Lost or
Destroyed.–If it shall be established to the satisfaction of
the court of quarter sessions, in accordance with rules and
regulations promulgated and established by such court, that an
unexpired license certificate, pocket card or badge issued in
accordance with the provisions of this act has been lost or
destroyed without fault on the part of the holder, the court
of quarter sessions shall issue a duplicate license certificate
or pocket card for the unexpired portion of the term of the
original license certificate, and shall issue a duplicate badge
for the unexpired portion of the term of the original license,
upon payment to the court of quarter sessions of an amount
required for such duplicate badge.
Section 10. Removal of Bureau, Agency or Office.–If the
holder of an unexpired license certificate issued pursuant to
this act shall remove the bureau, agency, sub-agency, office
or branch office to a place other than that described in the
license certificate, he shall, within the twenty-four hours
immediately following such removal, give written notice of such
removal to the court of quarter sessions. Such notice shall
describe the premises to which such removal is made, and the
date on which it was made. Such license certificate shall be
sent to the court of quarter sessions. A judge of such court
shall cause to be written or stamped across the face of such
license certificate a statement signed by him to the effect
that the holder of such license has removed, on the date stated
in such written notice, such bureau, agency, sub-agency, office
or branch office from the place originally described in such
license certificate to the place described in such written
notice, and such license certificate, with the indorsement
thereon, shall then be returned to the licensee named therein.
Section 11. Renewal of Licenses.–(a) A license granted
under the provisions of this act may be renewed by the clerk
of courts upon application therefor by the holder thereof upon
payment of fee and filing of surety bond, each in amounts
equivalent to those specified in section 6 as pertaining to
original licenses.
(b) A brief renewal application form shall be prescribed
by the Attorney General. Fingerprints and references shall not
be required with a renewal application. The clerk of courts
shall reissue the license for a period of up to five years,
without a mandatory waiting period, unless the clerk perceives
a problem which requires submission of the renewal application
to the court.
(c) A renewal period, within the meaning of this act, is
considered as being six months from the date of expiration of
a previously issued license.
(11 amended Dec. 14, 1992, P.L.817, No.132)
Section 12. License Certificates, Pocket Cards, Shields or
Badges.–Upon the issuing of a license as hereinbefore provided,
the court of quarter sessions shall issue to each such person,
individual member of a partnership or association, or officer
of a corporation making and filing a statement required by
section 4 of this act, a pocket card, of such size and design
as such court may prescribe, which card shall contain a
photograph of the licensee, the name and business address of
the licensee, and the imprint or impress of the seal of the
court, and also a metal shield or badge, of such shape and
description and bearing such inscription as the court may
designate, which pocket card and badge shall be evidence of due
authorization pursuant to the terms of this act. All persons
to whom such license certificates, pocket cards, shields or
badges shall have been issued shall be responsible for the safe
keeping of the same, and shall not loan, let or allow any other
person to use, wear or display such certificate, pocket card,
shield or badge. No person shall wear or display any license
certificate, pocket card, shield or badge, purporting to
authorize the holder or wearer thereof to act as a private
detective or investigator, unless the same shall have been duly
issued pursuant to the provisions of this act. Failure to comply
with the provisions of this section shall be sufficient cause
for revocation of such license, and all such certificates,
pocket cards, shields and badges shall be returned to the court
of quarter sessions within seventy-two hours after the holder
thereof has received notice in writing of the expiration or
revocation of such license. No person, except as authorized in
this section, shall wear or display a shield or badge of any
design or material, purporting to indicate that the wearer or
bearer thereof is a private detective or investigator or is
authorized to act as a private detective or investigator, unless
required by law to do so. Any person violating the provisions
of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not
more than five hundred dollars ($500) or to undergo imprisonment
for not more than one (1) year, or both.
Section 13. Employes.–(a) The holder of any license
certificate issued pursuant to this act may employ to assist
him in his work of private detective or investigator as
described in section 2 and in the conduct of such business as
many persons as he may deem necessary, and shall at all times
during such employment be legally responsible for the good
conduct in the business of each and every person so employed
and shall be responsible for the reasonable supervision of said
employes’ conduct.
No holder of any unexpired license certificate issued
pursuant to this act shall knowingly employ in connection with
his or its business, in any capacity whatsoever, any person who
has been convicted of a felony, or any of the following
offenses, and who has not, subsequent to such conviction,
received executive pardon therefor removing this disability:
(1) illegally using, carrying or possessing a pistol or other
dangerous weapon; (2) making or possessing burglar’s
instruments; (3) buying or receiving stolen property; (4)
unlawful entry of a building; (5) aiding escape from prison;
(6) unlawfully possessing or distributing habit forming narcotic
drugs; (7) picking pockets or attempting to do so; (8)
soliciting any person to commit sodomy or other lewdness; (9)
any person whose private detective or investigator’s license
was revoked or application for such license was denied by the
court of common pleas or by the authorities of any other state
or territory because of conviction of any of the crimes or
offenses specified in this section; (10) recklessly endangering
another person; (11) terroristic threats; or (12) committing
simple assault.
A holder of an unexpired license certificate issued pursuant
to this act who knowingly employs a person who has been
convicted of a felony or any of the offenses specified in this
section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than five
thousand dollars ($5000) or to undergo imprisonment for not
more than one (1) year, or both.
A first conviction for violation of this section may subject
the license holder to revocation of his license by the issuing
authority.
Upon the second conviction of a license holder for knowingly
hiring a person convicted of a felony or other specified
offenses in this section, the license of said holder shall be
revoked.
Should the holder of an unexpired license certificate falsely
state or represent that a person is or has been in his employ,
such false statement or misrepresentation shall be sufficient
cause for the revocation of such license. Any person falsely
stating or representing that he is or has been a detective or
employed by a detective agency shall be guilty of a misdemeanor,
and, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine
of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) or to undergo
imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, or both.
((a) amended May 26, 1988, P.L.405, No.68)
(b) No person shall hereafter be employed by any holder of
a license certificate until he shall have executed and furnished
to such license certificate holder a verified statement to be
known as “employe’s statement,” setting forth:
(1) His full name, age and residence address;
(2) The country of which he is a citizen;
(3) The business or occupation engaged in for the three
years immediately preceding the date of the filing of the
statement, setting forth the place or places where such business
or occupation was engaged in, and the name or names of
employers, if any;
(4) That he has not been convicted of a felony, or of any
offense involving moral turpitude, or of any of the misdemeanors
or offenses described in subsection (a) of this section;
(5) That he holds current and valid certification under the
act of October 10, 1974 (P.L.705, No.235), known as the “Lethal
Weapons Training Act,” if, as an incidence to employment, he
will carry a lethal weapon.
(6) Such further information as the court of common pleas
may by rule require to show the good character, competency and
integrity of the person executing the statement.
((b) amended May 26, 1988, P.L.405, No.68)
(c) The license holder shall act with due diligence in
taking the necessary steps to ensure the veracity of the
employe’s statement, and immediately upon the verification of
an employe’s statement, the holder of a license certificate by
whom such person has been or is to be employed shall cause two
sets of fingerprints of the two hands of such person to be
recorded in such manner as the court of common pleas may by
rule prescribe. The holder of a license certificate shall
immediately stamp, in indelible ink, the employe’s statement
and each set of fingerprints with the name, year and license
certificate number of such holder, and a number, which number
shall be determined by the number of such statements furnished
to such holder and shall be in numerical sequence. ((c) amended
May 26, 1988, P.L.405, No.68)
(d) The holder of a license certificate shall affix one set
of such fingerprints to the employe’s statement, in such manner
that the prints can be examined without disclosing the contents
of the employe’s statement, and shall retain such statement and
prints so long as he shall be licensed under this act.
(e) The holder of a license certificate shall file the other
set of fingerprints with the court of common pleas. Proof of
the employe’s current and valid certification under the “Lethal
Weapons Training Act,” must also be submitted to the court if
the employe will carry a lethal weapon as an incidence to
employment. ((e) amended May 26, 1988, P.L.405, No.68)
(f) Within five days after the filing of such fingerprints,
the court of quarter sessions shall cause such fingerprints to
be compared with fingerprints of criminals now or hereafter
filed in the records of the Pennsylvania State Police, and if
the court finds any record affecting such prints, it shall
immediately notify the holder of such license certificate and
shall also refer the matter to the district attorney of the
county. The quarter sessions court may also, from time to time,
cause such fingerprints to be checked against the fingerprints
of criminals now or hereafter filed in the records of the
Pennsylvania State Police or of other official fingerprint files
within or without this Commonwealth, and if the court finds
that such person has been convicted of a felony or any other
offense specified in subsection (a) of this section, he shall
immediately notify the holder of such license certificate and
shall also refer the matter to the district attorney. The
quarter sessions court shall at all times be given access to
and may from time to time examine the fingerprints retained by
the holder of a license certificate as provided in subsection
(d) of this section.
(g) If any holder of a certificate shall file with the
quarter sessions court the fingerprints of a person other than
the person so employed, he shall be subject to a fine not
exceeding five thousand dollars ($5000) or to imprisonment not
exceeding one (1) year, or both.
Section 14. Employes Not to Divulge Information or Make
False Reports.–Any person who is or has been an employe of a
holder of a license shall not divulge to any one other than his
employer or as his employer shall direct, except as he may be
required by law, any information acquired by him during such
employment in respect of any of the work to which he shall have
been assigned by such employer. Any such employe violating the
provisions of this section, and any such employe who shall
wilfully make a false report to his employer in respect of any
of such work, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not
more than five hundred dollars ($500) or to undergo imprisonment
for not more than one (1) year, or both. The employer of any
employe believed to have violated this section shall, without
any liability whatsoever upon said employer, supply the court
of quarter sessions, and such court shall, should the facts and
circumstances be deemed to warrant, conduct further
investigation and submit the evidence thus acquired to the
district attorney for appropriate action in accordance with the
provisions of section 18 of this act.
Section 15. Application of Act.–Nothing in this act shall
apply to any detective officer or man belonging to the
Pennsylvania State Police, or to the police force of any county,
city, borough, township, or incorporated town, or any employe
of such State Police, or such police force, appointed or elected
by due authority of law, while engaged in the performance of
their official duties, nor to any person, partnership,
association, or corporation, or any bureau or agency, whose
business is exclusively the furnishing of information as to the
business and financial standing and credit responsibility of
persons, partnerships, associations, or corporations, or as to
the personal habits and financial responsibility of applicants
for insurance, indemnity bonds, or commercial credit, or of
claimants under insurance policies, and whose business does not
embrace other activities described in section 2 of this act,
nor to any corporation duly authorized by the Commonwealth to
operate a fire alarm protection business, nor to any person
while engaged in the business of adjuster for an insurance
company, nor to any person regularly employed as special agent,
detective or investigator exclusively by one employer in
connection with the affairs of that employer only, nor to any
charitable or philanthropic society or association duly
incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth and which is
organized and maintained for the public good and not for private
profit, nor shall anything in this act contained be construed
to affect in any way attorneys or counselors at law in the
regular practice of their profession, but such exemption shall
not enure to the benefit of any employe or representative of
such attorney or counselor at law who is not employed solely,
exclusively and regularly by such attorney or counselor at law,
nor to persons in the exclusive employment of common carriers
subject to regulation by the interstate commerce commission or
the Public Utility Commission of the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, nor to investigators in the employment of credit
bureaus. No person, partnership, association, corporation, or
any bureau or agency, exempted hereunder from the application
of this act, shall perform any manner of detective service as
described in section 2 hereof for any other person, partnership,
association, corporation, bureau or agency, whether for fee,
hire, reward, other compensation, remuneration, or
consideration, or as an accommodation without fee, reward, or
remuneration, or by a reciprocal arrangement whereby such
services are exchanged on request of parties thereto. The
commission of a single act prohibited by this act shall
constitute a violation thereof.
Nothing in this act shall apply to any telephone, telegraph
or other telecommunications company subject to regulation by
the Federal Communications Commission or the Public Utility
Commission of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or to an employe
of any such company while performing any investigatory
activities engaged in by his employer.
Nothing in this act shall be construed to affect or prohibit
the right of any person to form, or become affiliated with, or
to continue as a member of, any union, association, society,
or organization of his own choosing.
(15 amended Dec. 3, 1987, P.L.405, No.83)
Section 16. Unlawful Acts.–It is unlawful for the holder
of a license issued under this act, or for any employe of such
licensee, knowingly to commit any of the following acts, within
or without the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: to incite,
encourage, or aid in the incitement or encouragement of, any
person or persons who have become a party to any strike to do
unlawful acts against the person or property of any one, or to
incite, stir up, create, or aid in the inciting of discontent
or dissatisfaction among the employes of any person,
partnership, association, or corporation with the intention of
having them strike, to interfere or prevent lawful and peaceful
picketing during strikes, to interfere with, restrain, or coerce
employes in the exercise of their right to form, join, or assist
any labor organization of their own choosing, to interfere or
hinder the lawful or peaceful collective bargaining between
employes and employers, to pay, offer, or give any money,
gratuity, favor, consideration, or other thing of value,
directly or indirectly, to any person, for any verbal or written
report of the lawful activities of employes in the exercise of
their right of self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor
organizations, and to bargain collectively through
representatives of their own choosing, to advertise for,
recruit, furnish or replace, or offer to furnish or replace,
for hire or reward, within or without the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania, any help or labor, skilled or unskilled, or to
furnish or offer to furnish armed guards, other than armed
guards theretofore regularly employed, for the protection of
payrolls, property or premises, for service upon property which
is being operated in anticipation of or during the course or
existence of a strike, or furnish armed guards upon the highways
for persons involved in labor disputes, or to furnish or offer
to furnish to employers or their agents, any arms, munitions,
tear gas, implements, or any other weapons, or to send letters
or literature to employers offering to eliminate labor unions,
or distribute or circulate any list of members of a labor
organization, or to advise any person of the membership of an
individual in a labor organization for the express purpose of
preventing those so listed or named from obtaining or retaining
employment. The violation of any of the provisions of this
section shall constitute a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than five
hundred dollars ($500) nor more than five thousand dollars
($5000), or to imprisonment for not less than six (6) months
nor more than one (1) year or both. If the holder of a license
shall violate any of the provisions in this section, the license
holder may be subject to the revocation of his license by the
issuing authority. Upon the second conviction of a license
holder for violation of any of the provisions in this section,
the license of said holder shall be revoked.
(16 amended May 26, 1988, P.L.405, No.68)
Section 16.1. Penalty for Unlicensed Acts.–Any person in
violation of the provisions of section 3(a) by reason of
engaging in the private detective business without a license,
shall upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor of
the third degree.
(16.1 added Oct. 4, 1978, P.L.1019, No.224)
Section 17. District Attorneys to Prosecute.–Criminal
action for violation of this act shall be prosecuted by the
district attorney of the county in which any violation of this
act occurred.
Section 18. Reward May be Presumed.–In any prosecution
under this act, any person, partnership, association, or
corporation, who or which performs or commits any of the acts
set forth in sections 2 and 3, shall be presumed to do so for
a fee, compensation, valuable consideration, or reward.
Section 19. Roster of Licenses.–The clerk of each court
of quarter sessions shall publish, at least once in each year,
a roster of the names and addresses of all persons,
partnerships, associations and corporations licensed by such
court under the provisions of this act. A copy of each roster
published by each clerk shall be mailed by him to any licensee
upon request and without charge, and a copy of each such roster
shall also be mailed by him to the commissioner, who shall keep
a roster of the names and addresses of all persons, partnerships
and corporations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the
provisions of this act. A copy of the roster kept by the
commissioner shall be mailed by him to any licensee upon request
and without charge.
Section 20. Disposition of Fees and Other Revenue.–All
fees and other moneys derived from the operation of this act
shall, on the first day of each month, be paid by the court of
quarter sessions into the county treasury.
Section 21. Repeals.–The act, approved the twenty-third
day of May, one thousand eight hundred eighty-seven (Pamphlet
Laws 173), entitled “An act to make the carrying on of the
business of detectives without license a misdemeanor, and to
regulate the licensing and powers of detectives,” as amended
by the act, approved the thirty-first day of May, one thousand
nine hundred one (Pamphlet Laws 355), is hereby repealed.
All other acts and parts of acts are hereby repealed in so
far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this act.