Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Atlantic City 5-24-2006 by Ord. No. 32-2006.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 115, Curfew, adopted 12-13-1995 by Ord. No. 88-1995, as amended.

§ 115-1 Title.

This chapter may be cited as the "Juvenile Curfew Act of 2006."

§ 115-2 Findings and purpose.

A. 
The City Council of the City of Atlantic City ("Council") has determined that there has been an increase in juvenile violence, juvenile gang activity and crime by persons under the age of 18 years in the City of Atlantic City and that much of said activity takes place during night and evening hours.
B. 
The Council has further determined that there has been a significant breakdown in the supervision and guidance normally provided by parents and guardians for persons under the age of 18 years, resulting in juveniles being involved in a wide range of unacceptable behavior and illegal activities.
[Amended 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014]
C. 
The Council has further determined that persons under the age of 18 years are particularly susceptible, because of their lack of maturity and experience, to involvement in unlawful activities and to be victims of perpetrators of crime.
D. 
The Council has further determined that the offensive and illegal activities of minors are not easily controlled by existing laws and ordinances because the activities are easily concealed whenever police officers are present, and the establishment of reasonable curfew regulations will enable the community to better control the free and unobstructed access to the streets and public places by the majority of residents and will enable the police to act reasonably and fairly to prevent the violation of laws and ordinances by juveniles.
[Amended 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014]
E. 
The Council has further determined that a curfew for persons under the age of 18 years meets a local need and that curfew ordinances in other communities have been a significant factor in minimizing juvenile delinquency. A curfew in the City of Atlantic City is particularly appropriate in view of the high population density and the mixed use of residential and commercial areas. The regulation of juveniles is an attempt to minimize danger to juveniles and the community during nighttime hours when criminal activity is more prevalent.
[Amended 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014]
F. 
The Council determines that passage of a curfew will protect the welfare of juveniles by:
[Amended 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014]
(1) 
Reducing the likelihood that juveniles will be the victims of criminal acts during the curfew hours;
(2) 
Reducing the likelihood that juveniles will become involved in criminal acts or exposed to narcotics trafficking during the curfew hours; and
(3) 
Aiding parents and guardians in carrying out their responsibility to exercise reasonable supervision of juveniles entrusted to their care.

§ 115-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CURFEW HOURS
Any time between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
[Amended 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014]
EMERGENCY
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.
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.
GUARDIAN
A person, other than a parent, to whom legal custody of the juvenile has been given by court order or who is acting in the place of the parent or is responsible for the care and welfare of the juvenile.
JUVENILE
An individual who is under the age of 18 years.
[Added 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014[1]]
NARCOTIC TRAFFICKING
The act of engaging in any prohibited activity related to narcotic drugs or controlled substances as set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:35-1 et seq. and 2C:36-1 et seq.
PARENT
A natural parent, adoptive parent, stepparent or any person who has legal custody by court order or marriage or any person not less than 21 years of age 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, park, recreation or shopping area, public transportation facility, vehicle used for public transportation, parking lot or any other public building, structure or area.
REMAIN
To loiter, idle, wander, stroll or play in or upon any establishment or public place.
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.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed the former definition of "minor."

§ 115-4 Prohibited acts.

[Amended 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any juvenile under the age of 18 years to be on any public street or in a public place between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a juvenile's parent or guardian or unless engaged in, or traveling to or from, a business or occupation which the laws of this state authorize a juvenile to perform. This section shall include exceptions permitting juveniles to engage in errands involving medical emergencies, to attend extracurricular school activities, and to participate in other cultural, educational and social events sponsored by religious or community-based organizations during curfew hours.
B. 
It is unlawful for a juvenile of any age under 18 years to be in any public place during the hours when the juvenile is required to be in attendance at either a public or nonpublic school unless the juvenile is accompanied by a parent or guardian or is carrying written permission from the juvenile's educational authority allowing the juvenile to be in a public place.

§ 115-4.1 Parent or guardian responsibility.

[Added 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014]
It shall be unlawful for any parent or guardian to allow an unaccompanied juvenile to be on any public street or in any public place during curfew hours.

§ 115-5 Defenses.

It is a defense to prosecution under this chapter that the minor was:
A. 
Accompanied by the minor's parent or guardian;
B. 
On an errand at the direction of the minor's parent or guardian, without any detour or stop;
C. 
In a motor vehicle, train or bus involved in interstate travel;
D. 
Engaged in, or traveling to or from, without detour or stop, a business or occupation which the laws of the State of New Jersey authorize a minor to perform;
E. 
Involved in an emergency;
F. 
In attendance at an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the Atlantic City Board of Education, the City of Atlantic City, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor; or going to or returning home, without any detour or stop, from an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the Atlantic City Board of Education, the City of Atlantic City, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor; or
G. 
Exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, including free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly. To the extent this chapter does not violate an individual's First Amendment rights in the exercise of the municipality's police authority, the provisions of this chapter shall remain in full force and effect.

§ 115-6 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. 
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 defense in § 115-5 of this chapter is proffered or is present.
B. 
If a police officer determines that a minor is committing a curfew offense, the police officer shall take the minor to the police headquarters or nearest substation or other area designated by the City of Atlantic City Police Department or the State of New Jersey.
C. 
A minor who violates this chapter shall be detained by the City of Atlantic City Police Department at the police headquarters or nearest substation or other area designated by the City of Atlantic City Police Department and released into the custody of the minor's parent, guardian or an adult person acting in loco parentis. The minor's parent, guardian or an adult person acting in loco parentis with respect to the minor shall be called to the police headquarters or substation or other designated area to take custody of the minor. 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 the appropriate official at the Division of Youth and Family Services or Juveniles in Need of Supervision Shelter and, subsequently, released at 6:00 a.m. the following morning.
D. 
Violators must perform community service and may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000. If both a juvenile and the juvenile's parent or guardian violate this chapter, they shall be required to perform community service together.
[Amended 7-9-2014 by Ord. No. 35-2014]

§ 115-7 Notice.

Upon final passage of this chapter, notice of the existence of this chapter and of the curfew regulations established by it shall be mailed to the Atlantic City Board of Education, the appropriate civic association for each ward, and advertised on local broadcast television through public service announcements, in conjunction with the Atlantic City Board of Education television station, in order that the public may be properly informed of the existence of this chapter and its regulations.