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Juveniles do not have a fundamental right to be on the streets at night without adult supervision.
The District of Columbia Council adopted the Juvenile Curfew Act of 1995, which barred juveniles 16 and under from being in a public place unaccompanied by a parent or without equivalent adult supervision from 11:00 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday to 6:00 a.m. on the following day and from midnight to 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, subject to certain enumerated defenses. Appellees, a group of minors, parents, and a businesses, sued Appellant District of Columbia seeking an injunction against enforcement of the curfew and a declaration that the curfew violated the minors’ Fifth Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection rights to freedom of movement; violated the parents' Fifth Amendment due process rights to raise their children; violated the minors' First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and assembly; violated the minors' Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; and was unconstitutionally vague. The district court granted summary judgment to appellees and enjoined enforcement of the curfew. Appellant sought review.
Did the Juvenile Curfew Act of 1995 violate the appellees’ constitutional rights, thereby warranting the grant of summary judgment in favor of the appellees and the enjoinment of the curfew?
A plurality of the appellate court reversed and remanded for entry of summary judgment in favor of appellant. The plurality found the curfew did not implicate the fundamental rights of minors or their parents. Even if the curfew did implicate such rights, the plurality held that the curfew survived heightened scrutiny. Moreover, the curfew did not violate U.S. Const. amend I or IV. The curfew regulated juvenile activity during nighttime hours. It did not regulate expressive conduct. Furthermore, the curfew provided police could not make an arrest unless the officer reasonably believed an offense had occurred. This conformed to the requirements of U.S. Const. amend. IV.