June 29, 2007

Daytime Curfew Complaint Dismissed

A California judge dismissed a citation against a Home School Legal Defense Association member’s child alleging that he’d violated Los Angeles County’s daytime curfew ordinance. The 13-year-old boy received the citation while riding his bike between his home and his grandmother’s house a mile away. Even though the boy told the police officer that his school was not in session, which the officer confirmed by calling the mother, the officer packed the boy and his bike into his cruiser, drove him to his grandmother’s house, told him he couldn’t be on the street until 1:30 p.m., and gave him a ticket.

The Los Angeles ordinance prohibits children from being unaccompanied in public during school hours “on days when said minor’s school is in session.” HSLDA’s attorneys demonstrated that the boy attended a private school established by his mother and that the school was on Easter break on the day in question. Although the public school district where the child lived was in session, other area public, private, and parochial schools were similarly on spring break.

It appears that the local law enforcement regularly conduct “truancy sweeps” and ticket any child they find on the streets even if they have a right to be there, as did this boy. HSLDA stands ready to defend against these high-handed tactics.

 Other Resources

Daytime Curfews: Guilty Until Proven Innocent