[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Pine Grove 5-16-2011 by Ord. No. 416. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 90, Curfew, adopted 9-7-1978 by Ord. No. 236, as amended.
Short title. This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as the "Minor's Curfew Ordinance."
This chapter is created for the protection of minors from each other and from other persons, the enforcement of parental control over, and responsibility for, children, the protection of the general public from nocturnal criminal mischief by minors, and the reduction of the incidence of juvenile criminal activities, all for the good of minors, for the furtherance of family responsibility, and for the public good, safety, and welfare.
Those under the age of 18 can become particularly susceptible, because of their lack of maturity, judgment, and experience, to participate in unlawful and gang-related activities and to be the victims of older perpetrators of crime.
This chapter is not intended to infringe upon the freedoms of resident youth, but rather to ensure that minors have adequate parental/guardian supervision during focal times of the day, and to offer support to minors and parents/guardians experiencing curfew concerns.
Adequate indoor living space in the Borough permits minors to healthfully occupy their time.
Commercial recreational facilities are almost nonexistent, and there is little or nothing for minors to do outdoors but roam the streets after the curfew hours.
The Borough is a stable family community. Parental responsibility for the whereabouts of children is the norm, legal sanctions to enforce such responsibility have had a demonstrated effectiveness over the years, as parental control increases likelihood of juvenile delinquency decreases, and there is a continuing need for the nocturnal curfew for minors which has achieved and will continue to achieve under local conditions the purposes hereinbefore stated.
A comprehensive Minors Curfew Ordinance for those under the age of 18 can serve the best interests of the public health, safety, and general welfare of the Borough and will help to attain these objectives and to diminish the undesirable impact of criminal conduct on the citizens of the Borough.
Reducing the likelihood that minors will be the victims of criminal acts during the curfew hours;
Reducing the likelihood that minors will become involved in criminal acts or exposed to narcotics trafficking during the curfew hours; and
Aiding parents or guardians in carrying out their responsibility to exercise reasonable supervision of minors entrusted to their care.
The Borough hereby finds, determines, and declares that this chapter is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public health, safety, and welfare of the citizens residing within the Borough and to provide for the protection of the welfare of minors within the Borough of Pine Grove.
Applicability. This chapter shall apply uniformly to all persons within the Borough of Pine Grove, and shall be binding upon the officials of the Borough of Pine Grove as specified hereinafter.
Definitions and word usage.
Unless specifically defined, words or phrases used herein shall be interpreted so as to give them the same meaning as they have in common usage and so as to give this chapter its most reasonable application consistent with the intent and applicability herein expressed.
The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
Words used in the present tense include the future and past, words in the plural number include the singular, words in the singular number include words in the plural, and words either in the feminine, masculine, or neuter shall include words of the other two genders; EXCEPT where the context dictates that only the stated tense, number or gender should apply.
Throughout this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the specific definitions provided:
- Pine Grove Borough, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, with administrative offices at One Snyder Avenue, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, 17963.
- Any Magisterial District Justice Office or the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas.
- Any organization or place of business carried on for profit or for nonprofit purposes, or any place of amusement or entertainment in which the public is invited.
- Any person under the age of 18 years of age.
- Any individual, firm, association, partnership, or corporation operating, managing, conducting or working for any establishment; and, whenever used in any clause prescribing a penalty, the term "operator," as applied to associations or partnerships shall include members or partners as well as employees or agents thereof, and as applied to corporations, shall include officers of the corporation thereof, and, in the case of any business or other entity operating under a fictitious name, shall include the owner, and his or her employees or other agents.
- Any person having legal custody of a minor:
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any public street, highway, road, alley, park, playground, sidewalk, vacant lot, or other area generally open to the public.
- As referred to herein, is based on the prevailing standard of time in the Borough, whether Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Saving Time, prima facie the time then observed in the Borough administrative offices and police station.
Application of statutes and ordinances. The provisions of Borough Code and the Laws, as aforementioned and any other related and applicable Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including any amendments thereto, shall apply within the Borough of Pine Grove; except, the specific provisions of this chapter shall be read to clarify those provisions. All provisions herein are to be construed, whenever possible, to be consistent with the provision of the Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and all provisions herein shall be construed as clarified, and augmented by applicable provisions of said Laws. Notwithstanding anything herein provided, the provisions of all the Borough Ordinances shall apply, except such ordinances are herein or hereafter specifically amended or repealed.
Repealer. All prior Ordinances, or parts of Ordinances, expressly inconsistent herewith, or dealing with the same or similar subject matter of this chapter, are expressly repealed. Specifically repealed, effective on even date with the effective date of this chapter, are all provisions, sections, sentences, clauses and parts of Ordinance Nos. 150, 236, 280, 370 and 375.
Enforcement. The Mayor, through the Borough Police Department under his control, and in cooperation with any other Borough appointed or designated official, shall enforce the provisions of this chapter.
In addition to the assessment and fines provided for in this chapter, a person convicted hereunder shall pay all costs of prosecution.
In addition to the assessments, fines and costs all other actions are hereby reserved, including in equity for the proper enforcement of this chapter.
The imposition of a fine or other penalty for any violation of, or noncompliance with, provision of this chapter shall not excuse the violation or noncompliance or permit to continue; and all persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violation or noncompliance. The assessments, fines, penalties, and other actions provided for in this chapter shall be cumulative and resorting to any one remedy shall not preclude the Borough from pursuing other remedies provided for herein or by applicable Laws of this Commonwealth.
No operator of any establishment shall permit any minor to remain upon the premises of said establishment between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless the minor is accompanied by a parent/guardian. Additionally, all operators of such establishments within the boundaries of the Borough must post notice in a readily readable size and location within their establishment stating that all patrons under the age of eighteen who are not accompanied by a parent/guardian must vacate the premises at 10:30 p.m. Furthermore, all operators of such establishments must make a verbal announcement at 10:30 p.m. stating that all patrons under the age of eighteen who are not accompanied by a parent/guardian must vacate the premises immediately.
It shall be unlawful for any minor to be at or remain in or upon any public place during scheduled school hours on any day in which school is in session in the School District of Pine Grove Area or other school district, including any charter or private school in which the child resides and/or is enrolled, unless such minor is on a scheduled vacation or holiday observed by the school district or school or that child has permission to be absent from school or to be in a public place or establishment from an authorized school official. In case the minor is educated through a home school program pursuant to Pennsylvania Home Education Program, 24 P.S. § 13-1327.1, the minor's custodian shall be deemed an authorized school official.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
Any minor attending an activity sponsored by school, religious, nonprofit, governmental, or similar organization in which the activity is supervised by adults, and when returning home by a direct route from (and within 30 minutes of the termination of) such activity.
Any minor or operator of an establishment in which the minor is employed in lawful employment during curfew hours.
A minor operating a vehicle during nighttime curfew hours, if the minor possesses a valid senior driver's license.
Any minor traveling directly from their lawful place of employment to their home after working past curfew hours, or is immediately traveling from an activity described in Subsection A, which occurred past curfew hours, and is not engaged in any other activity.
Any minor on active duty in the United States Armed Forces.
When accompanied by an adult authorized, in writing, 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, which adult shall be 21 years of age or more.
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. Such minor shall evidence the bona fides of such exercise by first delivering to the Borough Council a written communication, signed by the minor and countersigned by the minor's parent with their home address and telephone number, specifying when, where and in what manner said minor will be on the streets or public property at night in the exercise of a First Amendment right specified in such communication.
A minor and/or parent may be cited with a summary criminal offense if the minor is found in violation of curfew. The fine for the first offense shall be up to $50 and the costs of prosecution. Upon second violation of this chapter (including situations wherein the first violation had occurred in another jurisdiction), the fine shall be a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $200 and the costs of prosecution. Upon third or subsequent violations of this chapter (including situations wherein the first or second violation had occurred in other jurisdictions), the fine shall be a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $1,000 and the costs of prosecution.
The court is encouraged, when appropriate, to consider counseling and/or community service or other diversionary programs as an alternative sentence to the penalties prescribed above.
The court is encouraged to refer unpaid curfew fines and/or sentences to Juvenile Probation.
Any operator of an establishment knowingly allowing minors to be upon their premises between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., or failing to post notice/make announcement as required by this chapter, shall pay a fine not exceeding $1,000, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both for each minor found to be in violation of curfew upon the establishment and/or for each day not in compliance with the posting notice/making verbal announcement stipulation.
Any minor found upon the street or public property within the Borough in violation of this chapter shall be taken into police custody and to the Borough police station and/or appropriate curfew center, where a parent shall be notified immediately to come for such minor. When a parent 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.
In the event any provision, section, sentence, clause, or part of this chapter shall be held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect or impair any remaining provision, section, sentence, clause or part of this chapter, it being the intent of the Borough Council 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.
In the event any Legislation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by the United States or any regulation promulgated by a duly authorized agency of the commonwealth or the federal government shall be or become effective dealing with the same or similar subject matter as that included in any provision, section, sentence, clause or part of this chapter, such shall remain in full force and effect if it is more restrictive, and not inconsistent, with such legislation or regulation, the more restrictive provision, section, sentence, clause or part of this chapter shall be interpreted according to such legislation or regulation and not superseded by it. However, all the remaining parts of this chapter shall be and shall remain in full force and effect and for this purpose the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable, and, also consist herewith. The provisions of this chapter may be superseded and automatically amended by any more restrictive state or federal legislation or any regulations promulgated by a duly authorized state or federal agency.
Effective date. This chapter shall become fully effective and applicable on the 15th day after enactment by the Pine Grove Borough Council.
Warning. The degree of protection sought by the provisions of this chapter is considered reasonable for regulatory purposes.