[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Haverstraw 2-24-1997 by L.L. No. 2-1997. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: Section 2 of this local law provided that it shall become effective 3-7-1997.
Findings of Town Board.
The Town Board of the Town of Haverstraw hereby finds that there has been a significant breakdown in the supervision normally provided by certain parents and guidance for juveniles under 16 years of age resulting in juveniles being involved in a wide range of unacceptable behavior, including vandalism, noisy and rowdy behavior, breaking and entering, public drinking and littering and harassment of residents.
The Town Board further finds that the offensive activities of the juveniles are not easily controlled by existing laws and ordinances because the activities are easily concealed whenever police officers are present and that the establishment of reasonable curfew regulations will enable the community to better control the free and unobstructed access to the streets and public places by the majority of residents and will enable the police to act reasonably and fairly to prevent the violation of laws and ordinances by juveniles.
The Town Board further finds and has determined that a curfew meets very real local need and that curfew ordinances in other communities have been a significant factor in minimizing juvenile delinquency. A curfew in Haverstraw is particularly appropriate in view of the basic residential nature of the community in the sense of the community that there is a proper time for the cessation of outdoor activities of juveniles. That sense of community is reflected by the curfew hours declared by this chapter which take into consideration also the danger hours for nocturnal crime and for accumulations of juveniles with potential risk incident to immaturity.
In enacting this chapter the Town Board has taken note of the peculiar vulnerability of children, both as victims of crime and as perpetrators of offenses because of peer pressure. This chapter is intended not only to prevent children from causing harm but also is intended to protect children themselves from being harmed as victims of nocturnal crime.
It is not the intent of this chapter to supplant parental supervision. The Town Board recognizes the right of parents to direct their children's upbringing and fly autonomy against unreasonable interference. The Town Board is also aware that, in cases in which harm to the physical or mental health of a child or to the public safety, peace, order or welfare is threatened, the legitimate interests of the community as a whole may override the parents' qualified right to control the upbringing of their children.
The Town Board also recognizes that juveniles are protected with certain constitutional rights and guaranties that are enjoyed by all citizens of this community. It is not the intention of this chapter to deprive juveniles of the ability to exercise valid rights secured to them under the Constitution of the United States or the State of New York. The function of this chapter is, instead, to protect juveniles and to balance the right of all citizens of the Town of Haverstraw so that all may enjoy the rights and privileges of citizens as guaranteed to them by the Constitution and laws of this country and this state.
The following terms used in this chapter are defined as follows:
- A person, other than a parent, to whom legal custody of the juvenile has been given by court order or who is acting in the place of the parent or is responsible for the care and welfare of the juvenile.
- An individual who is under the age of 16 years.
- 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 any other public building, structure or area.
It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 16 to be or remain on or upon any public place within the unincorporated Town of Haverstraw between the following hours:
A juvenile on the street during the hours referred to in the previous section shall not be considered in violation of this chapter under the following circumstances:
When accompanied by parent or guardian of such juvenile.
When accompanied by an adult authorized by a parent of such juvenile to take said parent's place in accompanying said juvenile for a designated period of time and purpose within a specified area.
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 such exercise, provided that the juvenile has in his possession a written communication, signed by the juvenile and countersigned by a parent or guardian of the juvenile with their home address and telephone number, specifying when, where and in what manner the juvenile will be on the streets at night during hours when this chapter is otherwise applicable to said juvenile in the exercise of a First Amendment right specified in such communication.
In case of reasonable necessity for the juvenile remaining on the streets, provided that the juvenile has in his possession a written communication, signed by the juvenile and countersigned by a parent or guardian of the juvenile with their home address and telephone number, setting forth the facts establishing the reasonable necessity relating to specified streets at a designated time for a described purpose, including points of origin and destination.
When the juvenile is on the sidewalk or property where the juvenile resides or on either side of or across the street from the place where the juvenile resides and the adult owner or resident of that property has given permission for the juvenile to be there.
When returning home from and within one hour after the termination of a school or town-sponsored activity or an activity of a religious or other voluntary association, provided that the juvenile has in his possession a written communication, signed by the juvenile and countersigned by a parent or guardian of the juvenile with their home address and telephone number, indicating the place and probable time of termination of the activity.
When the juvenile is, with parental consent, in a motor vehicle. This contemplates normal travel. It is the intention of this provision to clearly exempt bona fide interstate movements along major routes through the unincorporated Town of Haverstraw and interstate travel beginning or ending in the unincorporated Town of Haverstraw.
When engaged in or traveling to or from a place of employment.
When engaged in an errand involving a medical emergency.
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 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 guardian comes to take the child home. When the parent or guardian arrives, he or she must be given a copy of this chapter. If no parent or guardian has arrived within two hours, the child shall be turned over to the custody of the juvenile authorities until a parent or guardian can take custody of him or her.
In the case of a first violation by a minor, the police shall send the minor's parents or legal guardians written notice of the violation, warning them that further violations will result in imposition of the penalty provided for in this chapter. Upon a second violation, a fine of $25 will be imposed. Any minor who violates the curfew chapter more than three times shall be reported by the police to the juvenile authorities.
This chapter shall be liberally construed to protect the rights of minors.
Notice of the existence of this chapter and of the curfew regulations established by it shall be posted in or about such public or quasi-public places as may be determined by the Chief of Police or his designate in order that the public may be informed of the existence of this chapter and/or its regulations.