City of Lock Haven, PA
Clinton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lock Haven 10-20-1980 by Ord. No. 117B (Ch. 6, Part 2, of the 2003 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
Loitering — See Ch. 279.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Curfew Ordinance."
This chapter prescribes the conduct of minors on streets at night for the public good, safety and welfare.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. 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.
Any person under the age of 17, in equivalent phrasing often herein employed, any person 16 or less years of age.
Any person having legal custody of a minor:
As a natural or adoptive parent;
As a legal guardian;
As a person who stands in the place of a parent; or
As a person to whom legal custody has been given by order of court.
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 ordinary or serious purposes such as mere passage or going home. To implement that thought with additional precision and precaution, exceptions are expressly defined in § 220-5 so that this is not a mere prohibitory or presence type curfew ordinance.
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 in the case of the sidewalk thereof, for pedestrian travel. The term "street" includes the legal right-of-way including, but not limited to, the cartway of 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 irrespective of what it be called or normally named, whether alley, avenue, court, road or otherwise.
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 City administrative offices and police station.
Continues from one birthday, such as the sixteenth to, but not including, the day of the next, such as the 17th birthday, making it clear that 16 or less years of age is herein treated as equivalent to the phrase "under 17 years of age," the latter phrase in practice, unfortunately, having confused a number of persons into the mistaken thought that seventeen-year-olds might be involved.
It shall be unlawful for any person 16 or less years of age (under 17) to be or remain in or upon the streets within the City of Lock Haven at night during the period ending at 6:00 a.m. and beginning:
10:30 p.m., Mondays to Fridays and Sundays.
11:15 p.m. on Saturdays.
[Amended 2-24-2003 by Ord. No. 670]
In the following exceptional cases, a minor on a City street during the nocturnal hours for which § 220-4 is intended to provide the maximum limits of regulation (and a clear general guide for minors, their parents and their fellow citizens) shall not, however, be considered in violation of this chapter:
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.
If a legally recognized employment makes it necessary for such child to be in or upon said public streets, highways, alleys, parks or other public places.
If said minor is driving a motor vehicle on some errand at the time (parental errand).
During any evening when a sporting event is being conducted at the local high school or Lock Haven University, or during the period of any such supervised gathering, late compliance with this chapter may be allowed, but only if prior notice of such intention is given to the Chief of Police.
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 upon any City street under circumstances not constituting an exception to, or otherwise beyond the scope of, this chapter. 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, therefore, be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of such minor.
A police officer of the City, upon finding or having attention called to any minor on the streets in prima facie violation of this chapter, normally shall take the minor to the City Police Department where a parent shall immediately be notified to come for such minor, whereupon they shall be interviewed. This is intended to permit ascertainment, under constitutional safeguards or relevant facts, and to centralize responsibility in the officer in charge there and then on duty for accurate, effective, fair, impartial and uniform enforcement and recording, thus making available experienced supervisory personnel, the best of facilities and access to information and records. In the absence of convincing evidence such as birth certificate, a police officer on the street shall in the first instance use his best judgment in determining age.
Police procedures shall constantly be refined in the light of experience and may provide, among other things, that the police officer may deliver to a parent thereof a minor under appropriate circumstances; for example, a minor of tender age near home whose identity and address may readily be ascertained or are known.
In any event, the investigating police officer shall write a report within 24 hours.[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
When a parent, immediately called, has come to take charge of the minor and the appropriate information has been recorded, the minor shall be released to the custody of such parent. If the parent cannot be located, or fails to take charge of the minor, then the minor shall be released to the juvenile authorities, except to the extent that in accordance with police regulations, approved in advance by juvenile authorities, the minor may temporarily be entrusted to a relative, neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of a parent, assume the responsibility of caring for the minor pending the availability or arrival of a parent.
In the case of a first violation by a minor, the Chief of Police shall, by certified mail, send to a parent written notice of said violation with a warning, or said notice may be delivered by a police officer, that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of this chapter, including enforcement of parental responsibility and of applicable penalties.
[Amended 2-24-2003 by Ord. No. 670]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Each violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.