City of Coatesville, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Coatesville 6-27-1994 by Ord. No. 970-94. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Curfew Ordinance."
This chapter is an updating of the city curfew ordinance, and in accordance with prevailing community standards, prescribes regulations for the presence of minors on streets, in public places and other locations in the city during certain hours, all for the welfare and protection of minors, the furtherance of parental responsibility and for public health, safety and welfare. Accordingly, the City Council finds as follows:
A. 
A curfew can reduce the extant problem of juvenile delinquency by regulating the hours during which minors may remain in public streets, places and certain establishments without adult supervision.
B. 
A curfew meets a local need of the city and has over the years been a significant factor in minimizing juvenile delinquency and disorderliness by imposing additional duties and responsibilities upon the parents of minors.
C. 
The City of Coatesville is a stable family community in which parental responsibility for the whereabouts of minors is the norm, and legal sanctions to enforce parental responsibility have demonstrated their effectiveness over the years.
D. 
As parental control increases, the likelihood of juvenile delinquency decreases.
E. 
There is a continuing need for the curfew and the regulations attendant thereto as established by the following chapter.
A. 
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings set forth hereinafter:
CITY
The City of Coatesville, Chester County, Pennsylvania, with offices located at 1 City Hall Place, Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
ESTABLISHMENT
Any privately owned place of business operated, any place of amusement or entertainment to which the public is invited or any nonprofit entity operating within the city.
KNOWINGLY
Having actual knowledge and including such knowledge which a parent should reasonably be expected to have, under all attendant circumstances, concerning the whereabouts of a minor in that parent's legal custody. It shall be no defense for purposes of this chapter that a parent is indifferent to the activities or conduct or whereabouts of a minor.
MINOR
Any individual under the age of 18 years.
[Amended 9-11-1995 by Ord. No. 1001-95]
OPERATOR
Any individual, firm, association, partnership or corporation owning, 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 all members or partners thereof and, as applied to corporations, shall include the officers, thereof.
PARENT
Any person having legal custody of a minor as:
(1) 
A natural or adoptive parent; and/or
(2) 
A legal guardian; and/or
(3) 
A person who stands in loco parentis to a minor; and/or
(4) 
A person to whom legal custody of a minor has been given by order of any court of competent jurisdiction.
PUBLIC PLACE
Any public street (as defined herein) and all city parks, playgrounds, public buildings or vacant lots located in the city, whether such vacant lots are owned by the city or are owned privately.
REMAIN
To stay behind, to tarry and to stay unnecessarily upon the streets or in public places or establishments, including the congregating of groups totaling four or more persons, in which any minor involved would not be using the streets, public places or establishments for ordinary or serious purposes, such as mere passage or going home. To implement this definition with additional precision and precaution, numerous exceptions hereto are expressly contained in and defined in § 92-5 of this chapter.
STREET
A way or place of whatever nature, open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel or, in the case of sidewalk thereof, for pedestrian travel. The term "street" as used herein includes the legal right-of-way, including, but not limited to, the cartway of traffic lanes, the curb and sidewalks (whether paved or unpaved) and any grass plots or other grounds found within the legal right-of-way of a street. For purposes of this chapter, "street" also applies to ways the public is privileged to use over private property as long as the owner thereof permits such public use (including, by way of example but not limited to, sidewalks and grass plots open to public use) and to parking areas of any types (including, by way of example but not limited to, residential, municipal or commercial parking areas) which are open to and available for public use whether or not accessed by any street. In addition, the term "street" shall apply irrespective of what it is named or was formerly named, whether "alley," "avenue," "court," "road," or otherwise, or whether it is maintained by the city and irrespective of whether it is open to the public as a matter of right.
TIME
The prevailing standard of time, whether Eastern Standard Time or Eastern Daylight Savings Time, as observed at that hour (or minute) by the public in the city; prima facie evidence of the "time" for purposes of this chapter shall be the "time" actually observed in the city's administrative offices or in the City of Coatesville Police Department.
YEAR OF AGE
The age of an individual as established on the day of any infraction alleged hereunder. For purposes of this chapter, the "year of age" shall be the period of time between the previous birthday of an individual and the next consecutive birthday (but not including the day of such birthday) of an individual.
B. 
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future, words in the plural number shall include the singular, words in the singular number shall include the plural and the masculine pronoun shall include the feminine pronoun. The word "shall" as used hereinafter is to be construed as mandatory and not directory.
[Amended 9-11-1995 by Ord. No. 1001-95; 8-8-2005 by Ord. No. 1253-2005; 6-25-2007 by Ord. No. 1287-2007; 10-13-2008 by Ord. No. 1310-2008; 2-9-2009 by Ord. No. 1321-2009; 9-27-2010 by Ord. No. 1338-2010]
It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 to remain in or upon any street, public place or establishment in the City between 9:00 p.m. prevailing time and 6:00 a.m. prevailing time, Sunday through Thursday, and between 10:00 p.m. prevailing time and 6:00 a.m. prevailing time, Friday and Saturday, except when the curfew hours established hereunder are temporarily suspended or modified by proclamation of the City Council of the City of Coatesville. In addition, for those children under the age of 12, the foregoing prohibition against remaining in or upon any street, public place or establishment in the City shall be effective between 9:00 p.m. prevailing time and 6:00 a.m. prevailing time Sunday through Saturday.
In the following cases, a minor remaining on a public street, public place or in an establishment during the hours set forth in § 92-4 above, shall not be considered to be in violation of this chapter:
A. 
When accompanied by:
(1) 
The parent of the minor; or
(2) 
An adult authorized by the parent of the minor to take the parent's place in accompanying the minor for a designated period of time and purpose within a specified area.
B. 
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. Any minor desiring to avail himself or herself of the provisions of this exception shall establish the validity of such exercise by first delivering to the City Police Department a letter, dated and signed by the minor and a parent of the minor, containing the following information:
(1) 
The minor's name.
(2) 
The minor's age.
(3) 
The minor's address.
(4) 
The minor's telephone number.
(5) 
The parents' name.
(6) 
The parents' address.
(7) 
The parents' telephone number.
(8) 
A statement specifying when, where and in what manner the minor will be in or on the streets, a public place or an establishment (during the hours when this chapter is otherwise applicable) in the exercise of the First Amendment rights specified in the letter.
C. 
In the case of reasonable necessity, provided that the minor's parents shall have first delivered to the City Police Department a written notice stating:
(1) 
The facts establishing the reasonable necessity.
(2) 
A description of the specified streets, public place or establishment at designated times for a described purpose, including points of origin and destination.
(3) 
The written notice has been countersigned and dated by the Chief of the City of Coatesville Police Department (or other police officer authorized by the Chief to sign such notices).
D. 
When the minor is on the sidewalk of the minor's place of residence, or on the sidewalk of any premises immediately adjacent to the premises in which the minor resides, provided that the owner of the adjacent premises does not object to the minor's presence.
E. 
When returning home, by a direct route from (and within 30 minutes after the termination of) a school activity or an activity of a religious or other voluntary association, provided that the minor shall, upon request of any police officer, provide to such police officer a written statement identifying:
(1) 
The school activity or other function which the minor has attended.
(2) 
The location of the activity.
(3) 
The time of termination of the activity.
F. 
When the minor is employed and carries a card signed by the minor's employer, dated (or issued) not more than 45 days previous to the date shown on such card. Such card shall:
(1) 
Identify the minor by name, address and telephone number.
(2) 
Identify the minor's employer.
(3) 
Identify the hours of employment.
G. 
When the minor, with parental consent, is in a motor vehicle and such motor vehicle is involved in bona fide interstate travel through the city or such interstate travel begins or ends in the city.
A. 
It shall be a violation of this chapter for a parent having legal custody of a minor to knowingly permit or allow such minor to be or remain upon any city street, public place or establishment within the city between the hours specified in § 92-4 above.
B. 
The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to any parent of a minor who is otherwise exempt from the provisions of this chapter in accordance with the exceptions specified in § 92-5 above.
A. 
It shall be a violation of this chapter for the operator (or their agents or employees) of any establishment to knowingly permit any minor to remain upon the premises of the establishment during the hours specified in § 92-5 hereof.
B. 
Each violation of the provisions of this subsection shall constitute a separate offense.
A. 
Any police officer, upon finding or having attention called to the presence of any minor on the streets, in public places or establishments of the city in prima facie violation of the provisions of this chapter shall immediately obtain from the minor the minor's:
(1) 
Name.
(2) 
Address.
(3) 
Age.
(4) 
The name of his or her parents.
B. 
Upon obtaining this information, and in order to safeguard the person of the minor, the police officer shall take the minor to the City of Coatesville Police Department and shall immediately notify the parent or parents of the minor and instruct the parent or parents to come to the City of Coatesville Police Department and take custody of the minor. Upon the arrival of the parent or parents at the City of Coatesville Police Department, the minor shall be released to the custody of the parent or parents after a written copy of the violation has been issued to them.
[Amended 11-9-1998 by Ord. No. 1089-98]
C. 
If a parent cannot be located, or fails to take charge of the minor, then the minor shall be released to the juvenile authorities of Chester County, except that the minor may temporarily be entrusted to a relative, neighbor or other person who will, on behalf of the minor's parent, assume the responsibility of caring for the minor pending the availability or arrival of the minor's parent.
D. 
In the case of a first violation of this chapter by a minor, and the parents did not make contact with the Coatesville Police Department to receive the written copy of the violation, the Chief of the Coatesville Police Department shall within 72 hours after the time of the taking of the minor into custody send to the minor's parents by certified mail, return receipt requested, a written notice of the violation of the provisions of this chapter, accompanied by a written warning that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, including enforcement of the parental responsibility provision of § 92-6 and the penalties contained in § 92-8.
[Amended 11-9-1998 by Ord. No. 1089-98]
E. 
If, after the written warning notice sent pursuant to Subsection D above of a first violation by a minor, a parent violates the provisions of this chapter, such violation shall be treated as a first offense by the parent. For such offense, the parent, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $250, and not more than $500, together with costs of prosecution, or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. As an alternative or in addition to a sentence to pay such fine and costs, such parent may be sentenced to complete community service in the City of Coatesville, in a community service program offered by the Police Department or other appropriate agency, organization or program, for a minimum of 25 hours and a maximum of 40 hours of community service. In default of payment of such fine and costs, or satisfactory completion of said community service, the parent shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a term of at least two days and not to exceed 30 days. Such sentence shall be in addition to any sentence of imprisonment originally imposed for such offense. For each subsequent violation, the parent, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $500, and not more than $1,000, together with costs of prosecution, or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. As an alternative or in addition to a sentence to pay such fine and costs, such parent may be sentenced to complete community service in the City of Coatesville, in a community service program offered by the Police Department or other appropriate agency, organization or program, for a minimum of 40 hours and a maximum of 80 hours of community service. In default of payment of such fine and costs, or satisfactory completion of said community service, the parent shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for a term of at least five days and not to exceed 30 days. Such sentence shall be in addition to any sentence of imprisonment originally imposed for such offense.
[Amended 10-13-2008 by Ord. No. 1311-2008]
F. 
Any minor who violates any provision of this chapter more than three times within a one-year period shall be referred to the appropriate county or state entity established pursuant to the provisions of the Act of July 9, 1976, P.L. 586, No. 142, Section 2, et seq., as amended (42 Pa.C.S.A. § 6301 et seq.), i.e., the Juvenile Act, for disposition.
G. 
Any operator of an establishment and any agents or employees of that operator who violate the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500, together with costs of prosecution, or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days, or both.