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  • Concerns Over New Coventry & Cedar Lee Curfew

    [caption id="attachment_2001" align="alignleft" width="372" caption="New Curfew In Place for Coventry & Cedar Lee"]Curfew[/caption]

     

    While some might think the 6pm curfew for people under 18 in Coventry and Cedar Lee is a good idea, there are some who oppose it. Michelle Simakis of the Cleveland Heights Patch has more:

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio sent a letter Wednesday to Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley about its concern over the new curfew ordinance in the city.

    The ordinance, passed in late June and amended July 5, sets the curfew for people under 18 to 6 p.m. in the Coventry and Cedar Lee business districts. Youth must have a valid reason for being in the areas, and if not, police can arrest minors and give their parents a $50 fine.

    The ACLU letter, sent by legal director James Hardiman, states that the organization is against all curfew laws, but it has one particular problem with the new law.

    "The ordinance, as we interpreted it, is far too broad, and an arbitrary 6 o' clock cut off we think will create more problems than it will resolve," Hardiman said. "For example, if a person under 18, if they wanted to let’s say demonstrate for whatever reason, technically they would be in violation of the ordinance if they were demonstrating after 6 p.m. That’s a core right that all people should have."

    John Gibbon, the city's law director, is still reviewing the letter, but said that the ordinance makes an exception for youth wanting to exercise their constitutional rights. It explicitly states that if minors want to assemble, protest, etc. during the restricted time, they can send a letter to the city's police chief "that is signed and countersigned, if practicable, by a parent of the minor with their home address and telephone number, specifying when, where and in what manner the minor will be in a public place," according to the ordinance.

    Gibbon said that First Amendment rights were a major consideration when adopting the ordinance, and that the city reviewed previous actions in Supreme Court cases to make sure the city wasn't infringing on rights.

    Read more at the Cleveland Heights Patch

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