[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Eddystone 2-12-1990 by Ord. No. 538, approved 2-12-1990. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Curfew Ordinance."
This is an updating of Ordinance No. 313, enacted on June 5, 1941, and subsequently amended in its entirety by Ordinance No. 454, enacted on November 27, 1978, prescribing, in accordance with prevailing community standards, regulations for the conduct of minors on streets at night, effectively enforced, taught in the homes and adhered to for generations, for the good of all minors and for the furtherance of family responsibility and for the public good, safety and welfare.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the content, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular and words in the singular include the plural. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
- The Borough of Eddystone, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with municipal offices located at 12th and Saville Avenue, Eddystone, Pennsylvania 19013.
- Any person under the age of 18 years or, in equivalent phrasing often herein employed, any person 17 or less years of age.
- Any person having legal custody of a minor:
- To stay behind, to tarry and to stay unnecessarily upon the streets, including the congregating of groups (or of interacting minors) totaling four or more persons, in which any minor involved would not be using streets for ordinary purposes such as mere passage or going home. To implement that thought with additional precision, numerous exceptions are expressly defined in § 103-5.
- 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 a sidewalk thereof, for pedestrian travel. The term "street" includes the legal right-of-way, including but not limited to the cartway of traffic lanes, the curb, the sidewalks, whether paved or unpaved, and any gross plots or other grounds found within the legal right-of-way of a street. The term "street" applies irrespective of what it is called or formally named, whether alley, avenue, court, road or otherwise.
- TIME OF NIGHT
- Based upon the prevailing standards of time, whether Eastern standard time or Eastern daylight saving time, generally observed at that hour by the public in the Borough, prima facie the time then observed in the Borough municipal office and police station.
- YEAR OF AGE
- Continues from one birthday, such as the 17th, to (but not including the day of) the next, such as the 18th, birthday, making it clear that 17 or less years of age is herein treated as equivalent to the phrase "under 18 years of age." Similarly, for example, 11 or less years of age means "under 12 years of age."
[Amended 7-9-2007 by Ord. No. 618, approved 7-9-2007]
It shall be unlawful for any person 17 or less years of age (under 18) to be or remain in or upon the streets within the Borough of Eddystone at night beginning at 9:00 p.m. prevailing time and ending at 6:00 a.m.
In the following exceptional cases, a minor on a Borough street during the nocturnal hours for which § 103-4 above is intended to provide the maximum limits of regulation (and a clear general guide for minors, their parents and their fellow citizens) shall not, however, be considered in violation of this chapter:
When accompanied by a parent of such minor.
When accompanied by an adult authorized by a parent of such minor to take said parent's place in accompanying said minor 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 exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly. Such minor shall evidence the bona fides of such exercise by first delivering to the police station personnel at the Eddystone Police Department, 12th and Saville Avenue, Eddystone, Pennsylvania, written communication signed by such minor and countersigned by a parent of such minor, with their home address and telephone number, addressed to the Mayor of the Borough, specifying when, where and in what manner said minor will be on the streets at night (during hours when this chapter is otherwise applicable to said minor) in the exercise of a First Amendment right specified in such communication.
In the case of reasonable necessity, but only after such minor's parent has communicated to the Borough police station personnel the facts establishing such reasonable necessity, relating specific streets at a designated time for a described purpose, including points of origin and destination. A copy of such communication or of the police record thereof duly certified by the Chief of Police to be correct, with an appropriate notation of the time it was received and of the names and address of such parent and minor, shall be admissible evidence.
When the minor is on the sidewalk of the place where such minor resides or on the sidewalk of either next-door neighbor not communicating an objection to the police officer.
When returning home by a direct route from (and within 30 minutes of the termination of) a school activity or the activity of a religious or other voluntary association, of which prior notice indicating the place and probable time of termination has been given, in writing, to and duly filed for immediate reference by the Chief of Police or the officer assigned by him/her on duty at the police station.
When authorized by a special permit from the Mayor, carried on the person of the minor thusly authorized as follows. When necessary nighttime activities of a minor may be inadequately provided for by any other provisions of this chapter, then recourse may be had to the Mayor of the Borough, either for a regulation as provided in Subsection A(8) or for a special permit as the circumstances warrant. Upon the Mayor's finding of necessity for the use of the streets to the extent warranted by a written application (as judicially approved in People v. Walton, 161 P2d 493, 502-5-3 Cal. App. 1945), signed by a minor and by a parent of such minor, if feasible, stating the name, age and address of such minor; the height, weight, sex, color of eyes and hair and other physical characteristics of such minor; the name, address and telephone number of a parent of the minor; the necessity that requires such minor to remain on the streets during the curfew hours otherwise applicable; and the street or route and the beginning and ending of the period of time involved, by date and hour, the Mayor may grant a permit, in writing, for the use by such minor of such streets and at such hours as, in the Mayor's opinion, may reasonably be necessary. In an emergency, this may be handled by telephone or other effective communication, with a corresponding record being made contemporaneously, either to the Mayor or, if unavailable, to the police officer authorized by the Mayor to act in his behalf in an emergency, at the police station.
When authorized by regulation issued by the Mayor for necessary nighttime activities of more minors than can readily be dealt with on an individual special permit basis. Such regulation by the Mayor permitting use of the streets, if time permits, should 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, the period of time involved, not to extend more than 30 minutes beyond the time of termination of such activity, and the reason for finding that such regulation is reasonably necessary and is consistent with the purposes of this chapter.
When the minor carries a certified card of employment, renewable each calendar month when the current facts so warrant, dated or reissued not more than 45 days previously, signed by the Chief of Police and briefly identifying the minor, the addresses of his home and his place of employment and his hours of employment.
When the minor is, with parental consent, in a motor vehicle. This contemplates travel within the Borough. Exempted from this chapter is bona fide interstate or intrastate movement through Eddystone Borough, particularly on such routes as Route 95, Route 291, Route 13, Saville Avenue, Eddystone Avenue, Simpson Street and Ninth Street. Also exempted from this chapter is interstate or intrastate movement beginning or ending in Eddystone Borough.
Each of the foregoing exceptions and their several limitations, such as provisions for notification, are severable, as hereinafter provided.
It shall be unlawful for a parent having legal custody of a minor knowingly to permit or by inefficient control to allow such minor to be or remain upon any Borough street 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 in the parent's legal custody. It is intended to continue to keep neglectful or careless parents to be a reasonable community standard of parental responsibility through an objective test. It shall, a fortiori, be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of such minor.
A policeman of the Borough, upon finding or having his attention called to any minor on the streets in prima facie violation of this chapter, shall take the minor to the Borough police station, where a parent shall be immediately notified to come for such minor. In the absence of convincing evidence, such as a birth certificate, a policeman on the street shall, in the first instance, use his best judgment in determining age.
When a parent, immediately called, has come to take charge of the minor and the appropriate information has been recorded, the minor shall be released to the custody of such parent. If the parent cannot be located or fails to take charge of the minor, then the minor shall be released to the appropriate juvenile authorities, except to the extent that, in accordance with police procedure, approved in advance by the appropriate juvenile authorities, the minor may temporarily be entrusted to a relative, neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of a parent, assume the responsibility of caring for the minor pending the availability or arrival of a parent.
In the case of a first violation by a minor, the Chief of Police shall, by certified mail, send to a parent written notice of said violation, with a warning that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of this chapter, including enforcement of parental responsibility and of applicable penalties.
If, after a warning notice, pursuant to § 103-7, of a violation by a minor, a parent violates § 103-6 (in connection with the second violation of said minor), this shall be treated as a first offense by the parent. For such first parental offense, a parent shall be fined $50, and for each subsequent offense by a parent, the fine shall be increased by an additional $50, e.g., $100 for the second offense and $150 for the third offense. The District Justice, upon finding a parent guilty, shall sentence the parent to pay such fine and the costs of prosecution and, upon refusal to pay such fine and costs, to be imprisoned in the Delaware County Prison for a period not exceeding 10 days.
Any minor who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter more than three times shall be reported by the Chief of Police to an organization whose purpose is to take charge of incorrigibles or delinquents, and proceedings shall then be taken under the relevant sections of the Juvenile Act, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301 et seq.