EATONTOWN: The borough needs a disorderly conduct ordinance, one that will hold muster against legal challenges and also offer the prosecutor options if arrested parties’ charges get downgraded, borough officials said.
The draft ordinance resembles those on file in towns such as Colts Neck and Middletown, but Mayor Gerald Tarantolo said he was surprised the borough didn’t already have a disorderly conduct ordinance.
“It was repealed after facing legal challenges,” said Eatontown Borough Administrator George Jackson, “but it was never replaced with something more suitable.”
Currently, Eatontown’s municipal court is Tinton Falls’ municipal court staff, and court is held there. That’s when Tinton Falls noticed there was no disorderly conduct ordinance, Jackson said, leading authorities here to examine what the offense should include.
“I had a conversation with the Tinton Falls court administrator, who is now our municipal court administrator. He convinced me the borough was lacking a disorderly conduct offense ordinances that would be used in municipal court, particularly in instances of downgrading of charges, trying to find a more suitable offense that the culprit would plead guilty to,” Jackson said.
Jackson proposed an ordinance defining what disorderly conduct is, and what penalties these offenses could create, be passed by the council.
“I was provided with some model ordinances and provided them to our borough attorney for review,” Jackson said, leading to the ordinance now before the council. “This would provide an opportunity to adjudicate these lesser offenses.”
Among the items the ordinance defines: “disturbances and breaches of peace” as noise or disturbances and any rude, disorderly or indecent behavior; “loud, offensive or abusive language” and “interference with police.” The ordinance carries a minimum fine of $50 or a maximum of $2,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 90 days.
The council still has to have a public hearing and second reading on the ordinance before it becomes law.