I suspect that the children next door are being abused. Who should I call?

If the abuse has occurred in the past and you want to pass on general information, you should contact Child Protective Services at 1-800-344-6000. A referral will be generated and follow-up done. If the abuse is in progress and a child is in immediate danger, the police department should be contacted immediately. The use of 9-1-1 would be appropriate under these circumstances. Police officers will respond and check the welfare of the child or children involved. Police personnel will not disclose your information as the reporting party. You remain anonymous. You may also call in the information anonymously.

My son or daughter refused to go to school. What options are available?

In response to this question, we would recommend several options. First, the parents need to make some attempts at addressing the problem, since they can be held criminally liable for this children not attending school. Other options include putting the youth through the school district's School Attendance Review Board (SARB) process, being charged with Truancy and referred to Juvenile Court. Also, some schools have Truancy Officers, either from the Juvenile Probation Department or the local police department, that handle all truancy problems. They work with the youth to keep them in school through a contract. In Escondido, Felicia Brown of the San Diego County Juvenile Probation Department is the elementary and middle school probation officer. If the youth has been arrested for an offense and is on probation, truancy can be a violation of probation and their probation officer should be contacted.

What should I do if I suspect that my child is under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

Pomerado Hospital offers a drug/alcohol testing service where parents can take their child (ages 11-18) to be tested for a fee of $20.00. They will have information as to organizations, agencies, and resources that can be sought to help address the problem. There are other agencies (Additional Resources) that provide similar services. The police department has alcohol/drug abuse resource information as well. If the youth is causing a disturbance or is a physical danger to themselves or others, the police department can be called. Police officers will respond and evaluate the situation, and make any referrals necessary or determine if an arrest is appropriate.

What are the night time curfew hours for children under 18 year old?

The Escondido Municipal Code reads:

Sec. 17-54. Curfew hours for minors; definitions.

 (a)    Definitions. In this section:

 

 Curfew hours means:

 (1)    10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. of the following day.

 Minor means any person under eighteen (18) years of age.

 Guardian means:

 (1)    A person who, under court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor; or

 (2)    A public or private agency with whom a minor has been placed by a court.

 Parent means a person who is:

 (1)    A natural parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent of another person; or

 (2)    At least eighteen (18) years of age and authorized by a parent or guardian to have the care and custody of a minor.

 Responsible adult means any adult person of at least twenty-one (21) years of age having the responsibility for the care, custody, and control of the subject minor.

 Public place means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, dedicated open or trail space or any privately owned land that is unsupervised and is open and generally available to the public, including but not limited to vacant lots, the parking lots and common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, housing complexes, shopping centers and malls, and transport facilities.

 Remain means to:

(1)    Linger or stay, to tarry; or

(2)    Fail to leave premises when requested to do so by a police officer or the owner, operator, or other person in control of the premises. (Code 1957, §§ 5211, 5212; Ord. No. 97-16, § 2, 7-2-97; Ord. No. 97-17, § 2, 7-9-97; Ord. No. 2002-23, § 1, 10-9-02; Ord. No. 2012-14, § 1, 6-20-12) 

 

Sec. 17-55. Offenses; Defenses.

 (a)    Offenses. It is unlawful for:

 (1)    A minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the city during curfew hours;

 (2)    A parent or guardian of a minor or responsible adult to knowingly permit, or by insufficient control allow, the minor to remain in any public place within the city during curfew hours.

 

 (b)    Defenses.

 (1)    It is a defense to prosecution under subsection (a) of this section that the minor was

 (i)     Accompanied by the minor’s parent or guardian;

 (ii)    On an errand at the direction of the minor’s parent or guardian, without any detour or stop;

 (iii)   Engaged in an employment activity, or going to or returning home from an employment activity, without any detour or stop;

 (iv)   Involved in an emergency;

 (v)    On the sidewalk abutting the minor’s residence or abutting the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the police department about the minor’s presence;

 (vi)   Attending an official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City of Escondido, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor, or going to or returning home from, without any detour or stop, an official school, religious, or other recreational activity supervised by adults and sponsored by the City of Escondido, a civic organization, or another similar entity that takes responsibility for the minor;

 (vii)  Engaged in a bona fide exercise of the minor’s First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and the right of lawful assembly. (Code 1957, § 5216; Ord. No. 75-4, § 16, 2-13-75; Ord. No. 97-16, § 3, 7-2-97; Ord. No. 97-17, § 3, 7-9-97)

 

If your child is contacted by a police officer for a curfew violation, a citation will be issued to the minor and a parent or guardian will be contacted to come and pick up the minor at the officer's location. If a parent or guardian cannot be located or respond immediately, the minor will be taken to the police station. The officer will continue attempts to locate the parent or responsible party to come and pick up the minor.