[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of East Orange 3-10-1980 by Ord. No. 6-1980; amended in its entirety 10-14-1997 by Ord. No. 16-1997. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Juvenile Curfew Ordinance for the City of East Orange 1997."
The Municipal Council of the City of East Orange (the "Council") has determined that there has been an increase in juvenile violence, juvenile gang activity and crime by persons under the age of 17 years in the City of East Orange and that much of said activity takes place during night and evening hours and on school days during the hours in which school is in session.
The Municipal Council has determined that persons under the age of 17 years are particularly susceptible, because of their lack of maturity and experience, to participate in unlawful and gang-related activities and to be the victims of older perpetrators of crime.
The Municipal Council has determined that a curfew for those under the age of 17 years will be in the interest of public health, safety and general welfare and will help to attain these objectives and to diminish the undesirable impact of this conduct on the citizens of the City of East Orange.
The Municipal Council has determined that passage of a curfew will protect the welfare of minors by:
Reducing the likelihood that minors will be the victims of criminal acts during the curfew hours and during the hours that school is in session.
Reducing the likelihood that minors will become involved in criminal acts or exposed to narcotics trafficking during the curfew hours and during the hours that school is in session.
Aiding parents or guardians in carrying out their responsibility to exercise reasonable supervision of minors entrusted to their care.
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future, words in the plural include the singular, and words in the singular number include the plural. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- The City of East Orange, Essex County, a municipal corporation in the State of New Jersey, whose principal place of business is located at 44 City Hall Plaza, East Orange, New Jersey 07019.
- CURFEW HOURS
- The hours from 11:00 p.m. until 5:30 a.m.
- An unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. The term "emergency" includes but is not limited to a fire, a natural disaster, an automobile accident or any situation that requires immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
- Any privately owned business operated for a profit to which the public is invited, including but not limited to any place of amusement or entertainment, store, tavern, restaurant or any other commercial or business establishment or place.
- A person, other than a parent, to whom legal custody of the minor has been given by court order or who is acting in the place of the parent or is responsible for the care, custody, control and welfare of the minor. This shall include a person who stands in loco parentis and a person to whom legal custody has been given by court order.
- (1) With respect to a parent or guardian, knowledge which a parent or guardian is reasonably expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a minor in his or her legal custody. It is intended to include and require neglectful or careless parents to maintain a reasonable community standard of parental responsibility through an objective test. There shall be no defense of a parent who is indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of such a minor when he or she has knowledge of that individual's whereabouts and he or she is not in compliance with this chapter; and
- (2) With respect to an owner, operator or employee of an establishment, knowledge that a reasonable person is expected to have concerning the status of a person as a minor, including prior contacts with such person.
- MINOR or JUVENILE
- Any person who has not attained the age of 17 years as of his/her last birthday prior to the date of the violation of this chapter, but does not include a judicially emancipated minor or a married minor.
- Any individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company or other entity that operates, manages or conducts any establishment. The term "operator" includes the members or partners of an association, partnership or limited liability company and the officers of a corporation.
- A natural parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or any person over the age of 21 years of age who has legal custody by court order or marriage of any minor and who is authorized by the natural parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or custodial parent of a child to be a caretaker for the child.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access, including but not limited to a public street, road, thoroughfare, sidewalk, bridge, alley, plaza, recreation or shopping area, public transportation facility, vehicle used for public transportation, parking lot or any other parking, public building, structure or area.
- To linger or stay or fail to leave the premises when requested to do so by a police officer or the owner, operator or other person in control of the establishment.
- SERIOUS BODILY INJURY
- Bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
- TIME OF NIGHT
- Based upon the prevailing time, whether it is either Eastern standard time or Eastern daylight saving time, generally observed at that hour by the public in the City.
It shall be unlawful for any persons under the age of 17 to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the City of East Orange between the time of 11:00 p.m. and continuing into the morning hours of the following day until 5:30 a.m.
It shall be unlawful for any minor to remain in or upon any public place on any school day during the hours in which such minor's school is in session, unless such minor has been officially excused (excluding suspensions and expulsion) from attendance at such school by school authorities.
It shall be unlawful for any parent or guardian of a minor to knowingly or negligently permit or by insufficient control allow the minor to be in any public place or on the premises of an establishment within the City of East Orange during the curfew hours.
It shall be unlawful for any parent or guardian to allow or permit any minor to be in or upon any public place at any time during the hours in which said minor's school is in session, unless such minor has been officially excused (excluding suspension and expulsion) from attendance at such school by school authorities.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, operator or any employee of an establishment to knowingly permit a minor to remain upon the premises of an establishment during curfew hours.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, operator or employee of an establishment to knowingly allow or permit any minor to remain in or upon such establishment at any time during the hours in which such minor's school is in session, unless such child has been officially excused (excluding suspension and expulsion) from attendance at such school by the school authorities.
It shall be unlawful for any juvenile to knowingly make misrepresentation of his or her age to a police officer of the City or any person, firm or corporation as specified in this chapter.
Once any person is detained under this chapter, it is his or her responsibility to establish by sufficient proof that he or she is not subject to the provisions of this chapter by virtue of having attained the age of 17 years.
It is a defense to prosecution under this chapter if any of the following applies. A minor on a City street during the hours listed in § 127-4 shall not be considered in violation of this chapter in the following instances:
The minor is accompanied by the minor's parents or guardian.
When accompanied by the parents or guardian or other adult person having the care or custody of the minor.
The minor is accompanied by an adult over 21 years of age authorized by a parent to accompany the minor for a designated period of time and specific purpose within a specific area.
The minor is exercising his/her First Amendment rights protected by the Constitution, such as free exercise of religion, speech and the right of assembly.
There exists a case of an emergency or reasonable necessity, but only after the minor's parent or guardian has confirmed the facts establishing the emergency or reasonable necessity, including the points of origin and destination, the specific streets and a designated time for a designated purpose.
The minor is on the sidewalk that abuts the minor's residence or the sidewalk that abuts the residence of the next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not object to the minor's presence on the sidewalk.
The minor is in attendance at, or returning home by a direct route from and within 30 minutes of the termination of, an official school activity or any activity of a religious, civic or voluntary association, which entity takes responsibility for the minor.
The minor is in a motor vehicle with the consent of his or her parent or guardian engaged in normal travel, either intrastate or interstate, through the City of East Orange.
The minor is traveling, without detour or stop, to or from a business or occupation which the laws of the State of New Jersey authorize the minor to perform.
The minor carries on his or her person a special permit from the Chief of Police which has been issued upon written application signed by the minor and by a parent or guardian of the minor, which application includes the name, address and telephone number of the minor; the name, address and telephone number of the minor's parent or guardian; the height, weight, sex, color of eyes and hair and other physical characteristics of the minor; and the necessity which requires the minor to be present on the public streets and the beginning and ending of the period of time involved by date and hour. The Chief of Police may grant a permit, in writing, for the use by the minor of such street and upon such hours as, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, may be reasonably necessary. In the case of an emergency, this may be accomplished by telephone or other effective communication, with a corresponding record being made contemporaneously by the Chief of Police or by his designee.
It shall be unlawful for a parent, as defined in § 127-3, having legal custody over a minor, to knowingly permit or by insufficient or lack of control to allow such minor in his or her control to remain upon any City street or in any public place, as defined in § 127-3, under circumstances not constituting an exception thereto, as defined in § 127-6, or otherwise beyond the scope as contained in this chapter.
Before taking any enforcement action under this chapter, a police officer shall ask the apparent offender's age and reasons for being in the public place. The officer shall first warn the minor that he or she is in violation of curfew and shall, during curfew hours, direct the minor to proceed at once to his or her home or usual place of abode or, during school hours, to his or her school. The officer shall not issue a citation or make an arrest under this chapter unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and that, based on any response and other circumstances, no defense in § 127-6 is proffered or is present.
If a police officer determines that a minor is committing a curfew offense, the police officer shall take the minor to the headquarters of the East Orange Police Department.
A juvenile who violates this chapter shall be detained by the East Orange Police Department at the police headquarters and released into the custody of the minor's parent, guardian or an adult person acting in loco parentis. The minor's parents, guardian or an adult person acting in loco parentis with respect to the minor shall be called to the police headquarters to take custody of the minor. The Police Department may request that the parent, guardian or adult person acting in loco parentis submit an appropriate form of identification and sign appropriate authorization. A minor who is released to a person acting in loco parentis with respect to the minor shall not be taken into custody for violation of this chapter while returning home with the person acting in loco parentis. If no one claims responsibility for the minor, the minor may be taken to the minor's residence or placed in the custody of an appropriate official of the Division of Youth and Family Services or Juveniles in Need of Supervision shelter.
If a minor violates this chapter on more than four occasions, he or she may be charged as a delinquent under the Code of Juvenile Justice, N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-20 et seq. In appropriate cases, however, the Police Department may refer the matter to the appropriate juvenile authorities as a "juvenile family crisis" pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2A:4A-22.
[Amended 6-28-1999 by Ord. No. 12-1999]
For each offense, violators of this chapter will be required to perform community service of up to 50 hours and may be fined up to $1,000. For each offense herein by a minor, the minor shall be required to perform a mandatory minimum of 10 hours' community service. If both the minor and the parent or guardian violated this chapter, they shall be required to perform community service together.
If, after the receipt of a warning notice pursuant to § 127-8 of a first violation by a juvenile, a second curfew violation is adjudicated against the same minor, the parents of the minor shall be subject to prosecution under this chapter. The parents of the minor shall be required to perform community service for a period not to exceed 50 hours and may be subject to a fine of not less than $100 but not more than $1,000. Additionally, if any parent having the care or custody of a minor is found to be in violation of this chapter and it is adjudged that both the juvenile and the juvenile's parents violated this chapter, they may be required to perform community service together.
If a minor has been found to violate this chapter twice within a six-month period, the minor shall receive a summons and complaint from the police officer who apprehended the minor for the violation of this chapter.
If a juvenile is found to be in violation of this chapter on three occasions within six months, then the minor as well as the parent having the care or custody of the minor shall receive a summons and complaint for the violation of this chapter.
Any juvenile who violates any of the provisions of the Curfew Ordinance as contained in this chapter more than four times shall be reported by the Chief of Police, or his designee, to the juvenile authorities as a juvenile in need of supervision, and the Chief of Police, Corporation Council or their designee may proceed to file such charges with the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Part, as he or she may deem appropriate.