Township of Aleppo, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Aleppo 3-11-1980 by Ord. No. 106. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 263-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
KNOWLEDGE or KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH NUISANCE
Having knowledge of the contents and character of the patently offensive sexual conduct or other content which appears in the motion-picture film, publication, or live theater production, or knowledge of the acts of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution which occur in any place.
A. 
Any matter, whether applied to printed or written publications or visual or live depiction:
(1) 
Which the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find, when considered as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; and
(2) 
Which depicts or describes patently offensive representations or descriptions of:
(a) 
Ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; or
(b) 
Masturbation, excretory functions, or exhibition of the genitals or genital area.
B. 
Nothing herein contained is intended to include or prescribe any matter which, when effectively considered as a whole, and in the context in which it is used, possesses serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
LIVE THEATER PRODUCTION
Any dramatic, musical or comedic production performed in the presence of a live audience.
MASSAGE
Any method of treating the superficial soft parts of the human body for remedial, hygienic or other purposes, consisting of rubbing, stroking, kneading, or any similar treatment, accomplished by hand or by the use of any instrument.
MASSAGE PARLOR
Any building or structure or portion thereof, located within the municipality, which is open to members of the general public, with or without the payment of a fee, at which massage services are offered.
MATTER
A motion-picture film, live theatre production, publication, or all three.
A. 
Any place where there is conducted:
(1) 
The business of furnishing figure models who pose in the nude for the purpose of being observed or viewed by any person or of being sketched, painted, drawn, sculptured, photographed or otherwise similarly depicted for persons who pay a fee, or other consideration or compensation, or a gratuity, for the right or opportunity so to depict the figure model, or for admission to, or for permission to remain upon, or as a condition for remaining upon the place; or
(2) 
The business of furnishing or providing or procuring, for a fee or other consideration or compensation or gratuity, figure models who pose in the nude to be observed or viewed by any person or to be sketched, painted, drawn, sculptured, photographed or otherwise similarly depicted.
B. 
Exception. The words "model studio" do not include:
(1) 
Any studio which is operated by any state college or junior college, public or private school, or any governmental agency wherein the person, firm, association, partnership or corporation so operating has met the requirements established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the issuance or conferring of, and is in fact authorized thereunder to issue and confer, a diploma or honorary diploma; or
(2) 
Any place where there is conducted the business of furnishing, providing or procuring figure models solely for any studio described in Subsection B(1) of this definition.
MOTION-PICTURE FILM
Includes any:
A. 
Film or plate negative;
B. 
Film or plate positive;
C. 
Film designed to be projected on a screen for exhibition;
D. 
Films, glass slides or transparencies, either in negative or positive form, designed for exhibition by projection on a screen;
E. 
Videotape or any other medium used to electronically reproduce images on a screen.
NUDE
Includes:
A. 
Completely without clothing; or
B. 
With the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple, or the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, firm, association, corporation or other legal entity.
PLACE
Includes, but is not limited to, any building, structure or space, or any separate part or portion thereof, whether permanent or not, or the ground itself.
PUBLICATION
Includes any book, magazine, article, pamphlet, writing, printing, illustration, picture, sound recording, or a motion-picture film which is displayed in an area open to the public, offered for sale or exhibited in a coin-operated machine.
SALE
A passing of title or right of possession from a seller to a buyer for valuable consideration and shall include, but is not limited to, any lease or rental arrangement or other transaction wherein or whereby any valuable consideration is received for the use of, or transfer of or possession of, lewd matter.

§ 263-2 Lewd films and lewd live theatre productions.

A. 
Any and every place in the Township where lewd motion-picture films or lewd live theatre productions are publicly exhibited, performed or possessed for the purpose of such exhibition, as determined in accordance with §§ 263-6 and 263-7 hereof, and any and every place in the Township where a lewd motion-picture film or lewd live theatre production is publicly exhibited or possessed for the purpose of such exhibitions, as determined in accordance with §§ 263-6 and 263-7 hereof, is a public nuisance.
B. 
Any and every lewd motion-picture film or lewd live theatre production which is publicly exhibited, performed or possessed for such purpose as determined in accordance with §§ 263-6 and 263-7 hereof, at a place which is a public nuisance under Subsection A above, is a public nuisance per se.
C. 
From and after service on the place, or its manager, or acting manager, or person then in charge of such place, of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of the resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in § 263-6 hereof, all monies paid thereafter as an admission price to such exhibitions or productions are also declared to be a public nuisance as personal property used in conducting and maintaining a declared public nuisance.

§ 263-3 Lewd publications.

A. 
Any and every place in the Township where lewd publications constitute a principal part of the stock-in-trade as determined in accordance with §§ 263-6 and 263-7 hereof is a public nuisance.
B. 
Any and every lewd publication possessed at a place as determined in accordance with §§ 263-6 and 263-7 hereof, which is a public nuisance under Subsection A above, is a public nuisance per se.
C. 
From and after service on the place, or its manager, or acting manager, or person then in charge of such place, of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of the resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in § 263-6 hereof, all valuable consideration received for the sale of such lewd publications is also declared to be a public nuisance as personal property used in conducting and maintaining a declared public nuisance.

§ 263-4 Massage parlors and model studios.

A. 
Every massage parlor or model studio which, as a regular course of business, is used for the purposes of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution, as determined in accordance with §§ 263-6 and 263-7 hereof, and every such massage parlor or model studio in or upon which acts of lewdness, assignations, or prostitution are held or occur, as determined in accordance with §§ 263-6 and 263-7 hereof, is a public nuisance which shall be enjoined, abated and prevented.
B. 
From and after service on the place, or its manager, or acting manager, or person then in charge of such place, of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of the resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in § 263-6 hereof, all monies or other valuable consideration paid for services rendered to customers are also declared to be a public nuisance as personal property used in conducting and maintaining a declared public nuisance.

§ 263-5 Presumption of knowledge of nuisance; abatement required.

A. 
Upon and after receiving notice through service of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of the resolution and order of summary abatement provided for in § 263-6 hereof, any and every person who shall own, legally or equitably, lease, maintain, manage, conduct or operate a place in the Township which is declared to be a public nuisance, as set forth and stated in § 263-2, 263-3 or 263-4 of this chapter, is deemed to be a person who has knowledge of such nuisance for the purpose of this chapter and is, thereafter, responsible for its maintenance and shall be liable therefor.
B. 
The places and matters declared to be public nuisances under § 263-2, 263-3 or 263-4 shall be abated as provided for herein.

§ 263-6 Investigation of complaints.

The Aleppo Township Board of Commissioners, or any committee or commission subsequently appointed by the Aleppo Township Board of Commissioners to discharge the duties set forth in this section and § 263-7, shall investigate all complaints that activity constituting a public nuisance, as defined in § 263-2, 263-3 or 263-4 of this chapter, exists in the Township and make recommendations to the Board of Commissioners of Aleppo Township as to the application of this chapter to such activity.

§ 263-7 Abatement procedure.

Upon the recommendation of the Board of Commissioners of Aleppo Township or any committee or commission appointed by said Board of Commissioners in accordance with the provisions of § 263-6 hereof and upon the Board of Commissioner's specific finding that a public nuisance exists in the Township, the Board of Commissioners of Aleppo Township, in applying the provisions of this chapter to such nuisance, shall provide for the following by resolution:
A. 
Declare the fact that such nuisance exists.
B. 
Set forth the description or legal description and street address of the place which constitutes the nuisance.
C. 
Set forth the evidentiary facts considered by the Board of Commissioners in arriving at its factual determination.
(1) 
In the case of a motion-picture film or live theatre production, such shall include a recitation of the particular sexual conduct and acts which the Board of Commissioners finds are patently offensive, and the basis for the finding by the Board of Commissioners that such motion-picture film or live theatre production is publicly exhibited or produced in the course of business or that such motion-picture film or live theatre production is publicly exhibited, performed or produced or held for such exhibition or production at the place declared to be a nuisance.
(2) 
In the case of a publication, such shall include a recitation and description of the particular publications or types of publications considered by the Board of Commissioners to be, and those which the Board of Commissioners finds to be, patently offensive, and the basis for the finding by the Board of Commissioners that such publications are displayed, sold or held for sale at any place found by the Board of Commissioners to be a public nuisance, and the basis of the finding by the Board of Commissioners that such publications constitute a principal part of the stock-in-trade of such place of business or other place.
(3) 
In the case of a massage parlor or model studio, such shall include a recitation of the particular acts of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution which have occurred and the basis for the finding by the Board of Commissioners that such acts occur in the course of business.
D. 
Order all persons described in § 263-5A hereof to summarily abate such public nuisance within 24 hours of service of such order on any such persons, by terminating the exhibition, sale or possession for sale of such lewd matter or by ceasing to use the place where the nuisance is declared to exist or by terminating the use of said place for the purposes of lewdness, assignation or prostitution, or causing the same to be terminated, and thereafter notifying the Board of Commissioners of compliance therewith by sworn affidavit as ordered by the action of the Board of Commissioners in such resolution.
E. 
Order the Township Solicitor to proceed to do all things necessary to abate such public nuisance through judicial proceedings and to conclude such proceedings as expeditiously as is permissible under the law, including requesting the court to advance such proceedings on the calendar of the court.
F. 
Inform and give notice to persons designated in § 263-5A:
(1) 
That the Board of Commissioners has determined that a public nuisance presently exists at such place and address, and that, under § 263-5A of this chapter, they are deemed to have knowledge thereof and are responsible therefor.
(2) 
That in the event the order of the Township is not complied with within 24 hours, the Board of Commissioners has ordered the Township Solicitor, as provided for under § 263-9 hereof, to commence necessary legal proceedings naming such persons as defendants in a civil action to abate the public nuisance judicially under § 263-7 of this chapter, and that under § 263-8A and B of this chapter, the costs of abatement of such civil abatement action filed, including investigative costs, court costs, attorneys' fees, and other expenses, are made a special assessment against the parcel of land upon which such nuisance is being maintained and, upon their determination in such court action, will, by separate legal procedure, be made a lien against such property and a personal obligation against any person deemed to be in violation of this chapter.
(3) 
All lewd motion-picture films or lewd publications being used in conducting and maintaining such public nuisance are contraband and the subject of forfeiture.
(4) 
From and after service on the place, or its manager, or acting manager, or person then in charge of such a place, of a true and correct copy of this chapter and a true and correct copy of such resolution, any and all monies paid as an admission price to or for the exhibition or exhibitions of such lewd motion-picture films or production or such lewd live theatre productions, and any valuable consideration received for the sale of such lewd publications, and all monies or other valuable consideration received for services rendered in such massage parlors or model studios are a public nuisance, shall be deemed as personal property used in conducting and maintaining such nuisance and, as such, are the subject of forfeiture.
G. 
Order that a true and correct copy of said resolution and a true and correct copy of this chapter be delivered forthwith in any manner normally used to effectuate personal service of process to all persons of record having any legal or equitable interest in the real property constituting the aforesaid nuisance and to the regular or acting manager or persons in charge of the place therein declared a public nuisance.

§ 263-8 Forfeiture; abatement costs.

A. 
Upon judgment for the Township in legal proceedings brought pursuant to this chapter, an accounting shall be made by such defendant or defendants of all monies or valuable consideration received by them which have been declared to be a public nuisance under § 263-2C, 263-3C or 263-4B of this chapter. Such monies or their equivalent and any valuable consideration received shall be forfeited to the general fund of the Township or to the Township as property of the Township if any valuable consideration received be not money, to cover costs of abatement of the nuisance.
B. 
The cost of abatement shall include the following:
(1) 
Investigative costs.
(2) 
Court costs.
(3) 
Reasonable attorneys' fees arising out of the preparation for and trial of the cause, and appeals therefrom, and other costs allowed on appeal.
(4) 
Printing costs of trial and appellate briefs, and all other papers filed in such proceeding.
C. 
Such cost of abatement is hereby made a special assessment against the parcel of land upon which such nuisance is maintained. Upon its determination in a civil action, such shall, by separate legal proceeding, be made a lien against such property and a personal obligation against any person and shall be collected at the same time and in the same manner as ordinary Township taxes are collected and shall be subject to the same penalties and the same procedure and sale in the case of delinquency as provided for ordinary Township taxes. All laws applicable to the levy, collection and enforcement of Township taxes shall be applicable to such special assessment.

§ 263-9 Enforcement.

Upon a specific finding by resolution of the Board of Commissioners that a public nuisance exists at a particular location, the Township Solicitor, with the approval of the Board of Commissioners, is authorized to take whatever action is appropriate to carry out this chapter.