[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hamilton 9-17-2008 by Ord. No. 08-052 (Ch. 86, § 86-27, of the 1994 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- FAMILY COURT
- The Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-22.
- Any letters, numbers, word or words, writing, inscription, symbol, drawing, carving, etching or other marking of any nature whatsoever which defaces, obliterates, covers, alters, damages, mars or destroys the real or personal property of another. It shall not include easily removable chalk markings on the public sidewalk and street in connection with traditional children's games, such as bases for stickball, handball, hopscotch and the like, nor temporary, easily removable chalk markings in connection with any lawful business or public purpose or activity.
- Any juvenile under 18 years of age as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-22.
No person shall without the prior consent of the owners, purposely or knowingly place, write, paint, draw, figure, inscribe or mark or cause any graffiti to be placed upon any public property or the real or personal property of another.
Any parent, guardian or custodian in charge of a minor who is convicted of violating this chapter who has neglected to properly supervise such minor shall be presumed to have aided and assisted, allowed and/or permitted said minor in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-15 and Chapter 334, Parental Responsibility, of the Code of the Township of Hamilton, any parent, guardian or other person having custody of a minor who fails or neglects to exercise reasonable supervision and control of the conduct of such minor shall be liable in a civil action for any willful, malicious or unlawful injury or destruction by such minor of the real or personal property of another.
Any person owning either real or personal property upon which graffiti has been placed in violation of this chapter shall remove said graffiti from said property within 90 days of being notified by the Township that graffiti has been placed on said property. All costs associated with the removal of said graffiti shall be reimbursed to said property owner through the Township Municipal Court in accordance with the penalty provisions set forth in § 254-5 hereinbelow.
If, at the time of the offense charged under this chapter, any person(s) shall be under the age of 18 years, the Family Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of the trial of such minor(s), and such minor(s) shall be surrendered to the court, and the case, including all papers and process thereto, shall be transferred to said court as provided in N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-25.
The parent, or legal guardian or other person having care and custody of said minor, shall be summoned or arrested and brought before the Judge of the Municipal Court of the Township and may be subject to the penalties provided herein.
Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter with respect to defacing or placing graffiti on any public property or private property of another by any means whatsoever shall be subject to a minimum mandatory fine of $500 and all of the penalties provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-2, Violations; penalties, of the Code of the Township of Hamilton. Each day in which such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. Repeat offenders, as that term in defined in § 1-2, shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 1-2.
As a condition of sentencing, the Municipal Court shall have the authority to order that the offender be responsible for cleaning, repairing, painting or otherwise restoring the damaged property to the condition it was prior to being damaged, if said property has not already been restored by the owner in accordance with § 254-3 hereinabove. If the owner of the property has already restored the property, the Municipal Court shall assess a fine or penalty which shall be intended to reimburse the owner for the expenses incurred by said owner to restore the property. The owner shall file a certification setting forth the amount of said expenses with the Court Administrator. In the event that the property has not been restored by the owner, and the offender is unable to clean, repair, paint or otherwise restore the damaged property to the condition it was prior to being damaged, then the Municipal Court shall have further authority to order that said offender make the necessary monetary restitution to restore the property to its original undamaged condition.
Upon the written recommendation of the Chief of Police, the Township Council may authorize the payment of a reward of $200 or up to $500, to any person who provides information or assistance leading to the apprehension and conviction of any person violating § 254-2. No reward shall be paid to any public employee whose duty it is to investigate or enforce this chapter.