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Bally Borough Lowers Curfew Time for Minors under Age 18
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner, Correspondent

            Bally Borough issued a proclamation that lowered the curfew time for persons under the age of 18 from 11 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The curfew now is in effect from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.  The amended curfew will continue until the State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic is lifted. 

            The State of Emergency declared by Bally Borough on March 24, 2020 authorized the imposition of a curfew.  After 9 p.m. it is unlawful for minors to be on the streets, alleys, or parks in the Borough of Bally. Mayor David Schott signed the proclamation at the behest of the Bally Police. 

            There have been a few mischievous incidents in the borough, such as trash cans being overturned, since Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a "State At Home Order" and closed all the schools in the state for the foreseeable future.  None of the incidents in the borough have been of a destructive nature. 

            In September, 2007 Bally enacted Ordinance 267 that established a curfew for young people from 11PM until 6AM.  The amended borough ordinance requires, after 9 p.m. that persons under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while outside.  An exception is if a child is returning directly home, within 30 minutes, from school or a religious service.

            If a child is going to or returning from his place of employment the child must have a letter from his parent, guardian, or employer that identifies the child, the place of employment, and the hours the child works.  If there is a necessity for a young person to be out after 9 p.m. the child's parent or guardian must provide written communication to Bally Police within 72 hours.

            Additionally, if a minor is exercising his First Amendment rights of free speech, practice of religion, or assembly which are guaranteed under the United States Constitution, a parent or guardian must provide written communication to the police that explains why the child is on the street after the 9 p.m. curfew. 

            The penalty for violation of the 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew include, for the first offense the child is taken into police custody and returned to the parent or guardian.  A report is then made to the Mayor of Bally.  If a child is not kept at home after the incident, the parent or guardian can be convicted and found guilty of a summary offense by a court that has jurisdiction.  The fine can be up to $300 plus court costs. 

            After 3 violations the child can be reported to the Berks County Juvenile Probation Office.  Proceedings can be initiated in the Juvenile Division of the Berks County Court of Common Pleas.  The parent or guardian of the minor child can also be reported to Berks County Juvenile Probation Office and Berks County Children and Youth Services.

            The Bally Police can use their discretion in determination of age.  If the age of the minor is in question and there is no proof of age the police officer's judgement will prevail.





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