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East Syracuse board approves curfew, disruptive conduct laws

Tenants, landlords and teens will now have to abide by new laws carried out at the July 21 East Syracuse Village Board meeting. The controversial curfew and disruptive conduct regulations, put in place to deal with the decline of quality of life issues in the village of East Syracuse, were approved by the board more than a month after the first public hearing took place June 2. The hearing continued Monday night and came to a close after the board heard more comments from people in favor of the proposals. New York State Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Barrie Gewanter spoke against them.

"We still feel the laws are constitutionally flawed and unjustifiably burdensome," she said, representing the NYCLU, which is the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Under the disruptive conduct ruling, local government has the right to impose mandatory evictions of tenants if police file three disruptive conduct reports in one year at the same rental unit. Gewanter argued that police could file a report when the conduct doesn't raise to anything more than a violation.

"Violations do not constitute criminal behavior," she said.

Additionally, she said both landlords and tenants are being held responsible for behavior they have no control over, citing rebellious teens or abusive spouses as examples.

"A government mandated eviction could create more problems than help and dire consequences for a family that is going through difficult times," she said, adding that she hopes police will keep this in mind when dealing with village residents. "There are some people that may have noise, may have disruption, but are not really in control of it and should not be subjected to eviction."

On the flip side, residents in support of the new law said they are tired of dealing with damaged property, noise and disrespectful behavior.

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