[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Manchester 7-24-2008 by Ord. No. 08-09. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- Person under the age of 18 years.
- Any natural parent of a minor, as herein defined, or guardian, or any adult person responsible for the care and custody of a minor. When used in this chapter, "parent" shall mean one or both parents.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any public street, highway, road, alley, park, playground, sidewalk, vacant lot, public building or other area generally open to the public in the Township.
- 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 the streets for emergencies or ordinary purposes such as mere passage of going home.
In this chapter, the singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular, and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
This is a curfew ordinance prescribing, in accordance with prevailing community standards, regulations for the conduct of minors on streets at night, for the protection of younger children in the Township from each other and from other persons on the streets during nighttime hours, for the enforcement of parental control and responsibility for their children, for the protection of the public from nocturnal mischief by minors and for the reduction of the incident of juvenile criminal activity, all for the good of minors, for the furtherance of family responsibility, and for the public good, safety and welfare.
It shall be unlawful for any minor to be or remain in or upon any public highway, park or other public place within the Township, or in any enclosure or vehicle which is on or in close proximity to any such public place within the Township, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on the following day. Exceptions to the above are the following:
Minor accompanied by parent, guardian or other person having legal care or custody of such minor.
Minor possessing a written statement dated that day and signed by parent, guardian or other person having the legal care or custody of such minor, which statement specifies the time, place, purpose and necessity of the minor being in a public place contrary to this chapter.
Minor lawfully employed making it necessary to be on or in highways, streets, parks, etc., as stated above and possessing a current letter certifying the same and signed by employer, parent or guardian.
Minor on an emergency errand.
It is hereby made unlawful for any parent, guardian or the person having the legal care or custody of a minor to allow or permit such minor to violate any of the provisions of this chapter without legal justification therefor.
Any minor found upon the streets, alleys, parks or public places within the Township in violation of the provisions of this chapter may be taken into custody by the Township police or legally deputized individual, to be delivered to his/her parents, guardian or person having the legal custody of said minor. Both minor and parent, guardian or person having the legal custody may be advised as to the penalty provisions contained in this chapter, and may be cited for the violation if deemed appropriate by the Township police or legally deputized individual enforcing this chapter. A report shall be filed with the Police Department and the names of the violators will be maintained in the police computer for reference in subsequent offenses.
Any minor who shall violate this chapter more than three times may, at the discretion of the proper Township officials, be reported to a society or organization the purpose of which is to take charge of incorrigibles and delinquents, and proceedings shall then be taken in the proper court for the permanent welfare of such minor and a like procedure may be taken in cases where the arrest of the parent is not effective, or where for any other reason the provisions of this chapter cannot be made effective by the imposition of fines and penalties.
The police officers of the Township, in taking minors into custody, shall use their discretion in determining age and, in doubtful cases, may require positive proof of age. Until such proof is furnished, the officer's judgment shall prevail.
Any minor or parent who shall violate any provision of this chapter as a first offender shall be given a warning by the Township Police Department, which warning shall inform the minor and parent that a subsequent violation of this chapter will result in a criminal prosecution being filed against the minor or parent, or both. A copy of this chapter shall accompany the warning issued by the Township Police Department. Any minor or parent who shall violate any provision of this chapter as a second or subsequent offender shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 and costs and, in default of payment, to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. All prosecutions shall be brought before the District Justice having jurisdiction of summary violations that occur in West Manchester Township.