[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Goshen as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-22-1998 by L.L. No. 3-1998]
The Town Board finds and determines that there has been an increase of crime and other incidents occurring in the late night/early morning hours and involving persons under the age of 18. The Board determines that such persons are particularly susceptible to peer pressure and other types of influences that may cause them to participate in unlawful or otherwise disorderly conduct. The Board also determines that such persons are more likely to be victims of crime or other incidents if on the street during such hours. The Board has an obligation to protect persons and property and the peace and good order and to diminish the undesirable impact of such conduct on residents and business owners; to protect minors; to encourage and, if necessary, to enforce parental control over and responsibility for children; and to reduce the incidents of juvenile criminal and other disorderly conduct. The Board recognizes that minors may exercise First Amendment rights, and this article is intended to promote its purposes in a manner least intrusive on such rights.
In addition, unlawful and other disorderly conduct is particularly prevalent during the two-day Halloween period. This conduct has created problems for residents and the Police Department. The Police Department has determined that many youths are nonresidents who refuse to leave when directed by the police officers. Town officials, police officers and other citizens have received threats of violence and vandalism beyond the scope of ordinary Halloween pranksterisms. The Police Department has received complaints that emphasized that individual safety and the public welfare were in jeopardy. This Board determines that a curfew is thus necessary during the Halloween period.
For the purposes of this article, the following terms, phrases and words shall have the meanings given herein:
- An unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting condition that calls for immediate action. The term includes a fire, natural disaster, automobile accident or other situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life or damage to property.
- Any privately owned place of business operated for a profit to which it invites the public.
- Any person less than 18 years of age.
- Any individual, firm, association, partnership or corporation operating, managing or conducting any establishment. The term includes the members or partners of an association or partnership and the officers of a corporation.
- A person who is:
- The building, lot or land of an establishment.
- 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, highways, sidewalks, parks, playgrounds, the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings and transport facilities and private property open to the public for entertainment, commerce or amusement.
- To fail to leave the premises of any establishment when requested to do so by a police officer or the owner, operator or employee of the establishment.
It shall be unlawful for:
A minor to be in any public place or remain on the premises of any establishment during curfew hours in groups larger than five persons.
A minor to be in or upon private property in groups larger than five persons during curfew hours without authorization from a property owner.
A minor to be in any public place or remain on the premises of any establishment during curfew hours while in possession of shaving cream, eggs, soap, rocks, toothpaste, spray paint, flammable or combustible liquids or any other items which have or may be used for vandalism.
A minor to be in any public place or remain on the premises of any establishment during curfew hours with a group of any size, where one member of a group is in possession of shaving cream, eggs, soap, rocks, toothpaste, spray paint, flammable or combustible liquids or any other items which have or may be used for vandalism.
A minor to be in or upon private property in a group of any size during curfew hours without authorization from a property owner, where one member of a group is in possession of shaving cream, eggs, soap, rocks, toothpaste, spray paint, flammable or combustible liquids or any other items which have or may be used for vandalism.
A parent or guardian of a minor knowingly to permit or, by insufficient control, allow the minor to be in any public place or remain on the premises of any establishment during curfew hours.
The owner, operator or any employee of an establishment to knowingly allow a minor to remain on the premises of the establishment during curfew hours.
A minor shall not be considered in violation of this article if, during curfew hours, the minor is:
Accompanied by the minor's parent or guardian;
On an errand at the direction of the minor's parent or guardian, without any detour or stop;
In a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel;
Engaged in an employment activity or going to or returning home from an employment activity, without any detour or stop;
Involved in an emergency;
Attending an official school, religious or recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the government, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor; or going to or returning home from, without any detour or stop, such official activity;
Exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States or New York State Constitution, provided that the minor first has given notice to the Chief of Police by delivering a written communication signed by the minor and countersigned by a parent or guardian of the minor which specifies when, where, in what manner and for what purpose the minor will be on or in a public place or establishment during curfew hours; or
Married or had been married or had disabilities of minority removed according to applicable provisions of law.
The owner, operator or employee of an establishment shall not be considered in violation of this article if such owner, operator or employee promptly notified the Police Department that a minor was present on the premises of the establishment during curfew hours and that the minor was asked to leave and refused.
This article shall be enforced by the Police Department. Before taking any enforcement action as to a minor, a police officer shall ask the person's age and reason for being in the public place or establishment. If the officer reasonably believes that the youth has not previously violated the law or been personally notified of the law's requirements, the officer shall notify the youth of the general requirements of the law and direct the youth to proceed immediately and directly to the youth's home. However, failure by an officer to so notify a youth shall not be a defense to prosecution under this article.
The officer shall not issue an appearance ticket or make an arrest pursuant to this article unless the officer reasonably believes that a violation has occurred and that, based on the response by the minor and other circumstances, no exemption is apparent. Any minor issued an appearance ticket or arrested may be detained by the Police Department for a reasonable period of time during which an attempt shall be made to notify the minor's parent or guardian.
Any person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to violating any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation and subject to the penalties set forth below:
First violation: issuance of a warning notice.
Second violation: 10 hours of community service specified by the court.
Third violation: between 10 and 25 hours of community service specified by the court and/or a fine not to exceed $100.
Fourth and successive violations: between 10 and 75 hours of community service specified by the court and/or a fine not to exceed $250.
Fifth and successive violations: between 75 and 150 hours of community service specified by the court and a fine not to exceed $500.
The parent or guardian of a minor who is required to appear before the court at a specified date and time shall also be required to appear with the minor before the court at that date and time. Where a minor is required to perform community service, the parent or guardian shall be required to transport the minor to the place(s) where such community service shall be fulfilled.
The curfew hours on October 30, October 31 and November 1 may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Town Board after public hearing.