§ 539.

CURFEW LAW

a.

Findings. The Board of Supervisors finds that a critical need exists for a juvenile curfew ordinance. Minors under the age of 14 possess a particular vulnerability to crime and harmful influence under certain circumstances or when not supervised or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at night; such minors often lack the ability to make critical decisions in an informed and mature manner when exposed to nighttime influences. A curfew ordinance can help to ensure that a minor’s parent or legal guardian is able to play an important role in the minor’s development and upbringing. Under existing State law, there are limited circumstances under which a police officer can intervene to assist a minor who is in danger or need of assistance. In the absence of a curfew ordinance, an officer does not have a clear guideline as to whether or not he or she can detain a minor to obtain assistance. Accordingly, the Board of Supervisors finds that this juvenile curfew ordinance is necessary. The ordinance is precisely tailored to ensure the welfare of minors and to promote and protect parents’ ability to play a role in their children’s upbringing.

b.

Definitions. For the purposes of this Section, the following definitions shall apply:

1.

Emancipated Minor. An emancipated minor is a minor who has entered into a valid marriage, is on active duty with any of the armed forces, or has received a declaration of emancipation, as more fully set forth in California Family Code Sections 7000, et seq.

2.

Emergency Mission. An emergency mission is a venture to obtain medical, police, fire, or other assistance that is required by some reasonable necessity to which a minor must attend.

3.

Legitimate Employment. Legitimate employment is any lawful source of employment or self-employment in connection with a business, trade, profession, or occupation.

4.

Express Parental Permission. Express parental permission is the verifiable permission of a minor’s parent or legal guardian for the minor to be in or on any public street, public park, or any other public place during the hours of curfew set forth in Subdivision (c). When stopped for a possible violation of Subdivision (c), it shall be the minor’s responsibility to demonstrate that he or she has express parental permission. The minor may satisfy this burden equally through any means including, but not limited to, signed and verifiable documentation from a parent or legal guardian specifying the date, time and purpose of permission or presentation of a form developed and administered by the Police Department. If a minor is unable to demonstrate that he or she has express parental permission and no other exception applies, the minor may be transferred to the nearest district police station. For minors who allege but are unable to demonstrate express parental permission, the officer in custody of the minor at the station immediately shall attempt to contact the minor’s parent or legal guardian to determine if the minor has express parental permission. If the officer determines that the minor has express parental permission and the minor is not being held for any other charges, the minor immediately shall be released and returned to the place of initial detention as authorized by the minor’s parent or legal guardian. If the officer does not determine that the minor has express parental permission, the minor shall be deemed to be in violation of Subdivision (c).

5.

Minor. A minor is any person under the age of 14 years.

6.

Other Public Place. Other public place includes all other public or private property, in addition to a public street or public park, that is out of doors and immediately accessible by the public in general, such as plazas, parking lots, doorways, or accessways. Other public place shall not include the residence of a minor or a minor’s relative or a street, sidewalk, or yard immediately adjacent to the residence.

7.

Parent or Legal Guardian. A parent or legal guardian is a person or spouse of a person who has the legal custody or care of a particular minor. For purposes of Subdivision (c)(1), parent or legal guardian also includes an adult who is accompanying a minor with the express permission of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.

8.

Public Park. Public park includes all grounds, roadways, squares, recreation facilities, and other property placed under the control, management, and direction of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission.

9.

Public Street. Public street includes all public sidewalks, crosswalks, roadways, alleys, and intersections that are not immediately adjacent to a minor’s residence.

10.

Religious or Political Activity. A religious or political activity includes, but is not limited to, a rally, demonstration, march, vigil, service, or distribution of information which has as its primary focus political or religious purposes.

c.

Violation. It shall be unlawful for any minor to be in or on any public street, public park, or any other public place between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m., except for the following:

1.

When the minor is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, or when the minor is present with one or more other minors, at least one of which is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian;

2.

When the presence of the minor in or on any public street, public park, or any other public place is connected with and required by some legitimate employment in which the minor is engaged;

3.

When the minor has express parental permission;

4.

When the minor is an emancipated minor;

5.

When the minor is engaged in an emergency mission; or

6.

When the minor is participating in a religious or political activity.

d.

Procedure. When a minor is cited, booked, detained, or arrested for the violation of Subdivision (c) of this Section, the officer taking such action shall follow the procedures established by the San Francisco Police Department for treating juveniles who have violated California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 601. If a minor is arrested for violation of Subdivision (c), the minor shall not be held in a secure facility. When a minor is placed in custody for a violation of Subdivision (c), the arresting officer or other authorized personnel immediately shall make every effort to notify the minor’s parent or legal guardian pursuant to procedures established by the Police Department. If the minor’s parent or legal guardian cannot be contacted after continued efforts, the minor shall be transferred to a receiving facility pursuant to Police Department procedures. The arresting officer shall forward to the Juvenile Probation Officer at the Youth Guidance Center a copy of the arrest report, setting forth the circumstances of the arrest of the minor. If the parent or legal guardian of any minor arrested for the violation of Subdivision (c) of this Section appears at the place where the minor is being detained pursuant to Police Department procedures, the Officer in charge shall release the minor to the minor’s parent or legal guardian. It shall be the duty of the Juvenile Probation Officer handling the case to cause to be issued and served upon the arrested minor’s parent or legal guardian a notice, requiring the parent or legal guardian to appear at a time and place to be specified in the notice, pursuant to the procedures established by the Juvenile Probation Department. Any person failing or neglecting to respond to any notice issued and served pursuant to the provisions of this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

e.

Duty to Prosecute. It shall be the duty of the District Attorney to prosecute any person failing to respond to any notice issued pursuant to Subdivision (c).

History

(Amended by Ord. 6770, Series of 1939, App. 6/12/51; Ord. 147-90, Eff. 4/30/90)

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