[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Middletown 6-10-1996 (Ch. 19A of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Noise — See Ch. 332.
The Common Council, pursuant to the authority granted it under § 20 of the General City Law and § 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York, hereby enacts this chapter, to be known as the "Child Curfew Ordinance."
The Common Council has determined that large numbers of minors have been congregating in the City during late evening hours causing general disturbances to residents and generating a large number of police calls and complaints. In order to reduce juvenile crime, protect the children of this City, reinforce parental authority, and enhance the quality of life of all residents of this City, it is necessary that a curfew be established to keep minors out of public areas during late evening hours.
It shall be unlawful for any child under the age of 17 to remain in or upon any public street, highway, sidewalk, park, school, vacant lot or other public place in the City of Middletown between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
The following shall constitute valid exceptions to the operation of the curfew:
At any time, if the child is accompanied by his or her parent or legal guardian.
Until the hour of 12:00 a.m., if the child is on an errand as directed by his or her parent or legal guardian.
If the child is legally employed, for the period from 1/2 hour before to 1/2 hour after work, while going directly between his or her home and place of employment. This exception shall also apply if the child is in a public place during curfew hours in the course of his or her employment. To qualify under this exception, the child must be carrying a written statement from the employer attesting to the place and hours of employment.
Until the hour of 12:00 a.m., if the child is on the property of or the sidewalk directly adjacent to the building in which he or she resides or the building immediately adjacent thereto if the owner or tenant of the adjacent building does not object.
If the child is coming directly home from a school activity or an activity of a religious or other voluntary association, or a place of public entertainment, such as a movie, play or sporting event. This exception will apply for 1/2 hour after the completion of such event, but in no case beyond 12:00 a.m. If the event is not commercial in nature or does not have a fixed, publicly known time at which it will end, the sponsoring organization must register the event with the Police Department at least 24 hours in advance, informing it of the time such event is scheduled to begin, the place at which it shall be held, the time at which it shall end, and the name of the sponsoring organization.
If the child is exercising rights protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or its parallel provision in the New York State Constitution, provided that the child first has given notice to the Mayor by delivering a written communication signed by the child and countersigned by a parent or legal guardian of the child which specifies when, where, in what matter, and for what constitutional purpose the child will be in a public place at night during the curfew period.
If the child is responding to an emergency involving an imminent threat of substantial harm to person or property.
A police officer who has probable cause to believe that a child is in violation of this chapter shall take such child to the police station where the child's parents or legal guardian shall be immediately contacted. If, after this contact, there is still probable cause to believe that the child was violating this chapter, the child shall be held until the parent or legal guardian comes to take the child home. When the parent or legal guardian arrives at the police station, he or she must be given a copy of this chapter. If no parent or legal guardian has arrived within three hours with respect to any child under the age of 16 years, the child shall be turned over to the custody of the juvenile authorities until a parent or guardian can take custody of the child. If no parent or legal guardian has arrived within three hours with respect to any child aged 16 years, that child shall be given a copy of this chapter and released.
A second or subsequent violation of this chapter by a child aged 16 years shall constitute an offense within the meaning of the Penal Law of the State of New York and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100 or by 15 days' imprisonment, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
A second or subsequent violation of this chapter by a child under 16 years of age shall be reported by the police to the juvenile authorities.