Chapter 6.20


6.20.010    Parental responsibility for juveniles.

6.20.020    Definitions.

6.20.030    General prohibition.

6.20.040    Exemptions.

6.20.050    Authority to enforce.

6.20.060    Violation – Penalty.

6.20.010 Parental responsibility for juveniles.

A. The city council of the city of Ritzville, Washington, has determined that it is generally contrary to the well-being of juveniles to be outside their residences in the late night and early morning hours unsupervised and with no specific purpose.

B. In order to protect those juveniles who are not subject to adequate parental control from harm to themselves or others or the property of others, and to foster better parental responsibility among the parents and guardians of juveniles found within the city of Ritzville, some regulation of parental control of juvenile children is appropriate.

C. Control of parents and guardians of juveniles who are in danger of harm to themselves and others based upon certain prescribed conduct is to be accomplished to achieve better protection of the community and the juveniles.

D. The city council has received information from the police department that juveniles who are not adequately supervised by their parents and/or guardians have become engaged in criminal activity at certain times and within certain areas of the city. It is the intent of this chapter to impose control upon the parents and/or guardians of juveniles who are present at certain times and certain places within the city to protect those juveniles and the community. (Ord. 895 § 2, 1994).

6.20.020 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words shall have the following meanings:

A. “Child” or “juvenile” means any unemancipated person, male or female, under the age of 18 years.

B. “Parent” means the mother, father, or both (both being referred to in the singular as “parent”), guardian or other adult person having the legal care, custody or control of a child.

C. “Returning home” shall mean traveling, walking, biking or otherwise moving from the point of departure to a child’s home or the residence of the person having the care, custody or control of said child for that evening. Said movement shall be directly from the point of departure to the destination to be accomplished within a reasonable period of time.

D. “School nights” shall mean any night or early morning hours immediately preceding a regular school day as scheduled by the Ritzville school district.

E. “Allow” shall include those situations where the parent has failed to monitor or account for the child’s location between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on school nights and between 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m. other nights. (Ord. 895 § 3, 1994).

6.20.030 General prohibition.

Between the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on school nights or between the hours of 12:00 midnight to 5:00 a.m. on nonschool nights, and except as otherwise permitted under the provisions of this chapter, no parent or guardian shall allow or permit any child he or she is responsible for to remain:

A. In or upon the public streets, roadways, alleys, parks, playgrounds, or any other place to which the general public has access and a right to be for business, entertainment, or other lawful purpose;

B. In or upon private property which is unoccupied, vacant or abandoned; or

C. In or upon private property which is not otherwise supervised by a responsible adult. (Ord. 895 § 4, 1994).

6.20.040 Exemptions.

A parent or guardian of the following juveniles shall be exempt from the enforcement provision of this chapter:

A. A juvenile accompanied by his or her parent or guardian;

B. A juvenile engaged in lawful employment;

C. A juvenile on an errand or on legitimate business, pursuant to instructions from his or her parent or guardian;

D. A juvenile involved in an emergency concerning the person or property of himself, herself or another;

E. A juvenile returning home from school- or church-sponsored activities or from other activities supervised by a responsible adult. The term “returning home” means immediately and directly after participation in such activity, without a broken chain of sequences and time between the end of such event and the time such juvenile returns to his or her residence or such other place as shall be authorized by his or her parent. (Ord. 895 § 5, 1994).

6.20.050 Authority to enforce.

Law enforcement officers of the city shall have the authority to reasonably stop and momentarily detain a juvenile to obtain his or her name, age and address, as well as the name and address of his or her parent or guardian whenever said law enforcement officer shall reasonably suspect that the parent of such juvenile is in fact in violation of RCC 6.20.030.

Upon determination that the parent or guardian of such juvenile is in fact in violation of RCC 6.20.030 and not exempt under RCC 6.20.040, the law enforcement officer shall direct or deliver the juvenile to the residence of his or her parent or guardian. (Ord. 895 § 6, 1994).

6.20.060 Violation – Penalty.

A. Upon a parent or guardian’s first violation per child, notice thereof shall be given to the parent or guardian and a record of the violation shall be made with the police department. Upon the second violation involving the same child, a notice of infraction shall be served on the parent or guardian requiring the parent or guardian to appear for a hearing to be held in the district court, at which time the parent shall appear and answer to the charge of violating this chapter. Upon determination by the court that a second violation has occurred involving the same child, the responsible parent or guardian shall be deemed to have committed a civil infraction and any such person found to have committed such a civil infraction shall be assessed a monetary penalty, which penalty may not be more than $250.00 for each offense, together with surcharges and assessments.

B. The police department shall maintain a record of all juveniles found in those locations and at those times prohibited by this chapter. Such record shall be conclusive proof that a juvenile has previously been the subject of inquiry pursuant to this chapter. The police department shall maintain a record of all parents or custodians contacted and determined to have violated this chapter. Such list shall be made available to any juvenile court or child welfare or child protective agency upon request.

C. Any parent or guardian unable to control the whereabouts and activities of a juvenile in their care, custody or control shall contact the police department and report such juvenile as possibly appearing in locations and at times that would violate this chapter. In such case, the parent or guardian shall not be responsible for actions of the juvenile for purposes of this chapter, but the police department may consider reporting such juvenile to the Department of Social and Health Services as a dependent or runaway child.

D. At the time the police department issues a warning or notice of infraction to any parent or guardian for violation of this chapter, the police department may consider reporting the circumstances of such juvenile as needing the intervention of child protective services. (Ord. 895 § 7, 1994).