[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Collingdale 9-7-1977 by Ord. No. 490 (Ch. 6, Part 4, of the 1987 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Curfew Ordinance."
The Borough Council has found that the number and seriousness of crimes committed by minors against persons and property within the Borough is increasing and has created a menace to the preservation of public peace, safety, health, morals and welfare. The purpose of this chapter is to prescribe, in accordance with prevailing community standards, regulations for the conduct of minors on streets at night, for the good of minors, for the furtherance of family responsibility, and for the public good, safety and welfare.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, 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 word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
- The Borough of Collingdale, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
- Any privately owned place of business carried on for a profit or any place of amusement or entertainment to which the public is invited.
- Any person under the age of 18 or, in equivalent phrasing often herein employed, any person 17 or less years of age.
- Any individual, firm, association, partnership or corporation operating, managing or conducting any establishment and, whenever used in any clause prescribing a penalty, the term "operator," as applied to associations or partnerships, shall include the members or partners thereof and, as applied to corporations, shall include the officers thereof.
- Any person having legal custody of a minor:
- To stay behind, to tarry and to stay unnecessarily upon the streets, including the congregating of groups (or of interacting minors) totalling four or more persons, in which any minor involved would not be using the streets for ordinary or serious purposes such as mere passage or going home to implement that thought with additional precision and precaution; numerous exceptions are expressly defined in § 182-5 so that this is not a mere prohibitory or presence-type curfew ordinance.
- A way or place, of whatsoever nature, open to the use of the public as a matter of right for purposes of vehicular travel or, in the case of a sidewalk thereof, for pedestrian travel. The term "street" includes the legal right-of-way, including, but not limited to, the cartway or traffic lanes, the curb, the sidewalks, whether paved or unpaved, and any grass plots or other grounds found within the legal right-of-way of a street. The term "street" applies irrespective of what it is called or formally named, whether alley, avenue, court, road or otherwise.
- TIME OF NIGHT
- Referred to herein, 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 Borough; prima facie, the time then observed in the Borough administrative offices.
- YEAR OF AGE
- Continues from one birthday such as the 17th to (but not including the day of) the next, such as the 18th birthday, making it clear that "17 or less years of age" is herein treated as equivalent to the phrase "under 18 years of age," the latter phrase in practice, unfortunately, having confused a number of persons into the mistaken thought that eighteen-year-olds might be involved.
[Amended 6-2-2014 by Ord. No. 694]
It shall be unlawful for any person 17 or less years of age (under 18) to be or remain in or upon the streets within the Borough of Collingdale at night during the period ending at 5:00 a.m. and beginning at 10:00 p.m. each and every day of the week, Monday through Sunday, inclusive.
In the following exceptional cases a minor on a Borough street during the nocturnal hours for which § 182-4 is intended to provide the maximum limits of regulation (and a clear general guide for minors, their parents and their fellow citizens) shall not, however, be considered in violation of this chapter:
When accompanied by a parent of such minor.
When accompanied by an adult authorized by a parent of such minor to take said parent's place in accompanying said 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 assembly. Such minor shall evidence the bona fides of such exercise by first delivering, to the Mayor at the Borough Municipal Building, a written communication, signed by such minor and countersigned if practicable by a parent of such minor, with their home address and telephone number, addressed to the Mayor of the Borough, specifying when, where and in what manner said minor will be on the streets at night (during the hours when the Curfew Ordinance is otherwise applicable to said minor) in the exercise of a First Amendment right specified in such communication.
In case of reasonable necessity, but only after such minor's parent has communicated to the Borough Municipal Building personnel the facts establishing such reasonable necessity relating to specified streets at a designated time for a described purpose, including points of origin and destination. A copy of such communication or of the Borough Municipal record thereof, duly certified by the Chief of Police to be correct, with an appropriate notation of the time it was received and of the names and address of such parent and minor, shall be admissible evidence.
When the minor is on the sidewalk of the place where such minor resides or on the sidewalk of either next-door neighbor not communicating an objection to the police officer.
When returning home, by a direct route from (and within 30 minutes of the termination of) a school activity or an activity of a religious or other voluntary association, of which prior notice, indicating the place and probably time of termination, has been given in writing to, and duly filed for immediate reference by, the Chief of Police or the officer assigned by him on duty at the police station, thus encouraging (here as in other exceptional situation) conduct on the part of minors involved in such activities and striking a fair balance for any somewhat conflicting interests.
When authorized, by special permit from the Mayor, carried on the person of the minor thus authorized, as follows: When normal or necessary nighttime activities of a minor may be inadequately provided for by other provisions of this chapter, then recourse may be had to the Mayor of the Borough either for a regulation as provided in Subsection H or for a special permit, as the circumstances warrant. Upon the Mayor's finding of necessity for the use of the streets to the extent warranted by a written application signed by a minor and by a parent of such minor if feasible, stating: 1) the name, age and address of such minor; 2) the name, address and telephone number of a parent thereof; 3) the height, weight, sex, color of eyes and hair and other physical characteristics of such minor; 4) the necessity which requires such minor to remain upon the streets during the curfew hours otherwise applicable; and 5) the street or route and the beginning and ending of the period of time involved by date and hour, the Mayor may grant a permit in writing for the use by such minor of such streets at such hours as in the Mayor's opinion may reasonably be necessary. In an emergency this may be handled by telephone, or other effective communication, with a corresponding record being made contemporaneously, either to the Mayor or, if unavailable, to the police officer authorized by the Mayor to act on his behalf in an emergency, at the police station.
When authorized, by regulation issued by the Mayor, in other similar cases of reasonable necessity similarly handled but adapted to necessary nighttime activities of more minors than can readily be dealt with on an individual special permit basis. Normally such regulation by the Mayor permitting use of the streets 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 streets permitted, the period of time involved not to extend more than 30 minutes beyond the time for termination of such activity, and the reason for finding that such regulation is reasonably necessary and is consistent with the purposes of this chapter.
When the minor 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 Chief of Police and briefly identifying the minor, 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. From excess of caution this clearly exempts bona fide interstate movement through Borough of Collingdale. This also exempts interstate travel beginning or ending in the Borough of Collingdale.
When the minor is 17 years of age, if and when the Mayor shall have determined by formal rule first reported to Borough Council, spread upon its minutes and so reported in the press, finding the facts as to the extent (minimal) of juvenile delinquency in such age group permitting such rule, currently in the best interests of said minors and of the Borough, finding that the Curfew Ordinance should be relaxed, then the Mayor by such formal rules covering a period of time designated therein or until decision thereof not exceeding one year from the date thereof may take appropriate action excepting designated minors, minors in a defined group or area, or all minors (as the current facts may warrant) 17 years of age at that date or attaining 17 years of age during the period that such formal rule is and remains in effect.
Each of the foregoing exceptions and their several limitations, such as provisions for notification, are severable, as hereinafter provided but here reemphasized, and additional, also severable, exceptions, broadening with the progress toward maturity of minors enrolled respectively in elementary, junior high and high schools will be considered by Council as warranted by future experience illuminated by the views of student government associations, school personnel, citizens, associations, ward, precinct and neighborhood spokesmen, parents, officers and persons in authority concerned positively with minors as well as with juvenile delinquency.
It shall be unlawful for a parent having legal custody of a minor knowingly to permit or by inefficient control to allow such minor to be or remain upon any Borough street under circumstances not constituting an exception to, or otherwise beyond the scope of, this chapter. The term "knowingly" includes knowledge which a parent should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a minor 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, a fortiori, be no defense that a parent was completely indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of such minor.
A policeman of the Borough, upon finding or having attention called to any minor on the streets in prima facie violation of this chapter, normally shall take the minor to the Borough police station, where a parent shall immediately be notified to come for such minor. This is intended to permit ascertainment, under constitutional safeguards, of relevant facts, and to centralize responsibility in the officer there and then on duty for accurate, fair, impartial and uniform enforcement and recording. In the absence of convincing evidence, such as a birth certificate, a policemen on the street shall in the first instance use his best judgment in determining age.
Police procedures shall constantly be refined in the light of experience and may provide, inter alia, that the policemen may deliver to a parent thereof a minor under appropriate circumstances, for example, a minor of tender age near home whose identity and address may readily be ascertained or are known.
In any event such policemen shall, within 24 hours, file a written report with the Chief of Police.
When a parent, immediately called, has come to take charge of the minor and the appropriate information has been recorded, the minor shall be released to the custody of such parent. If the parent cannot be located or fails to take charge of the minor, then the minor shall be released to the juvenile authorities, except to the extent that, in accordance with police regulations, approved in advance by juvenile authorities, the minor may temporarily be entrusted to a relative, neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of a parent, assume the responsibility of caring for the minor pending the availability or arrival of a parent.
[Amended 6-2-2014 by Ord. No. 694]
No operator of an establishment or his agents or employees shall knowingly permit any minor to remain upon the premises of said establishment between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. each and every day of the week, Monday through Sunday, inclusive.
[Amended 10-5-1987 by Ord. No. 568]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300 and/or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days.
Any minor who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter more than three times shall be reported by the Mayor to the Delaware County Juvenile Authorities and shall then be taken under the Juvenile Act, 11 P.S. § 50-101 et seq., before the juvenile court for the treatment, supervision and rehabilitation of such minor.
Editor's Note: See now 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301 et seq. for the Juvenile Act; 11 P.S. § 50-101 et seq. has been repealed.
A like procedure before the juvenile authorities shall be followed in any case where the imposing of a fine or fines upon a parent shall not be effective, or where for any other reason the provisions of this chapter cannot be made effective by the imposing of penalties under this § 182-9.
Any operator of an establishment and any agent or employee of any operator who shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300 for each violation and/or to imprisonment in the Delaware County Jail at Broadmeadows for a period not exceeding 90 days.
Severability is intended throughout and within the provisions of this chapter. If any provision, including, inter alia, any exception, part, phrase or term, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the application to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby and the validity of the Curfew Ordinance in any and all other respects shall not be affected thereby. From excess of caution, the Mayor is authorized to give advisory opinions, in writing or immediately reduced to writing, which shall be binding and shall be adhered to by the police, until this chapter is amended in such respect interpreting terms, phrases, parts or any provisions. Normally such advisory opinions shall be in response to good faith, signed letters addressed to him at the Borough administration building, questioning as (i) ambiguous, (ii) as having a potentially chilling effect on constitutional rights specifically invoked, or (iii) as otherwise invalid, in all three categories with respect to proposed conduct definitely described. This administrative remedy must be exhausted prior to presenting to any court a question in any of said three categories. Borough Council does not intend a result that is absurd, impossible of execution or unreasonable. It is intended that the Curfew Ordinance be held inapplicable in such cases, if any, where its application would be unconstitutional. A constitutional construction is intended and shall be given. Council does not intend to violate the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of the Constitution of the United States of America.
Borough Council will continue its evaluation and updating of the Curfew Ordinance.
Accordingly, there shall be compiled and informally reported to Borough Council through effective channels by such Borough administrative personnel as designated by the Mayor all exceptional cases hereunder of reasonable necessity, the notices of school and other activities, the Mayor's special permits and the Mayor's regulations hereinbefore authorized, and the Mayor's advisory opinions, for consideration by the appropriate committee and by Borough Council in further updating and continuing evaluation of the Curfew Ordinance.
For the same reasons, as well as for the implementation beyond these legal aspects of the basic purposes hereof, the Mayor and relevant committees of Borough Council, through their respective chairmen, in coordinated efforts shall work with existing and may organize voluntary groups and shall stimulate volunteer leadership in programs of research and of action dealing constructively on neighborhood and local bases with juvenile delinquency and the prevention, control or containment thereof in all its ramifications and with practicable steps toward the good and a better life for minors 17 or less years of age and with the working of the Curfew Ordinance, community-wise and in individual cases, as one much needed legal tool toward that end as well as for continuing present protection of minors and of other persons and of property and other interests important to the welfare of the people of the Borough of Collingdale.