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Updated Proposed Juvenile Curfew Ordinance


August 04, 2011

ORDINANCE

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF MOBILE that Ordinance
Number 39-039, adopted May 21, 2002, is hereby amended in its entirety to read as follows:

I. Definitions. In this section:

(A) CURFEW HOURS means:

(1) 11:00 p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday until 6:00 a.m. of the following day;
(2) 12:01 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. on any Saturday or Sunday. Provided,
that regardless of the day of the week upon which it falls, on each
holiday recognized by the city, the evening curfew hours for the
night before the holiday and the morning curfew hours for the
holiday shall both begin at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and shall extend
until 6:00 a.m.; and
(3) 9:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday or Friday during which Mobile County Public Schools
are in session, ("Daytime Curfew Hours").

(B) CURFEW CENTER means a place to temporarily maintain custody of a
child prior to release to a parent, legal guardian or legal custodian or, if
appropriate, to the Strickland Youth Center or such other place designated
by the Juvenile Court.

(C) EMERGENCY means an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the
resulting state that calls for immediate action. The term includes, but is
not limited to, a fire, a natural disaster, an automobile accident, or any
situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or
loss of life.

(D) ESTABLISHMENT means a privately-owned place of business operated
for a profit to which the public is invited, including but not limited to any
place of amusement or entertainment.

(E) GUARDIAN means:

(1) a natural person who, under court order, is the guardian of the
person of a minor; or
(2) a public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by
a court.

(F) IN SESSION means the status of a school during the fall or spring term
when students are required to attend the school. A school is not in session
during its summer break, during any holiday or any other scheduled
general student vacation day or part of a day observed by the school.

(G) MINOR means any person who has not yet reached his or her 18th
birthday (or for purposes of the Daytime Curfew Hours, his or her 17th
birthday), who has not been emancipated under Alabama law.

(H) OPERATOR means any individual, firm, association, partnership or
corporation operating, managing or conducting any establishment. The term includes the members or partners of an association or partnership and
the officers of a corporation.

(I) PARENT means a person who is

(1) a natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent of another person;
or
(2) at least 18 years of age and authorized by a parent or guardian to
have the care and custody of a minor.

(J) PUBLIC PLACE means any place to which the public or a substantial
group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to streets,
highways and the common areas of school, hospitals, apartment houses,
office buildings, transport facilities and shops.

(K) REMAIN means to:

(1) linger or stay; or
(2) fail to leave when requested to do so by a police officer or owner,
or operator, or other person in control of the premises.
Provided, however, that law enforcement officers shall have
discretion as to whether to request a minor to leave a public place
prior to commencing an enforcement action under this section
without making such a request.

(L) SERIOUS BODILY INJURY means physical injury that creates a
substantial risk of death or that causes death, permanent disfigurement, or
the protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or
organ.

II. Offenses.

(A) Minors. A minor commits an offense if he is in or remains in a public
place during curfew hours. A minor or any other "child" as defined in
Code of Alabama 1975 12-15-102 subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of
the juvenile court who is adjudicated by the juvenile court as having
violated this section shall be subject to the maximum penalties, if any,
provided by state law for status offenses by juveniles, and shall be subject
to the orders, care, and rehabilitation authority of the juvenile court.
Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the juvenile court is
authorized in its discretion to order payment of a fine of up to one hundred
dollars ($100.00) and to order any other disposition authorized by Code of
Alabama 1975, 12-15-215 or otherwise provided by state law.

(B) A parent or guardian of a minor commits an offense if he intentionally,
recklessly, knowingly or negligently permits, or by insufficient control
allows, the minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any
establishment within the city during curfew hours, in violation of this
Juvenile Curfew Ordinance.

(C) The owner, operator, or any employee of an establishment commits an
offense if he knowingly allows a minor to remain upon the premises of the
establishment during curfew hours, in violation of this Juvenile Curfew
Ordinance.

(D) The provisions of this section shall apply to minors who are suspended or
expelled from school, unless they are emancipated under Alabama law.

(E) A minor who is taught by a certified teacher pursuant to 16-28-5; or
enrolled in a church school as defined in 16-28-1(2); or who is exempt
from attending public school under 16-28-6; or who is otherwise
exempted from the public and private school systems in compliance with
State law, and the minor's parent or guardian, are not in violation of the
Daytime Curfew Hours if the minor is in or remains in a public place with
the permission of the parent or guardian.

(F) A minor who is engaged in interstate travel is not in violation of this
Juvenile Curfew Ordinance.

(G) A minor who is 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 is not in violation of this Juvenile
Curfew Ordinance.

(H) A separate offense shall be deemed committed for each violation of this
section.

III. Defenses.

(A) It is a defense to prosecution under Section II, that the minor was:

(1) accompanied by the minor's parent or guardian;
(2) on a lawful errand at the direction of the minor's parent or
guardian, without any unnecessary detour or stop;
(3) engaged in an employment activity, or going to or returning home
from an employment activity, by a direct route without any
unnecessary detour or stop;
(4) involved in an emergency;
(5) on the sidewalk abutting the minor's residence or abutting the
residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain
to the police department about the minor's presence, except that
this defense does not apply to a violation of the Daytime Curfew
Hours.
(6) attending an official school activity, religious activity, or other
recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the
City, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes
responsibility for the minor, or going to or returning home from,
by a direct route without any unnecessary detour or stop, an
official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised
by adults and sponsored by the City of Mobile, a civic
organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for
the minor;
(7) married or had been married;
(8) attending a bona fide work-study program recognized by the
United States Department of Education or any public school
system, or going to or returning home from such a program by a
direct route without any unnecessary detour or stop and within one
hour of the commencement or termination of the work-study
activity;
(9) a student enrolled in a bona fide college, university, or other
institution of higher education, or a student enrolled in a bona fide
vocational, technical, or other similar school intended to prepare
the student for employment;
(l0) involved in receiving health care services, or traveling to or from
locations where health care services are provided within one hour
of the commencement or termination of such health care services.

(B) It is a defense to prosecution under Section II (C) of this Juvenile Curfew
Ordinance that the owner, operator, or employee of an establishment
promptly notified the police department that a minor was present on the
premises of an establishment during curfew hours and refused to leave.

(C) It is a defense to prosecution under this Juvenile Curfew Ordinance for a
violation of the Daytime Curfew Hours that:

(1) the school in which the minor was enrolled or otherwise required
to attend was not in session;
(2) the minor was on the premises of the school in which the minor
was enrolled or otherwise required to attend;
(3) the minor was participating in a school-approved work study
program, or was going to the work study program or returning to
home or school from the work-study program without any
unnecessary detour or stop;
(4) the minor was on a lunch break from a school that permits an off
campus lunch program;
(5) the minor was on an excused absence from the school in which the
minor was enrolled or otherwise required to attend and had
permission from a school official; or
(6) the minor was a high school graduate or had received a high school
equivalency certificate.

IV. Enforcement, Procedures and Reporting.

(A) Before taking any enforcement action under this Section, a law
enforcement officer shall have the discretionary authority to make inquiry
of the apparent offender's age and reason for being in the public place, for
the purposes of determining probable cause and whether any defense
applies. A law enforcement officer shall have all discretion provided by
state or federal law to determine whether to do any of the following:

(l) issue a verbal warning and release the child;
(2) release the child to a parent, guardian, legal custodian of the child
or other suitable person able to provide supervision and care for
the child and issue verbal counsel and warning as may be
appropriate;
(3) transport the child to the Curfew Center; or
(4) take such other discretionary, lawful action which will in the
judgment of the law enforcement officer protect the best interests
of the child.

(B) When a child has been transported to the Curfew Center, reasonable
attempts shall be made to notify the minor's parent or legal guardian as
soon as possible to report to the Curfew Center to pick up the minor. At
the Curfew Center, a law enforcement officer will make a reasonable
attempt to do one or more of the following within three (3) hours of the
minor's detention at the Curfew Center:

(1) issue a verbal warning and release the child;
(2) release the child to a parent, guardian, legal custodian of the child
or other suitable person able to provide supervision and care for
the child and issue verbal counsel and warning as may be
appropriate;
(3) refer and transport the minor to the Strickland Youth Center;
(4) file an appropriate petition in Juvenile Court for violation of this
Curfew Ordinance;
(5) file an appropriate request with the Alabama Department of
Human Resources to conduct an investigation; or
(6) take such other discretionary, lawful action which will in the
judgment of the law enforcement officer protect the best interests
of the child.

(C) Enforcement of this Ordinance against a minor shall be made by petition
filed in Juvenile Court. Enforcement of this Ordinance against a parent,
guardian or against an owner, operator or employee of a business
establishment shall be by issuing a Uniform Nontraffic Citation and
Complaint ("UNTCC") enforceable in Municipal Court. When more than
one minor under the control of the same parent or guardian is found in
violation of the provisions of this section in the same act or incident, that
parent or custodian shall be issued no more than one citation for that
particular occurrence.

(D) This Subsection IV shall not be interpreted in a manner which would
affect or diminish the immunity or discretionary authority, conferred by
Alabama and Federal law on law enforcement officers and cities.

V. Penalties.

(A) Violation by a Minor - A violation by a minor is subject to the jurisdiction
of the juvenile court and penalties are set forth in Section II (A) of this
Juvenile Curfew Ordinance.

(B) Other Violations -

(1) The Uniform Nontraffic Citation and Complaint ("UNTCC") shall
be the charging instrument for a violation of Section II (B) or (C) of this
Juvenile Curfew Ordinance.
(2) The first violation shall be punishable by a fine of $100.
(3) The second violation within one year and all subsequent violations
thereafter shall be punishable by a fine of up to $500 or by imprisonment
of up to six (6) months or by both fine and imprisonment.
(4) In sentencing violations of this Juvenile Curfew Ordinance, the
Municipal Court may consider suspension, probation, community service,
or, in lieu of or in addition to any penalty that may be imposed, ordering
the violator to obtain counseling or attend classes to improve parenting
and child raising skills.

VI. Severability. The provisions of this ordinance are severable. If any part of the Ordinance is declared invalid or unconstitutional, such declaration shall not affect the parts which remain.