Ordinance 21: Curfew for Minors & Responsibility of Parents/Guardians of Minors

ORDINANCE # 21 AN ORDINANCE TO REGULATE AND PROVIDE A CURFEW FOR MINORS AND FOR RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS AND GUARDIANS OF MINORS

WHEREAS, the Council of the Town of Townsend is authorized by Chapter 174 Delaware Laws, Volume 23, to enact by ordinance such measures deemed necessary to regulate the sidewalks to make same safe and further to pass Ordinances for the good government and general welfare of said town;

WHEREAS, the Council has been alarmed at the number and variety of criminal activities engaged in by minors under the age of sixteen within the Town; and

WHEREAS, the Council deems it necessary and proper to enact provisions amending the Town Charter with respect to a Curfew for minors and responsibility of parents and guardians.

THE COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF TOWNSEND HEREBY ORDAINS:

SECTION 1.That a new Ordinance by entitled and made as follows:

SECTION I – Curfew for minors Under Sixteen-Generally

It shall be unlawful for any minor under the age of sixteen years to loiter, idle, wander, stroll or play in or remain unnecessarily upon the public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, playgrounds, or other public grounds, public places and public builds, places of amusement and entertainment, vacant lots or other unsupervised places, whether by foot or in a motor vehicle or other conveyance between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., of the following day, official city time; provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply to a minor accompanied by his parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of the minor, or where the minor is upon an emergency errand or legitimate business employment directed by his parents, guardian or other person having the care and custody of the minor.

SECTION II – Curfew for Minors Under Sixteen-Generally (Responsibility of Parent, ect.)

It shall be unlawful for the parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of a minor under the age of sixteen years to neglect to restrain and prevent or to knowingly permit such minor to loiter, idle, wander, stroll or play in or remain unnecessarily upon the public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, playground or other public grounds, public places and public buildings, places of amusement and entertainment, vacant lots or other unsupervised places, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. of the following day, official city time; provided, however, that the provisions of this section shall not apply when the minor is accompanied by his parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of the minor or where the minor is upon an emergency errand or legitimate business employment directed by his parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of the minor.

SECTION III – Curfew for Minors Under Sixteen-Generally (Jurisdiction Over Offenders)

(a) Any minor alleged to have violated the provisions of section 1 shall be immediately turned over to his or her parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of such minor. In the event the parent, guardian or other adult having custody of any said minor cannot be located, any such minor shall be turned over to the State Division of Social Services or to the Family Court for such action as is deemed appropriate in accordance with the Rules of the Family Court.

(b) Any police officer who turns over a minor alleged to have violated the provisions of section 1 to his or her parent, guardian or other adult person having custody of such minor shall thereupon issue to such parent, guardian or other adult person a summons charging him or her with violation of the provisions of Section 2.

(c) Any parent, guardian or other adult person having the care and custody of a minor and who is found guilty of violating the provisions of section 2 shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty dollars.

(d) At the time that the police officer issues a summons for violation of section 2 to a parent, guardian or other adult person having custody of a minor alleged to have violated section 1, such officer shall offer said parent, guardian or other adult person the option of voluntary payment of a minimum fine of ten dollars for violation of section 2, provided that said parent, guardian or other adult person signs the summons or other form approved by the Chief of Police as an acknowledgment of guilt of the offense and as an agreement to pay said minimum fine within ten days of issuance of the summons, in person or by mail, and further provided that said parent, guardian or other adult persons has not been convicted of violating section 2 either by Justice of the Peace Court adjudication or by voluntary payment of said minimum fine more than three times within the pas year, in which event said parent, guardian or other adult person shall be required to appear in the Justice of the Peace Court for such fourth and subsequent offenses and upon conviction thereof in the Justice of the Peace Court shall be fined the maximum amount of fifty dollars for the fourth and each subsequent violation of section 2.

(e) Any parent, guardian or other adult person as aforesaid who has signed the summons or other form approved by the Chief of Police agreeing to voluntary payment of said minimum fine, may, within ten days thereafter, withdraw and agreement, provided said alleged violator notifies the Justice of the Peace Court within said ten days, either in person, or in writing, that he wishes to withdraw said voluntary agreement sad requests a Justice of the Peace Court appearance on the charge of violating section 2. If the alleged violator so notifies the Court, he or she shall be prosecuted for violation of section 2.

(f) In the event that following compliance with the voluntary payment of the minimum fine provisions of this section, the Justice of the Peace Court discovers that he violator of section 2 has within the past year been convicted of or made voluntary payment of the minimum fine for violation of section 2 four times or more, personal appearance before the Justice of the Peace Court shall be required and said violator shall be fined the maximum amount of fifty dollars. Notice of the time and place for the required court appearance shall be given to the alleged violator by the Justice of the Peace Court following its discovery of violation of this section.

SECTION 2. This Ordinance shall become effective as of August 14th, 1979.

First Reading: June 12,1979; Second Reading: July 10, 1979; Third Reading: August 14, 1979; Passed by Town Council: August 14th, 1979; Signed by Town Council President: Rodney C. Hart

 

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