CHAPTER 656 – PEACE DISTURBANCES

656.01   LOITERING AND PROWLING

(a)     Definitions.  As used in this section, the following words have the meanings indicated:

(1)        “Malicious” means done willfully, intentionally, and without legal justification, cause, or excuse.

(2)        “Loiter” means to be dilatory, slow in movement and/or to linger or stand around.

(3)        “Prowl” means to appear to be searching, using stealth, being quiet and/or being secretive.

(b)    Malicious Loitering or Prowling Prohibited

(1)        From and after the passage of this section, it shall be unlawful to maliciously prowl or maliciously loiter in, around or near, on the property of another and without the consent of such owner, any equipment, excavation or building other than a dwelling house or other place used wholly or partly for living or dwelling purposes.

(2)        It shall be unlawful to maliciously prowl or maliciously loiter in, around, or near any park or playground area, public recreation building, public school or other public area within the Township.  Such areas will be closed from one-half (1/2) hour after sunset until one-half (1/2) hour prior to sunrise, except as otherwise set forth in subsection (3), below.

(3)        In lighted areas such as tennis courts, tennis playing is permitted and supervised playground activities are permitted during other hours, but only during such time as such areas are lighted.  Permission may be granted by the Commissioner for Recreation or his or her agent, in writing, for other appropriate activities.

656.02   MINORS CURFEW

(a)        Remaining in Public Places at Certain Hours Prohibited.  No minor under the age of eighteen years shall be on or remain in or upon the streets, alleys, or public places within the Township at night, between 12:00 midnight and 6:00 AM of the following day, unless such person is accompanied by a parent, a legal guardian, or another person over the age of twenty-one having legal custody of such minor or bearing a written authorization signed by such minor’s parent to take said parent’s place in accompanying said minor for a designated period of time and purpose, with said authorization being signed and dated the day upon which it is utilized.

(b)       Exceptions.  In the following circumstances, a minor under the age of eighteen years shall not be considered in violation of this section:

(1)        In cases of emergency or reasonable necessity, but only after such minor’s parent or legal guardian has communicated to the Police Department the facts establishing such reasonable necessity or emergency and specifying the time, purpose, and points of origin and destination.

(2)        When returning home, by a direct route, from a school activity, an activity of a religious organization, voluntary association or established club, or a legitimate place of employment, within thirty minutes of the termination of said activity or employment.

(3)        When a minor is, with the consent of a parent or legal guardian, in a motor vehicle travelling between specific destinations.  This exception shall not apply in circumstances where the motor vehicle has stopped or parked, other than at the specific destination.

(c)        Parental Responsibility.  No parent or other adult having legal custody of a minor under the age of eighteen years shall knowingly permit or, by inefficient or ineffective control, allow such minor to be or remain upon any Township street, alley, or public place in violation of this section.  The term “knowingly” includes knowledge which a parent or other adult having legal custody should reasonably be expected to have concerning the whereabouts of a minor in his or her custody.

(d)       Stopping and Detaining Violators; Notification of Parents or Legal Guardian.  Any person believed to be a minor under the age of eighteen years and violating the provisions of this section may be stopped and detained by the Police Department.  A parent or legal guardian may be notified and instructed to pick up said minor, if the officer determines such procedure is necessary.

(e)        Violations.  In the case of a first violation by a minor, a written notice of said violation shall be sent to the minor and the parents or custodian of said minor by certified mail, return receipt requested, notifying them of said violation and providing a warning that subsequent violations will result in the imposition of penalties.  The Police Department shall maintain adequate records regarding all violations of this section.

656.03   EXCESSIVE NOISE

No person shall operate, play, or permit the operation or playing of any radio, stereo, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, sound amplifier, automobile radio, automobile stereo or hi-fidelity equipment, or similar device, which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound:

(a)        Which creates a noise disturbance across a real property boundary;

(b)       In such a manner as to create a noise disturbance across any real property boundary when operated in or on a motor vehicle located on a public right-of-way or public space, including, but not limited to, roads and sidewalks;

(c)        In such a manner as to create a noise disturbance to any person other than the operator of the device, when operated by any passenger on a common carrier; or

(d)       At such a sound intensity that the sound is audible in any public area, street, or sidewalk at a distance of fifty feet or more from its source.

656.04   PRESENCE OR PARTICIPATION IN A DISORDERLY HOUSE PROHIBITED

No individual shall knowingly be present and/or participate in an ill-governed or disorderly house or place wherein gambling or drinking is occurring, when the same constitutes a common nuisance or disturbance to the neighborhood or orderly citizens.

656.99   PENALTY

(a)        Whoever violates Section 656.01 or Section 656.03 shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than three hundred dollars ($300.00) and costs of prosecution.  In default of such payment, such person shall be imprisoned in the County Jail for a period not to exceed ten days.  Each day during which any violation of Section 656.01 or Section 656.03 continues shall constitute a separate offense.

(b)       Whoever violates Section 656.02 shall, upon a subsequent violation thereof within 365 days of a notice, as set forth in Section 656.02(e), or within 365 days of a prior violation for which a citation was issued, be fined twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for a first offense.  Said fine shall be increased by an additional twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for each offense occurring within 365 days.  The District Justice shall, upon finding that a parent or custodian is in violation of Section 656.02, order the parent or custodian to pay such fine and costs of prosecution, and, upon failure to pay such fine and costs of prosecution, to be imprisoned in the County Jail for a period not to exceed thirty days.

(c)        Whoever violates Section 656.04 shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall be fined not more than three hundred dollars ($300.00) or imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or both.