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Oct 05, 2023

Parents and guardians whose children violate the city’s youth curfew law will face stiffer penalties under new legislation Council passed recently.

Safety Committee Chair Mike Polensek sponsored the legislation after a violent summer, with youth as young as 12 and 13 involved in serious crimes.

Council passed the original youth curfew law in 2007, allowing police to ticket parents and guardians. 

Cleveland’s curfew law requires those 12 years and younger to be home by dark; those 13 to 14 to be home by 9:30 p.m.; those 15 to 16 to be home by 11 p.m.; those 17 have to be in by midnight. There is leeway for kids "en route to home from work" (and vice versa).

Under the new law, changes the offense from a minor misdemeanor for the first offense to a 4th degree misdemeanor (up to $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail); and for subsequent offenses (up to $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail). Subsequent offenses see the fines, possible jail time, and the misdemeanor offense increase. The parent/guardian may also be required to perform community services.

Ward 7 Council Member Stephanie Howse-Jones made a change to the legislation to include an assessment to help determine the “root cause” issues that contributed to the violation and to allow judges to order families to participate in support programs if needed.