Judge blocks Camden business curfew law

CAMDEN, N.J. - September 17, 2012

A judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday to stop enforcement of a curfew that calls for businesses near residential areas to close at 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

The city passed the ordinance a year ago in hopes the curfew would help cut down on crime by having fewer people outside their homes at late hours. But that law has never been enforced.

Under the measure that is enforced, businesses can stay open until 4 a.m.

Business owners and activists are trying to stop the new law, saying it would drag down the businesses' money-making ability. Frank Fulbrook, a city activist who has often sued the city and other government entities and is now supporting the businesses, said some see much of their revenue come in late at night.

The issue is now on hold until a trial can be held to decide whether the ordinance is constitutional. The trial could be held later this year, though a date has not yet been set.

City spokesman Robert Corrales said officials are disappointed with Monday's ruling and want the full case to be heard soon.

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