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Elizabeth Qutb et al. v. Annette Strauss et al. v. Steve Bartlett et al.: United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit (From Exploring Delinquency: Causes and Control, P 34-38, 1996, Dean G Rojek and Gary F Jensen, eds. -- See NCJ-165981)

NCJ Number
D G Rojek, G F Jensen
Date Published
5 pages
This presentation of the court's decision in Qutb v. Strauss (1993) considers the constitutionality of curfew ordinances for juveniles.
A U.S. District Court in Texas ruled that the curfew ordinance enacted by the city of Dallas was overly broad and too restrictive. The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals disagreed and stated that local governments have a "compelling interest" to reduce juvenile crime and to promote the well-being of juveniles. Such a decree aimed at adults would be unconstitutional, but a different set of legal standards is in force for juveniles. The court held that by including the defenses to a violation of the ordinance, the city of Dallas enacted a narrowly drawn ordinance that allows the city to meet its stated goals while respecting the rights of the affected minors. Under the ordinance, a juvenile may move about Dallas freely if accompanied by a parent or a guardian, or a person at least 18 years old who is authorized by a parent or guardian to have custody of the minor. If the juvenile is traveling interstate, returning from a school- sponsored function, or a religious function, or going home after work, the ordinance does not apply. If the juvenile is on an errand for his or her parent or guardian, the ordinance does not apply. If the juvenile is involved in an emergency, the ordinance does not apply. If the juvenile is on a sidewalk in front of his or her home or the home of a neighbor, the ordinance does not apply; and most notably, if the juvenile is exercising his or her First Amendment rights, the curfew ordinance does not apply.