[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville 3-13-11 as Ord. No. 36. Section 69-2B amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Amended in its entirety 6-17-96 by Ord. No. 2016. Further amendments noted where applicable.]
For purposes of this chapter, the following items shall be defined to mean:
CURFEW HOURS — 11:00 p.m. on any day until 6:00 a.m. of the next day.
EMERGENCY — An unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. The term includes, but is not limited to, a fire, a natural disaster, an automobile accident, or any situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
ESTABLISHMENT — Any privately owned place of business operated for a profit to which the public is invited, including but not limited to any place of amusement or entertainment.
GUARDIAN — A person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor, or a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by a court.
MINOR — Any person under eighteen (18) years of age.
PARENT — A person who is a natural parent, adoptive parent or step parent of another person; or at least eighteen (18) years of age and authorized by a parent or guardian to have the care and custody of a minor.
PUBLIC PLACE — Any place to which the public has access including, but not limited to, a public street, road, thoroughfare, sidewalk, bridge, alley, plaza, park, recreation, athletic or shopping area, public transportation facility, vehicle used for public transportation, parking lot or any other public building, structure or area.
REMAIN — To linger or stay; or fail to leave premises when requested to do so by a police officer or the owner, operator, or other person in control of the premises.
A minor commits an offense if he/she remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the borough during curfew hours.
A parent or guardian of a minor commits an offense if the parent knowingly permits, or by insufficient control, allows the minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the borough during curfew hours.
It is a defense to prosecution under Section 69-2 that the minor was:
Accompanied by the minor's parent or guardian;
On an errand at the direction of the minor's parent or guardian, without any detour or stop;
In a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel;
Engaged in an employment activity, or going to or returning home from an employment activity, without any detour or stop;
Involved in an emergency;
On the sidewalk abutting the minor's residence or abutting the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the Police Department about the minor's presence;
Attending an official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the Borough of Somerville, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor or going to or returning home from without any detour or stop, an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the Borough of Somerville, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor;
Exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and the rights of assembly.
Before taking any enforcement action under this section, a police officer shall ask the apparent offender's age and reason for being in the public place. The officer shall not issue a citation or make an arrest under this section unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and that, based on any response and other circumstances, no defense in Section 69-3 is present.
A person who violates a provision of this chapter is guilty of a separate offense for each day or part of a day during which the violation is committed, continued, or permitted. Each offense, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000).