MARSHALL, Texas (KETK) — The City Council of Marshall will be considering the implementation of a curfew for minors under the age of 17 at Thursday’s regular meeting.
According to the city council meeting agenda, the ordinance is being considered as a measure to reduce juvenile-related crime, meaning crime in which juveniles are participating and crime in which juveniles are the victims of older perpetrators. This would put a penalty against anyone under the age of 17 for being out past allotted hours without a legitimate reason.
The ordinance would restrict minors from lingering in public places from the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. However, exceptions to the ordinance have been drafted as well and are listed as follows:
Minors can be exempt from penalties under the ordinance if they are:
- Accompanied by a parent
- On an errand at the direction of their parent and are using a direct route
- In a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel
- Engaged in an employment activity, including but not limited to newspaper delivery, and are using a direct route
- Involved in an emergency
- On the sidewalk abutting their residence or abutting the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the police officer about their presence
- Attending an official school or religious activity or returning home by a direct route from an official school or religious activity
- 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
- Married or had been married or had disabilities of minority removed in accordance with V.T.C.A., Family Code § 31.001 et seq.
If the minor does not provide a reason that matches one of the aforementioned exemptions, under the ordinance, they will be penalized and subject to a fine of no more than $500.