[HISTORY: Derived from Sec. 3-15A of the 2003 Revised General Ordinances of the Township of Willingboro. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning. Words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular, and words in the singular number include the plural. The term "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
- JUVENILE and MINOR
- Any person under the age of 17 or, in equivalent phrasing often employed in this chapter, any person 16 or less years of age.
- Any person having legal custody of a juvenile:
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any place to which 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.
- To stay behind, to tarry and to stay unnecessarily upon any public place, including the congregating of groups (or of interacting minors) totaling four or more persons in which any juvenile involved would not be using the public places for ordinary or serious purposes such as mere passage or going home or shopping or engaging is specific Township-, school- or church-sponsored activities. To implement that thought with additional precision and precaution, numerous exceptions are expressly defined in the ordinance from which this chapter is derived so that it is not a mere prohibit- or presence-type curfew ordinance. More and more exceptions become available with increasing years and advancing maturity as appropriate in the interest of reasonable regulation.
- TIME OF NIGHT
- Is based upon the prevailing standard of time, whether Eastern standard time or Eastern daylight saving time, generally observed at that hour by the public in the Township, prima facie the time then observed in the Township administrative offices and police station.
- YEARS OF AGE
- Continues from one birthday, such as the 16th to (but not including the day of) the next, such as the 17th birthday, making it clear that 16 or less years is treated as equivalent to the phrase "under 17 years of age."
It shall be unlawful for any person under 17 years of age to be or remain in or upon the public places within the Township of Willingboro at night during the period ending at 5:00 a.m. and beginning at:
In the following exceptional cases, a minor located upon a public place during the nocturnal hours for minors (the minor's parents and fellow citizens) shall not be considered in violation of the curfew:
When accompanied by a parent of such minor.
When accompanied by an adult authorized by a parent of such minor to take the parent's place in accompanying the minor for a designated period of time and purpose within a specified area.
When exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the right of such exercise, by first delivering to the person designated by the Director of Public Safety to receive that information, at the Municipal Complex on Rev. Dr. M. L. King Jr. Drive, a written communication, signed by the juvenile and countersigned, if practicable, by a parent of the juvenile with their home address and telephone number, specifying when, where and in what manner the juvenile will be upon the public places at night (during hours when the curfew is otherwise applicable to the minor) in the exercise of a First Amendment right specified in such communication.
In case of reasonable necessity for the juvenile remaining upon the public places, but only after the juvenile's parent has communicated to the Director of Public Safety, or the person designated by the Director of Public Safety to receive such notifications, the facts establishing the reasonable necessity relating to specified public places at a designated time for a described purpose, including points of origin and destination. A copy of the communication, or of the police record thereof, duly certified by the Police Department to be correct, with an appropriate notation of the time it was received and of the names and addresses of the parent and juvenile, shall be admissible evidence.
When the juvenile is on the sidewalk or property where the juvenile resides, or on either side of or across the street from the place where the juveniles resides, and the adult owner or resident of that property has given permission for the juvenile to be there.
When returning home from and within one hour after the termination of a school- or Township-sponsored activity, or an activity of a religious or other voluntary association, of which prior notice, indicating the place and probable time of termination, has been given in writing to and duly filed for immediate reference by the Director of Public Safety or officer assigned by the Director on duty at the police station, this encouraging, as in other exceptional situations, responsible conduct on the part of juveniles involved in such activities and striking a fair balance for any conflicting interests.
When authorized by special permit from the Director of Public Safety or the officer designated by the Director for that purpose, carried on the person of the juvenile thus authorized, upon the findings of necessity for the use of the public places to the extent warranted by a written application signed by a juvenile and by a parent of the juvenile, which permit shall contain the following information: the name, address, and telephone number of a parent thereof; the height, weight, sex, color eyes and hair and other physical characteristics of the juvenile; the necessity which requires the juvenile to remain upon the public places during the curfew hours otherwise applicable; and the street or route and the beginning and ending of the period of time involved by date and hour. When necessary nighttime activities of a juvenile may be inadequately provided for by other provisions of this chapter, then recourse may be had to the Director of Public Safety, either for a regulation as provided in Subsection A(8) of this section or for a special permit as the circumstance warrants. The Director of Public Safety may grant a permit in writing for the use by the juvenile of public places at such hours as, in the opinion of the Director of Public Safety, may reasonably be necessary. In an emergency, this may be handled by telephone or other effective communication, with a corresponding record being made contemporaneously to the Director of Public Safety or to the person designated by the Director of Public Safety to act on his behalf in an emergency, at the police station.
When authorized by regulation issued by the Director of Public Safety, in other similar cases of reasonable necessity, similarly handled but adapted to necessary nighttime activities of more juveniles than can readily be dealt with on an individual special permit basis. Normally, such regulation by the Director of Public Safety permitting use of the public places should be issued sufficiently in advance to permit appropriate publicity through news media and through other agencies such as the schools and shall define the activity, the scope of the use of the public places permitted, the period of time involved, not to extend more than one hour beyond the time for termination of the activity, and the reason for finding that the regulation is reasonably necessary and is consistent with the purposes of the curfew.
When the juvenile carries a certified card of employment, renewable each calendar month when the current facts so warrant, dated or reissued not more than 45 days previously, signed by the Director of Public Safety and briefly identifying the juvenile, the addresses of his home and of his place of employment, and his hours of employment.
When the minor is, with parental consent, in a motor vehicle. This contemplates normal travel. It is the intention of this provision to clearly exempt bona fide interstate movements along major routes through the Willingboro Township and interstate travel beginning or ending in the Willingboro Township.
Each of the exceptions set forth in this section, and their several limitations such as provisions for notification, are severable, as provided in the ordinance from which this chapter is derived, but here reemphasized will be considered by Council as warranted by future experience illuminated by the views of student government associations, school personnel, citizens, associations, parents, officers and persons in authority concerned positively with juveniles as well as with juvenile delinquency.
It shall be unlawful for a parent having legal custody of a juvenile knowingly to permit or by inefficient control to allow the juvenile to be or remain upon any public place under circumstances not constituting an exception to, or otherwise beyond the scope of, the curfew. The term "knowingly" includes knowledge which a parent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a juvenile in that parent's legal custody. It is intended to continue to keep neglectful or careless parents up to a reasonable community standard of parental responsibility through an objective test. It shall, therefore, be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of such juvenile.
Police procedures shall constantly be refined in the light of experience and may provide that the police officer may deliver to a parent or guardian thereof a juvenile under appropriate circumstances, for example, a juvenile of tender age near home whose identity and address may readily be ascertained or are known.
In any event, the police officer shall, within 24 hours, file a written report with the Director of Public Safety or shall participate to the extent of the information for which he is responsible in the preparation of a report on the curfew violation. It is not the intention of this section to require existence reports that will prevent police officers from performing their primary police duties. The reports shall be as simple as is reasonably possible and may be completed by Police Department personnel other than sworn police officers.
When a parent or guardian, immediately called, has come to take charge of the juvenile, and the appropriate information has been recorded, the juvenile shall be released to the custody of such parent. If the parent cannot be located or fails to take charge of the juvenile, then the juvenile shall be released to the juvenile authorities, except to the extent that, in accordance with police regulations, approved in advance by juvenile authorities, the juvenile may temporarily be entrusted to an adult, neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of a parent or guardian, assume the responsibility of caring for the juvenile pending the availability or arrival of a parent of guardian.
In the case of a first violation by a juvenile, the Director of Public Safety shall, by certified mail, send to a parent or guardian written notice of the violation, with a warning that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of this chapter, including enforcement of parental responsibility and of applicable penalties.
If a police officer reasonably believes that a juvenile is upon the public place in violation of the curfew, the officer shall notify the juvenile that the juvenile is in violation of the curfew and shall require the juvenile to provide the juvenile's name, address and telephone number and how to contact the juvenile's parent or guardian. In determining the age of the juvenile and in the absence of convincing evidence such as a birth certificate, a police officer shall, in the first instance, use the officer's best judgment in determining age. The normal procedure shall then be to take the juvenile to the police station where a parent or guardian shall immediately be notified to come for the juvenile, whereupon they shall be questioned. This is intended to permit ascertainment, under constitutional safeguards, of relevant facts and to centralize responsibility in the person designated there and then on duty for accurate, effective, fair, impartial and uniform enforcement and recording, thus making available experienced personnel and access to information and records.
[Amended 11-21-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-4; 10-2-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-6]
Community service. Any person, juvenile or adult convicted of a violation of this chapter shall be required to perform community service as directed by the court. As provided in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.52, whenever both a juvenile and the juvenile's parent or guardian violate this chapter, they shall be required to perform community service together.
Fines. Any juvenile convicted of a violation of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense and not less than $150 nor more than $1,000 for any third or subsequent offense. Any parent or guardian convicted of a violation, after the warning notice pursuant to § 132-5 of a first violation by a juvenile, shall be fined $50, and for a second offense by a parent or guardian, the fine shall be $100. For any subsequent offense by a parent, the fine shall be not less than $150 and not more than $1,000.