Chapter 5.05


5.05.010    Purpose and intent.

5.05.020    Definitions.

5.05.030    Offenses.

5.05.040    Defenses.

5.05.050    Enforcement.

5.05.060    Penalties.

5.05.070    Severability.

5.05.010 Purpose and intent.

The Millbrae city council finds that a juvenile curfew ordinance is necessary and desirable because the protection of minors warrants a higher degree of governmental regulation. This higher degree of regulation is premised upon the peculiar vulnerability of children and minors’ inability to make critical decisions in an informed and mature manner. The city recognizes a compelling interest in preserving the safety of the community generally and providing a higher degree of protection for its minors specifically during nighttime hours. (Ord. 644-A, § 2; 1976 Code § 5-1.01).

5.05.020 Definitions.

“Curfew hours” means the period from ten p.m. any night until six a.m. the following morning.

“Emergency” means unforeseen circumstances or a situation that calls for immediate action. The term includes, but is not limited to, an automobile accident, fire or explosion, natural disaster or any condition requiring immediate action to prevent bodily injury or loss of life.

“Establishment” means any privately owned place of business operated for profit to which the public is invited including, but not limited to, any place of amusement or entertainment.

“Guardian” means:

1.    A person who, under court order, is the guardian of the minor; or

2.    A public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by a court.

“Minor” means any person under eighteen years of age.

“Operator” means any individual, firm, association, partnership or corporation operating, managing or conducting any establishment.

“Parent” means a person who is a natural parent, adoptive parent or step-parent of a minor.

“Responsible adult” means a person at least eighteen years of age and authorized by a parent or guardian to have the care and custody of a minor.

“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, common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities and shops.

“Remain” means to:

1.    Linger, stay or be present; or

2.    Fail to leave the premises when requested to do so by a peace officer, the owner, operator or other person in control of the premises. (Ord. 644-A, § 2; 1976 Code § 5-1.02).

5.05.030 Offenses.

It is unlawful for:

A.    Any minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the city during curfew hours; or

B.    Any parent or guardian of a minor to permit with knowledge 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; or

C.    Any owner, operator or employee of any establishment to permit with knowledge a minor to remain in or upon the premises of an establishment during curfew hours. (Ord. 644-A, § 2; 1976 Code § 5-1.03).

5.05.040 Defenses.

A.    It is a defense to prosecution of the offenses set forth in MMC 5.05.030(A) and (B) that the minor was:

1.    Accompanied by the minor’s parent or guardian or by a responsible adult;

2.    On an errand at the direction of the minor’s parent or guardian or responsible adult, without detour or delay;

3.    In a motor vehicle involved in intrastate or interstate travel;

4.    Engaged in employment, or going to or returning home from employment, without detour or delay;

5.    Involved in an emergency;

6.    On the sidewalk adjacent to the minor’s residence, providing the minor is not otherwise violating the law;

7.    Attending an official school, religious or other adult-supervised recreational activity sponsored by the city, a civic organization or other similar entity that takes responsibility for the safety of the minor, or going to or returning home from such an activity, without detour or delay;

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.    Emancipated pursuant to law.

B.    It is a defense to prosecution of the offense set forth in MMC 5.05.030(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. (Ord. 644-A, § 2; 1976 Code § 5-1.04).

5.05.050 Enforcement.

Before taking any enforcement action under this chapter, a peace officer shall ask the apparent offender’s age and reason for being in a public place or on the premises of an establishment during curfew hours. The officer shall not issue a citation or detain a minor under this chapter unless the officer reasonably believes an offense has occurred and based upon the minor’s responses and other circumstances, no defense under this chapter appears present or applicable. (Ord. 644-A, § 2; 1976 Code § 5-1.05).

5.05.060 Penalties.

Any person who violates a provision of this chapter is guilty of a separate offense for each day or part of a day during which the violation is committed, continued or permitted. Any person who violates the offenses described in this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Minors shall be dealt with in accordance with juvenile court law and procedure. (Ord. 644-A, § 2; 1976 Code § 5-1.06).

5.05.070 Severability.

If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter is for any reason deemed or held to be invalid or unconstitutional by the decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of this chapter. The city council of the city of Millbrae hereby declares that it would have adopted this chapter and each section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion thereof, irrespective of the fact any one or more sections, subsections, sentences, clauses, phrases or other portions might subsequently be declared invalid or unconstitutional. (Ord. 644-A, § 2; 1976 Code § 5-1.07).