Township of Douglass, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2006-7, 6/13/2006, § 1.A]
1. 
As used in this Part, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
CURFEW HOURS
The hours of 11:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. of the following day on Sunday through Thursday; and 12:01 a.m. until 5:00 a.m. of the following day on Saturday and Sunday.
EMERGENCY
Unforeseen circumstances, or the status or condition resulting therefrom, requiring immediate action to safeguard life, limb, or property. The term includes, but is not limited to, fires, natural disasters, automobile accidents, or other similar circumstances.
ESTABLISHMENT
Refers to any privately-owned place of business within the Township operated for a profit, to which the public is invited including, but not limited to, any place of amusement or entertainment, skating rink, bowling alley, or similar amusement establishment. With respect to such establishment, the term "operator" shall mean any person, and any firm, association, partnership (and the members or partners thereof), and/or corporation (and the officers thereof) conducting or managing that establishment.
MINOR
Any person under 17 years of age who has not been emancipated as an adult under Pennsylvania law.
PARENT
Any person who is:
(1) 
A minor's biological or adoptive parent and who has legal custody of a minor (including either parent, if custody is shared under a court order or agreement).
(2) 
The biological or adoptive parent with whom a minor regularly resides.
(3) 
A minor's court appointed guardian.
(4) 
At least 21 years of age and authorized by a parent or court appointed guardian to have the care and custody of a minor.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access including, but not limited to, streets, highways, roads, sidewalks, alleys, avenues, parks, and/or common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transportation facilities, and shops.
REMAIN
Refers to the following actions:
(1) 
To linger or stay at or upon a place.
(2) 
To fail to leave a place when requested to do so by a police officer or by the owner, operator or other person in control of that place.
2. 
The singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular; and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
[Ord. 2006-7, 6/13/2006, § 1.B]
1. 
The purpose of this Part is to:
A. 
Promote the general welfare and protect the general public through the reduction of juvenile violence and crime within the Township.
B. 
Promote the safety and well being of the Township's younger children, persons under the age of 17, whose inexperience and immaturity renders them particularly vulnerable to becoming participants in unlawful activities, particularly unlawful drug activities, and to being victimized by older perpetrators of crime.
C. 
Prescribe, in accordance with prevailing community standards, regulations for the conduct of minors on streets at night, for the protection of younger children in the Township from each other and from other persons on the streets during nighttime hours.
D. 
Foster and enforce parental control and responsibility for their children.
E. 
Further family responsibility.
2. 
Based upon criminal statistics and information of the Township and various surrounding communities, the Douglass Township Board of Supervisors finds that curfew regulations for minors under the age of 17 are necessary to promote the general welfare and protect the general public through the reduction of juvenile violence and crime within the Township; promote the safety and well being of the Township's younger children, person under the age of 17, whose inexperience and immaturity renders them particularly vulnerable to becoming participants in unlawful activities and to being victimized by older perpetrators of crime; protect younger children in the Township from each other and from other persons on the streets during nighttime hours, when the incidents of crime are most significant; foster and enforce parental control and responsibility for their children; and further family responsibility.
[Ord. 2006-7, 6/13/2006, § 1.C]
1. 
It shall be unlawful for any minor, during curfew hours, to remain in or upon any public place within the Township, to remain in any motor vehicle operating or parked therein or thereon, or to remain in or upon the premises of any establishment within the Township. Exceptions to the above are the following:
A. 
Minor is accompanied by a parent.
B. 
Minor is involved in an emergency.
C. 
Minor is on an errand at the direction of a parent, and the minor has in his or her possession a written statement dated that day and signed by parent containing the following information: the name, signature, address, and telephone number of the parent authorizing the errand, the telephone number where the parent may be reached during the errand, the name of the minor, and a brief description of the errand, the necessity for the errand, the minor's destination(s) and the hours the minor is authorized to be engaged in the errand.
D. 
Minor is engaged in an employment activity, or is going to or returning home from such activity, without detour or stop.
E. 
Minor is on the sidewalk directly abutting a place where he or she resides with a parent.
F. 
Minor is attending an official civic, school, or religious activity, or is going to or returning from such an activity without detour or stop.
G. 
Minor is involved in interstate travel through, or beginning or terminating in, the Township.
H. 
Minor is exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise or religion, freedom of speech and the right of assembly.
2. 
It shall be unlawful for a minor's parent to knowingly permit, allow, or encourage such minor to violate Subsection 1 above.
3. 
It shall be unlawful for a person who is the owner or operator of any motor vehicle to knowingly permit, allow, or encourage a violation or Subsection 1 above.
4. 
It shall be unlawful for the operator of any establishment, or for any person who is an employee thereof, to knowingly permit, allow, or encourage a minor to remain upon the premises of the establishment during curfew hours. It shall be a defense to prosecution under this subsection that the operator or employee of an establishment promptly notified the police department that a minor was present at the establishment after curfew hours and refused to leave.
5. 
It shall be unlawful for any person (including any minor) to give a false name, address, or telephone number to any police officer investigating a possible violation of this section.
[Ord. 2006-7, 6/13/2006, § 1.C]
1. 
Minors. Any minor found in a public place, motor vehicle, and/or establishment within the Township in violation of § 6-103, "Curfew Offenses; Exceptions," above, shall be:
A. 
Issued a warning, which shall be followed by a written warning mailed by the Police Department to the minor and his or her parent(s).
B. 
If the minor has previously been issued a warning for any such violation or if the police officer determines that a warning would not prevent further violations of the law, then the minor shall be charged with a violation of this Part and, as soon as practical, the Police Department shall:
(1) 
Release the minor from custody to his or her parent(s).
(2) 
Place the minor in a temporary care facility for a period not to exceed the remainder of the curfew hours, so that his or her parent(s) may retrieve the minor.
(3) 
If a minor refuses to give a police officer his or her name and address, refuses to give the name and address of his or her parent(s), or if no parent can be located prior to the end of the curfew hours, or if located, no parent appears to accept custody of the minor, the minor may be taken to a juvenile shelter and/or juvenile court facility.
2. 
Others. Any person, other than a minor, that violates § 6-103, "Curfew Offenses; Exceptions," above, shall be issued a warning, which shall be followed by a written warning mailed by the Police Department to that person and to the owner and operator of an establishment if the violator is an employee of that establishment. If the person has previously been issued a warning for any such violation, then the person shall be charged with a violation of this Part.
[Ord. 2006-7, 6/13/2006, § 1.D]
Any minor who shall violate this Part more than three times may, at the discretion of the proper Township officials, be reported to a governmental agency and/or private society or organization which takes charge or incorrigibles and delinquents, and proceedings shall then be taken in the proper court for the permanent welfare of such minor and a like procedure may be taken in cases where the arrest of the parent is not effective, or where for any other reason the provisions of § 6-103, "Curfew Offenses; Exceptions," of this Part cannot be made effective by the imposition of fines and penalties.
[Ord. 2006-7, 6/13/2006, § 1.E]
In taking minors into custody, police officers shall use their discretion in determining age and in doubtful cases may require positive proof of age. Until such proof is furnished, the officer's judgment shall prevail.
[Ord. 2006-7, 6/13/2006, § 1.F; as amended by Ord. 2009-3, 8/31/2009]
1. 
Any person, firm, or corporation who violates a provision of this Part, or who fails to comply therewith, or with any of the requirements thereof, in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
2. 
A separate offense shall arise for each day or portion thereof in which a violation is found to exist or for each section of this Part found to have been violated. All fines and penalties for the violation of this Part shall be paid to the Township Treasurer.
3. 
The Township may also commence appropriate actions in equity or other to prevent, restrain, correct, enjoin, or abate violations of this Part.