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CITY OF LOWDEN ORDINANCES

CURFEW FOR MINORS

Sections

9.04.010 Preamble
9.04.020 Findings and Purpose
9.04.030 Definitions
9.04.040 Offenses
9.04.050 Defenses
9.04.060 Enforcement
9.04.070 Penalty, Municipal Infraction

9.04.010 Preamble.
The City of Lowden recognizes that all citizens including minors have certain inalienable rights and that among them are the rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Further, all citizens including minors have the right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and of association. This section should be interpreted to avoid any construction that would result in the appearance of interference with the free exercise of religious worship and political association and this Ordinance shall not be construed to mean that the City intends to interfere with a minor’s freedom of association for political, economic, religious, or cultural matters or association for purposes such as marches, demonstrations, picketing, or prayer vigils which are otherwise lawful and peaceful assemblies. (Added during 1999 Codification). (Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.1)

9.04.020 Findings and Purpose.
The City Council has determined that there has been an increase in juvenile violence and crime by persons under the age of 17 in the City of Lowden; and

Persons under the age of 17 are particularly susceptible by their lack of maturity and experience to participate in unlawful and gang-related activities and to be victims of older perpetrators of crime; and

The City of Lowden has an obligation to provide for the protection of minors from each other and from other persons, for the enforcement of parental control over and responsibility for children, for the protection of the general public, and for the reduction of the incidence of juvenile criminal activities. (Added during 1999 Codification: Ord. 520 §2, 1973).

9.04.030 Definitions.
In this chapter:
A. Curfew hours means:

1. 11:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday until 6:00 a.m. the following day.
2. 12:01 a.m. Saturday until 6:00 a.m. Saturday and 12:01 a.m. Sunday until 6:00 a.m. Sunday. (Added during 1999 Codification: Ord. 420 §2 and §3, 1973)

B. 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. (Added during 1999 Codification).

C. Establishment means any 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. (Added during 1999 Codification).

D. Guardian means:

1. A person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor; or
2. A public of private agency with whom a minor has been placed by a court. (Added during 1999 Codification).

E. Minor means any person under age 17 years of age. (Added during 1999 Codification).

F. 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. (Added during 1999 Codification).

G. Parent means a person who is:

1. A biological 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. (Added during 1999 Codification).

H. 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 schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops. (Added during 1999 Codification)

I. Remain means to:

1. Linger or stay; or
2. Fail to leave premises when requested to do so by a police officer or the owner operator, or other person in control of the premises. (Added during 1999 Codification).

J. Serious Bodily Injury means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss of impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. (Added during 1999 Codification).

9.04.040 Offenses
A. A minor commits an offense if the minor remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the City during curfew hours. (Added during 1999 Codification).

B. A parent or guardian of a minor commits an offense if they knowingly permit, or by insufficient control allow, the minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the City during curfew hours. (Added during 1999 Codification).

C. The owner, operator, or any employee of an establishment commits an offense of they knowingly allow a minor to remain upon the premises of the establishment during curfew hours. (Added during 1999 Codification).

9.04.050 Defenses
A. It is a defense to prosecution under this chapter that the minor was:

1. Accompanied by the minor’s parent or guardian;
2. On an errand at the direction of the minor’s parent or guardian, without any detour or stop;
3. In a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel;
4. Engaged in an employment activity, or going to or returning home from an employment activity, without any detour or stop;
5. Involved in an emergency;
6. 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;
7. Attending an official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City of Lowden, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor, or going to or returning home without any detour or stop, an official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City of Lowden, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor;
8. 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; or
9. Married or had been married.
(Added during 1999 Codification: Ord. 520 §1973).

B. It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection 9.04.040(c) that the owner, operator, or employee of an establishment promptly notified the police department that a minor was present on the premises of the establishment during curfew hours and refused to leave. (Added during 1999 Codification).

9.04.060 Enforcement
A. Before taking any enforcement action under this section, a police officer shall ask the apparent offender’s age and reason for being in the public place. The officer shall not issue a citation or make an arrest under this section unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and that, based on any response and other circumstances, no defense described in this chapter.

B. A minor who is in violation of this Ordinance shall be reunited with the minor’s parent or guardian or custodian or other adult taking the place of the parent or shall be taken home by the police officers of the City of Lowden. (Added during 1999 Codification: Ord. 520 §5 1973).

9.04.070 Penalty, Municipal Infraction.
The violation of this chapter shall be a municipal infraction with penalties not to exceed those contained in the City Code. (Added during 1999 Codification: Ord 520 §6, 1973).

“Editor’s Note: The courts have carefully scrutinized curfew Ordinances and before enacting such an Ordinance, you should consult with your City Attorney. See Maquoketa v. Russel, 484 NW2d, 179(Iowa 1992) and Quit v. Strauss, 8 F2d 260 (1993).”

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