[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Deerfleld 2-6-1991 by Ord. No. 1991-1 (Ch. 43 of the 1984 Code). This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 43, Curfew, adopted 4-21-1976 as Section 3-7 of Ch. III of the Revised General Ordinances, 1976, as amended. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Curfew Ordinance of the Township of Deerfield."
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein.
- Any person under the age of 18 or, in equivalent phrasing often herein employed, any person 17 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 loco parentis; or as a person to whom legal custody has been granted by court order.
- 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 or traffic lanes, the curbs, the sidewalks, whether paved or unpaved, and any grass plots or grounds found within the legal right-of-way of a street. The term "street" applies irrespective of what it is called or formally named, whether alley, avenue, court, road or otherwise. The term "street" also includes shopping areas, parking lots, public buildings and similar areas that are open to the use of the public.
- 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, prima facie the time then observed in the police station.
- The Township of Deerfield, Cumberland County, New Jersey.
- 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 less years of age is herein treated as equivalent to the phrase "under 18 years of age."
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.
It shall be unlawful for any persons 17 or less years of age (under 18) to be or remain in or upon the streets within the Township of Deerfield at night during the period ending at 5:00 a.m. and beginning:
No violation of the provisions of these sections shall be deemed to occur in the event that:
As a result of an emergency presenting a danger to life, safety or property, the minor was required to be out of his or her home.
The parent or guardian or custodian of such minor shall have notified the Deerfield Township Authorities, in writing, in advance that the minor has his or her permission to be in a public place between the prescribed hours and the reason therefor.
The presence of such minor is connected with or required by some legitimate employment trade or profession.
The minor is participating in or traveling home from an organized school, civic or religious activity.
The minor is accompanied by a parent of such minor.
The minor is 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.
The minor is not more than 50 feet from the minor's place of residence.
The minor is, with parental consent, in a motor vehicle. This contemplates normal travel. This clearly exempts interstate travel movement through the Township of Deerfield. This also exempts interstate travel beginning in or ending in the Township of Deerfield.
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 on any township street under circumstances not constituting an exception to or otherwise beyond the scope of the Curfew Ordinance. 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, a fortiori, be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of such minor.
If a police officer reasonably believes that a juvenile is on the street in violation of the Curfew Ordinance, the officer shall notify the juvenile that he or she is in violation of this chapter and shall require the juvenile to provide his or her name, address and telephone number and how to contact his or her parent or guardian. In determining the age of the juvenile and in the absence of convincing evidence, such as a birth certificate or driver's license, a police officer on the street shall use his or her best judgment in determining age. If the officer determines that a person is in violation of this chapter, he or she shall take the juvenile to the police station, where a parent or guardian shall be notified to come for the juvenile, whereupon they shall be questioned. This is intended to permit ascertainment, under constitutional safeguards, of relevant facts and to centralize responsibility in the person designated there and then on duty for accurate, effective, fair and impartial and uniform enforcement and recording, thus making available experience personnel and access to information and records.
Police procedures shall constantly be refined in the light of experience and may provide that the police officer may deliver to a parent or guardian thereof a juvenile of tender age near home whose identity and address may readily be ascertained or are known.
A police officer discharging an enforcement obligation under this chapter shall file a written report or shall participate to the extent of the information for which he is responsible in the preparation of a report on the curfew violation. It is not the intention of this section to require extensive reports but rather to ensure a reasonable amount of investigation for the purpose of gathering information.
When a parent or guardian, immediately called, has come to take charge of the juvenile and the appropriate information has been recorded, the juvenile shall be released to the custody of such parent. If the parent cannot be located or fails to take charge of the juvenile, then the juvenile shall be released to the juvenile authorities, except to the extent that in accordance with police regulations, approved in advance by juvenile authorities, the juvenile may be entrusted to an adult relative, neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of a parent or guardian, assume the responsibility of caring for the juvenile pending the availability or arrival of a parent or guardian.
In the case of the first violation of a juvenile, the police officer shall, by certified mail, send to the parents or guardians of the minor written notice of the violation, with a warning that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of the Curfew Ordinance, including enforcement of parental responsibility and of applicable penalties.
If, after receipt of a warning notice pursuant to § 73-6 or a first violation of a juvenile, a second curfew violation is adjudicated against the same minor, the parents or guardians of the minor shall be subject to prosecution under § 73-5. For the first parental offense, a parent shall be subject to a mandatory fine of not less than $50, and for each subsequent offense by a parent, the minimum fine shall be increased by an additional $25 (e.g., $75 for the second offense, $100 for the third offense), and the juvenile will be required to perform community service work in addition thereto. The Judge of the Municipal Court of the Township of Deerfield, upon a finding of guilty, may sentence the parent to pay this fine and costs of prosecution.
Any juvenile who shall violate any of the provisions of the Curfew Ordinance more than three times shall be reported by the police to the juvenile authorities as a juvenile in need of supervision, and the police may proceed to file such charges with the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part, Cumberland County, as he may deem appropriate.
Notice of the existence of this chapter and of the curfew regulations established by it shall be posted in, on or about such public or quasi-public area as may be determined by the Township Clerk in order that the public may be constantly informed of the existence of this chapter and its regulations.