The Pro's Closet, Inc., a Delaware corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,
City of Boulder, Colorado, and Michael Dougherty, in his official capacity as the District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District of Colorado, Defendants-Appellees.
Boulder County District Court No. 17CV30652. Honorable
Patrick Butler, Judge.
LaszloLaw, Theodore E. Laszlo, Jr., Michael J. Laszlo,
Boulder, Colorado; Sean Connelly, Denver, Colorado, for
A. Carr, City Attorney, Luis Toro, Senior Assistant City
Attorney, Boulder, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee City of
Perlman, County Attorney, David Hughes, Deputy County
Attorney, Catherine R. Ruhland, Assistant County Attorney,
Boulder, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee Michael Dougherty.
Judges: Opinion by JUDGE J. JONES. Roman and
Lipinsky, JJ., concur.
J. JONES, JUDGE
[¶ 1] Plaintiff, The Pro's Closet, Inc.,
appeals the district court's summary judgment in favor of
defendant, the City of Boulder. The court ruled that
Pro's Closet is a " pawnbroker" as defined in
section 29-11.9-101, C.R.S. 2018, and is therefore subject to
the requirements, restrictions, and potential sanctions of
the state pawnbroker laws, sections 29-11.9-101 to - 104,
C.R.S. 2018. Because we conclude that the district court
didn't err in interpreting the pawnbroker statutes, we
affirm the judgment.
[¶ 2] Pro's Closet is licensed in
Boulder as a secondhand dealer under the Boulder Revised
Code. It sells used bicycles, bicycle parts, and bicycle
gear. Though it has a warehouse in Boulder, Pro's Closet
does most of its business online.
[¶ 3] In 2016, the Twentieth Judicial
District's District Attorney's Office told the
Boulder Police Department to treat Pro's Closet as a
" pawnbroker" under state law, meaning, among other
things, that Pro's Closet must hold used goods it buys
for thirty days before reselling them instead of ninety-six
hours as required by the Boulder Revised Code's
secondhand dealer ordinances. See § 29-11.9-103(6),
C.R.S. 2018; Boulder Rev. Code 4-17-10. Pro's Closet
filed suit, seeking a declaratory judgment that it isn't
subject to state pawnbroker laws.
[¶ 4] Both Pro's Closet and the City
moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
City's motion, concluding that,
since Pro's Closet regularly makes " purchase
transaction[s]" as defined by section 29-11.9-101(8), it
is a pawnbroker under state law.
[¶ 5] Pro's Closet argues on appeal that
(1) the district court erred in ruling that it is a
pawnbroker under section 29-11.9-101; and (2) because
Colorado's and the City's secondhand dealer laws are
more specific to its business, it isn't subject to state
pawnbroker laws. We reject both arguments.
Pro's Closet is a Pawnbroker Under State Law
[¶ 6] Pro's Closet argues first that the
district court incorrectly interpreted section 29-11.9-101 in
concluding that it is a " pawnbroker."
1. Standard of Review and Interpretive Principles
[¶ 7] We review issues of statutory
interpretation de novo. Colo. Oil & Gas Conservation