Township of Hatfield, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Hatfield 10-27-1999 by Ord. No. 456 (Ch. 6, Part 1, of the 1994 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Adult entertainment — See Ch. 62.
Amusement devices — See Ch. 75.
Animals — See Ch. 79.
Curfew — See Ch. 120.
Firearms and other weapons — See Ch. 143.
Noise — See Ch. 184.
Parks and recreation areas — See Ch. 195.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 202.
Disorderly conduct and/or acts of disturbing the peace within the limits of the Township are hereby prohibited, and no person shall engage in such conduct or commit such acts within the limits of the Township.
A. 
Disorderly conduct and/or acts of disturbing the peace are hereby defined for the purpose of this chapter as any act, word or conduct causing or tending to cause a disturbance of the peace and good order of the Township or causing or tending to cause any danger, discomfort or annoyance to the inhabitants of the Township or users of the Township thoroughfares. Such act, words or conduct shall include, but not be limited to, fighting (or engaging in threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior), drunkenness, vagrancy, begging, profanity (or indecent language or acts); the making or causing to be made of any unnecessary or unreasonable noises or disturbances, clamor or other sounds disturbing or tending to disturb the peace and/or quiet of the community; the carrying on of any business, trade, transportation, recreation or amusement in a manner, at a time or in a place which causes any unnecessary noise or disturbance, discomfort, danger or annoyance; the reckless or careless driving or any other use of vehicles or animals by owners, occupants, users or operators of the same as shall endanger the safety of or interfere with the comfort and convenience of inhabitants of the Township or persons using the thoroughfares of the Township; and/or the creation of hazardous or physically offensive conditions by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
B. 
All noises or other sounds shall be considered to be unnecessary and to constitute disorderly conduct if they are made on Sunday or on weekdays during hours other than the usual and customary hours for such work or activity, even though they are no louder than is customary and are the unavoidable sounds or noises attendant upon the ordinary use and operation or performance of business, trade, transportation, recreation or amusement.
Without in any manner intending to limit or restrict the generality of the above definition of and prohibition against disorderly conduct and/or acts disturbing the peace, the following are hereby declared to constitute disorderly conduct and/or acts disturbing the peace:
A. 
The unnecessary sounding of automobile horns, sirens, bells, whistles or other warning devices, the operation of any motor vehicle which makes any unnecessary or unusual noise caused by an improper or defective muffler or the backfire or racing of such motor in or about the operation of such motor vehicle. It is not intended hereby to prohibit the use of such warning devices in emergencies or at such times or in such manner as a prudent operator in the exercise of good judgment may deem necessary.
B. 
The operation of radios, phonographs, television sets or other mechanical instruments or singing, shouting or playing of musical instruments in a manner or at a time which is generally considered to be inappropriate and which unnecessarily disturbs the peace and quiet of the immediate neighborhood.
C. 
Loitering.
(1) 
No person shall loiter in such a manner as to create or cause to be created a danger of a breach of the peace, or create or cause to be created any disturbance or annoyance to the comfort and repose of any person; or obstruct the free passage of pedestrians or vehicles; or obstruct, molest or interfere with any person lawfully in any public place as defined herein. This subsection shall include the making of unsolicited remarks of an offensive, profane, disgusting or insulting nature or which are calculated to annoy or disturb the person to whom or in whose hearing they are made.
(2) 
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
LOITERING
Remaining idle in essentially one location. It shall include the concepts of spending time idly loafing or walking about aimlessly and shall also include the colloquial expression "hanging around."
PUBLIC PLACE
Any place to which the public or a substantial group has access. The term shall include any street, highway, road, alley or sidewalk. It shall also include any premises open to the public, the front or the neighborhood surrounding any store, shop, restaurant, tavern or other place of business or amusement, schools, prisons, apartments, any neighborhood and public grounds, areas and parks, as well as parking lots or other vacant private property not owned by or under the control of the person charged with violating this chapter or, in the case of a minor, not owned or under the control of his parent or guardian.
(3) 
Whenever any police officer shall, in the exercise of reasonable judgment, decide that the presence of any person in any public place is causing or is likely to cause any of the conditions enumerated in this chapter, he may, if he deems it necessary for the preservation of the public peace and safety, order that person to leave that place. Any person who shall refuse to leave after being ordered to do so by a police officer shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
D. 
Acting in or upon any street, alley, or other public way or public place or at any public gathering or assembly, or in or around any store, shop, business or commercial establishment or on any private property or place in a noisy, loud, boisterous, unseemly, lewd, lascivious or wanton manner in speech or behavior or in any other manner as to disturb, or tend to disturb, the peace and quiet of the community, the passersby or the inhabitants of the Township.
E. 
Disturbing, tending to disturb or aiding in disturbing the peace of others by violent, tumultuous, or offensive conduct or knowingly permitting such conduct upon any premises owned, possessed and/or controlled by any person.
F. 
Wandering abroad and occupying, lodging or sleeping in any vacant or unoccupied vehicle, structure or property without owning the same or without the permission of the owner or person entitled to possession of the same.
G. 
Disturbing any congregation or assembly for religious or other purpose by making noises, by rude and/or indecent behavior or profane discourse within the place of assembly or near to the same as to disturb the solemnity or order of the meeting.
H. 
Refusing or failing in a prompt, obedient manner to obey any lawful order of any police officer.
I. 
The doing of the following act or acts within any area designated as a park or open space of the Township:
(1) 
Defacing, injuring, displacing, removing or in any other manner damaging any monument, fence, sign, walkway, lawn, turf, shrubbery, building, fruit, plant or any other natural or artificial facility of appurtenances.
(2) 
Bathing, wading, swimming, or in any way entering into any pond or fountain or the fouling or damaging of any pond or fountain.
(3) 
The dropping, scattering or otherwise depositing of garbage, wastepaper, rubbish or any other things except in receptacles placed in the park for such materials.
(4) 
Starting any fires or permitting any fire to continue to burn, except in designated areas.
(5) 
The hunting, trapping, injuring, killing or otherwise disturbing of any birds or animals in the park or the damaging, destruction or removal of any nest or other home of any animal or bird.
(6) 
Allowing dogs to run at large. Running at large is defined as being on any public highway, street, alley, park, or any other public land, or upon property of another person other than the owner, and not being accompanied by or under the control of the owner or any other person having custody of said dog(s). Any person owning, responsible for, having custody of any dog(s) must have said dog(s) on a leash(es), not exceeding six feet in entire length, including hand loop, attached from collar and/or harness, accompanied by a person able to fully control said dog(s) at all times.
[Amended 2-22-2017 by Ord. No. 670]
(7) 
Discharging of firearms or fireworks.
(8) 
The consumption, use of or possession of any intoxicating liquor, or beer or any controlled drug and/or device.
(9) 
The violation of any rules and regulations which from time to time may be adopted by the Township Commissioners with respect to conduct in any park of the Township.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of the offense of disorderly conduct and, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding before any District Justice, shall be sentenced to pay a fine or penalty not exceeding $600 and the costs of prosecution and, in default of the payment of said fine or penalty and/or costs, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days.