City of Clifton, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Clifton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bazaars, carnivals and circuses — See Ch. 159.
Billiard rooms, bowling alleys and dance halls — See Ch. 163.
Entertainment — See Ch. 215.
Gambling devices — See Ch. 255.
Games of chance — See Ch. 257.
Licensed businesses — See Ch. 303.
Skating rinks — See Ch. 379.
Swimming and swimming pools — See Ch. 403.
Theaters — See Ch. 421.
[Adopted 12-20-1960 by Ord. No. 3319 as Article 4 of Chapter 6 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Clifton, New Jersey, 1960]

§ 141-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CAROUSEL, WHIP or OTHER MOBILE AMUSEMENT DEVICE
Includes any and all forms of amusement where the amusement device may be moved from place to place with the purpose of soliciting patrons or attracting audiences, irrespective of whether the same is accompanied by music, mechanical or otherwise, or by entertainment of any kind, or provides rides or other amusement for patrons.

§ 141-2 License required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or conduct a carousel, whip or other mobile amusement device as herein defined, unless he first obtains a license from the City Clerk as hereinafter provided.

§ 141-3 Application for license.

[Amended 11-14-1966 by Ord. No. 3725]
A. 
Any person desiring a license under this article shall file with the City Clerk an original and one copy of an application, under oath, in writing, on a form furnished by the City Clerk.
B. 
The application shall set forth the following information:
(1) 
The applicant's name, business name and business address.
(2) 
Whether the applicant is an individual, a partnership, a corporation or another entity, and, if another entity, a full explanation and description thereof.
(3) 
If the applicant is an individual, the applicant's residence address and date and place of birth.
(4) 
If the applicant is a partnership, the full names, residence addresses, dates and places of birth of each partner.
(5) 
If the applicant is a corporation or other entity, in the case of a corporation, the full names, residence addresses, dates and places of birth of each major officer and each stockholder, the name and address of the registered agent and the address of the principal office (the term "stockholder," as used herein, means and includes any person owning or having an interest, either legal or equitable, in 10% or more of the stock issued and outstanding of the applicant corporation); in the case of another entity, the full names, residence addresses, dates and places of birth of each person owning or having any interest, either legal or equitable, aggregating in value 10% or more of the total capital of said entity, the name and address of the registered agent, if any, and the address of the principal office.
(6) 
Whether the applicant or any partners, officers or stockholders thereof have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, and, if so, the name of the person arrested or convicted, the date of arrest, the crime or charge involved and the disposition thereof. The term "officers" as used herein means and includes the president, vice presidents, secretary and treasurer of a corporate applicant.
(7) 
A description of the device to be covered by the license.

§ 141-4 Investigation by Chief of Police.

The application shall be referred to the Chief of Police for the purpose of investigation as to the truth of the matters contained in the application, whether the applicant is of good moral character and whether the amusement device is in such condition as to be operated safely. The Chief of Police shall return the application with his report and with his approval or disapproval thereof endorsed upon the application.

§ 141-5 Prerequisites for issuance of license.

A. 
No license shall be issued to any applicant unless he shall have attained the age of 21 years.
B. 
No license shall be issued unless the Chief of Police has endorsed his approval thereof upon the application.
C. 
No person shall be granted a license under this article unless he first furnishes evidence to the City Clerk that he has secured and paid for a public liability insurance policy in amounts of not less than $20,000 for one person and $100,000 for any one accident.
D. 
At the time of making application for a license under this article, the applicant shall deposit with the City Clerk a bond in the sum of $100,000, conditioned upon saving harmless the City from any and all liabilities or cause of action which might arise by virtue of the granting of a license to the applicant, and conditioned further that no damage will be done to the streets, sewers, trees or adjoining property, and that no dirt, paper, litter or other debris will be permitted to remain upon the streets or any private property by such applicant.
E. 
Every applicant under this article shall, before a license is issued, file with the City Clerk a power of attorney, constituting and appointing the City Clerk his agent for the acceptance of service of process of any court of competent jurisdiction, and any notices required to be given to the licensee or his surety on the bond, and the insurance company on the public liability policy.

§ 141-6 License fee; term.

The license fee shall be $25 per year. The license shall expire on December 31 of the year in which the license was issued.

§ 141-7 License to be displayed; nontransferability.

A. 
The license issued under this article shall be posted permanently and conspicuously on the amusement device licensed.
B. 
Such license shall not be transferred from one person to another, nor from one amusement device to another.

§ 141-8 Operation.

A. 
No person holding a license under this article shall permit any person under 21 years of age to play or operate the licensed amusement device.
B. 
No person holding a license under this article shall permit the operation of the licensed amusement device:
(1) 
Before 10:00 a.m., on weekdays and Saturdays.
(2) 
After 11:00 p.m., on weekdays and Saturdays.
(3) 
On Sundays, all day.
(4) 
Within 1,000 feet of any church during religious services.
(5) 
Within 1,000 feet of any school during school hours.
(6) 
Within 2,000 feet of any hospital at any time.
C. 
No person holding a license under this article shall park the licensed amusement device at any intersection of streets or public highways or at any point upon a public highway so as to create a traffic hazard.

§ 141-9 Revocation or suspension of license.

A. 
All licenses issued under this article shall be subject to revocation by the Council at any time for:
(1) 
Fraud or misrepresentation in making application for the permit.
(2) 
Violation by the licensee of any of the provisions of this article or any rules and regulations promulgated hereunder.
(3) 
Violation of any other ordinance of the City or laws of the State of New Jersey.
B. 
Prior to such revocation, there shall be a hearing before the council, after a five-day written notice thereof.
C. 
Such license may, pending revocation proceedings, be suspended by the Chief of Police if, in his opinion, the conduct of the licensee is detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the City.

§ 141-10 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 5-9-1969 by Ord. No. 3912; 3-17-1970 by Ord. No. 3969]
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
[Adopted 12-20-1960 by Ord. No. 3319 as Article I of Chapter 6 of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Clifton, New Jersey, 1960; amended in its entirety 6-1-1999 by Ord. No. 6052-99]

§ 141-11 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AMUSEMENT AND ENTERTAINMENT MACHINES OR DEVICES
Any machine, contrivance or device which, upon the insertion of a coin, slug, token, disc or key into a slot, crevice or other opening or by the payment of any price, operates or may be operated by the public generally and shall include, without limitation, such devices as marble machines, pinball machines, mechanical games or machines, skillball or similar amusements and shall also mean pool or billiard tables and bowling alleys.
DISTRIBUTOR
Any person who supplies, offers or exhibits for sale, leases, sells or distributes automatic amusement and entertainment machines or devices or jukeboxes to any other person.
JUKEBOX
Any music-vending machine, contrivance or device which, upon the insertion of a coin, slug, token, plate, disc or key into any slot, crevice or other opening or by the payment of any price, operates or may be operated for the emission of songs, music or similar amusement.
OPERATOR
Any person who owns, leases, rents or operates any premises on or at which any automatic amusement and entertainment machine or device or jukebox is kept, placed or exhibited for use or operation by the public.
PERSON
Any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association or entity.
PREMISES
Any building, business, store, restaurant, tavern, movie theater or other place to which the public is invited or may enter.

§ 141-12 Licensing of distributors.

A. 
No person shall supply, offer or exhibit for sale, lease, sell or distribute any automatic amusement and entertainment machine or device or jukebox in the City of Clifton without first obtaining distributor's license. A separate listing shall be required for each location within the City of Clifton that the distributor supplies, offers or exhibits for sale, leases, sells or distributes any automatic amusement and entertainment machine or device or jukebox.
[Amended 12-19-2000 by Ord. No. 6164-00]
B. 
The application for said license shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name, date, home address and business and telephone number of the applicant and each of its stockholders, officers and directors holding in excess of 10% of its stock.
(2) 
The name and address of the registered agent of the applicant or person upon whom service of process is authorized to be made.
(3) 
The name, date and place of birth, home address and home telephone number of the manager or other authorized agent of the applicant who shall be in charge of or conduct the business of the applicant within the City of Clifton.
(4) 
The number of mechanical amusement devices which the applicant will distribute at a location in the City.
[Amended 12-19-2000 by Ord. No. 6164-00]
(5) 
The application shall contain a certification under oath, made by the applicant or its authorized representative, that the information contained in the application and all attachments thereto is complete, accurate and truthful to the best of his knowledge and belief.
C. 
The City Clerk shall promptly forward a copy of the application and accompanying materials to the Chief of the Police Department for investigation, review and report. Such report shall be sent to the Municipal Council which, in accordance with the standards and requirements set forth herein, may grant the license or refuse the license. If the license is granted, the City Clerk shall forthwith issue the license upon payment of the licensing fee.
D. 
The City Clerk shall ensure that the license application and all attachments thereto are complete and those persons whose names are required to be disclosed on the application are all persons capable of owning, controlling and/or operating machines or devices within the City of Clifton in a manner consistent with the public safety, morals and general welfare of the community; that those persons whose names are required to be disclosed on the license application can reasonably be expected to own, control, manage or operate the proposed business in accordance with all applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations and free from any gambling, illegal or immoral activity and free of unnecessary and unwanted noise or commotion; that no criminal element is in direct or indirect control or management of the business of the applicant; that the granting of the application and issuance of the license will promote a fair and competitive market for the distribution of such devices within the City of Clifton; that the granting of the application and issuance of the license has been done after the applicant has properly executed all agreements and consents required by this article and has agreed to conduct his business in accordance with all requirements of this article and all other applicable laws, ordinances, rules and regulations.
E. 
No license shall be granted for any amusement or entertainment device which is to be used for the purpose of gambling. For the purpose of this article, an amusement and entertainment device, the operation of which is based in any part on random chance or the random assignment of numbers and the operation of which does not require more than minimal skill or hand-eye coordination, shall be presumed to be intended to be utilized for gambling purposes. By way of clarification but not limitation, amusement or entertainment device used for the purpose of gambling shall be deemed to include the following:
(1) 
Amusement or entertainment devices known as "Joker Poker" or any similar mechanical amusement devices displaying playing cards; "Keno," "Dice," "Lucky Lines," "Cherry Master" or any similar amusement devices styled after a slot machine with a rolling display or circular wheel on which are depicted symbols; lotto or lottery-type machines.
(2) 
Any amusement or entertainment device which does not have an operable slot or receptacle for the insertion of coin or paper money.
(3) 
Any amusement or entertainment device with buttons or controls labeled "double up" or "bet."
(4) 
Any amusement or entertainment devices which can be controlled or operated from a remote location by other than the individual operator.
(5) 
Any amusement device readily capable of being converted by the internal technology of the amusement or entertainment device to machines such as set forth in Subsection E(1) above, including but not limited to dual screen machines.

§ 141-13 Licensing of operators.

A. 
No person shall keep, place or exhibit any automatic amusement device or jukebox for use or operation by the public on or at any premises in the City of Clifton without first obtaining an operator's license for such premises.
B. 
Application.
(1) 
The application shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The name, date, home address and business address, home telephone number and business telephone number of the applicant.
(b) 
The name, address and telephone number of the registered agent of the applicant or person upon whom service of process is authorized to be made.
(c) 
The type, manufacturer and serial number of each device to be licensed.
(d) 
The name, address and telephone number of the distributor of each amusement or entertainment machine or device sought to be licensed.
(e) 
A floor plan reflecting the total square footage of available floor space in the location where the machines are to be maintained. Said floor plan shall also reflect the location of each machine with the aisle and exit corridors clearly shown.
(f) 
The seating capacity of the location where the machines are to be maintained.
[Amended 12-19-2000 by Ord. No. 6164-00]
(g) 
The number of machines to be maintained at each location.
[Added 12-19-2000 by Ord. No. 6164-00]
(2) 
The application must be accompanied by a copy of a valid certificate of occupancy (CO) issued to the present owner/occupant by the Office of Code Enforcement of the City of Clifton.
(3) 
All applicants shall submit bills of sale for such machines or other legal proof of ownership thereof.
C. 
The City Clerk shall promptly forward a copy of the application and accompanying materials to the Chief of the Police Department and the Office of Code Enforcement for investigation, review and report. Such reports shall be sent to the Municipal Council, which, in accordance with the standards and requirements set forth herein, may grant the license or refuse the license. If the license is granted, the City Clerk shall forthwith issue the license upon payment of the licensing fee.
D. 
The person operating the premises where the machine is located shall be liable and responsible for the proper operation thereof, regardless of whether or not he/she is the actual owner of the machine or has rented the same, but this shall not in any way release the actual owner of the machine or device from liability or responsibility for violation of this article or any ordinance of the City of Clifton.
E. 
No operator holding a license for the operation of an amusement or entertainment machine or jukebox shall permit the playing of jukeboxes or mechanical amusement devices within 200 feet of any church, public or parochial school or playground.
F. 
No operator's license shall be transferable from operator to operator nor from place to place by any operator of an amusement or entertainment device or jukebox. It shall be valid only at the place and by the operator designated in the license, except as otherwise provided in Substation G of this section.
G. 
No distributor or operator of amusement or entertainment devices shall offer or permit to be offered any prize, free game or other reward to a person playing any such machine required to be licensed under this article.

§ 141-14 General regulations.

A. 
The operator shall not permit, suffer or allow any person to gamble in any form or manner on the licensed premises and shall prevent any immoral or illegal conduct or activity from occurring.
B. 
No person on the licensed premises shall have in his possession or under his control or offer to another any habit-forming drug, nor shall the operator permit, suffer or allow any such person on the licensed premises.
C. 
No operator shall permit, suffer or allow the unlawful sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages upon the licensed premises.
D. 
No operator shall permit the operation of any amusement or entertainment machine or device during the hours when the taverns in the City of Clifton are required to be closed or between 3:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
[Amended 8-2-1999 by Ord. No. 6074-99]
E. 
The operator shall at all times maintain good order upon the licensed premises and shall not permit, suffer or allow any disturbance, congestion or loitering upon the licensed premises.
F. 
No device shall be operated in such a manner as to be heard outside.
G. 
No song shall be played or words spoken on any device which violate the obscenity law of New Jersey.
H. 
No device shall be permitted to cause any unnecessary or unwanted noise or commotion nor otherwise interfere with the public health, welfare and morals.
I. 
No operator shall offer or permit to be offered any prize or other award to any person playing any device.
J. 
No device shall be located in a so-called back room nor in any part of the licensed premises which is not open to the general public.
K. 
No licensed premises shall be without adequate sanitary facilities nor contain any fire, safety or health hazard.
L. 
No licensee nor any of his agents, officers or servants shall by threats, promises or intimidation seek to control or direct the placement or removal of any device or to control the placement of any such device from any location within the City of Clifton, and any such threats, promises or intimidation shall be reported immediately to the Police Department and to the City Clerk.
M. 
No licensee shall fail to report promptly to the Police Department and City Clerk any violation of any law or ordinance occurring on the licensed premises, nor shall any licensee fail to report promptly to the City Clerk any conduct or activity prohibited by this article.
N. 
Each licensee, distributor and/or operator shall promptly report, in writing, to the City Clerk any change or addition or deletion of the information furnished on the license application and all material attached thereto, and this obligation shall be fully met during the term of any license or the renewal thereof.
O. 
No licensee shall refuse to cooperate fully with the City Clerk or any law enforcement officer or agency, nor shall any such licensee, operator and/or owner-operator refuse to produce and make available all records relating to the purchase or distribution of such devices. No such licensee and/or operator shall refuse access to its premises to the City Clerk nor to any member of the Departments of Police, Fire, Health or Housing nor to any law enforcement officer or agency. All mechanical amusement devices licensed by the City of Clifton must be available at all times during licensure for internal inspection by an authorized representative of the City of Clifton. No mechanical amusement device shall be fastened, locked or secured in such a fashion that the licensee or person in charge of the licensed premises cannot immediately provide access to the internal components of said machine upon request.
P. 
Total number.
[Amended 6-7-2000 by Ord. No. 6139-00; 12-19-2000 by Ord. No. 6164-00]
(1) 
The total number of amusement and/or entertainment machines or devices permitted at any location shall be as follows:
Seating Capacity
Machines Permitted
Up to 25
4
26 to 50
5
51 to 75
6
76 to 100
7
101 to 150
8
More than 150
9
(2) 
All amusement and/or entertainment machines or devices shall be distributed throughout the licensed premises so as not to create an arcade-type atmosphere, except for a movie theater located in a P-MU Zone.
(3) 
A movie theater located in a P-MU Zone may be permitted to have a maximum of 20 amusement or entertainment machines or devices and a restaurant associated with a hotel in a P-MU Zone may be permitted to have maximum of 15 amusement or entertainment machines or devices.
Q. 
In order for a movie theater in a P-MU Zone to have more than three amusement and/or entertainment machines or devices, the persons making use of said amusement and/or entertainment machines or devices must have paid a fee for the admission to the theater, and such machines shall be located in an area of the theater that requires an admission ticket to have been purchased for the viewing of a movie for entry.
R. 
A movie theater licensee in a P-MU Zone shall be required to have special police services on the premises between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
[Amended 6-7-2000 by Ord. No. 6139-00]

§ 141-15 Contents of license; payment of fees; expiration.

A. 
Each license, when issued, shall designate the number, type and serial number of machines or devices operated hereunder.
B. 
Each such license shall bear a number, and the number of that license shall be placed in some permanent way upon each machine or device operated or distributed under this article.
C. 
All license fees shall be paid to the Clerk of the City of Clifton prior to the issuance of the license, and all licenses issued hereunder shall be issued for a term of one year commencing on January 1 and expiring on December 31.

§ 141-16 License fees.

[Amended 6-7-2000 by Ord. No. 6139-00; 12-19-2000 by Ord. No. 6164-00]
A. 
The fee for the issuance of a license to operate amusement or entertainment machines or devices, excluding jukeboxes, shall be as follows:
[Amended 1-2-2008 by Ord. No. 6711-08]
Number of Machines
Fee
1 to 3
$250
4 to 6
$330
7 to 9
$385
B. 
The fee for the issuance of a license to operate amusement or entertainment devices in a movie theater in a P-MU Zone shall be $3,300.
[Amended 1-2-2008 by Ord. No. 6711-08]
C. 
The fee for the issuance of a license to operate amusement or entertainment devices in a restaurant associated with a hotel in a P-MU Zone shall be $2,250.
D. 
The fee for the issuance of a distributor's license for amusement or entertainment machines, excluding jukeboxes, shall be as follows:
[Amended 1-2-2008 by Ord. No. 6711-08]
Number of Machines
Fee
1 to 10
$440
11 to 20
$660
21 to 30
$880
31 to 40
$1,100
41 to 50
$1,320
51 to 60
$1,650
61 to 75
$1,800
75 or more
$2,000
E. 
The fees for the issuance of a license to operate and distribute jukeboxes in any place of business shall be $40 for each jukebox distributed to and located at the place of business, and $5 per station for each jukebox located at a station at the place of business.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 6387-03; 1-5-2009 by Ord. No. 6788-09]
F. 
The licensee fee shall be waived for nonprofit organizations.

§ 141-17 License to be posted; transferability.

A. 
Each license issued shall be posted prominently and conspicuously in the licensed premises.
B. 
Any such license may be amended to evidence the transfer of one machine or device to another similar device, upon application to the City Clerk, giving a description by type, manufacture and serial number of such machine.

§ 141-18 Revocation of license; hearing.

Every license issued hereunder is subject to revocation if any of the following things occur:
A. 
The violation of any of the provisions of this article.
B. 
Any misstatement or omission in the license application or in any information submitted therewith or the failure to notify, in writing, the City Clerk of any changes by addition or deletion or amendment to said application or information during the term of said license or renewal.
C. 
The determination on revocation shall be made after a hearing before the Municipal Council.
D. 
Prior to revoking any such license, the licensee shall be given a hearing, in the event that such a hearing is requested, after notice of the right to such a hearing is given by the City Clerk. The licensee shall be given 10 days' notice of said hearing, or more, and such notice shall state the ground or grounds therefor. At such hearing, the licensee may submit relevant information on his behalf. The rules of evidence shall not apply to such hearing, but each party shall have the opportunity to present his case and to be represented by counsel. Any appeal from the decision of the Mayor and Municipal Council shall be to the Superior Court of New Jersey.

§ 141-19 Age of applicant.

No license under this article shall be issued to any applicant unless he is 21 years of age or over.

§ 141-20 Hours of operation.

[Amended 8-2-1999 by Ord. No. 6074-99]
Amusement devices shall not be operated between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

§ 141-21 Licensee to keep license application on file.

The licensee of any premises in which a license for one or more amusement devices or machines is required shall be required to keep on file each application for a license for amusement and/or entertainment machines or devices. Upon request by any law enforcement official of the City of Clifton, any licensee of said premises or any employee at said premises shall furnish such information to said law enforcement official.

§ 141-22 Compliance with other regulations.

Every person seeking licensure hereunder shall comply with all state statutes, municipal ordinances and regulations, building and fire code regulations and zoning code requirements, as well as all other statutes and regulations prior to receiving a license or licenses hereunder.

§ 141-23 Violations and penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days, or both.