[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Secaucus 7-25-95 as Ord. No. 95-20. Amended in its entirety 11-14-95 by Ord. No. 95-29. Further amendments noted where applicable.]
No person shall willfully, intentionally or maliciously damage, deface, injure or otherwise vandalize the property of another by painting, scribbling or inscribing in what is commonly referred to as graffiti or damage, deface, injure or otherwise vandalize the property of another by any other means, on a public street or otherwise, or commit graffiti thereon whether the same embraces any obscenity, vulgarity or any other inscriptions or markings.
If at the time of the offense charged, any persons shall be under the age of 18 years, the Family Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of the trial of such minor or minors and such minor or minors shall be surrendered to the Family Court, and the case, including all papers and process thereto, shall be transferred to said Court as provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:4-11.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to imprisonment not exceeding 90 days and/or a fine not exceeding $1,000 and/or appropriate community service or other restitution at the discretion of the municipal Court. Each day that any violation of any section of this chapter shall exist shall constitute a separate offense and shall be charged as a separate offense by the issuance of additional process.
In the event that the present complaint shall result in a second determination of a violation of this chapter, of any person under the age of 18 years, the parents or guardian of such minor shall be liable in an action brought by the injured property owner before the Municipal Court for a penalty of the amount of the pecuniary damage sustained by the injured property owner.
Any person who violates this chapter shall also be responsible for cleaning, replacing, painting, or otherwise repairing the property which he has damaged, defaced or vandalized so as to bring the property to the condition it was in prior to its being graffitied, or otherwise being damaged.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, exchange, give or loan or cause or permit to be sold, exchanged, given or loaned, or offer to sell, exchange, give or loan any pressurized can containing paint or dye or any felt tip marker, china marker or similar device that is not water soluble and which has a flat or angled writing surface 1/8 inch or greater, which is not ordinarily used as a writing instrument, to any person under the age of 18 years, unless such person be the parent or legal guardian of such person under the age of 18 years. It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to purchase any pressurized can containing paint or dye, or such marker.
It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to have in his or her possession any pressurized can containing paint or dye, or a marker as defined in Section 126-6 above, while on the public highway, street, park, playground or other public place, whether such person is or is not in any automobile, vehicle or other conveyance.
Upon notice to the owner of any property situate within the Town of Secaucus that graffiti or any other damage, affecting the attractiveness of the property, exists on the same, such owner shall be responsible for cleaning, replacing, painting and otherwise repairing the property which contains such graffiti or other damage to the condition in which it was found prior to such graffiti or other damage being placed upon such property. Said notice to the owner of such property shall schedule a hearing which shall be conducted by hearing officers, which shall be a committee consisting of the Building Inspector, Construction Official and Building and Grounds Foreman, the date of which hearing shall be not less than 15 days from the date said notice is served upon the owner of such property by either personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, so that the owner of such property may be given an opportunity to present evidence concerning the nonexistence of such graffiti or other damage. Should the owner of such property either fail to appear at such hearing or fail to prevail with regard to the factual determination which is made by the hearing officers concerning the existence of graffiti or other such damage upon the subject property, then the Town shall proceed, on the fifteenth (15th) day following such hearing date to arrange to remove the graffiti and/or correct the damage and shall charge the owner the actual amount required to be expended by the Town for such removal.
Upon a determination by the hearing officers as defined in Section 126-8, that any property situate within the Town of Secaucus is in violation of this chapter, and upon failure of the owner thereof to remove the graffiti or correct the damage before the 15th day following the hearing date at which said determination is made by the hearing officers, the owner thereof shall be in violation of this chapter and shall be subject to all of the penalties provided herein.
It shall be unlawful for the parents, legal guardian or other person having custody and care of any person under the age of 18 years to assist, aid, abet, allow, permit or encourage said minor to violate the provisions of any section of this chapter, either by words, overt act, by failing to act, or by lack of supervision and control over said minor child. The parents, legal guardian or other person having custody and care of any person under the age of 18 years who shall violate any section of this chapter shall be subject to all of the penalties which are provided herein except incarceration, as if said parents, legal guardian or other person having such custody and care were the actor who actually violated such section of this chapter.
Any person who provides information or evidence which leads directly to the conviction of any person for the acts of vandalism and graffiti as established by this chapter shall be entitled to a reward of $250. A determination as to whether the evidence and/or information has led directly to the conviction of the person violating this ordinance shall be at the sole discretion of the Chief of Police. Any dispute concerning this determination can be brought to the Mayor and Council within 10 days of the written determination from the Chief of Police.
No license shall be issued to any person, persons or corporation seeking to operate any business which requires the issuance of such license if the applicant therefor seeks to locate the same in a building upon which graffiti has been placed.
The administrative and legislative branches of government of the Town of Secaucus shall endeavor to have the municipalities which are situated in close territorial proximity to the Town of Secaucus adopt legislation prohibiting the conduct which this chapter deems unlawful.