City of North Tonawanda, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of North Tonawanda 11-19-1996[1]; amended in its entirety 10-3-2017. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This legislation also superseded former Ch. 70A, Promoting General Welfare of Minors in Public Places, adopted 12-19-1995.

§ 70A-1 Prohibited acts.

Subject to the exceptions set forth in § 70A-5 of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any minor to congregate, loiter, idle, wander, play or remain in or upon any public place between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, official City time, except on weekends, when such restricted hours shall be from 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday to 6:00 a.m. of the following day.

§ 70A-2 Parental responsibility.

Subject to the exceptions set forth in § 70A-5 of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for the parent, guardian or other adult having the care and custody of any minor to knowingly or negligently by insufficient control allow such minor to congregate, loiter, idle, wander, play or remain in or upon any public place between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, official City time, except on weekends, when such restricted hours shall be from 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday to 6:00 a.m. of the following day.

§ 70A-3 Bullying; harassment.

A. 
Prohibition. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in any bullying or harassment of a person or induce another person to engage in such bullying or harassment.
B. 
Retaliation prohibited. No person shall retaliate against any person who reports any conduct which is prohibited by this section.
C. 
Constitutionally protected activity. This section shall not be construed to apply to any constitutionally protected activity or speech.
D. 
It shall be unlawful for any custodial parent or guardian of any unemancipated minor, as defined in § 70A-4, to allow or permit such person to violate any provisions of this section. The fact that prior to the present offense a parent, guardian or custodian was informed, in writing, by a law enforcement officer of a separate violation by the same minor occurring within 90 days prior to the present offense shall constitute a rebuttable presumption that such parent, guardian or custodian allowed or permitted the present violation.

§ 70A-4 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCOMPANIED
To go along with or be associated with under individualized supervision.
ADULT-SPONSORED
Adult persons underwrite or promote an activity and the adult persons take responsibility for the minor.
ADULT-SUPERVISED
Adult persons are present at the activity and the adult persons take full responsibility for the minor.
BULLYING
A form of harassment and is defined as an intentional course of conduct which is reasonably likely to intimidate, emotionally abuse, slander or threaten another person and which serves no legitimate purpose.
COURSE OF CONDUCT
A pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose.
DIRECT ROUTE
The shortest path of travel through a public place to reach a final destination, without any detour or stop.
EMERGENCY ERRAND
An unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that requires immediate action by the minor to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
GUARDIAN
A person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor; or a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by a court.
HARASSMENT
Any conduct, whether verbal, physical, written, or by means of any mode of communication, which:
A. 
Is prohibited by New York State Penal Law §§ 240.25, 240.26, 240.30, 240.31; or
B. 
Is any intentional course of conduct which is likely to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, and which serves no legitimate purpose.
MINOR
Any person under the age of 16 from the date of passage until September 30, 2018; then as laid out in Senate Bill A-3009c/S-2009c Part WWW, a minor is as of October 1, 2018, anyone under the age of 17, and as of October 1, 2019, anyone under the age of 18.
PARENT
A natural parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or another person, or other adult person having the lawful care and custody of the minor.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, highways, streets, alleys, parks, playgrounds, shops, shopping plazas, transportation facilities, vacant lots, hospitals and public buildings.

§ 70A-5 Exceptions.

Exceptions shall be as follows:
A. 
When the minor is on the sidewalk abutting the minor's residency and either next door neighbor has not communicated an objection to a police officer.
B. 
When the minor is traveling in a direct route to his or her residency from employment and carries a signed statement from the employer briefly identifying the minor, the address of the minor's residency, the address of the minor's place of employment, the name and title of the minor's employer who signed the statement and the minor's hours of employment.
C. 
When the minor is traveling in a direct route to his or her residency from an adult-supervised or adult-sponsored religious, school, civic, not-for-profit, recreational or entertainment activity or adult-supervised or -sponsored organized dance.
D. 
When the minor is accompanied by his or her parent or guardian.
E. 
When the minor is accompanied by an adult authorized by the parent or guardian of the minor.
F. 
When the minor is in a motor vehicle with parental or guardian consent for normal travel, and interstate travel beginning or ending in the City of North Tonawanda is accepted.
G. 
When the minor is on an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by his or her parent, guardian or other adult having the care and custody of such minor.
H. 
When the minor is attending or traveling in a direct route to or from an activity involving the exercise of First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution.

§ 70A-6 Enforcement.

Police officers are hereby authorized to detain any minor for the purpose of determining their status, and whether the health, safety or welfare of such minor has been endangered as a result of a violation of the provisions of this article. The parent, guardian or adult having the care and custody of such minor shall be promptly notified as to the location that such minor can be picked up. Said parent, guardian or person having the care and custody of such minor shall be advised by the police to thereafter keep such minor from the streets and public places as stated herein between the hours aforesaid.

§ 70A-7 Penalties for offenses.

A. 
A parent, guardian or other adult having the care and custody of such minor who violates any provision of this article shall be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or by imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both. Each violation of any of the provisions of this article shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Except where another penalty is prescribed, any person who shall violate any provision of § 70A-3. In addition to any penalty imposed for violation of §§ 240.25, 240.26, 240.30, 240.31 of the New York State Penal Law, or this section, any person who shall cause physical damage to or destroy any public property shall be liable for the costs of replacing or repairing such damaged or destroyed property. The parent of any unemancipated minor child who violates §§ 240.25, 240.26, 240.30, 240.31 of the New York State Penal Law may also be held liable for the cost of repairing such damaged or destroyed property.

§ 70A-8 When effective.

This article shall take effect immediately.

§ 70A-9 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
ALCOHOL
Ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, from whatever source or by whatever process produced.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE
Any drink capable of being consumed containing ethanol or ethyl alcohol is an alcoholic beverage.
GUARDIAN
A person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor; or a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by a court.
MINOR
Any person under 21 years of age.
PARENT
A natural parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or another person, or other adult person having the lawful care and custody of the minor.
PARTY, GATHERING, or EVENT
A group of persons who have assembled or are assembling for a social occasion or social activity.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, highways, streets, alleys, parks, playgrounds, shops, shopping plazas, transportation facilities, vacant lots, hospitals and public buildings.

§ 70A-10 Consumption of alcohol prohibited.

Consumption of alcohol by a minor is prohibited in any public place, place open to public, or place not open to public. Except as permitted by state law, it is unlawful for any minor to:
A. 
Consume at any public place or any place open to the public any alcoholic beverage; or
B. 
Consume at any place not open to the public any alcoholic beverage.

§ 70A-11 Party, gathering, or event hosting.

Allowing a party, gathering, or event where minors consuming alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Except as permitted by Article I, § 3, of the New York State Constitution, it is unlawful for any person to allow or host a party, gathering, or event at his or her place of residence or other private property, place, or premises under his or her control where three or more minors are present and alcoholic beverages are being consumed by any minor. This section does not apply to conduct involving the use of alcoholic beverages (i.e., religious rituals) which occurs exclusively between a minor child and his or her parent or legal guardian.

§ 70A-12 Penalties for offenses.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation punishable to the fullest extent of the law up to and including a fine of $250 and/or 15 days in jail.