Chapter 117

Chapter 117


[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Fredonia 2-23-1998 by L.L. No. 1-1998. This local law repealed former Ch. 117, Curfew, adopted 5-15-1903, as amended. Amendments noted where applicable.]


Amusements — See Ch. 85.

Peace and good order — See Ch. 213.

~ 117-1. Title.

  This chapter shall be entitled “A Local Law Establishing a Curfew for the Village of Fredonia.”

~ 117-2. Findings.

          A.     The Board of Trustees of the Village of Fredonia is concerned about the number of young children who frequent the downtown area and other areas of the Village of Fredonia at late hours. In the downtown area of the Village of Fredonia there are approximately 14 establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold. In the late evenings many people from the village and college community frequent these establishments. At times there are people who are under the influence of alcohol present in the late evenings in the Village of Fredonia. Also, crimes are more frequent in these late hours.

          B.     The Mayor and Board of Trustees has recently established a Task Force on Alcohol and Violence consisting of 20 persons from the community, including, among these, the Mayor, the Fredonia College President, the Fredonia Police Chief and the Superintendent of the Fredonia Central School District. It was the recommendation of the Task Force that the Village of Fredonia implement a curfew for persons 16 years of age and under (under 17 years of age).

          C.     The Board of Trustees of the Village of Fredonia believes that children 16 years of age and under should not be permitted in public places in the Village of Fredonia after 11:00 p.m. unless within the exceptions provided by this chapter. These children should be at home not wandering the village at late hours.

          D.     The Board of Trustees of the Village of Fredonia believes the curfew law should be as least restrictive as reasonably possible, while at the same time assuring that the welfare of the juvenile and community are protected from the dangers inherent in allowing children under the age of 17 to stay out in the village at late hours.

          E.     After due deliberation, the Board of Trustees of the Village of Fredonia believes the community sense of the proper time for cessation of outdoor activities by juveniles is reflected in the curfew hours declared by this chapter, which take into consideration the dangerous hours for nocturnal crime and for accumulation of juveniles with the potential risks which are incident to immaturity.

~ 117-3. Purpose.

  The Board of Trustees of the Village of Fredonia, New York, hereby determines that a curfew is necessary to further the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Village of Fredonia and specifically to further the following interests:

          A.     The reduction of the incidence of juvenile criminal activity and vandalism.

          B.     The protection of the public from nocturnal mischief by minors.

          C.     Helping parents control their children.

          D.     The protection of children from others on the street during the nighttime hours.

~ 117-4. Definitions.

  For the purposes of this chapter the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural include the singular and words in the singular number include the plural. The word “shall” is always mandatory and not merely directory.

                        ESTABLISHMENT — Any privately-owned place of business, operated for a profit, to which the public is invited, including but not limited to any store, restaurant, tavern, place of amusement or entertainment.

                        JUVENILE — Any person under the age of 17 or, in equivalent phrasing often herein employed, any person 16 or fewer years of age.

                        OPERATOR — Any individual, firm, association, partnership or corporation operating, managing or conducting any establishment within the Village of Fredonia. The term includes the members or partners of an association or partnership and the employees thereof and the officers and employees of a corporation.

                        PARENT — Any person having legal custody of a juvenile as:

          A.     A natural or adoptive parent;

          B.     A legal guardian;

          C.     A person who stands in loco parentis; or

          D.     A person to whom legal custody has been given by a court order.

            PUBLIC PLACE — Any place within the Village of Fredonia to which the public or any portion of the public has access and includes but is not limited to streets, sidewalks, shopping centers, parking lots, parks, playgrounds, theaters, restaurants, shops, bowling alleys, taverns, cafes, arcades and similar areas that are open to the use of the public. As a type of public place, a street is a way or place, of whatever 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. “Street” includes that legal right-of-way, including but not limited to the cartway of 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.

            VILLAGE — The Village of Fredonia, New York.

~ 117-5. Curfew for juveniles.

  It shall be unlawful for any person 16 or fewer years of age (under 17, to be or remain in or upon a public place within the Village of Fredonia during the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on all days.

~ 117-6. Exceptions.

  A person under the age of 17 years shall not be considered in violation of this chapter under the following circumstances:

          A.     When accompanied by a parent or legal guardian of such juvenile.

          B.     When accompanied by a person at least 21 years of age, authorized by a parent or legal guardian of such juvenile, in writing, to take said parents’ place in accompanying said juvenile for a designated period of time and purpose within a specified area.

          C.     In the case of an emergency involving a threat to life or property.

          D.     When returning home by a direct route from and within 1/2 hour after the termination of school-sponsored activity or an activity of a religious or other civic association.

          E.     When returning home by a direct route from the juvenile’s lawful and gainful employment.

          F.     If the juvenile is exercising First Amendment rights protected by the Constitution, such as free exercise of religion, speech or assembly, provided that the minor first has given notice to the Chief of Police by delivering a written communication signed by the minor and countersigned by a parent or legal guardian of the minor which specifies when, where, in what manner and for what purpose the minor will be on the streets at night during the curfew period.

~ 117-7. Operator responsibility.

  It shall be unlawful for any operator of an establishment within the Village of Fredonia to knowingly permit a juvenile to remain at the establishment under circumstances not constituting an exception to this chapter. The term “knowingly” includes knowledge that an operator should reasonably be expected to have concerning the patrons of the establishment. The standard for “knowingly” shall be applied through an objective test: whether a reasonable person in the operator’s position should have known that the patron was a juvenile in violation of this chapter.


~ 117-8. Enforcement procedures.

          A.     If a police officer reasonably believes that a juvenile is in a public place in violation of this chapter, the officer shall notify the juvenile that he or she is in violation of this chapter and shall require the juvenile to provide his or her name, address and telephone number and how to contact his/her parent or guardian. In determining the age of the juvenile and in the absence of convincing evidence such as a birth certificate, a police officer shall, in the first instance of violation of this chapter, use his or her best judgment in determining age.

          B.     The police officer shall issue the juvenile a written warning that the juvenile is in violation of this chapter and order the juvenile to go promptly home. The Chief of Police shall send the parent or guardian of the juvenile written notice by certified mail and regular mail or personal delivery of the violation.

          C.     The police officer may deliver to a parent or guardian thereof a juvenile of tender age, near home, whose identity and address may readily be ascertained or are known.

          D.     Notwithstanding Subsection B of this section, when a juvenile refuses to heed the warning or direction given by any police officer or refuses to give the police officer his/her correct name and address, the procedure shall then be to take the juvenile to the police station where a parent or guardian shall immediately be notified to come for the juvenile, whereupon the parent or guardian and the juvenile shall be questioned.

          E.     When a parent or guardian, immediately called, has come to take charge of the juvenile and the appropriate information has been recorded, the juvenile shall be released to the custody of such parent. If the parent cannot be located or fails to take charge of the juvenile, then the juvenile shall be released to the juvenile authorities, except to the extent that in accordance with police regulations, approved in advance by juvenile authorities, the juvenile may temporarily be entrusted to an adult, neighbor or other person who will on behalf of a parent or guardian assume the responsibility of caring for the juvenile pending the availability or arrival of a parent or guardian.

          F.     For the first violation of this chapter by an operator of an establishment who permits a juvenile to remain on the premises, a police officer shall issue a written notice of the violation by certified mail and regular mail or by personal delivery with a warning that any subsequent violation shall subject the operator to the enforcement of this chapter, including applicable penalties.

          G.     In any event, the police officer shall within 24 hours file a written report with the Chief of Police or shall participate to the extent of the information for which he or she is responsible in the preparation of a report on the curfew violation. It is not the intention of this chapter to require extensive reports that will prevent police officers from performing other police duties. The report shall be as simple as is reasonably possible and may be completed by police department personnel other than sworn police officers.

~ 117-9. Procedure for minors; penalties for offenses.

          A.     Local procedure for juveniles under the age of 12. Any juvenile under the age of 12 years violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be conducted by any police officer discovering such violation to the juvenile’s home, and such policeman shall forthwith report, in writing, the name and residence of the parents of such juvenile to the Chief of Police of the Village of Fredonia, New York.


          B.     Juveniles under the age of 16; court procedure. Any juvenile under the age of 16 years found in violation of any provisions of this chapter on three or more separate occasions within a six-month period shall be dealt with by the police officer in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of the Family Court Act or Article 10 of the Family Court Act as the police officer shall deem appropriate under the circumstances.


         C.     After the warning, pursuant to the applicable provisions of ~ 117-8 of this chapter, any operator or juvenile who is 16 years of age (i.e. has attained the age of 16 years but is not yet 17 years of age) who shall violate any provisions of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not more than $350.

~ 117-10. Construction and severability.

  Severability is intended throughout and within the provisions of the chapter. If any provisions of this chapter, including any exception, part, phrase or term or any 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 this chapter in any and all other respects shall not be affected thereby.

~ 117-11. Repealer.

  Chapter 117 of the Code of Fredonia which sets forth the curfew adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Fredonia May 15, 1903, is hereby repealed.

~ 117-12. Effective date.

  This chapter shall take effective immediately.