[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Paxton 1-2-2018 by Ord. No. 17-16. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- Any person 21 years of age or older.
- Any person under the age of 18 or, in equivalent phrasing often herein employed, any person 17 or fewer years of age.
- Any person having legal custody of a minor:
- PUBLIC PROPERTY
- Any park or other property owned by the Township or the Central Dauphin School District.
- A way or place, of whatever nature, open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel or, in the case of a sidewalk thereof, for pedestrian travel. The term "street" includes a 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" also applies, for curfew purposes, to ways the public is privileged to use over private property so long as the owner permits, including sidewalks and grass plots similarly open at the time to public use, and to parking areas of any type (residential, municipal or commercial) open to public use or from such street or any type of street. The term "street" applies irrespective of what it is called or formally named, whether alley, avenue, court, road or otherwise, or whether it is maintained by the Township and irrespective of whether it is open to the use of the public as a matter of right.
- TIME OF NIGHT
- 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 Township.
- The Township of Lower Paxton, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.
- YEAR OF AGE
- Continues from one birthday, such as the 17th, to (but not including the day of) the next, such as the 18th birthday, making it clear that 17 or fewer years of age is herein treated as equivalent to the phrase "under 18 year of age" and so forth.
It shall be unlawful for any minor 17 or fewer years of age (under 18) to be or remain in or upon the streets or public properties within the Township at night during the period beginning at 12:00 midnight and ending at 5:00 a.m.
It shall be unlawful for any minor 15 or fewer years of age (under 16) to be or remain in or upon the streets or public properties within the Township at night during the period beginning at 10:00 p.m. and ending at 5:00 a.m.
In the following cases, a minor, as described above, on a street or public property within the Township during the hours for which this chapter is intended shall not be considered in violation of this chapter:
When accompanied by a parent of such minor.
When accompanied by an adult acting in loco parentis and specifically 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.
When exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly and when such activities have been scheduled with the Township.
In case of emergency or unavoidable necessity, but only after such minor's parent has communicated to the Township police personnel the facts establishing such reasonable necessity, relating to specified streets at a designated time for a described purpose, including points of origin and destination.
When the minor is on the sidewalk directly connected to the place where such minor resides.
When returning home, by a direct route from (and within 30 minutes of) the termination of a school activity or an activity of a religious or other voluntary association.
When the minor is involved in bona fide employment, as documented by duly certified working papers or work permit or is travelling directly to or from such employment.
When the minor is responding to, returning from or actively engaged in volunteer firefighting operations and is specifically authorized to engage in such activities by the respective volunteer fire company Chief or designee.
When the minor is, with parental consent, in a motor vehicle operated by an adult or older sibling, for the purpose of normal travel.
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 street or public property within the Township 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 shall, a fortiori, be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of such minor.
Police officers shall obtain the name, address, date of birth and telephone number of all minors in prima facie violation of this chapter, as well as the name, address and telephone number of the minor's parent, guardian or other adult person having legal care or custody of said minor.
In the absence of clear evidence, such as a driver's license, a police officer shall make a reasonably objective decision based on the totality of the circumstances in determining the age of the minor for enforcement purposes.
If a violation has occurred, the police officer should arrange for a parent to immediately come to the location of the violation; or transport the minor to the home or other mutually convenient location of the parent and transfer custody of the minor to the parent or adult concerned for the welfare of the minor, such as an adult sibling.
If no other reasonable alternative is available, the police officer may take the minor to the police station, where a parent shall immediately be notified to come and take custody of such minor.
When a parent or other adult specifically approved by the parent is available, the minor shall be released to the custody of such parent or other adult.
It shall be a separate violation for any parent or minor to knowingly provide false information to any police officer investigating a violation of this chapter.
For the first offense under this chapter, the parent having custody shall be warned in writing delivered in person or by regular or electronic mail of the violation and the option of prosecution for subsequent offenses.
For any subsequent violation, any parent of a minor and/or the minor involved may be cited for violating any of the provisions of this article and, shall, upon conviction before a Magisterial District Judge, be fined not less than $25 nor more than $300 and the costs of prosecution.
Any minor who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter may be reported by the Public Safety Director or his designee to a society or organization whose purpose it is to take charge of incorrigibles and delinquents, and proceedings may then proceed under the Juvenile Act.
In the event that any provision, section, sentence, clause, or part of this chapter is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect or impair any remaining provision, section, sentence, clause or part of the chapter, it being the intent of the Lower Paxton Township that such remainder shall be and shall remain in full force and effect and for this purpose the provisions of this chapter are hereby declared to be severable.