[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Maple Shade 2-18-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-1, which ordinance superseded former Ch. 79, Curfew, adopted 9-3-1986 by Ord. No. 1986-18 (Ch. 48 of the 1975 Code), as amended. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Loitering and parental responsibility — See Ch. 121.
The Township Council has received the petitions of and heard testimony from parents requesting the institution of a Township curfew.
The Township of Maple Shade recognizes a need to provide for the protection of minors from each other and from other persons, for the enforcement of parental control over and responsibility for children, for the protection of the general public, and for the prevention of an increase in juvenile criminal activities.
The curfew for those under the age of 17 will be in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare and will help to attain the foregoing objectives and to diminish the undesirable impact of such conduct of the citizens of the Township of Maple Shade and will promote the public good, safety and welfare.
The Township Council has determined that a curfew ordinance will increase parental responsibility for juveniles within their control and decrease juvenile delinquency.
The passage of this chapter is pursuant to the Township of Maple Shade's power as stated in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.52
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. 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 discretionary.
- An unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. The term includes, but is not limited to, a fire, natural disaster, or automobile accident, or any situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
- JUVENILE or MINOR
- Any unemancipated person under the age of 17.
- Any person having legal custody of a juvenile as a natural or adoptive parent, as a legal guardian, or as a person to whom legal custody has been given by court order.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, common areas of schools, shopping centers, parking lots, parks, playgrounds, transportation facilities, theaters, restaurants, shops, bowling alleys, cafes, arcades, and similar areas that are open to the use of the public.
- To stay behind, to tarry and to stay unnecessarily in a public place in which any juvenile involved would not be using the streets for ordinary or serious purposes such as mere passage or going home, or to fail to leave the premises of an establishment. To implement this provision with additional precision and precaution, numerous exceptions are expressly defined in this chapter.
- The Township of Maple Shade, New Jersey, with administrative offices at 200 Stiles Avenue, Maple Shade, New Jersey (08052).
[Amended 10-5-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-13]
It shall be unlawful for any person under 17 to be or remain in or upon a public place within the Township of Maple Shade during the period beginning at 11:00 p.m., prevailing time, and ending at 6:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. On all other nights, curfew shall begin at 10:00 p.m., prevailing time, except for October 30 (commonly known as “Mischief Night”) when the curfew shall begin at 8:00 p.m., prevailing time, and on October 31 (commonly known as “Halloween”) when curfew shall begin at 9:00 p.m., prevailing time.
The following shall constitute valid exceptions to the operation of this chapter.
When a juvenile is accompanied by a parent of such juvenile, or by an adult authorized by a parent of such juvenile to take said parent's place in accompanying said juvenile for a designated period of time and purpose within a specified area.
When the juvenile is on an errand involving a medical emergency as directed by a parent of such juvenile.
When a juvenile is 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, by carrying upon his or her person a writing signed by the juvenile and countersigned by a parent of the juvenile with their home address and telephone number, specifying when, where and in what manner the juvenile will be in a public place during hours when this chapter is applicable to said minor in the exercise of the First Amendment right specified in such writing.
When a juvenile is on the sidewalk or property where the juvenile resides, or on either side of or across the street from the place where the juvenile resides, and the adult owner or resident of that property has given permission for the juvenile to be there.
When a juvenile is returning home by a direct route (without any unnecessary detour or stop) from and within one hour of the termination of a school activity or an activity or a cultural, educational or social event sponsored by a religious or community-based organization.
When the juvenile is legally employed and is traveling to, or returning home from, by a direct route, the juvenile's place of employment.
When the juvenile is, with parental consent, engaged in normal interstate travel through the Township or originating or terminating in the Township.
It shall be unlawful for a parent having legal custody of a juvenile knowingly to permit or by inefficient control to allow the juvenile to remain in any Township public place under circumstances not constituting an exception to, or otherwise beyond the scope of, this chapter. The term "knowingly" includes knowledge that a parent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a juvenile in that parent's legal custody. This requirement is intended to hold a neglectful or careless parent up to a reasonable community standard of parental responsibility through an objective test. It shall, therefore, be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or 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 he/she 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 police headquarters where a parent or guardian shall immediately be notified to come for the juvenile. 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 juvenile's well-being, and the nature of such obligation, as, for example, parent, guardian or custodian.
When a parent or guardian has come to take charge of the juvenile, and the appropriate information has been recorded, the juvenile shall then 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 in accordance with police regulations which provide that 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 § 79-4 in connection with a second violation by the juvenile, this shall be treated as a first offense by the parent.
Any person who violates this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a proceeding before a court of competent jurisdiction, be required to perform community service and may be subject to a fine of up to $200. If both a juvenile and the juvenile's parent or guardian violate this chapter, they shall be required to perform community service together.
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 Burlington County Superior Court, Family Part, as a delinquent juvenile.
Severability is intended throughout and within the provisions of this chapter. If any provision, including any exception, part, phrase, or term, or the application to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby and the validity of this chapter in any and all other respects shall not be affected thereby.
The Township Council shall continue its evaluation and updating of this chapter through methods including, but not limited to: Within six months after the implementation of this chapter, and periodically thereafter, the Chief of Police shall provide the Township Council with a report containing the number of warnings issued and arrests of juveniles and parents hereunder, and such other information as the Township Council may request.
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 places as may be determined by the Township Manager or the Police Department in order that the public may be constantly informed of the existence of this chapter.