Township of Mendham, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mendham as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Animals — See Ch. 93.
[Adopted by Ord. No. 14-1974; amended in its entirety by Ord. No. 21-1997 (Ch. VIII of the 1998 Revised General Ordinances)]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MOTORIZED VEHICLE
Includes any vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of one or more persons, which vehicle may be propelled other than by muscular power.
TOWNSHIP PARK
Includes any park, reservation, playground, trail, recreation center or other area within the Township which is owned or leased by the Township and used for active or passive recreation or open space.
No person shall:
A. 
Enter, remain in or conduct any activity whatsoever in any Township park during the period commencing 1/2 hour after sunset on any day and ending 1/2 hour before sunrise on the following morning, except as may be specifically permitted by ordinance or official action of the Township board or agency in charge of the Township park.
B. 
Operate any motorized vehicle at any time in any Township park except as may be specifically permitted on specified occasions by official action of the Township Committee and except for police and emergency vehicles and vehicles used in the maintenance and improvement of the Township park.
C. 
Bring into, possess or consume any alcoholic beverage in any Township park, except as may be specifically authorized by official action of the Township Committee. As used herein, the term "alcoholic beverage" shall have the meaning set forth in N.J.S.A. 33:1-1 and following.
D. 
At any time bring into, possess, use, discharge or fire any weapon in any Township park, except as authorized by resolution of the Township Committee for purposes of wildlife management. As used herein, the term "weapon" shall mean and include gun, shotgun, rifle, air rifle, paintball gun, pistol, revolver, bow and arrow, slingshot or other device from which a bullet, shot, ball, slug, pellet, solid projectile or other missile, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing is fired, projected or propelled.
[Amended 11-13-2000 by Ord. No. 19-2000]
E. 
Ride, drive or otherwise bring any horse onto any improved recreation field in any Township park or in any areas which are posted against such use. Horseback riding is strictly prohibited on any portion of Patriot's Path which is posted against such use.
F. 
Feed or permit the feeding of any waterfowl, deer or other wild animals in any Township park.
G. 
Ride, drive or otherwise bring any bicycle onto any improved recreation field in any Township park or in any areas which are posted against such use.
H. 
Build or attempt to build any fire in any Township park, except as may be specifically permitted by official action of the Township board or agency in charge of the Township park.
I. 
Have brought in, or shall dump, deposit or leave any bottles, broken glass, ashes, paper, boxes, cans, dirt, rubbish, waste, garbage or refuse or other trash. No refuse, trash or waste material shall be placed in any waters in or contiguous to any park or left anywhere on the grounds thereof, and all waste materials shall be placed in the proper receptacles where these are provided; where receptacles are not so provided, all such rubbish or waste shall be carried away from the park by the person responsible for its presence, and properly disposed of elsewhere.
[Adopted 9-8-2020 by Ord. No. 10-2020]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD BACKGROUND CHECK
A determination of whether a person has a criminal record by cross-referencing that person's individual data with those on file with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Identification Division, and the State Bureau of Identification of the Division of State Police or a comparable database approved by the Township Police Chief.
EMPLOYEES
All full-time, part-time and seasonal individuals employed by the Mendham Township and assigned to the Parks and Recreation Program.
SPONSORED PROGRAM
Recreation programs run directly and jointly by the Township, including oversight, control and/or fiscal contribution.
STATE BUREAU OF IDENTIFICATION
The entity located within the New Jersey State Police responsible for retrieving criminal background information on individuals as requested by state, local or private entities.
VOLUNTEER
A person who has direct, nonsupervised and ongoing interaction in the course of his/her service with minors. This includes, but is not limited to, a coach, assistant coach and manager of a team.
VOLUNTEER REVIEW OPERATION (VRO)
The unit located within the State Bureau of Identification that is responsible for administering criminal background checks for volunteer coaches, as specified in this article, or a similar agency approved by the Township Police Chief who is under contract with the Township of Mendham to provide criminal background checks.
YOUTH-SERVING ORGANIZATION
Any corporation, association or other organization which provides recreational, cultural, charitable and social activities for persons younger than 18 years of age.
A. 
The Township of Mendham requires that all employees and volunteers of youth-serving organizations involved in sponsored programs and/or utilizing the Township's recreational facilities request through the Mendham Township Department of Recreation that a criminal history background check on each prospective and current coach of nonprofit youth-serving organizations be performed. No person will be permitted to act as an employee or volunteer until the results of the background checks have been received and reviewed by the Administrator of the Township or his designee. Said background check will be in accordance with:
(1) 
The State Bureau of Identification, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 13:59-1.1 et seq. and with the procedures and guidelines adopted by the VRO; or
(2) 
An agency approved by the Township Police Chief which conducts an internet-based search of relevant databases which would indicate all criminal history for an individual comparable to the information obtained from the State Bureau of Identification.
B. 
The Mendham Township Department of Recreation shall conduct the criminal history record background check(s) only upon receipt of the written consent to the check(s) from the prospective or current employee or volunteer or from the organization itself and the provision of required personal identification.
C. 
The VRO or the approved internet-based provider shall advise the Township Department of Recreation of the eligibility of the prospective or current coach. Any information received by the Township shall be confidential.
D. 
The organization or the participating volunteer or employee shall bear the costs for conducting such checks for prospective or current coaches participating in cosponsored programs in accordance with the regulations established by the VRO or approved internet-based agency.
A. 
A person may be disqualified from serving as an employee or volunteer of a nonprofit youth-serving organization if that person's criminal history record background check reveals a record of conviction of any of the following crimes and offenses:
(1) 
In New Jersey, any crime or disorderly persons offense:
(a) 
Involving danger to the person, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 et seq., such as criminal homicide; N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1 et seq., such as assault, reckless endangerment, threats, or stalking; N.J.S.A. 2C:13-1 et seq., such as kidnapping; N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1 et seq., such as sexual assault; or N.J.S.A. 2C:15-1 et seq., such as robbery.
(b) 
Against the family, children or incompetents, meaning those crimes and disorderly persons offenses set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:24-1 et seq., such as endangering the welfare of a child.
(c) 
Involving theft as set forth in Chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.
(d) 
Involving any controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as set forth in Chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, except Paragraph (4) of Subsection (a) of N.J.S.A. 2C:35-10.
(2) 
In any other state or jurisdiction, conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes or disorderly persons offenses described in Subsection A(1) of this section.
B. 
In addition, a person may be disqualified from serving as an employee or volunteer of a nonprofit youth-serving organization if such individual fails to consent to submit to a criminal history record background check pursuant to this article.
A. 
Prospective or current employees and volunteers of youth-serving organizations for sponsored programs and/or for utilizing Township recreational facilities shall submit their names, addresses, fingerprints, written consent, and any other necessary information to the organization for the criminal history record background check to be performed. The organization shall submit this documentation to the Mendham Township Department of Recreation, which shall coordinate the background check and refer the information to the State Bureau of Investigation or approved internet-based agency for the background check. Thereafter, the Township shall conduct periodic background checks after the date of the initial background check, but not less than every 36 months.
B. 
The Mendham Township Police Department shall act as a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of information obtained as a result of conducting criminal history record background checks pursuant to this article.
A. 
Access to criminal history record information for non-criminal-justice purposes, including licensing and employment, is restricted to authorized personnel of the youth-serving organization, on a need-to-know basis, as authorized by federal or state statute, rule or regulation, executive order, administrative code, local ordinance or resolution regarding obtaining and dissemination of criminal history record information obtained under this article.
B. 
Such persons or organizations shall limit their use of criminal history record information solely to the authorized purpose for which it was obtained, and criminal history record information furnished shall not be disseminated to persons or organizations not authorized to receive the records for authorized purposes. Any person violating the federal or state regulations governing access to criminal history record information may be subject to criminal and/or civil penalties.
A. 
The VRO or approved internet-based agency shall make a recommendation based on the provisions of N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-1 et seq. as to whether the prospective or current volunteer coach is being recommended. The VRO or approved internet-based agency will provide the Mendham Township Recreation Department with a letter of recommendation or nonrecommendation for each individual for whom the VRO or approved internet-based agency completed a background check.
B. 
The Department of Recreation shall promptly notify a prospective or current employee or volunteer who receives a letter of nonrecommendation from the VRO or approved internet-based agency. Individuals who receive a letter of nonrecommendation from the VRO or approved internet-based agency will not be permitted to participate as an employee or volunteer. Such individuals may obtain a copy of their criminal history record by contacting the VRO or approved internet-based agency in writing. The individuals shall then have 30 days from the receipt of notification from the Mendham Township Department of Recreation to petition the Appeals Committee, consisting of the Director of the Township Recreation Department, the Township Administrator and the Township Police Chief, for a review and to cite reasons substantiating the review.
C. 
Individuals who receive a letter of nonrecommendation from the VRO or approved internet-based agency may be permitted to serve as an employee or volunteer if they affirmatively demonstrate rehabilitation to the Appeals Committee or they can demonstrate that the information supplied by the VRO or approved internet-based agency is incorrect. In determining whether a person has affirmatively demonstrated clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation, the Appeals Committee may consider the following factors in conjunction with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 15A:3A-1 et seq.:
(1) 
The nature and responsibility of the position which the convicted person would hold or has held, as the case may be;
(2) 
The nature and seriousness of the offense;
(3) 
The circumstance under which the offense occurred;
(4) 
The date of the offense;
(5) 
The age of the person when the offense was committed;
(6) 
Whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;
(7) 
Any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and
(8) 
Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received, acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work release programs or the recommendation of those who have had the person under their supervision.
D. 
A person is not presumed guilty of any charges or arrests for which there are no final dispositions indicated on the record. However, the Township appeals agency shall make the final determination of the relevance of the contested information.
E. 
In all instances, the final determination of whether an individual will be permitted to serve as an employee or volunteer utilizing the Township's recreational facilities will lie in the sole discretion of the Appeals Committee, which must vote unanimously.
F. 
The Appeals Committee shall promptly advise the prospective or current employee or volunteer whether he or she is qualified.
G. 
When the Township Department of Recreation receives a letter of nonrecommendation from the VRO or approved internet-based agency, the Department of Recreation shall file that letter within its department, and it shall keep the written notification on file for three years from the date it was issued. That letter and all related information shall not be available for public disclosure.
H. 
The Department of Recreation may request the Police Department to review its files to determine if there is written notification on file stating whether a criminal history record background check of a current or prospective employee or volunteer reveals a disqualifying offense or stating that the person has affirmatively demonstrated rehabilitation under this article.
The Township shall only permit the following exemptions under this article:
A. 
Any person who, by virtue of his or her occupation, is required by statute to undergo a federal and state criminal history record background check similar in nature to the requirements contained herein, and who can provide proof of the results of such background check, is exempt from the requirement hereunder if such check was conducted within the past year. The Township Police Chief shall be the approval agency for this exemption. After such demonstration of proof of compliance, such individual shall then be subject to subsequent checks pursuant to this article.
B. 
If the organization already utilizes a different means for obtaining criminal history record background checks, such as Little League Baseball, then such organization may annually submit its own certification certifying the names of the individual employees and/or volunteers and providing proof that such criminal history record background check was performed for that year. In addition, the organization must also submit to the Department of Recreation and the Township Police Chief the guidelines and parameters of such independent background check company for the conducting of its background checks. In the event the Police Chief determines that the independent background check company's guidelines and parameters are insufficient, then the Township reserves the right to not grant the exemption under this subsection to the organization.
Any violation of this article by a youth-serving organization is considered a serious threat to the health and life of the youth of the Township. As a result, upon violation, the Township may suspend or terminate use of Township facilities, and the youth-serving organization and the officer who executed the affidavit shall be subject to fines and other penalties. In determining the remedy, such factors as whether the breach was intentional, the severity of the noncompliance, and the good-faith steps taken to cure the violation should be considered.