The New York Civil Liberties Union today called on Mayor Robert J. Duffy to comply with a recent appellate court decision and stop enforcing Rochester’s unconstitutional curfew law.
In a 3-2 decision last Friday, justices from the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court ruled that the city’s 2-year-old curfew unconstitutionally infringes on minors' free speech rights and unlawfully charges minors with criminal violations, violating state Penal Law and the Family Court Act. Duffy vowed to appeal the ruling and continue enforcing the curfew, which prohibits children younger than 17 from being in any public place between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“Mayor Duffy and the City Council should accept the court’s decision, end the curfew and start developing lawful strategies to enhance public safety,” said Gary Pudup, director of the NYCLU’s Genesee Valley chapter and a retired Monroe County Sheriff’s police lieutenant. “City leaders should not waste time and taxpayer’s money enforcing an unconstitutional law.
Instead, they should work to strike a balance between protecting the public and preserving our constitutional rights. Improving public safety is a laudable goal.”
The NYCLU submitted an amicus brief in April supporting the court challenge to the curfew law.