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Rathke v. MacFarlane
Colorado Supreme Court
648 P.2d 648 (1982)
A group of merchants (plaintiffs) were in the business of buying precious metals, stones, coins, and jewelry from members of the general public and selling those items to a third party. The transaction was structured so that the purchase only became complete when the simultaneous sale was also completed, which occurred via teletype. Under teletype industry rules, the physical goods must be delivered within 48 hours of the sale. These merchants set the purchase price based on the constantly fluctuating prices of these metals. This ensured that the merchants made a profitable sale and were not speculating against the market. In 1981, the Colorado legislature adopted a new law imposing certain requirements and protections surrounding the purchase and sale of certain valuable items, including precious metals. Among other requirements, the new law required purchasers to hold purchased items for 30 days, to maintain certain logs and records, and to provide that information to law enforcement upon request. The merchants sued, alleging that the statute was unconstitutional and seeking a preliminary injunction prohibiting its enforcement.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Erickson, J.)
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