Borough of Paulsboro, NJ
Gloucester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Paulsboro 9-2-2008 by Ord. No. 09.08. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Littering — See Ch. 40B.
Loitering — See Ch. 41.
Nuisances — See Ch. 44.
Parental responsibility — See Ch. 45.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 46.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 54.

§ 37-1 Findings; purpose.

A. 
The Mayor and Borough Council of Paulsboro hereby find and declare that graffiti is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the community and that there is a perception in the community that the laws protecting public and private property can be disregarded with impunity. This perception fosters a sense of disrespect of the law that results in an increase of crime, is detrimental to the property values of the community, degrades the community, leads to urban blight, is inconsistent with the Borough of Paulsboro's property maintenance goals, aesthetic standards and to the public's health and welfare.
B. 
Graffiti results in visual pollution and is hereby deemed a public nuisance.
C. 
It is the purpose of this chapter to provide a mechanism in which individuals may be prosecuted for defacing public and private property.

§ 37-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BOROUGH
The Borough of Paulsboro, New Jersey.
DEFACE
To cover, mark, write on, paint, color, carve, etch or otherwise mar, alter, disfigure or draw whatsoever on any private or public property of any nature, without the express consent or authorization of the property owner or their authorized agent.
FAMILY COURT
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-22, or any successor statute.
GRAFFITI
Any form of inscription, word, figure, symbol, marking or design that is etched, carved, scratched, drawn, marked or painted with any substance or method which defaces, obliterates, covers, alters, damages, marks or destroys any exposed surface which is visible from the private right-of-way of any public or private property, without the consent or authorization of the owner of the property, or the owner's authorized agent; or as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:33-24 or any successor statute. It shall not include any temporary easily removable chalk markings on the public sidewalk or street in connection with traditional children's games, or any temporary easily removable chalk markings in connection with any lawful business or public purpose or activity.
INDELIBLE MARKER
Any felt-tip marker, china marker or similar device that contains a substance that is not water soluble and which has a writing surface 1/2 inch or greater.
KNOWINGLY
Includes knowledge or information which a parent should reasonably be expected to have pertaining to the markings of graffiti. It is intended to include and require parents to maintain a reasonable community standard of parental respectability through an objective test. There shall be no defense of a parent who is indifferent to the activities or conducts of a minor in his or her custody not in compliance of this chapter.
MINOR or JUVENILE
Used interchangeably and shall mean any person under the age of 18, any person less than 18 years of age or any person who has not celebrated his or her 18th birthday, as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-22, or any successor statute.
OWNER
The owner of record of the property as set forth in the records of the Tax Assessor for the Borough of Paulsboro.
PARENT
Any person to whom legal custody of a minor has been given by court order, is acting in the place of the parent or is responsible for the care and welfare of the minor and shall include:
A. 
Natural or adoptive parents.
B. 
Legal guardians.
C. 
Any person who stands in loco-parentis.
D. 
Any person to whom legal custody has been given by court order.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any place to which 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 use for public transportation, parking lot or any other parking, public building, structure or any municipal parking signs, etc., or area.

§ 37-3 Prohibited acts.

The following acts are prohibited:
A. 
No person shall, without the prior permission, consent or authorization of the property owner or the property owner's authorized agent, willfully or knowingly cause any graffiti to be placed upon any public or private property.
B. 
No person shall aid any other individual in causing any graffiti to be placed upon any public or private property without the prior permission, consent or authorization of the property owner or the property owner's authorized agent.
C. 
No person shall possess a spray container, liquid paint in cans, indelible marker or any other pigmented substance in an aerosol or similar container in any public place or on any public facility or private property with the intent to use the same to cause graffiti to be placed upon any public or private property without the prior permission, consent or authorization of the property owner or the property owner's authorized agent. Any person who possesses a spray container, liquid paint in cans, indelible marker or any other pigmented substance in an aerosol or similar container in any public place or on any public facility or private property without a legitimate lawful purpose shall be presumed to have possessed same with the intention of using such to cause graffiti to be placed thereon; the said presumption being rebuttable by possessor demonstrating a lawful, legitimate use.

§ 37-4 Parental responsibility.

A. 
Any parent, as defined in § 37-2 of this chapter, in charge of a minor who is convicted of violating this chapter and who has failed or neglected to exercise reasonable supervision of said minor shall be presumed to have aided and assisted, allowed and/or permitted said minor in violation of this chapter.
B. 
Any parent, as defined in § 37-2 of this chapter, in charge of a minor who has failed or neglected to exercise reasonable supervision and control of the conduct of such minor, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-15, shall be liable in a civil action for any willful, knowing, malicious or unlawful injury, damage or destruction caused by said minor.

§ 37-5 Enforcement.

A. 
Any minor, as defined in § 37-2, found by a law enforcement officer to be in violation of this chapter shall be brought to the Paulsboro Borough Police Station, where the minor shall be released to his or her parent or guardian. The parent, as defined in § 37-2, shall be immediately notified and required to report to Paulsboro Borough Police Station to procure the minor.
B. 
When the summoned parent responds to the Paulsboro Borough Police Station to take charge of the minor and the appropriate identifying information has been recorded, the minor shall be released to the custody of such parent, as defined in § 37-2. If the parent cannot be located or fails to take charge of the minor, then the minor shall be released to the juvenile authorities except to the extent that, in accordance with police regulations or procedures promulgated by the Chief of Police, approved in advance for juvenile authorities, the minor may temporarily be entrusted to an adult, relative, neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of the parent, assume responsibility for caring for the minor pending availability of the parent.
C. 
In the case of a first violation by the minor, the minor and parent shall receive, by hand delivery or by certified mail and regular mail, a written warning notice from the arresting law enforcement officer indicating the circumstances under which the minor was found to be in violation of this chapter. The minor will also be subject to a station house adjustment for the violation.
D. 
If the minor has been convicted of violating this chapter on a prior occasion, there shall be a presumption that, whenever a minor has been convicted for a violation of this chapter, the parent or guardian having care of the minor knew or should have known of the minor's violation, as set forth in § 37-4 and N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-15 or any successor statute.

§ 37-6 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Adults who are not parents of offenders as defined in § 37-2 of this chapter and who violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by one or more of the following penalties:
(1) 
A fine of not less than $500 and not exceeding $1,000.
(2) 
Imprisonment not to exceed 90 days.
(3) 
A period of community service not to exceed 90 days.
(4) 
As set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-11 or any other applicable statute.
(5) 
Should the graffiti have been found to cause fear of unlawful bodily violence or if the graffiti exposes another to threats of violence, additional penalties may be imposed as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:33-10.
B. 
Minors and/or parent violators as defined in § 37-5 of this chapter.
(1) 
After the receipt of a warning notice pursuant to § 37-5C with a first violation by a minor and after a station house adjustment was executed, and if a second graffiti violation is adjudged against the same minor, the parents of the minor shall be subject to prosecution under this section as follows:
(a) 
Violators of this chapter shall be required to perform community service of a period not to exceed 90 days and may be subject to a fine of not less than $500 but not more than $1,000.
(b) 
Parent violators having the care or custody of a minor found to be in violation of this section, if it is adjudged that both the minor and the minor's parents violated this Graffiti Chapter, shall be required to perform community service together.
(c) 
Minors who have been adjudged to have violated this chapter and found to be delinquent may have additional penalties imposed as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-43.2.
(d) 
Minors who have been adjudged to have violated this chapter may have their driving privileges suspended or there may be a postponement of their right to operate a motor vehicle as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-43.3.
(2) 
If a minor has been found to violate this chapter twice:
(a) 
The minor shall receive a summons and complaint from the law enforcement officer that apprehended the minor for the violation of this chapter.
(b) 
Minors who have been adjudged to have violated this chapter and found to be delinquent may have additional penalties imposed as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-43.2.
(c) 
Minors who have been adjudged to have violated this chapter twice may have their driving privileges suspended or there may be a postponement of their right to operate a motor vehicle for an increased period of time as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-43.3.
(3) 
If a minor is found to be in violation of this chapter three times:
(a) 
The minor as well as the parent, as defined in § 37-2, having the care and custody of the minor shall receive a summons and complaint for the violation of this chapter.
(b) 
Minors who have been adjudged to have violated this chapter and found to be delinquent may have additional penalties imposed as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-43.2.
(c) 
Minors who have been adjudged to have violated this chapter twice may have their driving privileges suspended or there may be a postponement of their right to operate a motor vehicle for an increased of period of time as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-43.3.
(4) 
Any minor who violates any of the provisions of this Graffiti Chapter as contained in § 37-3 more than four times shall be reported by the Chief of Police to the juvenile authorities as a juvenile in need of supervision, and the Chief of Police, or his designee, may proceed to file such charges with the Superior Court of New Jersey Family Part as he or she may deem appropriate.

§ 37-7 Removal of graffiti.

A. 
The owner of any public or private real property which has been altered with any form of graffiti shall be required to either restore the defaced and/or altered surface by removing the graffiti within 90 business days after notice to the owner and/or agent of the owner of the real property by the Chief of Police (or his designee) in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.59.
B. 
Said notice shall be by certified and regular mail and shall include a form to be utilized by a property owner to certify to the Chief of Police or his designee that the graffiti has been removed. The certification shall be made under penalty of perjury.
C. 
An owner who has been ordered to remove graffiti shall respond to the Chief of Police or his designee:
(1) 
By personal delivery or by certified mail and within 30 days of the date of the order any objection; or
(2) 
By instituting a challenge before a court of competent jurisdiction within 60 days of the date of the order; or
(3) 
By personal delivery or by certified mail and within 90 days of the date of the order by submitting a certification asserting that the graffiti has been removed.
D. 
If said graffiti is not removed within 90 business days after written notice is issued, unless an action challenging the order is still pending, the Chief of Police, his designee or the Borough of Paulsboro shall have the right to issue a summons and to enter the premises to remove the graffiti and put the premises in proper condition so as to comply with the requirements of this section. See N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.59.
E. 
The cost of abating such nuisance, removing the graffiti, shall be at the sole cost and expense of the property owner. The actual cost of the removing the graffiti, the cost of inspection and other costs incidental to such removal shall be itemized and certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Borough Council and shall be forwarded by certified and regular mail to the property owner and/or agent for reimbursement.
F. 
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12f or any successor statute, the amount thereof shall be entered as a lien upon the real property. Said lien shall be added to and become a part of the taxes to be assessed against and levied on the real property, and the same shall be collected and reinforced in the same manner as taxes.
G. 
If the Chief of Police or his designee determines that any graffiti is a danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public or may cause fear of unlawful bodily violence or which may expose another to threats of violence, then the Chief of Police or his designee may request that the graffiti be removed within 48 hours of the notice.