Town of Brookhaven, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven 12-21-1993 by L.L. No. 23-1993, effective 1-3-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Town of Brookhaven Graffiti and Defacement of Property Law."
A. 
The Town Board hereby finds and declares that the increasing incidence of graffiti has become a serious problem in the Town of Brookhaven. The unabated proliferation of graffiti is a physical blight upon the landscape of the Town and is destroying the esthetic qualities of its communities. The Town Board further finds that graffiti is harmful to the general public, violative of the public health, peace, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Brookhaven and presents an image of a deteriorating community, a community that no longer cares about itself. The Town Board further finds that the cost associated with the repair and removal of graffiti is causing severe economic hardship to the taxpayers, merchants and property owners of the Town of Brookhaven. The Town Board further finds that such defacement of public and private property is most frequently committed by individuals under the age of 18 years using aerosol spray cans and other writing implements; that such writing implements are obtained from retail stores and by mail order through underground publications. The Town Board further finds that such individuals rarely have a legitimate need for such writing implements and that where such a need exists, such instruments may be furnished by a parent or guardian.
B. 
It is the intent of this chapter that any person guilty of defacing public or private property, or unlawful possession or sale of writing implements used or intended to be used to deface public or private property, shall be appropriately punished as provided by this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BROAD-TIP MARKER
Any felt-tip marker or similar implement which has an applicator surface of greater than one-quarter square inch.
COMMUNITY SERVICE
Any organization or program employed by the criminal courts or judiciary to provide for appropriate alternate sentences to fine or imprisonment.
DEFACE
To mark the face or surface of, disfigure, injure, spoil or otherwise alter the appearance of property without the consent and express permission of the owner or proprietor thereof, or in the case of public property, of the person having charge, custody or control thereof.
DEFACEMENT
Any mark or disfigurement of any face or surface that disfigures, injures, spoils or otherwise alters the appearance of property without the consent and express permission of the owner or proprietor thereof, or in the case of public property, of the person having charge, custody or control thereof.
[Added 5-24-2011 by L.L. No. 14-2011, effective 6-9-2011]
GRAFFITI
Any inscription, figure, mark or design which is written, etched, scratched, painted, drawn or applied to property.
PROPERTY
Any property, real or personal, private or public, in whatever phase of construction or completion, including but not limited to buildings and appurtenances, dwellings and structures of any kind, as well as the doors, windows, steps, railings, fencing, balconies, stairs, balustrades, porches, halls or walls which are a part thereof, bridges, trestles, streets, highways, sound barriers, sidewalks, statues, monuments, utility poles, signs, trees, rocks, passenger or commercial vehicles, or vehicles of mass transit.
No person within the Town of Brookhaven shall deface any property with graffiti.
No person within the Town of Brookhaven shall possess, under circumstances evincing an intent to violate any provisions of this chapter, any aerosol paint can or broad-tip marker or any other tool, instrument, article, substance, solution or compound designed or commonly used to deface property with graffiti.
A. 
No person within the Town of Brookhaven shall sell or offer to sell an aerosol paint can or broad-tip marker to any person under 18 years of age.
B. 
No person under 18 years of age shall purchase or attempt to purchase an aerosol paint can or broad-tip marker.
C. 
No person shall provide or make available to any other person an aerosol paint can or broad-tip marker, if that person knows or has reason to know that said other person intends to violate any section of this chapter.
All persons within the Town of Brookhaven who sell or offer for sale aerosol paint cans or broad tip markers shall post conspicuous signs, containing all capital lettering not less than two inches in height on a contrasting background, summarizing the prohibitions contained in § 48-6 of this chapter and further stating "UNDER PENALTY OF LAW AND CRIMINAL PROSECUTION."
[Added 4-3-2001 by L.L. No. 5-2001, effective 4-9-2001[1]; amended 5-24-2011 by L.L. No. 14-2011, effective 6-9-2011]
A. 
Duty to keep property free from graffiti and/or defacement. Owners and/or tenants of all private buildings and structures marked by graffiti or other form of defacement shall have the defacement and/or graffiti removed.
B. 
Requirement of notice. The Town of Brookhaven shall serve a notice of violation upon the owner and/or tenants of the structure, which will require that all graffiti and/or defacement shall be removed and the surface finish restored in accordance with the time periods in Subsection B(1) and (2) below. The notice shall further provide a listing of local governmental or volunteer agencies or departments that may provide the owners and/or tenants with graffiti and/or defacement removal without cost to the owners and/or tenants.
(1) 
Graffiti and/or defacement located on occupied residential structures and their accessory structures, fences or barriers shall be removed and the surface finish restored within 14 days of receipt of the notice of violation.
(2) 
Graffiti and/or defacement located on all structures, other than those described in Subsection B(1) above, and their accessory structures, fences or barriers shall be removed and the surface finish restored within five days of receipt of the notice of violation.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also renumbered former §§ 48-8 and 48-9 as 48-9 and 48-10, respectively.
[Amended 4-3-2001 by L.L. No. 5-2001, effective 4-9-2001; 4-16-2009 by L.L. No. 7-2009, effective 4-27-2009; 5-24-2011 by L.L. No. 14-2011, effective 6-9-2011; 8-28-2012 by L.L. No. 19-2012, effective 9-11-2012]
A. 
Any person who violates §§ 48-4 and 48-5 of this chapter shall be punishable as follows: upon a first conviction, by a fine of $1,000 to $2,000 or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment; upon a second or subsequent conviction, by a fine of $2,000 to $3,000 or by imprisonment for not less than 15 days nor more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. For purposes of this subsection, a second violation shall be prosecuted as a misdemeanor. In addition, any person who violates § 48-4 or 48-5 of this chapter shall be liable for the reasonable cost, as determined by the court, of restoring the defaced property to its original condition.
[Amended 6-26-2018 by L.L. No. 14-2018, effective 7-9-2018]
B. 
Any person who violates § 48-6A, 48-6B or 48-6C of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for one year, or both, for each violation thereof. The court may suspend any fine or imprisonment by sentencing the defendant to perform appropriate and suitable community service.
[Amended 6-26-2018 by L.L. No. 14-2018, effective 7-9-2018]
C. 
Any person who violates § 48-7 of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $250 and, for a second or subsequent offense, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $500, or six months' imprisonment, or both.
[Amended 6-26-2018 by L.L. No. 14-2018, effective 7-9-2018]
D. 
Any person who violates § 48-8 of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine of not more than $150.
[Amended 6-26-2018 by L.L. No. 14-2018, effective 7-9-2018]
E. 
The parent or legal guardian, other than the state or local Social Services Department or foster parent, of any minor over the age of 10 and under 18 who violates any section of this chapter, with the exception of § 48-8, shall be liable for any damages and/or restoration costs that result from such violations of this chapter where it is determined by the court that the defendant has failed to, or is financially incapable of, restoring the defaced property as required by Subsection A of this section.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy and in which such judgment shall have been rendered.