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|COUNCILMEMBER HAROLD BRAZIL
A BILL IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Councilmember Harold Brazil introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
To amend Law 8-179, §3, 27 DCR 4886 (1981) to establish a curfew for juveniles in the District of Columbia, to provide findings and purpose for establishment of the act, to provide for parental responsibility for implementation of the act and to provide for exceptions to the act.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Juvenile Curfew Amendment Act of 1997.
Sec. 2. Findings and purpose.
(a) The Council of the District of Columbia has determined that there has been an increase in juvenile violence, juvenile gang activity, and crime by persons under the age of 17 in the District of Columbia.
(b) The Council of the District of Columbia has determined that 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.
(c) The Council of the District of Columbia 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 activity.
(d) The Council of the District of Columbia has determined that a curfew for 10 those under the age of 17 will be in the interest of the public health, safety, and general welfare and will help to attain these objectives and to diminish the undesirable impact of this conduct on the citizens of the District of Columbia.
(e) The Council of the District of Columbia determines that passage of a curfew law will protect the welfare of minors by:
Sec. 3. Definitions.
(a) "Curfew hours" means 11:00 p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, until 6:00 a.m. on the following day; and 12:01 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. on any Friday or Saturday.
(b) "Emergency" means an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. "Emergency" includes, but is not limited to, a fire, a natural disaster, an automobile accident, or any situation that requires immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
(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.
(d) "Guardian" means a person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person or a minor or a public or private agency with whom a minor has been place by a court.
(e) "Minor" means any person under the age of 17 years, but does not include a judicially emancipated minor.
(f) "Narcotic trafficking" means the act of engaging in any prohibited activity related to narcotic drugs or controlled substances as defined in the District of Columbia Uniform Controlled substances Act of 1981, effective August 5, 1981 (D.C. Law 4-29; D.C. Code §33-501 et seq.).
(g) "Operator" means any individual, firm, association, partnership, or corporation that operates, manages, or conducts any establishment. "Operator" includes the members or partners of an association or partnership and the officers of a corporation.
(h) "Parent" means a natural or adoptive parent or any person who has legal custody by court order or marriage.
(i) "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.
(j) "Remain" means to linger or stay or fail to leave premises when requested to do so by a police officer of the owner, operator, or other person in control of the premises.
(k) "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Sec. 4. Curfew authority, defenses, enforcement and penalties.
(a)(1) A minor commits an offense if he or she remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the District of Columbia during curfew hours.
(b)(1) It is a defense to prosecution under the Juvenile Curfew Amendment Act of 1993 that the minor was:
(c)(1) 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 in subsection (b) is present.
(d)(1) a person who violates a provision of this act is guilty of a separate offense for each day or part of a day during which the violation is committed, continued, or permitted. Each offense, upon conviction, is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.
(e)(1) The Mayor shall report to the Council on the curfew's effectiveness and shall recommend that the curfew for minors either be continued or discontinued within 5 days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and days of Council recess, prior to the expiration of this act.
Sec. 5. Records sealed.
Any law enforcement records or files of a minor attendant to a violation of the Juvenile Curfew Amendment Act of 1994 shall be sealed by the Metropolitan Police Department when the minor reaches the age of majority.
Sec. 6. (a) This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of a veto by the Mayor, action by the Council of the District of Columbia to override the veto), approval by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (109 Stat. 116; D.C. Code §478-292.3(c)), and a 60-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(2) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code §1233(c)(2)), and publication in either the District of Columbia Register, the District of Columbia Statues-at-Large, or the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.
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