[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie 6-28-1995 by L.L. No. 11-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Property maintenance — See Ch. 159.
It has become apparent that the use of pens, writing and artistic devices and spray can and marking devices used in connection with the writing of graffiti on walls and other places of buildings and property has reached such significant levels and proportions that immediate local attention should be given this matter by this municipality. The defacing of such property and the use of foul language in many of the writings is harmful to the general public and violative of the good and welfare of the citizens, residents and people of the Town of Poughkeepsie, and has significantly affected property value by the damage to property. It is the further intent of this chapter that any person guilty of writing graffiti on buildings and property shall be punished so that the punishment shall fit the offense.
No person shall write, paint or draw any inscription, figure or mark of any type on any building, whether publicly or privately owned, or upon any other real or personal property, whether publicly or privately owned, located within the geographical boundaries of the Town of Poughkeepsie without the expressed written permission of the owner of the property or his agent.
[Amended 6-3-2009 by L.L. No. 22-2009]
Violations of this offense shall be prosecuted in the local Justice Court by the Town Attorney or his designee. A person who is found guilty of this offense shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 for the first offense and of not more than $2,000 for a second or subsequent offense or imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. In addition, a person may be sentenced to a conditional discharge, which shall include but not be limited to community service, restitution, a direction the damage caused by graffiti be removed or such other conditions as the Justice Court may deem appropriate given the circumstances of each case.
In addition to any other remedies set forth herein authorizing the Town to enforce the provisions of this chapter, establishing penalties, and setting forth additional remedies, the person charged with the responsibility to enforce the provisions of this chapter may impose a civil fine or agree to a civil fine not to exceed $1,000 per day for each day of the violation. If said civil fine is imposed, then the alleged violator may appeal to the Town Board.
Under the authority of § 91 of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York, any person who shall provide information which leads to the detection, arrest and conviction of any other person of a violation of this chapter shall be entitled to a reward equal to 1/2 of any fine imposed by the court, but in no event greater than $1,000.
It is the responsibility of the owner, or his agent, of the building or structure which has been defaced without the owner's, or his agent's, prior written permission by a writing, painting or drawing of any inscription, figure or mark to completely remove said graffiti from the building or structure within 30 days of receipt of written notice of the defacement by the Police Department, said notice having been served personally or as otherwise permitted by law.
Failure of the owner of the building or structure to remove the graffiti within the time allowed after written notice may subject the owner to a fine of not more than $250 for the first offense. Each ten-day period thereafter shall be deemed a separate offense and shall subject the owner to additional fines not to exceed $250 for each offense.
If any provision of this chapter is held to be invalid or unenforceable, all other provisions shall, nevertheless, continue in full force and effect.
This chapter shall take effect immediately upon the filing with the Secretary of State of the State of New York.