Governor extends curfew for minors

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GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres on Thursday extended curfew hours for minors from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Saipan, Tinian and Rota “for the remainder of the State of Public Health Emergency and State of Significant Emergency or until further notice.”

Prior to the governor’s directive, curfew hours for minors vary on each of the three main islands.

On Rota, the curfew for minors was from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

On Tinian, it was from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday to Thursday, and 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., Friday to Sunday and on holidays.

On Saipan, the curfew was 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for minors 16 years of age or older, and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for minors under the age of 16.

The curfew makes it “unlawful for any minor to loiter in or about any public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, public buildings, places of amusement and entertainment, restaurants, cafés and other eateries, or vacant lots and places.”

In his Amended Executive Order No. 2020-004, the governor directs “the Department of Public Safety and all CNMI law enforcement officers to strictly enforce the curfew laws for minors throughout the three municipalities (Saipan, Tinian…and Rota).”

He said these curfew hours are to be enforced “so as to reduce the risks of the spread of Covid-19 and limit the rise of new Covid-19 infections throughout the Commonwealth.”

According to Press Secretary Kevin Bautista, assisting or permitting violation of curfew is prohibited by law. Penalties for minors include a citation or lawful detainment.

Adults who assist a minor violating curfew may be imprisoned for up to 30 days, and receive up to 250 hours of community service.

Also according to the Commonwealth Code, “Any parent, guardian, or other adult person having the lawful custody, permanent or temporary, of any minor who suffers or permits or lets, either willfully or negligently, such minor to violate the provisions of this chapter shall be fined not more than $750.”

In a separate statement on Thursday, the Department of Public Safety said, “Minors caught loitering through any public streets, highways, roads, alleys, parks, public buildings, places of amusement and entertainment, restaurants, cafés and other eateries, or vacant lots and places within the three municipalities…during and between the hours of 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. are subject to a penalty.”

Pursuant to local curfew laws, DPS said, the exceptions are minors who are accompanied by their parent, guardian, or an adult, who are in the direct route driving and returning home, or who are lawfully employed during the hours specified.

DPS and the governor’s Covid-19 Task Force “highly advise the public to refrain from making unnecessary trips to public places. Limit public exposure to grocery store trips and food pick-ups.”

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