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Paris Mayor Extends Juvenile Curfew, Institutes Fines For Distancing Violations

Paris Mayor Dr.  Steve Clifford

SUPPLEMENTAL MAYOR’S LOCAL DISASTER FOR PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY ORDER NO. 1

SUPPLEMENTAL ORDER OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PARIS, TEXAS INSTITUTING REVISED JUVENILE CURFEW HOURS AND PROHIBITING GATHERINGS OF MORE THAN TEN (10) PEOPLE IN BOTH CONFINED AND OUTDOOR SPACES; PROVIDING FOR ENFORCEMENT; AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY.

WHEREAS, beginning in December 2019, a novel coronavirus, now designated SARS-CoV2 which causes the disease COVID-19, has spread through the world and has now been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization; and

WHEREAS, on March 5, 2020, the World Health Organization Director-General urged aggressive preparedness and activation of emergency plans to aggressively change the trajectory of this epidemic; and

WHEREAS, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is closely monitoring the growing number of COVID-19 cases that have spread into the United States; and

WHEREAS, 7,038 cases of COVID-19 and 97 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in the United States according to the CDC as of 4:00 P.M. on March 18, 2020; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott reported a total of 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State of Texas and as of March 18, 2020, the total confirmed cases in the State of Texas is 83; and

WHEREAS, by Wednesday, March 30, 2020, the number of reported cases in the State of Texas had risen to 2,877; and

WHEREAS the first confirmed case in Lamar County, Texas was announced on March 19, 2020, and WHEREAS, there have since been two additional confirmed cases in the county, one of which was community-acquired; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; and

WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. In some cases the virus has caused death, including 38 in the State of Texas as of March 30, 2020; and

WHEREAS, large gatherings of unidentifiable individuals without necessary mitigation for the spread of infection may pose a risk for the spread of infectious disease; and

WHEREAS, the continued worldwide spread of COVID-19 presents an imminent threat of widespread illness, which requires emergency action; and

WHEREAS, extraordinary measures must be taken to contain COVID19 and prevent its spread throughout the City of Paris; and

WHEREAS, on March 19, 2020, the Hon. Steven J. Clifford, M.D, Mayor of the City of Paris, Texas, issued a declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency and accompanying Order (the “Declaration and Order”) designed to halt the spread of COVID-19 in the city and in Lamar County; and

WHEREAS, on the same date, Lamar County issued its own declaration of disaster and order, and thereafter, by the action of the Lamar County Commissioners Court on Monday, March 23, 2020, extended said an order for an additional 30 days; and

WHEREAS, on March 24, 2020, the Lamar County Commissioners Court adopted Resolution No. R2020-007, “A Resolution of the Commissioners Court of Lamar County, Texas Recommending Appropriate Measures to Contain and Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 for the Health, Safety, and Welfare of the Community of its Citizens; and

WHEREAS, on March 26, 2020, the City Council of the City of Paris, Texas extended said Declaration and Order for a period of thirty (30) days in Resolution No. 2020-011, and WHEREAS, in Section 4 of said resolution, the City Council granted authority to the Mayor to exercise all necessary powers granted under the Texas Disaster Act of Texas, Texas Government Code Chapter

418; and

WHEREAS, the Emergency Management Plan of the City of Paris, Texas enacted pursuant to said Chapter 418, Government Code, allows for the restriction of the movement of people; and

WHEREAS, conditions have worsened with respect to COVID-19 in the city, county, state and nation since March 26, 2020; and

WHEREAS, while the majority of citizens in the City of Paris are avoiding gatherings of more than ten (10) people and are observing social distancing recommendations, there is a minority of the citizenry who are ignoring said recommendations, thus endangering not only themselves but others as well;

NOW, THEREFORE, 1, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF PARIS, TEXAS, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE CHAPTER 418, THE CITY’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN, AND THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PARIS, HEREBY FIND AND ORDER:

Section 1. That the findings and recitations set out in the preamble to this Order are found to be true and are hereby adopted by the Mayor and made a part hereof for all purposes.

Section 2. Curfew Regulations for Children Extended. Effective as of 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the “Curfew Regulations for Children,”

set forth in the City of Paris Code of Ordinances in Chapter 21, Article Ill, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated herein by reference, shall be extended such that it shall be unlawful for any child sixteen (16) years of age or less (under seventeen (17)) to intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence be in or remain in or upon the streets, a public place, or an establishment within the city limits between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on Monday through Sunday. All other provisions of Chapter 21, Article Ill, including affirmative defenses to prosecution, shall remain in full force and effect, except that a child or a parent or guardian may be charged with an offense beginning with the first violation of the curfew, and to that extent, the provisions of Sec. 21-55 and 21-56 to the contrary are suspended.

Section 3. Gatherings of More Than Ten CIO) People Prohibited. Effective as of 10:00 p.m. on March 31, 2020, gatherings of more ten (10) people within the city limits of the City of Paris are prohibited. A gathering is any indoor or outdoor event that brings together or is likely to bring together more than ten (10) people at the same time in a single space where people are present and within six (6) feet of one another, without regard to the purpose of the gathering. For the purposes of this section, however, a gathering does not include the following, so long as visitors are generally not within arm’s length of one another for extended periods:

Spaces where 10 or more persons may be in transit or waiting for transit such as airports, bus stations or terminals; (ii) office space or residential buildings; (iii) grocery stores, shopping malls, or other retail establishments where large numbers of people are present but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another for extended periods; and (iv) hospitals and medical facilities. In all such settings, Mayor Clifford and the Office of the Lamar County Judge and the ParisLamar County Health Department recommends following the attached Social Distancing Recommendations, and personal hygiene measures such as hand sanitizer and tissues should be provided when possible.

Section 4. Enforcement. The Paris Police Department is hereby authorized to enforce this order. A violation of this order regarding extended curfew hours for children shall be punished in accordance with Code of Ordinances Section 21.55 except that a child and his or her parent or guardian may be cited for an offense upon the first violation of the curfew regulations. A violation of this order regarding engaging in gatherings of more than (10) people shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $500.00 in accordance with the City of Paris Code of Ordinances Sec. 1-6.

Section 5. Effective Date and Duration. This Supplemental order shall go into effect at 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, and shall remain effective for the duration of the Mayor’s Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency and Order dated March 19, 2020, and as extended and Amended by the City Council of the City of Paris in Resolution No. 2020-011, and throughout any further extensions thereof unless otherwise repealed or withdrawn.

Section 6. Posting. The City of Paris shall post this Supplemental Order No. 1 on its website. In addition, the owner, manager, or operator of any facility that is likely to be impacted by this Order is strongly encouraged to post a copy of this order onsite.

Section 7. Severability. If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this Supplemental Order No. 1 or application of it to any person, structure, gathering, or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decisions will not affect the validity of the remainder of the order.

ORDERED this 31st day of March 2020.

APPROVED AS TO FORM

Ste Hanie H. Harris, City Attorney

ARTICLE Ill. CURFEW REGULATIONS FOR CHILDREN

Sec. 21-51. Short title.

This Article shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Curfew Ordinance.’ (Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16)

Sec. 21-52. Purpose and findings.

(a) Purpose. The purpose of this article is to protect the welfare of children by:

  • Reducing the likelihood that children will be the victims of criminal acts during curfew hours;
  • Reducing the likelihood that children will become involved in criminal acts during curfew hours; and
  • Aiding parents, guardians, custodians, or other responsible persons, in carrying out their responsibility to exercise supervision of the children entrusted to their care.

(b) Findings. In determining that a need exists for this article, the city council finds and determines as follows:

  • The city is a stable family community where parental responsibility for the whereabouts of children is the norm.
  • During nocturnal hours children are at greater risk for victimization or becoming involved in delinquent or criminal behavior.
  • As parental control increases, the likelihood of children being victimized or becoming involved in delinquent or criminal behavior decreases.
  • The victimization of children and the involvement of children in crime and violent crime has reached an unacceptable and alarming level compelling the city council to adopt this article for the public good, safety, and welfare.

(Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16)

Sec. 21-53. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article, the following terms, phrases, words, and their derivations shall have the following meaning given herein. men not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the masculine include the feminine, words in the plural number include the singular, and words in the singular number include the plural. The word ‘shall’ is always mandatory and not merely directory.

City means the City of Paris.

Child means a person who is under seventeen (17) years of age.

Criminal negligence. A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.

Custodian means the adult with whom the child resides.

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

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.

Guardian means the person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of the child or the public or private agency with whom the child has been placed by a court.

Intentionally. A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.

Knu@glu. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.

A law enforcement officer means a city police officer.

Motorized vehicle means a self-propelled vehicle subject to registration under the Certificate of Title Act (Article 6687-1, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).

Other responsible person means an adult, eighteen (18) years of age or older, other than a parent, guardian or custodian, in whose care and under whose individualized supervision the child has been placed by the parent, guardian, or custodian, and under circumstances which demonstrate actions indicating oversight and concern for the child.

Parent means the mother, the father, or an adoptive parent, but does not include an individual whose parental rights have been terminated.

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.

Recklessly. A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.

Remain means to walk, run, stand, drive, ride about, stay or be otherwise present.

Street means a way or place, of whatever nature, open to the use of the public as a matter of right for purposes of vehicular travel or, in the case of a sidewalk thereof, for pedestrian travel. The term ‘street’ includes the legal right-of-way, including, but not limited to, the traffic lanes, curb, sidewalk, whether paved or unpaved and any grass plots or other grounds found within the legal right-of-way of a street. The term “street” applies irrespectively of what the legal right-of-way is formally named or called, whether alley, avenue, court, road or otherwise.

Time of night means the prevailing standard of time, whether Central Standard Time or Central Daylight Savings Time, generally observed at that hour by the public in the city, prima facie the time then observed in the city’s police department’s communication division.

Year of age continues from one (1) birthday, such as the sixteenth, too (but not including) the day of the next, such as the seventeenth birthday, making it clear that sixteen (16) or fewer years of age is herein treated as equivalent to the phrase ‘under seventeen (17) years of age. (Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16)

Sec. 21-54. Curfew.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any child sixteen (16) years of age or less (under seventeen (17)) to intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence be in or remain in or upon the streets, a public place or an establishment within the city limits during the following nighttime curfew hours:

  • From 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. the following day on any weeknight (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights);
  • From 12:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. the same day on any weekend night (Saturday and Sunday mornings).
  • It shall be unlawful for any child sixteen (16) years of age or less (under seventeen (17)) to intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence be in or remain in or upon the streets, a public place or an establishment within the city limits during daytime curfew hours from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. weekdays (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday).
  • It shall be unlawful for a parent, guardian or custodian having custody and control of a child sixteen (16) years of age or less (under seventeen (17)) to intentionally or knowingly permit or, by insufficient control to allow such child to be in violation of the curfew imposed in subsection (a)(l), (a)(2) or (b).
  • It shall be unlawful for the owner, operator or another employee of an establishment to knowingly allow a child to remain upon the premises of the establishment during daytime curfew hours (from 9:00

a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) or during nighttime curfew hours (from 1 1 •.00 p.m. until 6:00

a.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights or from 12:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. the same day on any weekend night (Saturday and Sunday mornings) curfew hours.

It shall be unlawful for a parent, guardian or custodian to fail to respond to any notification by a law enforcement officer to take custody of a child unless reasonably hindered from doing so.

(Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16)

Sec. 21-55. Penalties.

  • A child (upon proof that a written notice of violation was given to the parent, custodian or guardian of the child for the child’s first violation as set forth in subsection (b)) shall commit the first offense upon the second violation of section 21-54. For such first offense, and for any subsequent offenses, a child, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars ($200.00) for any one (1) offense. A municipal court may, however, defer charges against a child arising out of a violation of section 21-54 to a teen court program as provided in Article 46.55 of the Code of Criminal Procedure when guidelines for such referral, if necessary, have been approved by the juvenile court of the county.
  • Upon the first violation by a child of section 21-54, the chief of police or his authorized designee, shall give written notice of such violation to a parent, guardian, or custodian of the child with a warning that any subsequent violation will result in full enforcement of this chapter, including enforcement of parental responsibility and applicable penalties. Such notice shall be given by personally delivering a copy to the parent, custodian or guardian, or by sending the notice to the parent, custodian or guardian by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • A parent, guardian, or custodian (upon proof that a written notice of violation was previously issued to them for a prior curfew violation, as set forth in subsection (b)) shall commit the first offense upon the second violation of section 21-54 by their child or a child for which they are the guardian or over which they have custody. For such first offense, and for any subsequent offenses, a parent, guardian or custodian, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars ($200.00) for any one (1) offense.
  • Jurisdiction for violation of this article shall be in the municipal court of the city.

(Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16)

Sec. 21-56. Law enforcement procedure.

  • A law enforcement officer may stop and detain a person who the officer has developed reasonable suspicion to believe has committed a violation of section 21-54.
  • Prior to making an arrest or issuing a citation for a violation of this chapter, a law enforcement officer shall inquire as to the person’s age, and the reason for being on the street or in a public place, or in an establishment within the corporate city limits during curfew hours.
  • The law enforcement officer shall not make an arrest or issue a citation under this chapter unless the officer reasonably believes that an offense has occurred and has determined, based upon inquiry and investigation, that none of the affirmative defenses set forth in section 21-57 to the observed violation.
  • A law enforcement officer, upon finding or having his attention called to any child in prima facie violation of this chapter, shall deliver the child to a parent, guardian, custodian, or another responsible person (under appropriate circumstances) and inform the parent, guardian, custodian or another responsible person to report to the city police department juvenile officer on a next working day so that the department may discuss with the parent, guardian or custodian the prima facie violation and enforcement of the chapter, including parental responsibilities and applicable penalties.
  • Children under ten (10) years of age.
  • A law enforcement officer, upon finding or having his attention called to any child under ten (10) years of age in prima facie violation of this chapter, shall take the child to the city police department juvenile officer if the child’s parent, guardian, custodian or another responsible person cannot be located for release of the child. While the child is being detained by a juvenile officer at the police department, the juvenile officer having custody of the child shall again attempt to contact another responsible person into whose custody the child may be released.
  • If a law enforcement officer or a juvenile officer is unable to locate the parent, guardian, custodian, or another responsible person to whom a child under ten (10) years of age may be released, the juvenile officer shall notify the Texas Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services, for assistance in finding temporary housing for the child. This procedure will be consistent with already established procedures concerning neglected, abandoned, or abused children.

(Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16)

Sec. 21-57. Affirmative defenses.

(a)       It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under section 21-54 that:

  • A child is accompanied by a parent, guardian, custodian or another responsible person as defined in this chapter.
  • A child is legally married, divorced or widowed.
  • A child is the parent of a child.
  • A child is on the sidewalk of his residence.
  • A child is legally employed and is upon the premises of the child’s place of employment or is returning home, without any detour or stop, from an occupation that requires the child to remain out beyond the curfew hours.
  • With respect to section 21-54(b), that the offense occurred during the scheduled vacation of or on a holiday observed by the school in which the child is enrolled, or that the child has graduated from high school or received a high school equivalency certificate, or that the child has permission to be absent from school or be in a public place from an authorized school official. In the case of a child being educated in a home school, a parent shall be deemed a school official.
  • A child is attending or traveling directly to or from, without any detour or stop, an activity involving the exercise of First Amendment right of free speech, freedom of assembly, or free exercise of religion. Such child shall evidence bona fide proof of such exercise by carrying a written communication signed by such child and countersigned, if practicable, by a parent, guardian, custodian, or another responsible person, which shall state:
  1. The name, address, and telephone number of such child;
  2. The name, address, and telephone number of the parent, guardian, or custodian for the child;
  3. The height, weight, sex, color of eyes and hair, and other relevant physical characteristics of such child;
  4. Specifying when, where, and in what manner said child will be out (during hours when this chapter would be otherwise applicable to child) in the exercise of a First Amendment right specified in such communication.

(8) The child is, with the consent of the parent, guardian, or custodian of said child, engaged in normal travel in a motorized vehicle within the city limits under circumstances not otherwise covered by subsections (a)(5), (a)(7), (a)(9), (a)(10) or (a)(11). Such child shall evidence the bona fide proof of such consent by carrying a written communication signed by the parent, guardian, or custodian for the child which shall state:

  1. The name, address, and telephone number of such child;
  2. The name, address, and telephone number of the parent, guardian, or custodian for such child;
  3. The height, weight, sex, color of eyes and hair, and other relevant physical characteristics of such child;
  4. A brief description of facts showing the applicability of this subsection (a)(8).

For purposes of this subsection, a child “engaged in normal travel in a motorized vehicle” shall be deemed to include children who are waiting at a designated area for public transportation in an area specified in the parent’s, guardian’s, or custodian’s written communication of consent.

A child “engaged in normal travel” for purposes of this subsection (a)(8) and of section 21-56 means a child driving along the streets in a lawful manner, without any detour or stop, which indicates a clear intent of traveling from place of origin to place of destination.

  • A child is engaged in interstate travel beginning, ending or passing through the city.
  • A child is attending or traveling directly to or from, without any detour or stop, an activity that is sponsored by an educational, religious, or other nonprofit organization within sixty (60) minutes of the termination of the activity. Such child shall evidence bona fide proof of such activity by carrying a written communication signed by the parent, guardian, custodian, or another responsible person, which shall state:
  1. The name, address, and telephone number of such child;
  2. The name, address, and telephone number of the parent, guardian, or custodian for the child;
  3. The height, weight, sex, the color of eyes and hair, and other relevant physical characteristics of such child; and,
  4. a brief description of the activity and evidence that said activity is sponsored by an educational, religious, or nonprofit organization.

(1 1) A child is engaged in an emergency errand, without any detour or stop, and the child has in his possession, if practicable, a written statement signed by the parent, guardian, custodian or another responsible person, which states that the errand is directly related to the health or safety of the parent, guardian, custodian or another responsible person, or a family member and that describes the nature of the errand and the safety emergency.

(12) A case of reasonable necessity and urgency has arisen such that the parent, guardian, custodian, or other responsible person is unable to accompany the child. In such cases, the child must carry a written communication from the parent, guardian, custodian, or another responsible person which shall state:

  1. The name, address, and telephone number of such child;
  2. The name, address, and telephone number of the parent, guardian, or custodian for the child;
  3. The height, weight, sex, the color of eyes and hair, and other relevant physical characteristics of such child; and,
  4. A brief description of facts amounting to reasonable necessity at a designated time for a described purpose including points of origin and destination.

(13) Each of the foregoing provisions and their several limitations, such as provisions for notification, are severable, as hereinafter provided. (Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16) Sec. 21-58. Enforcement.

The city police department will serve as the primary agency in the effective implementation of this chapter. This chapter, like all other laws and ordinances, shall be enforced in a fair, equitable and nondiscriminatory manner throughout the city. (Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16) Sec. 21-59. Continuing evaluation.

Before the third anniversary of the adoption of the ordinance from which this chapter is derived, and every third year thereafter, the city council shall:

  • Review the chapter’s effect on the community and on the problems that the chapter was intended to remedy;
  • Conduct public hearings on the need to continue the chapter; and
  • Abolish, continue, or modify the chapter. (Ordinance 2016-009, sec. 2, adopted 3/14/16) Secs. 21-60-21-74. Reserved.