The Fayetteville City Council held a special work session to discuss a proposed ordinance regarding house parties within the city limits. During the discussions councilmembers were at odds on whether the ordinance was unconstitutional.
Background: The ordinance was written in response to several insidences of teen violence during residential house parties.
To view the proposed ordinance click here. housepartyordinance
Talking points of the ordinance:
- House party is defined as a gathering of eight (8) or more individuals over the age of twelve (12) at or within a curtilage of a residence (curtilage – an area of land attached to a house and forming one enclosure with it)
- Registration of house parties – tenants and homeowners within the City of Fayetteville are encouraged to voluntarily register house parties with the Fayetteville Police Department. The Fayetteville Police Department may conduct random house checks or directed patrols at registered house parties
- Unregistered house parties – owners and tenants may be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) after the initial call for service by the police to an unregistered house party
Motion: A motion was made by councilman Crisp to table the ordinance until the August work session. The motion PASSED with councilman McDougald voting in opposion.
What Was Said:
Councilman Colvin Mitchell – “You have to have punitive response but we need to get the balance right not punishment. There should be a path for non-compliance. We need to spend more time to hash it out. We need more time before Monday night.”
Councilman Chalmers McDougald – “I agree. You come to my house you better have a search warrant. I have a gathering once a month…I don’t think this is legal. You gonna profile my house?”
Councilman Bill Crisp – “I have 10 or 12 at my house for dinner and not a month goes by where I don’t. I can’t in good faith endorse this right now.”
Councilwoman Jenson – “Mitch and I are the closest in here to have parties. Everyone has to change their mind. Kids want this ordinance and they want it bad. They are begging. We don’t need to think of ourselves. If we don’t do anything they won’t be safe.”
Mayor Robertson – “What does a random house check mean?”
Assistant Police Chief Anthony Kelly – “The ordinance doesn’t give you the right to go in a home. It may need rewording. We want to be fair.”
Councilman Crisp – “We are infringing on adults to protect children.”