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Mayor's Feedback Requests

What do you think of Auburn's juvenile curfew?

Responding to your request for comments regarding the lifting of curfew now imposed on Auburn minors. I would like to add my support for this action. Discrimination based on age is illegal, rightly so. Sufficient laws are already in place... I see no good reason to make the fact that they (minors) are out after a certain time, punitive. We need to support our young people, provide them with safe areas to congregate, ability to express themselves freely, and a community that hears and responds to them is...home.

Good luck.

Carol H.

Hello Mayor Backus and Councilmembers,

My name is Robb Wilcox and I'm a 30 year old social worker and resident of Auburn. I STRONGLY support the REPEAL of all curfews (and associated penalties) for youth in our city. It is an outdated, unnecessary, draconian and oppressive statute that reflects very negatively on Auburn as an "Inclusive Community." We don't want our city to be in the business of penalizing young people simply for being young. I urge you to read this PDF document links to external sitefrom the Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

According to the WSIPP, some legal issues associated with curfews make it murky territory:

"Increasingly, curfew ordinances are being challenged on constitutional grounds, including violation of the following amendments:

  • First Amendment—free speech, religion, and peaceful assembly including the right of free movement and free association.
  • Fourth Amendment—protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
  • Fifth Amendment—due process of the law.
  • Ninth Amendment—interpreted to include the right to privacy as in the right to family autonomy.
  • Fourteenth Amendment—equal protection, protection against deprivation of liberty without due process, the right to interstate travel.

Court challenges have also questioned the vagueness, overbreadth, and overreach of juvenile curfew ordinances."

I believe our city should not be part of the culture that criminalizes youth any more than the APD is already doing. Want kids to return to Auburn after college? Make it a welcoming place while they're kids.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit my views.


Robb W.

Yes I believe that all the youth in America other than the ones that can show proof of working at night should be at home and in bed. Like I tell my children and young adults “ No good comes from darkness”. 

Keep the curfew. 

Terry V.

I guess I would start by asking this young person what it is he feels he needs to do between those hours that can’t be done in the other 18 hours a day. This apparently is someone with little parental guidance if Auburn’s curfew, not his parents are keeping him in at this time. 

Yes, I think Auburn should have a curfew. When I am awakened at 02:00 by a group young people in the alley or street, I have to be concerned as to what they are doing and why so many parents (from a group of 6 or 8 kids) don’t know or care where their kids are. 

I have to believe the number of events like this are at least limited somewhat by the current curfew.

Curt B.

I am in favor of maintaining a curfew in Auburn. 

With the increase in crime in the city, as well as the increase in drug and gang activity, it is another tool our police department can use to help them accomplish their job. 

Thank you. 

John Dawson

I believe it is a good idea to have a curfew. I think it helps curb many potential problems that can happen when young people are out on their own at night.

Beth H.

Yes, Auburn should have one. Didn't know we did until I read the update. Midnight seems late to me, how about 10 pm? 

Wayne M.

I think we need a curfew but midnight seems a bit early, particularly for older teens who have proms and JOBS that require them to work late. I think 1 or 2 AM could work and would help parents out ALOT when they have to go the PD to retrieve their kid. 

Frankly, I didn’t know there WAS a curfew (don’t have kids). I gather it is loosely enforced as well. 

Thanks for asking - great idea to do that.

Linda H.

I absolutely believe in a curfew which gives the police, on behalf of the citizens, a tool for managing all kinds of poor judgement and bad behavior. This is not about "fairness". A curfew is about protecting a population whose judgement genes have not matured and who have the potential to be a threat to themselves and others when out after midnight, unsupervised. 

If I remember, there are provisions in the law for minors to be out if they are with a parent or can prove having a job that requires them to work past midnight. If not, there should be. When this curfew was being discussed by the City before it was enacted, there were some pretty good statistics about reductions in crime, car accidents, sexual predation, etc. when curfews are put in place. 

Nancy C.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this. 

I firmly believe that there does need to be a curfew. Setting lawful boundaries for our young people is an important part of the 'Village' responsibility. However, there really is NOT much for our young people to partake in that occupies their time. Not all youth are 'Parks and Rec' kind of kids. I have long thought that the City should look hard at opportunities that speak to ALL youth. They are not all the same and we really should be reaching out in creative ways to get them involved in productive activities so they are not out causing their own brands of mischief. i.e. crime, drugs...etc. 

Just my two cents worth!

Tammy M.

Thanks for asking what we think about having a curfew. I totally agree with the wording of the ACC and was wondering how long ago it was enacted.

Len S.

I'm not sure what the teen meant by "fair". What was it he wanted to do between 12-6 a.m.? I would have liked to have heard his reasons first. 

However, it is my opinion that minors have no business being outside, away from home, during those hours. 

You could have them apply for a permit for exceptions (and pay $xx while they're at it).

Traci D.

What age is considered to be a juvenile?


I agree with the curfew how it is. It always feels unfair when you are a minor. I remember thinking curfews were wrong when I was a teenager. However, it was usually within those hours that I did things that could have gotten me into trouble or were dangerous. I respectfully ask that the curfew be kept as-is. 

With warm regards,
Heather M.

Keep the curfew

Robert K.

I see you have posted this twice on your update but I will only respond once LOL. Yes, I believe a curfew is warranted, however, I also believe on weekends it could be 1:00 AM or even 2:00 AM. But first, I would ask this young man why does he feel it isn't fair? What is unfair about it and what time limits would he feel would be appropriate? Then I would consider the options for this code.

Ron C.

Thanks very much for offering us all the opportunity to weigh in on a regular bases against subjects that affect us all collectively. It is a refreshing and welcome approach to seeing the community work together. 

I’m pretty sure that all of us shared our young friend’s considerations at one time or other in our lives. I recall when I was much younger being certain that I was equipped with an experiential repertoire that would allow me to see the best out of any situation in which I might find myself. At that time in Carson City, NV., the curfew for folks my age was 10:00 p.m. and it didn’t seem fair. But let me share a situation that helped me understand the protection the curfew afforded me, as well as the comfort of my parents. 

I was a senior in high school at the time and working on swing-shift at a service station – for those who don’t know what that means, it’s is a place where someone else actually pumped your gas, checked your oil and washed your windows, all at no extra charge. I used to complain that I couldn’t work past 10:00 p.m. because of the curfew and it didn’t seem fair. 

One evening, two men drove up and, as I went to help them, raised a gun at me. They wanted money, which I didn’t have because everything got dropped into a slot in a safe after 8:00 p.m. They threatened, brandished their weapon, told me they had more weapons in the trunk of the car and then tore out of the gas station. I called the police and they were apprehended. I was lucky . . . not smart and self-capable . . . lucky. These guys were escaped convicts from the prison outside the city and things might have ended up much, much worse. 

The thrust of the story is that people who do these things generally do them late at night when there are few people around. Having curfews for young people keeps them out of harms way, relative to their ages, until such time that they have weathered the world enough to bear its consequences. It’s tough when you’re young, but suddenly adulthood is upon you and there are no alternatives to your responsibilities. 

Our friend might take a deep breath and enjoy the last few months of his youth, considering that liberties do not just entail the good times afforded by them, but the consequences, as well. 

Regards and thanks,
Dave M.

As a citizen of Auburn I fully agree with the curfew, however the curfew is not enforced and because of such lack of authority we provide our officers juveniles are free to run free on the streets with slaps on the wrist.  Due to the lack of parents being held responsible for the actions of their children, and not being charged or fined the children are allowed to commit crimes that get little or not punishment.

I know first hand how the lack of our community to provide the authority to the police in such matters result in theft that is not punished to all juveniles involved and the parents are not held responsible for the actions of their children that they let run loose on our streets.  

If the fines were enforced to both juvenile and parent instead of just slapping the juvenile on the wrist time and time again I believe that they problem would resolve if the parents as well as the juvenile were held responsible, and no option were given to the parent to not be responsible for their child violating an ordinance.

I also believe that the fines are not enough to discourage this problem, and that the parents should be held accountable for all actions, and should be charged accordingly.

I have heard parents say they cannot hold their children, but if they were held liable for the actions of their children it would be more of a proactive way to help with the problem.

I do understand if the juvenile works, and employers should be aware of the curfew and schedule juvenile employees accordingly.

I remember when I was young, and although I was not in a community with a curfew I was not out to get in trouble or do illegal things.  But at the times that I was growing up times were very different, and not many kids did drugs or carried weapons.  Times have changed, and so have the actions of the children because they believe that they won't be in trouble.  

Had the enforcement of the city curfew been able to be enforced my car would not have been stolen by 4 juveniles on Mother's Day from my driveway, and totaled.  The juveniles pretty much got away with stealing my vehicle, and destroying my property.  Only one of them was charged, but not for violating curfew.  I believe that all the the juveniles should have been charged with violation of the curfew on top of any other violations as well as the parent.  Because the parents have the option to be held liable I still have not received restitution from the juveniles that destroyed my life.

The fines should fit the crime, and the more that the juvenile violates the curfew the higher the fine should be including jail time if they continue.  The parents should also be fined, and the fine increased as the violation continues.  This is not just a problem in our community, but I see it in other communities as well.

As much as I believe in freedom, and the right to express ourselves to our rights.  I do believe that parents should have some control on their children, and it is difficult to keep track of our children but when they do dangerous and illegal things I hope that the parents can have the power to control their children and keep them on a safe and on a good life track.

Jennifer M.

When I was raising a 5th child, my grandson, and instructed him to be home by midnight, he objected. I told him it was a city curfew. I was later relieved to find that, in deed, we did have a midnight curfew. Whew! It was good to have that backing me up! 

Yes, the curfew should stay on at midnight; 10PM for preteens! Anyone who disagrees with that, we should send the kids to 'his' house for him to chaperone. And what is this: some think that teens should be out until 1 or 2AM? Are they hanging out at a tavern? 

Let me see their grades, or the help they did for parents without being asked. 

Byrdena H.

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