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Tyler County Booster - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk Coun
ty Publishing Company

Woodville Council reviews Juvenile Curfew in city, approves existing ordinance

Tyler County Booster

Do you know where your children are? If you do not already know, you better know where they are during certain hours in Woodville. A Juvenile Curfew exists in Woodville, and Woodville Police Department enforces it. The curfew has existed for many years and Woodville City Council must regularly review it, which they did during a short Council meeting Monday night. Curfew hours are 11 p.m. on any Sunday through Thursday until 6 a.m. the following morning. On Saturday or Sunday, the curfew is from 12:01 a.m. until 6 a.m. During the school day, when school is in session, students are required to be in school from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., including students under expulsion or suspension who are required to remain under supervision during this time period. In general, a minor is in violation of the curfew if he remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the city during curfew hours. A parent or guardian of a minor commits an offense if he knowingly permits or by insufficient control allows the minor to violate the curfew. Even the owner, operator or any employee of an establisment can commit an offense if knowingly allows a minor to remain upon the premises of the establishment during curfew hours. There are exceptions to the ordinance, and Woodville Police department handles decisions on violations on a case by case basis. There are several defenses against a curfew violation contained in the ordinance. There is no violation if the minor is accompanied by their parent or guardian, on an errand at the direction of the minor’s parent or guardian without detour or stop, in a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel, engaged in an employment activity, or going or returning home from an employment activity, without detour or stop, involved in an emergency, on the sidewalk abutting the minor’s residence or abbuting the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the police department about the minor’s presence, attending an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the city, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor, or going to or returning home from, without detour or stop, an official school, religious or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the city, a civic organization or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor. Other defenses against curfew violation include 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; and, if the minor is married, had been married or had disabilities removed in accordance with V.T.C.A. Family Code ch. 31. It is also a defense to the prosecution under subsection (a)(3) 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. The City of Woodville has made the Curfew as simple and easy to understand as possible for the young people as possible. It is there for their protection. Parents are urged to see that their children know and understand the curfew hours and consequences of violating them.

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