Township of Crescent, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
Public nuisances — See Ch. 520.

§ 570.01 Purpose and findings.

[Ord. No. 345, passed 4-1-1980]
A. 
The Board of Commissioners of the Township finds that commercial exploitation of explicit sexual conduct through the public exhibition of lewd films and live theater productions and the display and/or sale of lewd publications constitutes a debasement and distortion of fundamental human sexuality central to family life, community welfare and the development of human personality.
B. 
The Board finds that such exploitation adversely affects the quality of life, property values, commerce and total community environment of the Township.
C. 
The Board finds that such activities are detrimental to the best health, safety, convenience, morals and general welfare of the Township and the citizens and businesses thereof.
D. 
The Board hereby declares such activities to be a public nuisance and herein establishes procedures for the abatement thereof.

§ 570.02 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 345, passed 4-1-1980]
KNOWLEDGE or KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH NUISANCE
Having knowledge of the contents and character of the patently offensive sexual conduct or other content which appears in the motion picture film, publication or live theater production or knowledge of the acts of lewdness or which occur in any place.
LEWD
Any matter:
1. 
Which the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find, when considered as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; and
2. 
Which depicts or describes patently offensive representation or descriptions of:
(a) 
Ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; or
(b) 
Masturbation, excretory functions or exhibition of the genitals or genital area. Nothing herein contained is intended to include or proscribe any matter which, when considered as a whole and in the context in which it is used, possesses serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
LIVE THEATER PRODUCTION
Any dramatic, musical or comedic production performed in the presence of a live audience.
MATTER
A motion-picture film, live theater production, publication or all three.
MOTION-PICTURE FILM
Includes any:
1. 
Film or plate negative;
2. 
Film or plate positive;
3. 
Film designed to be projected on a screen for exhibition;
4. 
Films, glass slides or transparencies, either in negative or positive form, designed for exhibition by projection on a screen; or
5. 
Videotape or any other medium used to electronically produce images on a screen.
NUDE
Includes:
1. 
Completely without clothing; or
2. 
With the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple or the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, firm, association, corporation or other legal entity.
PLACE
Includes, but is not limited to, any building, space, or any separate part or portion thereof, whether permanent or not, or the ground itself.
PUBLICATION
Includes any book, magazine, article, pamphlet, writing, printing, illustration, picture, sound recording, or a motion picture film which is displayed in an are open to the public, offered for sale or exhibited in a coin-operated machine.
SALE
A passing of title or right of possession from a seller to a buyer for valuable consideration, and shall include, but is not limited to, any lease or rental arrangement or other transaction wherein or whereby any valuable consideration is received for the use of, or transfer of possession of, lewd matter.

§ 570.03 Lewd film and live theater productions and theaters exhibiting the same declared a public nuisance: abatement thereof.

[Ord. No. 345, passed 4-1-1980]
A. 
Any and every place in the Township where lewd motion picture films or lewd live theater productions are publicly exhibited or possessed for the purpose of such exhibition; and any and every place in the Township where a lewd motion picture or lewd live theater production is publicly or repeatedly exhibited or possessed for the purpose of such exhibitions, is a public nuisance.
B. 
Any and every lewd motion picture film which is publicly exhibited or possessed for such purpose at a place which is a public nuisance under § 570.03A above, is a public nuisance per se.
C. 
From and after service on the place, or its manager, or acting manager, or person then in charge of such place, of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of the resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in § 570.06 hereof, all monies paid thereafter as admission price to such exhibitions or productions are also declared to be a public nuisance, as personal property used in conducting and maintaining a declared public nuisance.

§ 570.04 Place of business in which lewd publications constitute a principal part of the stock-in-trade, lewd publications possessed therein and valuable consideration received for sales thereof declared a public nuisance; abatement thereof.

[Ord. No. 345, passed 4-1-1980]
A. 
Any and every place in the Township where lewd publications constitute a principal part of the stock-in-trade is a public nuisance.
B. 
Any and every lewd publication possessed at a place which is a public nuisance under § 570.04A above, is a public nuisance per se.
C. 
From and after service on the place, or its manager, or acting manager, or person then in charge of such place, of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of the resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in § 570.06 hereof, all valuable consideration received for the sale of such lewd publications is also declared to be a public nuisance, as personal property used in conducting and maintaining a declared public nuisance.

§ 570.05 Knowledge of nuisance presumed from notice of order of abatement; responsibility of parties therefore: abatement of such nuisances.

[Ord. No. 345, passed 4-1-1980]
A. 
Upon an act of receiving notice through service of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of the resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in § 570.06 hereof, any and every person who shall own, legally or equitably, lease, maintain, manage, conduct or operate a place in the Township which is declared to be a public nuisance as set forth and stated in § 570.03 or 570.04 of this chapter, is deemed to be a person who has knowledge of such nuisance for the purpose of this chapter, and is, thereafter, responsible for its maintenance, and shall be liable therefor.
B. 
The places and matters declared to be public nuisances under § 570.03 or 570.04 hereof shall be abated as provided for herein.

§ 570.06 Action to be taken by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Crescent.

[Ord. No. 345, passed 4-1-1980]
Upon a specific finding that a public nuisance, as defined in § 570.02 or 570.03 of this chapter, exists in the Township, the Board, in applying the provisions of this chapter to such nuisance, shall provide for the following by resolution:
A. 
Declare the fact that such nuisance exists;
B. 
Set forth the description or legal description and street address of the place which constitutes the nuisance;
C. 
Set forth the evidentiary facts considered by the Board in arriving at its factual determination.
1. 
In the case of a lewd motion-picture film or lewd live theater production, such shall include a recitation of a particular sexual conduct and acts which the Board finds are patently offensive, and the basis for the finding by the Board that
(a) 
Such lewd motion-picture film or lewd live theater production is publicly exhibited or produced in the course of business, or that
(b) 
Such lewd motion-picture film or lewd live theater production is publicly or repeatedly exhibited or produced, or held for such exhibition or production at the place declared to be a nuisance.
2. 
In the case of a lewd publication, such shall include a recitation of
(a) 
The particular lewd publications or types of lewd publications considered by the Board, and those which the Board finds to be patently offensive, and
(b) 
The basis for the finding by the Board that such lewd publications are displayed, sold or held for sale at any place found by the Board to be a public nuisance, and
(c) 
The basis of the finding by the Board that such lewd publications constitute a principal part of the stock-in-trade of such place of business or other place.
D. 
Order all persons described in § 570.05A hereof to summarily abate such public nuisance within 24 hours of service of such order on any such persons, by terminating the exhibition, sale or possession for sale of such lewd matter or by ceasing to use the place where the nuisance is declared to exist or by terminating the use of said place for the purpose of lewdness, or causing the same to be terminated, and notifying the Board of compliance therewith by sworn affidavit as ordered by the action of the Board in such resolution.
E. 
Order the Township Solicitor to proceed to do all things necessary to abate such public nuisance through judicial proceedings and to conclude such proceedings as expeditiously as is permissible under the law, including requesting the court to advance such proceedings on the calendar of the court.
F. 
Inform and give notice to persons designated in § 570.05A:
1. 
That the Board has determined that a public nuisance presently exists at such place and address, and that, under § 570.05A of said chapter, they are deemed to have knowledge thereof and are responsible therefor.
2. 
That in the event the order of the Township is not complied with within 24 hours, the Board has ordered the Township Solicitor, as provided for under § 570.08 hereof, to commence necessary legal proceedings naming such persons as defendants in a civil action to abate the public nuisance judicially under § 570.06 of this chapter, and that under §§ 570.07A and 570.07B of this chapter, the costs of abatement of such civil abatement action filed including investigative costs, court costs, attorney's fees and other expenses, are made a special assessment against the parcel of land upon which such nuisance is being maintained and, upon their determination in such court action, will, by separate legal procedure, be made a lien against such property and a personal obligation against any person deemed to be in violation of this chapter.
3. 
All lewd motion picture films or lewd publications being used in conducting and maintaining such public nuisance are contraband and the subject of forfeiture, and,
4. 
From and after service on the place, or its manager, or acting manager, or person then in charge of such a place, of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of such resolution, any and all monies paid as admission price to or for the exhibition or exhibitions of such lewd motion picture films or production of such lewd live theater productions, and valuable consideration received for the sale of such lewd publications, are a public nuisance, as personal property used in conducting and maintaining such nuisance and, as such, are the subject of forfeiture.
G. 
Order that a true and correct copy of said resolution and a true and correct copy of this chapter be delivered forthwith in any manner normally used to effectuate personal service of process to all persons of record having any legal or equitable interest in the real property, and to the regular or acting manager or persons in charge of the place therein declared a public nuisance.

§ 570.07 Forfeiture to the general fund of the Township, cost of abatement; manner of collection.

[Ord. No. 345, passed 4-1-1980]
A. 
Upon judgment for the Township in legal proceedings brought pursuant to this Chapter, an accounting shall be made by such defendant or defendants of all monies or valuable consideration received by them which have been declared to be a public nuisance under § 570.03 or 570.04 of this chapter. Such monies or their equivalent and any valuable consideration received shall be forfeited to the General Fund of the Township or to the Township as property of the Township if any valuable consideration received be not money.
B. 
The cost of abatement shall include the following:
1. 
Investigative costs.
2. 
Court costs.
3. 
Reasonable attorney's fees arising out of the preparation for, and trial of the cause, and appeals therefrom, and other costs allowed on appeal.
4. 
Printing costs of trial and appellate briefs, and all other papers filed in such proceeding. Such cost of abatement is hereby made a special assessment against the parcel of land upon which such nuisance is maintained. Upon its determination in a civil action, such shall, by separate legal proceeding, be made a lien against such property and a personal obligation against any person, and shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary Township taxes are collected, and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in the case of delinquency as provided for ordinary Township taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of Township taxes shall be applicable to such special assessment.

§ 570.08 Action to be taken by the Township Solicitor.

[Ord. No. 345, passed 4-1-1980]
Upon a specific finding by resolution of the Board that a public nuisance exists at a particular location, the Township Solicitor, with the approval of the Board, is authorized to take whatever action is appropriate to carry out this chapter.