[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Pemberton 11-2-1989 by Ord. No. 33-1989; amended in its entirety 8-2-2006 by Ord. No. 13-2006. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Parental responsibility — See Ch. 138.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 90, Curfew, adopted 3-5-1975 as Section 14:3 of Ch. XIV of the General Ordinances, as amended.
It is determined by the Township Council that a curfew in the Township of Pemberton is appropriate given the residential nature of the community and the shared belief that outdoor activities of minors should cease at a reasonable hour. That communal sense is reflected in the curfew hours declared by this chapter, which takes into consideration the prevalence of criminal activities in the late night and early morning hours.
The following words shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future, words in the plural shall include the singular and vice versa. "Shall" is always mandatory.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person who has not attained the age of 18.
- Any person having legal custody of a minor as a natural or adoptive parent, as a legal guardian, as a person who stands in loco parentis or as a person to whom legal custody has been granted by judicial 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 used for public transportation, parking lot or other public building, structure or area.
- To stay behind, to tarry and to stay unnecessarily upon the streets or public places, including the congregating of groups or of interacting minors totaling four or more persons, in which any juvenile involved would not be using the streets or public places for ordinary or serious purposes such as mere passage or going home. To ensure the term "remain" is interpreted as narrowly as possible to preserve constitutional rights, numerous exceptions are contained in § 90-4 below.
- A way or place of whatever nature, open to the use of the public as a matter of right for purposes of vehicular travel or, in the case of an abutting sidewalk, for pedestrian travel, and bikeways. The term "street" includes the legal right-of-way, including but not limited to the cartway or traffic lanes, the curb, the sidewalks, whether paved or unpaved, and any grass plots or other ground found within the legal right-of-way of a street. The term "street" applies whether it be denominated an alley, avenue, court, road or otherwise. The term "street" shall also include shopping centers, parking lots, parks, playgrounds, or any other publicly owned property, public buildings and similar areas that are open to the use of the public.
- TOWNSHIP PROPERTY
- Any land, property, buildings, or other structures that are owned, leased, or used by the Township of Pemberton and its departments, divisions or political subdivisions, or that is operated by or for the Township of Pemberton by any other government agency. The term "township property" includes but is not limited to government buildings, schools, recreation centers, libraries, recreational areas and Township-owned lands.
It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to be or remain in or upon the streets or public places within the Township of Pemberton after the hour of 10:00 p.m., prevailing time, in the evening and until 6:00 a.m., prevailing time, in the morning. It shall also be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to be or remain on the streets or public places of Pemberton Township during any times in which the minor is required to be at either a public or nonpublic school unless the juvenile is accompanied by a parent or guardian or is carrying written permission from the minor's educational authority allowing the minor to be in a public place.
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons of any age to be or remain on any township property except during normal business hours for that property or Township-owned lands. This prohibition shall not apply to persons or groups that have permission granted to them by the Mayor, Business Administrator, governing body, person or organization having control over said property or lands, or their designee. In such cases, it shall be unlawful for these persons to remain on township property for a time longer than that which was granted.
In the following situations, a minor shall be permitted on the streets during the curfew hours:
When the minor shall be accompanied by a parent.
When the minor shall be accompanied by an adult authorized by a parent of such minor to take said parent's place in accompanying said minor to a place designated by said parent.
When exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly. Prior to exercising any such right, the minor shall deliver to the person designated by the Chief of Police to receive such information, at the Township Municipal Building, a written communication, signed by the minor with his home address and telephone number, specifying when, where and in what manner the minor will be on the streets at night during the curfew in the exercise of a First Amendment right specified in such communication.
In case of a life-threatening family emergency.
When the minor is on the sidewalk of his residence or on the sidewalk of a next-door neighbor with the approval of said next-door neighbor.
When returning home from and within one hour after the termination of a school or municipally sponsored activity or an activity of a religious or other volunteer organization.
When authorized by a regulation issued by the Chief of Police in cases involving numerous juveniles, such as school athletic activities and similar functions. Such regulation by the Chief of Police permitting use of the streets or public places shall be issued sufficiently in advance to permit appropriate publicity through news media and through other agencies such as the schools and shall define the activity, the scope of the use of the streets permitted and the period of time involved (not to extend more than one hour beyond the time for termination of the activity) and shall provide the reason for issuance of the regulation.
When the minor is, with parental consent, in a motor vehicle. This provision contemplates normal travel. It is the intention of this provision to clearly except bona fide interstate travel along major thoroughfares within the Township.
When the minor is on active duty with any branch of the United States military.
It shall be unlawful for a parent of a minor to knowingly permit or by inefficient control to allow the minor to be or remain upon any Township street or public place under circumstances not constituting an exception to or otherwise beyond the scope of this chapter. The term "knowingly" includes knowledge which a parent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a minor. One purpose of this chapter is to hold neglectful or careless parents up to a reasonable community standard of parental responsibility through an objective test. It shall therefore be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of a minor.
If a police officer reasonably believes that a minor is on the streets or public places in violation of this chapter, the officer shall notify the minor that he is in violation of this chapter and shall require the minor to provide his name, address and telephone number and how to contact his parent.
In determining the age of the minor and in the absence of convincing evidence such as a birth certificate, a police officer shall utilize his best judgment in determining the minor's age.
Upon completion of the record of all the pertinent facts available, the officer shall cause the minor to be returned to his/her home or place of residence. If the parent(s) is not home or the parent(s) cannot be located, the officer shall have the discretion to release the minor at the home or have the minor be taken to the police station, and the police shall contact the juvenile authorities to effectuate transfer of custody. The Chief of Police shall establish written procedures for the delivery of a minor to a parent or the juvenile authorities.
Within 24 hours of the violation, the police officer shall file a written statement with the Chief of Police setting forth the name of the minor, the time the minor was found and the street or public place where the minor was found.
In the case of a violation by a minor, the Chief of Police shall, by certified and regular mail, send to the parent(s) written notice of the violation with a warning that any subsequent violation will result in Municipal Court proceedings against the parent or guardian and referral of the juvenile to juvenile authorities as outlined in § 90-7.
If, after the warning notice provided for in § 90-6D of a first violation by a minor, a parent shall violate § 90-6 by the minor committing a second violation of the curfew, this shall be treated as a first offense by the parent. For the first offense, a parent shall be fined not less than $100 and not more than $500 and/or up to 90 days of community service, and for each subsequent offense, the fine shall be a minimum of $250 and not more than $1,000 and a minimum of one day up to 90 days of community service. Upon a finding of guilty, the Municipal Court Judge shall assess the penalty and shall also require the parent to pay court costs. Upon the imposition of any period of community service, the juvenile in question shall be required to perform the community service together with the parent. Furthermore, any minor who shall violate the curfew on two or more occasions shall be reported by the Chief of Police to the juvenile authorities as a child in need of supervision, and the Chief of Police may proceed to file such charges with the Burlington County Family Court as he shall deem appropriate. As an alternative measure, the minor may also be referred to a hearing before a Juvenile Conference Committee, and at the time of the appearance before the Committee there will be a complete review of all the facts and circumstances of the case and the consequences of subsequent violations will be outlined. The Committee is authorized to hear all information concerning the incident and to determine what, if any, penalties should be imposed. This will be done in concert with the minor, the minor's parents or guardians and any other person or persons that were involved in the incident. Should all parties not be in agreement of the final decision of the Committee, the case may be referred to the Burlington County Juvenile authorities for further action.
To help ensure that the enforcement of this chapter does not violate any constitutional safeguards, it shall be appropriate for the Chief of Police or any member of the Township Council to request a written opinion from the Township Solicitor advising as to the applicability of this chapter in certain specified circumstances.
As this chapter seeks to balance constitutional rights with the general needs of the public, it is to be continuously scrutinized in its application. To effectuate this purpose, the Township Council and the Chief of Police shall continue to solicit opinions and suggestions from the public and members of the school community relating to the application of the various provisions of this chapter.
Notice of the existence of this chapter and of the curfew regulations established herein shall be posted permanently in the Township Municipal Building and in such other public buildings as determined by the Chief of Police to be advisable and as permitted by the Board of Education on school property.