Confidential. Therefore, criminalizing otherwise legal behaviors that subsequently foster crimes is a means to reduce or prevent future criminal activities. Many of these statutes were based on “bawdy laws” that had remained unused for decades and never enforced to combat illicit alcohol or drug sales, as their original intention was mostly to interrupt the sex trade (on the streets and in the brothels). Penal Code 372 PC is the California statute that prohibits a person from creating or maintaining a public nuisance. Since Chicago v. Morales, antiloitering laws intended to suppress illegal drug activity have also fallen under scrutiny, and several of them have been invalidated. The court system in California uses PC 373a only to prosecute more specific acts that result in a public nuisance. The landlord may base the eviction off a 3 day notice to quit, without any opportunity to cure. . known to have complained about gang activities.” The court rejected a First Amendment vagueness challenge to the former injunction provision (Strosnider, 2002). Property owners must exercise ordinary care in protecting residents and visitors from the risk of harm stemming from crimes on the premises (Ruskell, 2000). For example, in Leal v. the Town of Cicero (2000), an ordinance prohibiting any person from “obstruct(ing) or encumber(ing) any street corner or other public place . Observations of gang activities were performed within Verdugo Flats and adjacent areas (to test for displacement effects) and within nonequivalent comparison areas (to enhance the internal validity of the research design). A person is guilty of a public nuisance (also known as common nuisance), who (a) does an act not warranted by law, or (b) omits to discharge a legal duty, if the effect of the act or omission is to endanger the life, health, property, morals, or comfort of the public, or to obstruct the public in the exercise or enjoyment of rights common to all Her Majesty's subjects. A residential survey and series of observations were conducted to assess the impact of the Verdugo Flats Gang Injunction Program in San Bernardino, California. The penal and civil codes in California overlap in certain provisions dealing with public nuisances. Project TOUGH (Taking Out Urban Gang Headquarters) is one example of a property abatement program, which was designed to curtail gang and drug-selling activity in Los Angeles, California (Cristall & Forman-Echols, 2009). Furthermore, abatement areas can vary from housing developments, several square blocks, or entire cities, and gangs differ on their degree of territoriality, rendering comparisons among such studies challenging and misleading (Maxson, Hennigan, & Sloane, 2005; O’Deane, 2012). California Civil Code 3480 (“A public nuisance is one which affects at the same time an entire community or neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons, although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal.”) An example of the latter is demolishing, sealing, or refurbishing a building that is the site of drug sales and use as well as other illicit activities, thereby altering the physical environment to change the behavior of criminal aspirants (Mazerolle & Roehl, 1998). Can You Go to Jail for Not Paying Traffic Tickets in California? Such ordinances have also been found in violation of First or Fourteenth Amendment Rights. Civil abatement is aimed at public rather than private nuisances, which are adjudicated in civil courts. of 12 Rich. By authority, police can respond to only immediate violations of criminal statutes; thus, they have little power to prevent the circumstances that cause ongoing criminal behavior on these premises. In short, drug and gang abatement programs appear to be cost-effective strategies to prevent continued drug sales on private properties and gang activities in public places. Employing a retrospective, quasi-experimental design in a variety of sites across Los Angeles County, the study compared before and after data that were collected within and between injunction and comparison areas; the latter were selected to match gang-injunction sites in terms of levels of gang activity, proximity to targeted gang territories, and comparability of targeted and nontargeted sites on environmental characteristics. Emanating from separate areas of the law, civil injunctions strive to prevent or remedy harm by enjoining (stopping) criminal behavior or incivilities. More narrowly construed, well-defined, and targeted ordinances have replaced generic antigang and antidrug loitering ordinances, and they have been more likely to withstand judicial review (Strosnider, 2002). As a result, private citizens can be ordered to join formal policing efforts to monitor active or would-be lawbreakers, garnering supplementary resources to enhance local crime prevention efforts. Following the filing of the lawsuit, the City Attorney’s Office pursues a preliminary injunction against property owners and managers as well as gang members and associates. . In Gallo v. Law enforcement officers and criminal court judges can consider even inherently noncriminal activities as public nuisances and target these activities for abatement actions. Home » California Penal Code » California Penal Code Section 372 and 373a: Public Nuisance. Similar to the broken-window ordinances in Los Angeles, which focused on public-order violations and minor infractions to prevent future crimes, Chicago’s ordinance criminalized otherwise permissible civil behavior. whether it be a criminal nuisance or not is wholly immaterial. For example, closing a warehouse in which drugs are processed or stolen merchandise is sold can do more to deter or interfere with widespread criminal activity than individual arrests can. A public nuisance is a crime against the order and economy of the state. The remedies against a public nuisance are: 1. 2d Torts). The ABA investigation found that, overall, residents perceived abatement efforts as effective in reducing drug sales, crime, and disorderly behaviors (e.g., public drinking) (Smith et al., 1992). 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