Sunday, July 25, 2004

Curfew Struck Down for Third Time

INDIANAPOLIS STAR - A federal judge ruled today that Indiana's curfew law is unconstitutional because it violates parents' rights to make decisions about their children. The action -- the third time a court has struck down the curfew since 2000 -- means communities must immediately stop enforcing the law that bans most minors from staying out past 11 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends...

The Indiana Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the Hodgkins family, argued the curfew violated the parents' right to set rules for their children. "It is a fundamental right of a parent to say it's OK to go to the prom or walk the dog," said Ken Falk, ICLU legal director. U.S. District Judge John Tinder agreed, issuing a preliminary injunction to stop the state from enforcing the law...

Indianapolis Police Department statistics show that curfew hours are not a peak time for crime, [the judge] noted. "The hours for which the curfew is in effect are some of the safest hours of the day," the judge wrote. "It is doubtful the lack of a statutory curfew will be disastrous."

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