[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Vineland 6-12-1990 by Ord. No. 90-53 (Ch. 216 of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Peace and good order — See Ch. 511.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Curfew Ordinance of the City of Vineland."
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words in the plural number include the singular; and words in the singular number include the plural. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- The City of Vineland, Cumberland County, New Jersey with its principal office located at 640 E. Wood Street, Vineland, New Jersey.
- Any person under the age of 18 or, in equivalent phrasing often herein employed, any person 17 or less years of age.
- Any person having legal custody of a minor:
- A way or place, of whatever nature, open to the use of the public as 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 or traffic lanes, the curbs, the sidewalks, whether paved or unpaved, and any grass plots or 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. The term "street" also includes shopping areas, parking lots, public buildings and similar areas that are open to the use of the public.
- TIME OF NIGHT
- Referred to herein, is based upon the prevailing standard of time, whether Eastern standard time or Eastern daylight saving time, generally observed at that hour by the public in the City; prima facie the time then observed in the 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, "13 or less years of age" means under 14 years of age.
It shall be unlawful for any persons 17 or less years of age (under 18) to be or remain in or upon the streets within the City of Vineland at night during the period ending 5:00 a.m. and beginning:
At 11:00 p.m. for minors 14 or more years of age, Sunday through Thursday; at 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday.
In the following exceptional cases, a minor on a City street during the nocturnal hours for which § 307-3 is intended to provide the maximum limits of regulation, and a clear general guide for minors, their parents and fellow citizens, shall not, however, be considered in violation of the Curfew Ordinance:
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 free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly, such minor shall evidence the bona fides of such exercise by having in his possession a written communication, signed by such minor and countersigned by, if practicable, a parent of such minor, with their home address and telephone number, specifying when, where and in what manner said minor will be on the streets at night (during hours when the Curfew Ordinance is otherwise applicable to said minor) in the exercise of a First Amendment right specified in such communication.
When the minor is not more than 50 feet from the minor's place of residence.
When the minor carries a certified card of employment or worker's permit, pursuant to state law.
When the minor is, with parental consent, in a motor vehicle. This contemplates normal travel. This clearly exempts bona fide interstate movement through the City of Vineland. This also exempts interstate travel beginning in or ending in the City of Vineland.
When engaging in errands involving medical emergencies and attending extracurricular school activities, activities sponsored by religious or community-based organizations and other cultural, educational and organized social events.
[Added 6-13-1995 by Ord. No. 95-36]
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 on any City street under circumstances not constituting an exception to or otherwise beyond the scope of the Curfew Ordinance. The term "knowingly" includes knowledge which a parent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a minor in that parent's legal custody. It is intended to continue to keep neglectful or careless parents up to 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.
If a police officer reasonably believes that a juvenile is on the streets in violation of the Curfew Ordinance, the officer shall notify the juvenile that he or she is in violation of this chapter and shall require the juvenile to provide his or her name, address and telephone number and how to contact his or her parent or guardian. In determining the age of the juvenile and in the absence of convincing evidence, such as a birth certificate or driver's license, a police officer on the street shall use his or her best judgment in determining age. If the officer determines a person is in violation of this chapter, he or she shall take the juvenile to the police station, where a parent or a guardian shall be notified to come for the juvenile, whereupon he or she shall be questioned. This is intended to permit ascertainment, under constitutional safeguards, of relevant facts and to centralize responsibility in the person designated there and then on duty for accurate, effective, fair, impartial and uniform enforcement and recording, thus making available experienced personnel and access to information and records.
Police procedures shall constantly be refined in the light of experience and may provide that the police officer may deliver to a parent or guardian thereof a juvenile of tender age near home whose identity and address may readily be ascertained or are known.
A police officer discharging an enforcement obligation under this chapter shall file a written report with the Chief of Police or shall participate to the extent of the information for which he is responsible in the preparation of a report on the curfew violation. It is not the intention of this section to require extensive reports, but they should have a reasonable amount of information for gathering of information.
When a parent or guardian, immediately called, has come to take charge of the juvenile, and the appropriate information has been recorded, the juvenile shall be released to the custody of such parent. If the parent cannot be located or fails to take charge of the juvenile, then the juvenile shall be released to the juvenile authorities, except to the extent that, in accordance with police regulations approved in advance by juvenile authorities, the juvenile may be entrusted to an adult relative, neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of a parent or guardian, assume the responsibility of caring for the juvenile pending the availability or arrival of a parent or guardian.
In the case of the first violation of a juvenile, the Chief of Police shall, by certified mail, send to the parents or guardians of the minor written notice of the violation with a warning that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of the Curfew Ordinance, including enforcement of parental responsibility and of applicable penalties.
If, after receipt of a warning notice pursuant to § 307-6 of a first violation of a juvenile, a second curfew violation is adjudicated against the same minor, the parents or guardians of the minor shall be subject to prosecution under § 307-5. For the first parental offense a parent shall be subject to a mandatory fine of not less than $25, and for each subsequent offense by a parent the minimum fine shall be increased by an additional $25, e.g., $50 for the second offense, $75 for the third offense, and the juvenile will be required to perform community service work in addition thereto. The Judge of the Municipal Court of the City of Vineland, upon a finding of guilty, may sentence the parent to pay this fine and costs of prosecution.
Any juvenile who shall violate any of the provisions of the Curfew Ordinance more than three times shall be reported by the Chief of Police to the juvenile authorities as a juvenile in need of supervision, and the Chief of Police may proceed to file such charges with the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part, Cumberland County, as he may deem appropriate.
Notice of the existence of this chapter and of the curfew regulations established by it shall be posted in, on or about such public or quasi-public places as may be determined by the Chief of Police in order that the public may be constantly informed of the existence of this chapter and its regulations.