[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Wanaque 12-12-2005 by Ord. No. 31-0-05. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Juvenile Curfew Act of 2005" as authorized by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.52 et seq.
The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wanaque have determined that there has been an increase in juvenile violence and crime by persons under the age of 18 years in the Borough of Wanaque and that much of said activity takes place during night and evening hours and on school days during the hours in which school is in session.
The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wanaque have determined that persons under the age of 18 years are particularly susceptible, because of their lack of maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and gang-related activities and to be the victims of older perpetrators of crime.
The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wanaque have determined that a curfew for those under the age of 18 years will be in the interest of public health, safety and general welfare and will help to attain these objectives and to diminish the undesirable impact of this conduct on the citizens of the Borough of Wanaque.
The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Wanaque have determined that passage of a curfew will protect the welfare of minors by:
Reducing the likelihood that minors will be the victims of criminal acts during the curfew hours and during the hours that school is in session.
Reducing the likelihood that minors will become involved in criminal acts or be exposed to narcotics trafficking during the curfew hours and during the hours that school is in session.
Aiding parents or guardians in carrying out their responsibility to exercise reasonable supervision of minors entrusted to their care.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein:
- CURFEW HOURS
- The hours from 10:00 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
- An unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. The term "emergency" includes but is not limited to a fire, a natural disaster, an automobile accident or any situation that requires immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
- Any privately owned place of business operated for a profit to which the public is invited, including, but not limited to, any place of amusement or entertainment, store, tavern, saloon or restaurant or any other commercial or business establishment or place.
- A person other than a parent to whom legal custody of the minor has been given by court order or who is acting in the place of the parent or is responsible for the care, custody, control and welfare of the minor.
- A. With respect to a parent or guardian, knowledge which a parent or guardian is reasonably expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a minor in his or her legal custody.
- B. With respect to an owner, operator or employee of an establishment, knowledge that a reasonable person is expected to have concerning the status of a person as a minor, including prior contacts with such person.
- Any person who has not attained the age of 18 years as of his/her last birthday prior to the date of the violation of this chapter, but does not include a judicially emancipated minor or a married minor.
- Any individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company or other entity that operates, manages or conducts any establishment. The term "operator" includes the members or partners of an association, partnership or limited liability company and the officers of a corporation.
- A natural parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or any person over the age of 21 years of age who has legal custody by court order or marriage of any minor and who is authorized by the natural parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or custodial parent of a child to be a caretaker for the child.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access, including, but not limited to, a public street, road, thoroughfare, sidewalk, bridge, alley, plaza, park, recreation or shopping area, public transportation facility, vehicle used for public transportation, parking lot or any other public building, structure or area.
- To linger or stay or fail to leave the premises when requested to do so by a police officer or the owner, operator or other person in control of the establishment.
- SERIOUS BODILY INJURY
- Bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
It shall be unlawful for any minor to remain in or upon any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the Borough of Wanaque during the curfew hours.
It shall be unlawful for any minor to remain in or upon any public place on any school day during the hours in which such minor's school is in session, unless such minor has been officially excused from attendance at such school by school authorities.
It shall be unlawful for any parent or guardian of a minor to knowingly or negligently permit or by insufficient control allow the minor to be in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the Borough of Wanaque during the curfew hours.
It shall be unlawful for any parent or guardian to allow or permit any minor to be in or upon any public place at any time during the hours in which said minor's school is in session, unless such minor has been officially excused from attendance at such school by school authorities.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, operator or any employee of an establishment to knowingly permit a minor to remain upon the premises of any establishment during curfew hours.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, operator or employee of an establishment to knowingly allow or permit any minor to remain in or upon such establishment at any time during the hours in which such minor's school is in session, unless such child has been officially excused from attendance at such school by the school authorities.
It is a defense to prosecution under this chapter if any of the following apply:
The minor is accompanied by the minor's parent or guardian;
The minor is accompanied by an adult over 21 years of age authorized by a parent to accompany the minor for a designated period of time and specific purpose within a specific area;
The minor is exercising First Amendment rights protected by the Constitution, such as free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly;
There exists a case of an emergency or reasonable necessity, but only after the minor's parent or guardian has confirmed the facts establishing the emergency or reasonable necessity, including the points of origin and destination, the specific streets at a designated time for a designated purpose;
The minor is on the sidewalk that abuts the minor's residence or the sidewalk that abuts the residence of the next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not object to the minor's presence on the sidewalk;
The minor is in attendance at, or returning home by a direct route from and within 30 minutes of the termination of, an official school activity or any activity of a religious, civic or voluntary association, which entity takes responsibility for the minor;
The minor is in a motor vehicle with the consent of his or her parent or guardian engaged in normal travel, either intrastate or interstate, through the Borough of Wanaque;
The minor is traveling, without detour or stop, to or from a business or occupation which the laws of the State of New Jersey authorize a minor to perform; or
The minor carries on his or her person a special permit from the Chief of Police which has been issued upon written application, signed by the minor and by a parent or guardian of the minor, which application includes the name, address and telephone number of the minor; the name, address and telephone number of the minor's parent or guardian; the height, weight, sex, color of eyes and hair and other physical characteristics of the minor; and the necessity which requires the minor to be present on the public streets and the beginning and ending of the period of time involved by date and hour. The Chief of Police may grant a permit, in writing, for the use by the minor of such streets and upon such hours as, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, may be reasonably necessary. In the case of an emergency, this may be accomplished by telephone or other effective communication, with a corresponding record being made contemporaneously by the Chief of Police or by his or her designee.
It is a defense to prosecution under this chapter that the owner, operator or employee of an establishment promptly notified the Wanaque Police Department that a minor was present on the premises of the establishment during curfew hours or school hours and refused to leave.
Before taking any enforcement action under this chapter, a police officer shall ask the apparent offender's age and reason for being in the public place. The officer shall first warn the minor that he or she is in violation of curfew and shall, during curfew hours, direct the minor to proceed at once to his or her home or usual place of abode or, during school hours, to his or her school. The officer shall not issue a citation or make an arrest under this chapter unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and that, based on any response and other circumstances, no defense in this chapter is proffered or is present.
If a police officer determines that a minor is committing a curfew offense, the police officer shall take the minor to the Wanaque Police Department headquarters.
A minor who violates this chapter shall be detained by the Wanaque Police Department at the police headquarters and released into the custody of the minor's parent, guardian or an adult person acting in loco parentis. The minor's parents, guardian or an adult person acting in loco parentis with respect to the minor shall be called to the police headquarters to take custody of the minor. The Police Department may request that the parent, guardian or adult person acting in loco parentis submit an appropriate form of identification and sign appropriate authorization. A minor who is released to a person acting in loco parentis with respect to the minor shall not be taken into custody for violation of this chapter while returning home with the person acting in loco parentis. If no one claims responsibility for the minor, the minor may be taken to the minor's residence or placed in the custody of the appropriate official of the Division of Youth and Family Services or Juveniles in Need of Supervision Shelter.
If a minor violates this chapter on more than three occasions, he or she may be charged as a delinquent under the Code of Juvenile Justice, N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-20 et seq. In appropriate cases, however, the Police Department may refer the matter to the appropriate juvenile authorities as a juvenile-family crisis pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-22.
The provisions of this chapter shall not limit the power of the Police Department to charge parents, guardians or the owners, operators or employees of business establishments with violations of this chapter.
[Amended 9-18-2006 by Ord. No. 23-0-06]
For a first offense, a violator of this chapter shall be required to perform 15 hours of community service and pay a fine of $100; for a second offense, a violator of this chapter shall be required to perform 30 hours of community service and pay a fine of $200; for a third offense, a violator of this chapter shall be required to perform 45 hours of community service and pay a fine of $300; for a subsequent offense, a violator of this chapter shall be required to perform 50 hours of community service and pay a fine of up to $1,000. If both the minor and the parent or guardian violate this chapter, they shall be required to perform the community service together.
In addition to any fine imposed under Subsection A of this section, a violator shall reimburse to the Borough the cost of supervision by the Borough of Wanaque while performing community service.
Any violator who fails to perform the required community service within the specified time frame and/or fails to pay a fine and/or reimbursement for supervision shall be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and/or additional community service.
Severability is intended throughout and within the provisions of this chapter. If any provision, including any exception, part, phrase, or term of the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby and the validity of this chapter in any and all other respects shall not be affected thereby. Additional exceptions to be included under § 69-5 will be considered by the Mayor and Council as warranted by future input illuminated by the views of the student government associations, school personnel, citizens, associations, parents, officers and persons in authority concerned positively with minors as well as with juvenile delinquency. The Police Department shall be responsible to make periodic review of the practical aspects of enforcement and interpretation of this chapter, including the need for clarification or relaxation of any term or provision contained herein as well as the need for continued or discontinued curfew regulations. Whenever, in the opinion of the Borough Attorney or of any court, the application of this chapter to a particular act or activity of a minor is unclear or ambiguous, the less restrictive interpretation shall be deemed to be the intent of this chapter.