[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Hillside 6-4-1986 by Ord. No. G-260-86 (Ch. VI, Sec. 6-22, of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
At the present time, vandals in our Township make widespread use of aerosol and spray paint and indelible markers to deface and mar public and private property. This defacement and marring of property contributes to and, if not halted, leads to the blight and degradation of neighborhoods and public places. The Township Council believes that ready accessibility to aerosol and spray paint and indelible markers facilitates their use and hinders law enforcement agencies in both preventing this defacement from continuing and in apprehending those who are committing these acts of vandalism.
The use of broad-tipped pens, paint, spray cans, pencils, pens, crayons or other marking devices to write graffiti on the walls or other spaces of public or private buildings, vehicles, areas or facilities causes serious defacement of such buildings, vehicles and area, public and private, and contributes to the deterioration of property values. Such practices exhibit a contempt for the property rights of private citizens as well as governmental authority, contribute to an erosion of respect for authority and depreciate the quality of life in the Township of Hillside. This chapter is passed to aid these agencies in their attempt to stamp out such actions within the Township of Hillside.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any unsightly, offensive or defacing by writings or other written or pictorial matter which is placed by any method or device and of any content which contributes to the defacement of real or personal property, whether public or private, which contributes to the ugliness and unsightliness of its object, space, area or community and which is detrimental to the attractiveness, neatness and good order of the municipality.
- INDELIBLE MARKER
- Any felt-tip marker, china marker or similar device that is not water soluble and which has a felt or angled writing surface 1/2 inch or greater.
- Any person under the age of 18.
No persons shall sell, exchange, give or loan any aerosol or spray can containing any substance commonly known as "paint" or containing any other opaque liquid capable of being propelled by the aerosol can or any indelible marker to any minor unless that person provides for the supervision of the minor's use of such spray can or indelible marker or unless said minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at the time of purchase or transfer.
No minor shall, at the time of purchase of any spray paint container or indelible marker, furnish fraudulent evidence of majority, including, but not limited to, a motor vehicle operator's license, a registration certificate under the Federal Selective Service Act, an identification card issued to a member of the armed forces or any document issued by a federal, state, county or municipal government.
No minor, unless accompanied by an adult, shall have in his or her possession any aerosol spray can containing any substance capable of defacing property, commonly known as "paint," or any indelible marker while upon any public highway, street, alleyway, park, playground, swimming pool or other public place, whether such minor is or is not in any automobile, vehicle or other conveyance.
Absent express permission to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess a spray paint container or indelible maker in any public building or upon any public facility or private property with intent to use the same to deface said public building, facility or property.
Any person who owns, manages or operates a place of business within the Township of Hillside wherein aerosol or spray containers of paint or indelible markers capable of defacing property are sold shall conspicuously post a copy of this chapter in such place of business in letters at least 3/8 of an inch high.
No person shall write, paint or draw any inscription, figure, graffiti or mark of any type on any building, public or private, or any other property, real or personal, owned, operated or maintained by a public benefit corporation, by the Township of Hillside or by any person firm or corporation or any agency or instrumentality thereof, without the express written permission of the owner or operator of said property.
Absent express written permission to the contrary, it shall be unlawful for any person to carry an aerosol can of paint in any public building or other public facility with intent to use the same in violation of this chapter unless such aerosol can is delivered completely enclosed in a sealed container, which aerosol can cannot be utilized unless the seal is broken and cannot be resealed by the purchaser.
"Person" as used in the previous subsections shall include person or persons under the age of 18 years.
In that circumstance, the Family Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey shall have exclusive jurisdiction of the trial of such minors, who shall be surrendered to the Family Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey, and all documentation processed shall be transferred to the aforestated Court as provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:4-11.
Any parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of a minor under 18 years of age who fails or neglects to exercise reasonable supervision and control of such minor shall be subject to civil action for any destruction or damage caused by said minor under § 171-1 et seq., and any damage caused by said minor under N.J.S.A. 2A:53A-15.
In the enforcement of this chapter, all persons, directly or indirectly involved, shall be as equally responsible and guilty as the individual who actually defaces the object or area. Any individuals who encourage and participate in such activity, as well as individuals who make available the tools, writing materials, ladders, lookout material or assistance, or who knowingly supply funds to acquire materials for such purposes, including parents and friends, shall be equally guilty and liable for punishment under this chapter.
This chapter shall not be construed to prohibit easily removed chalk markings on public sidewalks or streets in connection with traditional children's games or any lawful business or public purpose or activity.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000; imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days; and/or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days.