Borough of Columbia, PA
Lancaster County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia 5-12-2003 by Ord. No. 720 (Ch. 26 of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Borough property — See Ch. 90.
This chapter shall be known as the Borough of Columbia "Curfew Ordinance."
The Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia, recognizing the problem of crimes committed by and committed against juveniles during the nighttime and believing that it can be dealt with more effectively by regulating the hours during which minors less than 18 years of age may remain in public places and certain establishments without adult supervision and by defining more clearly certain duties and responsibilities upon those who have the custody and responsibility for the care of such minors, hereby enacts this chapter for the purpose of promoting the general welfare and protecting the general public through reduction of juvenile violence and crime within the Borough of Columbia, promoting the safety and welfare of the Borough citizens under the age of 18 years whose youth and inexperience renders them particularly vulnerable to becoming the participants in criminal activity and in being victimized by perpetrators of crime, and fostering and strengthening parental responsibility for children.
For purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their definitions 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 include the singular and words in the singular include the plural. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
AFTER HOURS and/or CURFEW HOURS
The period of time between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday nights and 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
BOROUGH
The Borough of Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with administrative offices located at 308 Locust Street, Columbia, Pennsylvania 17512.
BOROUGH OF COLUMBIA POLICE DEPARTMENT
Shall refer to the Police Department Headquarters located at 308 Locust Street, Columbia, Pennsylvania 17512, or any officially designated precinct of said Department.
EMERGENCY
Refers to unforeseen circumstances, or the status or condition resulting therefrom, requiring immediate action to safeguard life, limb or property; the term includes, but is not limited to, fires, natural disasters, automobile accidents, or other similar circumstances.
ESTABLISHMENT
Any privately owned place of business operated for a profit to which the public is invited, including, but not limited to, any place of amusement or entertainment.
MINOR or JUVENILE
Any person under the age of 18 years.
OPERATOR
Any individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation, or other entity owning, operating, managing, or conducting any establishment. Whenever used in any clause prescribing penalties for violations of this chapter, "operator" shall include the members, partners, officers, and managers of any such firm, association, partnership, corporation or other entity.
PARENT
The biological or adoptive parent of a minor; a legal guardian; or an adult person 21 years of age or older and who is authorized by a minor's parent or legal guardian to be responsible, either temporarily or permanently, for the custody or care of any minor or for the control of such minor.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, highways, streets, alleys, parks, playgrounds, vacant lots, public buildings or grounds, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops.
REMAIN
To stay behind, to tarry and to stay unnecessarily, to loiter, idle, wander, stroll, to congregate in groups totaling two or more persons in which any minor involved would not be using the public place for purposes accepted pursuant to § 101-5 hereof or to fail to leave the public place when requested to do so by a police officer or the operator or other person in control of the public place. To implement this thought with additional precision and precaution, numerous exemptions and exceptions are expressly set forth in § 101-5 so that this is not a mere prohibitory or presence type chapter.
TIME or HOUR OF THE DAY
That time generally observed at that hour in the Borough administrative offices and Police Department.
YEAR OF AGE
Continues from one birthday, such as 17th, to (but not including the day of) the next, making it clear that 17 or fewer years of age is herein treated as equivalent to the phrase "under the age of 18 years," unless specifically defined differently herein.
A. 
Unlawful conduct of minor. It shall be unlawful for any minor to be and/or remain in or upon any establishment or public place within the Borough of Columbia during the curfew hours, except as otherwise set forth in § 101-5 hereof. It shall further be unlawful for any minor to falsify any documents which said minor is required to carry or present hereunder.
B. 
Unlawful conduct of parent. It shall be unlawful for a parent of a minor to knowingly permit or to allow any minor to whom he or she is deemed a parent to be and/or remain in or upon any establishment or public place within the Borough of Columbia under circumstances not constituting an exception to, or otherwise beyond the scope of, this chapter. It shall further be unlawful for any parent to falsify any documents required to be carried by or presented by said minor hereunder. The term "knowingly" includes knowledge which a parent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a minor in that parent's custody. This provision 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 be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of such minor child.
C. 
Unlawful conduct of operator. It shall be unlawful for any operator of an establishment within the Borough of Columbia to permit any minor to remain, absent a valid exception or exception pursuant to § 101-5 hereof, upon the premises of such establishment during the curfew hours.
A. 
The following shall constitute valid exceptions/exemptions to the operation of this chapter and shall be deemed valid defenses to any prosecution hereunder:
(1) 
The minor is accompanied by said minor's parent;
(2) 
The minor is on an errand directed by the minor's parent without any detour or stop, provided that the minor has on his or her possession written identification and dated evidence of such parental direction, including a statement of the applicable date and time;
(3) 
The minor is involved in interstate travel through or beginning or terminating in the Borough of Columbia, provided that said minor has on his or her possession written identification and dated evidence of such parental consent, including a statement of the applicable date and time;
(4) 
The minor is engaged in employment activity, or going to or returning home from an employment activity, without any detour or stop, provided that said minor has on his or her possession written identification and dated evidence of such employment activity, including a statement of the applicable date and time;
(5) 
The minor is on the property of or on the sidewalk abutting a place where he or she resides with a parent or abutting the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the Police Department about the minor's presence;
(6) 
The minor is attending or returning from, without any detour or stop, an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by a public organization or agency, or by another similar organization or entity;
(7) 
The minor is involved in an emergency;
(8) 
In the case of reasonable necessity, but only after such minor's parent has communicated to the Police Department personnel the facts establishing such reasonable necessity relating to specified establishments or public places at a designated time for a described purpose including place of origin and destination; a copy of such communication, or the police record thereof, duly certified by the Chief of Police to be correct, an appropriate notation of the time it was received and of the names and addresses of such parent and minor shall constitute evidence of qualification under this exception;
(9) 
The minor 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; said minor shall evidence the bona fides of such exercise and provide notice to Borough of Columbia officials by first delivering to the Police Department a written communication, signed by such minor, with his/her home address and telephone number, addressed to the Mayor of the Borough of Columbia specifying when, where and in what manner said minor will be in or upon a public place or establishment during the curfew hours exercising such First Amendment rights;
(10) 
As to an operator, if an operator promptly notified the Police Department that a minor was present on the premises of the public place or establishment during curfew hours and refused to leave upon request to do so by said operator, or his or her agents, representatives or employees; and
B. 
Each of the foregoing exceptions, and their several limitations, such as provisions for notice and documentation, are severable as hereinafter provided.
The Chief of Police of the Police Department is hereby authorized from time to time to promulgate such rules and regulations, including the extension of the curfew hours for special occasions, as in his or her opinion shall be necessary or useful in the enforcement of this chapter, provided, however, that any such rules and regulations shall be first approved by the Council of the Borough of Columbia.
A. 
A police officer of the Borough of Columbia who has probable cause to believe that a minor is in violation of this chapter shall:
(1) 
Before taking any enforcement action under this section, a police officer shall ask the apparent offender's age and reason for being in the public place; the officer shall not issue a citation or make an arrest under this section unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and that, based on any response and other circumstances, no exception set forth in § 101-5 hereof applies;
(2) 
If the police officer ascertains that no violation has occurred, he shall direct the minor to go promptly home by a direct route; and
(3) 
In the instance that a violation has occurred, unless the minor is taken into custody, order the minor to go promptly home by a direct route.
B. 
Any minor or parent who violates the provisions of this chapter for the first time may be issued a citation. The minor may be taken into temporary custody in which his or her parents or other appropriate person shall be notified and the minor shall be released into the custody of the appropriate parent or parents of the minor or to a brother or sister 18 years of age or older. If no such person is available after reasonable efforts have been made to locate such person, then the minor shall be released to such agencies or institutions as are established for juvenile welfare. When the parent or siblings arrive, he or she shall be given a copy of this chapter.
C. 
In the case of a violation as noted above by a minor, the Chief of Police shall, by certified mail, send to the minor and the minor's parent written notice of said violation. Said notice shall be sent to the minor's parent at his or her last known address and evidence of its mailing shall constitute sufficient notice of the minor's violation.
D. 
In the case of a violation as noted in Subsection A hereof by a minor, the Chief of Police shall, by certified mail, send to the minor and the minor's parent written notice of said violation. Said notice shall be sent to the minor's parent at his or her last known address and evidence of its mailing shall constitute sufficient notice of the minor's violation.
A. 
Any minor or parent who violates any provisions of this chapter is guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction thereof, which conviction shall not occur unless appropriate warning has been made pursuant to § 101-7D hereof, shall be fined $100 for the first conviction and be subject to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Any minor or parent convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter for the second time shall be fined $200, and/or imprisoned for a term not to exceed 90 days. Any minor or parent convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter for the third time shall be fined $250 and/or imprisoned for a term not to exceed 90 days. Any minor or parent convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter for the fourth or subsequent time shall be fined $300 and/or imprisoned for a term not to exceed 90 days.
B. 
Any operator convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter for the first time shall be fined $100, and/or imprisoned for a term not to exceed 90 days. Any operator convicted of violating the provisions of this chapter for the second or subsequent time shall be fined $300 and/or imprisoned for a term not to exceed 90 days.
C. 
Each violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.
Severability is intended throughout and within the provisions of this chapter. If any provision, including inter alia, any exception, part, phrase or term or the application to any person or circumstances, is held invalid, 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 Council of the Borough of Columbia does not intend a result that is absurd, impossible to execute or unreasonable. It is intended that this chapter be held inapplicable in such cases, if any, and where its application would be unconstitutional. A constitutional construction is intended and shall be given. The Council of the Borough of Columbia does not intend to violate the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the Constitution of the United States of America.
The Borough Secretary/Treasurer shall provide notice of this chapter and of the curfew regulations established by it by having copies of this chapter posted in, on or about such public or quasi-public places as may be determined by the Mayor, the Borough Council and Police Department in order that the public may be constantly informed of the existence of this chapter and its amendments and regulations.
This chapter and the need for it shall be reviewed annually. By November 1, 2003, and each year thereafter, the Committee on Public Safety shall review this chapter and report and make recommendations to the Council of the Borough of Columbia considering the effectiveness of and the continuing need for this chapter. This report shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
A. 
The practicality of enforcing the chapter and any problems with enforcement identified by the Police Department for the Borough of Columbia;
B. 
The impact of this chapter and support programs on juvenile crime statistics;
C. 
The number of juveniles taken into custody for curfew violations; and
D. 
The number of official citizen complaints filed regarding the enforcement of this chapter.
This chapter shall be cumulative and in addition to any other laws in force.