[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Hackensack 3-21-2006 by Ord. No. 3-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Housing and property maintenance — See Ch. 100.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any writing, drawing, marking, symbol, inscription, carving, or the ink placed upon any real or personal property, whether private or public property, by using paint, markers, chalk, dyes, or any other substance or method which defaces, obliterates, covers, alters, damages, marks or destroys public or private property, without the consent or authorization of the owner of the property, or on any exposed surface on public or private property; however, it shall not include the occasional and temporary marking on public streets or sidewalks with chalk for traditional children's games.
- INDELIBLE MARKER
- Any felt-tip marker, china markers or similar devices that contain a fluid which is not water soluble and which has a flat or angled writing surface 1/2 inch or greater.
- Any person under the age of 18 years.
- SPRAY PAINT CONTAINER
- Any container or other device containing paint or other pigmented substance, which is intended to expel the paint or pigment without the aid of additional devices or substances, and includes an aerosol spray paint as it is commonly known.
- WIDE FELT-TIP MARKERS
- A marking pen or instrument of which the surface used for writing or marking purposes is equal to or greater than 1/8 of an inch.
It is the express intent of this chapter to impress upon the general public the necessity of removing graffiti from any and all buildings as not only does it devalue the property, but it devalues the City of Hackensack as a whole.
No person shall write, draw, paint, print or place with ink, chalk or other substance graffiti or other markings, whether obscene or not and whether intended to offend or not, on the real or personal property of another, whether such property is publicly or privately owned, unless the owner of said property, prior to the placing of such markings, specifically consented to the same. Nor shall any person willfully or maliciously damage, deface, or vandalize the property of another by inscribing or placing graffiti or any other markings on a public or private street, or on public or private property, whether real or personal.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer to sell to the general public, whether at retail or wholesale, any spray paint or other pigmented substance in an aerosol or similar spray container, or any wide felt-tip marker as defined above, without displaying a sign in a place visible by the general public, either where the product is displayed or where it is paid for, that warns of "A Conviction in the City of Hackensack for a violation of the Anti-Graffiti Ordinance carries a minimum mandatory fine of $250 and a minimum mandatory five-day period of imprisonment or community service for a first offense."
It shall be unlawful for any person to possess a spray paint container, liquid paint in cans, a wide felt-tip marker, indelible marker or any other pigmented substance in an aerosol or similar spray container in any public building or upon any public facility or private property with the intent to use same to deface said building, facility, or property. A person who possesses a spray paint container, liquid paint in cans, a wide felt-tip marker, indelible marker, or any other pigmented substance in an aerosol or similar spray container in any public building, or upon any public facility or private property, with no legitimate or lawful purpose thereof, shall be presumed to have possessed same with the intention of using such container, marker, can or paint to deface said building, facility or property, the said presumption being rebuttable by the possessor demonstrating a lawful, legitimate use for the container, marker, can or paint.
It shall be unlawful for any parent, legal guardian or other person having custody or in the presence of any minor child under the age of 18 years to assist, aid, abet, allow, permit or encourage said minor to violate the provisions of this chapter.
Any person having been convicted of a first offense under this chapter shall be subject to a minimum fine of not less than $250 and a minimum mandatory period of imprisonment or a term of community service of not less than five days. One day of community service shall consist of eight hours.
For a second or subsequent violation involving the actual defacing or marking of any private or public property, a person having been convicted of same shall be subject to a minimum mandatory fine of not less than $500 and a minimum mandatory period of imprisonment of not less than 10 days, and shall be ordered to perform community service for a period of 30 days, which shall be of such form and substance as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances.
Notwithstanding any of the provisions of the preceding subsections, any person and/or entity found in violation of §§ 95-2 and 95-3 above shall, upon conviction, pay a fine not less than $250 nor more than $1,000 for a first offense and, for any subsequent offense, shall pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,500 and shall be subject to imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both.
In addition to any other penalty imposed by the court, any person convicted for a violation of this section may, at the discretion of the Judge of the Municipal Court, be required to pay to the owner of the damaged property monetary restitution in the amount of the pecuniary damages caused by the act of graffiti.
If, at the time of the offense charged, any person apprehended for a violation of this chapter shall be under the age of 18 years, the Bergen County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of the trial of such infant or infants, and such infant or infants shall be surrendered to that Court, and the case, including all papers, reports, and process thereto, shall be transferred to said Court as provided for by N.J.S.A. 2C:4-11.
Owners of real property within the City of Hackensack shall be required to remove graffiti from all buildings and structures upon their property within 21 calendar days following discovery thereof or within 21 calendar days of receipt of a notice thereof from the Building Department personnel or any other agency of the City of Hackensack served upon the owner, property manager or occupant of said premises, whichever shall first occur.
Upon the failure or refusal of the property owner to remove said graffiti within said twenty-one-day period, the City of Hackensack may enter upon said property, remove said graffiti and put the premises in proper condition so as to comply with the requirements of this section or any other state law or City ordinance applicable thereto and may expend public funds for such purpose.
The cost of abating such nuisance, removing such graffiti and putting the premises in proper condition shall be the responsibility of the owner and, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12f, or any successor statute, the amount thereof, as determined by the City Council of the City of Hackensack, shall be a lien against the premises and collectible pursuant to the provisions of said statute and in accordance with the provisions of the Code of the City of Hackensack.