[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Springfield 12-14-1994 as §§ 4-1 and 4-4 of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township Council hereby determines that curfew is necessary to further the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the Township and specifically to further the following Township interests:
The reduction in the incidence of juvenile criminal activity.
The protection of the public from nocturnal mischief by minors.
The enforcement of parental control of and responsibility for their children.
Protection of the younger children from each other and from other persons on the streets during the nighttime hours.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- JUVENILE or MINOR
- Any person under the age of 18 years.
- Any person having legal custody of a juvenile as a natural or adopted parent, as a legal guardian, as a person who stands in loco parentis or as a person to whom legal custody has been given by order of the court.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any and all streets, sidewalks, boulevards, alleys or other public ways and any and all public parks, squares, spaces, grounds and buildings.
It shall be unlawful for any juvenile under the age of 18 to be or remain in or upon any of the streets, highways, roads, roadways, alleys, parks or other areas or in any quasi-public place or in any other place open to the public in the Township, either on foot or by any form of conveyance, between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, October 1 through March 31, or between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, April 1 through September 30.
A person under the age of 18 years shall not be considered in violation of this curfew under the following circumstances:
When accompanied by a parent of such juvenile.
When accompanied by an adult authorized by a parent of such juvenile to take the parent’s place in accompanying the juvenile for a designated period of time and purpose within a specified area.
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. The juvenile shall evidence the bona fide reason for such exercise by first delivering a written communication to the person designated by the Chief of Police to receive such information at the municipal building. Such communication shall be delivered 24 hours in advance and shall:
Be signed by the juvenile and countersigned by a parent of the juvenile.
Include their home address and telephone number.
Specify when, where and in what manner the juvenile will be on the street at night, during hours when the curfew is otherwise applicable to the minor, in the exercise of the first amendment rights specified in the communication.
In the case of emergency or reasonable necessity for a juvenile to be on the street, the juvenile’s parent shall communicate to the Chief of Police or the person designated by the Chief of Police to receive such notifications, the facts establishing the reasonable necessity or emergency relating to specified streets at a designated time or a described purpose, including points of origin and destination.
When the juvenile is on the sidewalk of the place where (s)he resides, or on the sidewalk of either next door neighbor, unless such neighbor communicates an objection to the police officer or to the minor or to the parent or guardian of the minor.
When returning home by a direct route from and within one hour after the termination of a school or Township sponsored activity, or an activity of a religious or other civic association.
When returning home by a direct route from the juvenile’s lawful and gainful employment, provided prior written notice has been filed with the Chief of Police, signed by the juvenile’s parent, identifying the name, address and telephone number of the employer and the usual hours of employment.
When the juvenile is, with parental consent, in a motor vehicle for the purpose of direct interstate or intrastate movements along major routes through Springfield Township and such travel begins or ends in Springfield Township.
It shall be unlawful for a parent or person having legal custody of a juvenile knowingly to permit, or by inefficient control to allow, the juvenile to be or remain upon any Township street or public place under circumstances not constituting an exception to or otherwise beyond the scope of this chapter. The term “knowingly” shall include knowledge which a parent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of the juvenile in that parent’s legal custody. this chapter is intended to continue to keep neglectful or careless parents up to a reasonable community standard of parental responsibility to an objective test. It shall, therefore, be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities, conduct or whereabouts of such juvenile.
If a police officer reasonably believes that a juvenile is on the streets or public place in violation of this chapter, the officer shall notify the juvenile that (s)he is in violation of these provisions and shall require the juvenile to provide his/her name, address and telephone number and information on how to contact his/her parents or guardians. The juvenile shall then be taken to his/her home. A complete record of the circumstances under which the juvenile was first seen or discovered in the apparent violation of this chapter shall be made. Such record shall include the name and address of the juvenile, the names and addresses of all persons who have any legal or moral obligation for the juvenile’s well-being, and the nature of such obligation, as, for example, parent, guardian or custodian.
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 that, in accordance with police regulations, approved in advance by juvenile authorities, the juvenile may temporarily 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 a first violation by a juvenile, the Chief of Police shall cause a written notice of the violation, with a warning that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of this chapter, including enforcement of parental responsibility and of applicable penalties, to be served upon the juvenile’s parent or legal guardian, either by personal service or by certified mail.
If, after the warning notice of a first violation by the juvenile, a parent violates § 76-6 in connection with a second violation by the juvenile, this shall be treated as a first offense by the parent. For the first parental offense, a parent shall be fined $50. For each subsequent offense by a parent, the fine shall be increased by an additional $100. The Municipal Judge, upon finding a parent guilty, shall sentence the parent to pay this fine and the costs of prosecution.
Any juvenile who violates any of the provisions of this chapter more than three times shall be reported by the Chief of Police to the juvenile authorities as a juvenile in need of supervision and the Chief of Police, or his/her designee, may proceed to file such charges with the Burlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, as (s)he may deem appropriate.