[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the City of Bordentown 2-8-1988 by Ord. No. 1988-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Peace and good order — See Ch. 210.
This chapter may be referred to and cited as the "City of Bordentown Curfew Ordinance."
The Board of Commissioners of the City of Bordentown hereby finds there has been a significant breakdown in the supervision normally provided by certain parents and guardians for juveniles under 18 years of age resulting in some 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 Board of Commissioners further finds that the offensive activities of these 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 Board of Commissioners further finds and has determined that a curfew meets a very real local need and that curfew ordinances in other communities have had a significant effect in minimizing juvenile delinquency. A curfew in Bordentown is particularly appropriate in view of the nature of the community and the sense of the community that there is a proper time for the cessation of outdoor activities of juveniles. That sense of the community is reflected in the curfew hours declared by this chapter, which also takes into consideration the danger hours for nocturnal crime and for accumulations of juveniles with potential risks incident to immaturity.
In enacting this chapter, the Board of Commissioners 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.
The Board of Commissioners is aware of the increase in the occurrence of crime against juveniles. Such crimes have included, but have not been limited to, kidnapping, physical violence and the sale to juveniles of dangerous controlled substances. Such crimes are more likely to occur at night than during the day, and it is one of the purposes, therefore, of this chapter to protect juveniles who may be unescorted by a responsible parent or adult guardian from being the victim of such a crime.
The Board of Commissioners has also taken note of the inability of minors to make critical decisions in an informed, mature manner. Accordingly, there is a need to make sure that the decisions being made by juveniles do not result in either criminal activity by them or against them by those who would prey on the immaturity of juveniles.
Bordentown is basically a family community. Parental responsibility for the whereabouts of children is the accepted norm by a substantial majority of the community. Legal sanctions to enforce such responsibility have had a demonstrated effectiveness in many communities over the years. The Board of Commissioners has determined that as parental control increases there is a likelihood that juvenile delinquency decreases and that there is a need for a nocturnal curfew for juveniles in Bordentown and that the establishment of a curfew applicable to juveniles will reinforce the primary authority and responsibility of parents and guardians over juveniles in their care and custody.
It is not the intent of this chapter to supplant parental supervision. The Board of Commissioners recognizes the right of parents to direct their children's upbringing and family autonomy against unreasonable interference. The Board of Commissioners 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.
Finally, the Board of Commissioners recognizes that juveniles are protected with certain of the 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 Jersey. The function of this chapter is, instead, to protect juveniles and to balance the rights of all citizens of the City of Bordentown so that all may enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship as guaranteed to them by the Constitution and laws of this country and of this state.
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, 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 discretionary.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- JUVENILE or MINOR
- Any person under the age of 18 or, in equivalent phrasing, any person 17 years of age or less.
- Any person having legal custody of a juvenile as a natural or adoptive parent, as a legal guardian, as an adult person who stands in loco parentis or as a person to whom legal custody has been given.
- To stay behind, to tarry or to stay or be upon the streets.
- A way or place, of whatsoever nature, open to the use of the public as a matter of right for purposes of vehicular travel or for pedestrian travel. 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 grounds found within the legal right-of-way of a street. The term "street" applies to any street whether termed an alley, avenue, boulevard, court, highway, road or otherwise. The term "street" shall also include shopping centers, parking lots, parks, playgrounds, public buildings and similar areas that are open for the use of the public.
- TIME OF NIGHT
- Based upon the prevailing time observed in the City of Bordentown, whether Eastern standard time or Eastern daylight saving time.
- YEARS OF AGE
- The age of a person from one birthday, such as the 17th, to, but not including the day of, the next, such as the 18th birthday. As an example, 17 or less years of age is herein treated as equivalent to the phrase "under 18 years of age."
[Amended 11-22-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-19]
It shall be unlawful for any person 17 or less years of age (under 18 years of age) to be or remain on or upon any street within the City of Bordentown at the following times:
During the period of September 1 through May 31, inclusive, of each year:
Beginning at 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and extending until 5:00 a.m. on the following day, except on Mischief Night, October 30, when it shall begin at 10:00 p.m. and extend until 5:00 a.m. on the following day.
Beginning at 9:00 p.m. on all other nights and extending until 5:00 a.m. the following day.
A juvenile on a city street during the hours referred to in § 142-4 shall not be considered in violation of this chapter under the following circumstances:
When accompanied by a parent of such juvenile.
When accompanied by an adult authorized by a parent of such juvenile to take the parent's place in accompanying the juvenile for and within a specific and designated period of time, purpose and area.
When exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution. The juvenile shall evidence the bona fides of such exercise by first delivering to the person designated by the Chief of Police to receive such information, at City Hall, 324 Farnsworth Avenue, a written communication, signed by the juvenile and countersigned, if practicable, by a parent of the juvenile, indicating their home address and telephone number, and specifying when, where and in what manner the juvenile will be on or upon the streets during the hours otherwise prohibited by this chapter and specifying the nature of the First Amendment right that will be exercised by the minor during the time indicated.
In case of reasonable necessity for a juvenile remaining on the streets, but only after the juvenile's parent has communicated to the Chief of Police or the person designated by the Chief of Police to receive such notifications, the facts establishing the reasonable necessity relating to specified streets at a designated time for a described purpose, including points of origin and destination. A copy of the communication, or of the police record thereof, with an appropriate notation of the time it was received and of the names and addresses of the parent and juvenile, shall be made.
In case of a bona fide emergency in which it is necessary for the juvenile to be on the street in order to protect the health, safety, welfare or property of a person, including the juvenile.
When the juvenile is on the sidewalk or property where the juvenile resides or on the sidewalk or property on either side of 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 city-sponsored activity or an 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 with the Chief of Police or officer assigned by him on duty at the police station by the juvenile, his parent or the organization sponsoring the activity.
When authorized by special permit granted by the Chief of Police and carried on the person of the juvenile. When necessary nighttime activities of a juvenile may be inadequately provided for by other provisions of this chapter, then application may be made to the Chief of Police for a special permit. Upon the findings of necessity for the use of the streets to the extent warranted by a written application signed by a juvenile and by a parent of the juvenile, if feasible, stating the name, age and address of the juvenile; the name, address and home and work telephone numbers of a parent thereof; the height, weight, sex, color of eyes and hair and other physical characteristics of the juvenile; the necessity which requires the juvenile to remain upon 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 Chief of Police may grant a permit in writing for the use by the juvenile of streets at such hours as may reasonably be necessary.
When authorized by general limited exception issued by the Chief of Police. A general limited exception may be issued by the Chief of Police whenever it appears to the Chief of Police that the number of special permits for a nighttime activity involving juveniles would be more efficiently granted in a general but limited manner. The general limited exception shall be for a specific time and purpose and shall only apply to those juveniles participating in the activity that is the stated purpose of the general limited exception. The general limited exception shall define the activity, the scope of the use of the streets permitted, the period of time involved, but in no event to extend more than one hour beyond the time for termination of the activity, and the reasons for finding that the general limited exception is reasonably necessary and is consistent with the purpose of this chapter. The general limited exception should be issued sufficiently in advance of the activity to permit appropriate publicity through news media, public posting, schools or other agencies associated with the activity.
When the juvenile 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, the juvenile and the employer and identifying the juvenile, the employer, the addresses and telephone numbers of the juvenile's home and of his place of employment and his hours of employment.
When the minor is, with parental consent, traveling in a motor vehicle to and from specific designations and for a specific purpose. It is the intention of this provision to exempt bona fide interstate travel along major routes through the City of Bordentown and interstate travel beginning or ending in the City of Bordentown.
In the absence of documentary evidence, such as a driver's license or birth certificate, a police officer shall, in the first instance, use his or her best judgment in determining the age of the juvenile.
If a police officer reasonably believes that a juvenile is on the streets in violation of this chapter, 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 information on how to contact his or her parent or guardian.
The juvenile shall then be taken to the police station. A parent or guardian shall immediately be notified and requested to come for the juvenile. This is intended to prevent harm to the physical or mental health of a child that could result from continued presence on the streets during nocturnal hours. A juvenile under the age of 13 years (12 years of age or less) whose identity and address are known or may readily be ascertained may be delivered to his or her parent or guardian.
When a parent or guardian 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 may temporarily be entrusted to an adult relative, adult neighbor or other adult 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. If no such person can be located, the juvenile shall be released to Burlington County juvenile authorities.
A police officer shall, within 24 hours, file a brief written report with the Chief of Police concerning the curfew violation with which he or she was involved. The report shall state the name, address, telephone number and age of the juvenile; the date, time and place of the incident; the circumstances surrounding the incident; whether the juvenile was taken home or to the police station; and the name, address and telephone number of the person to whom the juvenile was released and the time of the release.
It shall be unlawful for a parent having legal custody of a juvenile knowingly to permit, or by inefficient control to allow, the juvenile to be or remain upon any city street in violation of this chapter. The term "knowingly" includes knowledge which a parent has or should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a juvenile in that parent's legal custody.
Whenever any juvenile is given notice of a violation of this chapter, his parent shall also be notified of such violation by the Chief of Police or any other person designated by him to give notice. The notice shall be in writing, stating the name of the juvenile and the date, time and place of the violation and shall be signed and dated by the person giving such notice to the parent. The original of such notice shall be served upon the parent either in person or by regular mail addressed to the parent by such name and at such address as was provided by the minor charged with the curfew violation. Personal service of the notice shall be made upon the parent within 72 hours of the violation, or, if service is by mail, the notice shall be deposited in the United States Postal Service mail within 72 hours of the violation. A copy of each notice given to a parent shall be retained by the City of Bordentown Police Department for a period of one year.
If, at any time following the service of notice as provided in Subsection B, the juvenile to whom the notice applies again violates this chapter, it shall be rebuttably presumed that the parent having legal custody of the juvenile knowingly permitted, or by inefficient control allowed, the juvenile to be or remain upon the city streets in violation of this chapter, and the parent shall thereupon be charged with a violation of this chapter.
It shall be an affirmative defense to be proved by the parent by a preponderance of evidence that the juvenile was not in violation of this chapter on the dates specified.
A parent shall be given one written warning notice of a curfew violation for each juvenile under his or her control. The second curfew violation for each juvenile shall be treated as a first offense by the parent. In the event that a parent has more than one juvenile under his or her control, the second curfew violation for each juvenile shall be treated as a first offense by the parent, and each subsequent offense by each juvenile shall be treated as a subsequent offense by the parent. The parent shall be charged with increased subsequent offenses on the basis of curfew violations per juvenile, not on the basis of the total number of curfew violations of all the juveniles under his or her control.
For the first parental offense, a parent shall be fined $25, plus court costs. The fine shall be increased by an additional $25 for each subsequent offense by the parent (based on curfew violations per juvenile, not the total number of curfew violations of all the juveniles under his or her control). Upon a plea or finding of guilty on any offense, the Judge of the Municipal Court may sentence the parent to perform such community service as the court deems appropriate under the circumstances of the case. In no event, however, shall the amount of community service imposed upon the parent be more than eight hours for the first offense, nor shall community service be increased by more than eight additional hours for each subsequent offense by the parent (each subsequent offense counted on the basis of curfew violations per juvenile, not on the total number of curfew violations of all juveniles under the control of the parent).
Any juvenile who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter 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 shall proceed to file such charges with the Superior Court of New Jersey, Burlington County, Chancery Division, Family Part. In the event that the Judge of the Municipal Court finds that a juvenile was not in violation of this chapter after a hearing on a complaint against a parent for violation of the parental responsibility sections of this chapter, such incident shall not constitute, nor be counted as, a curfew violation by the juvenile. If the Judge of the Municipal Court finds the parent not guilty of the parental responsibility section of this chapter but does not determine that the juvenile was not in violation of this chapter, the incident shall constitute, and be counted as, a curfew violation by the juvenile.