Illegal Curfew Order Starts at 3 PM

Verdenia Baker, the County Administrator for Palm Beach County, issued an illegal curfew order on Friday morning. The curfew is set to take effect at 3 pm today (Saturday). Sheriff Bradshaw made an unclear statement about the order saying that the curfew applies to anyone who is not out for “legitimate purposes” without explaining what might be legitimate. County prosecutor Dave Aronberg indicated that people will be arrested for violating the curfew.
Under state law the county has no authority to issue such a curfew. Section 252.36 of the Florida Statutes, specifically subsection 5, authorizes the Governor (not the county) to take a variety of actions in an emergency. This includes ordering evacuations and in rather vague terms: “Take measures concerning the conduct of civilians, the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.” It does also authorize the Governor to delegate emergency responsibilities to local officials.
The Governor’s Executive Order does not indicate any curfews and does not delegate curfew authority to local officials.
One of the biggest problems with this curfew order is that many people may be unaware of the curfew and in particular they likely will not know what constitutes a “legitimate purpose” – the term used by the Sheriff whose deputies will enforce this curfew in West Boca and other unincorporated areas of the county.
The curfew order itself does define what purposes are allowed:

Put simply, we can travel for medical care, work and/or school, and we can facilitate the transport or distribution of essentials. Of course if a deputy doesn’t believe or accept your reason, or is unaware of the details of the order, you might be arrested even if you’re within these exceptions.
Some residents are planning to travel from less secure locations to more secure locations (i.e. from unshuttered homes to shuttered homes), or to pick up vulnerable people and bring them to safer locations. These are not protected under Ms. Baker’s order. In other words, if you drive to Century Village to help a distressed elderly person you are violating the curfew and subject to arrest. Journalism is also not on the list of permitted purposes, a particular concern for us as we are (or were) planning to go out and document the effects of Irma on our community.
Another concern is residents of other counties. Deerfield News questioned what would happen to Broward residents who travel into Boca. They would be even less likely to know about the curfew and its details.
West Boca News recommends that residents stay off the roads after 3 pm today. While the latest hurricane forecasts indicate we are unlikely to face hurricane force winds, anyone outside after 3 pm faces the risk of unlawful arrest by PBSO deputies and prosecution by State Attorney Dave Aronberg. If you’re thinking of suing, they will probably be immune from civil suit.
We did reach out to county commissioners Mary Lou Berger and Steven Abrams, who purportedly represent West Boca, for clarification. Neither responded.

Author: Warren Redlich

Warren Redlich is a real estate agent and an attorney. He focuses on selling homes in West Boca Raton. Find out more at Yes Boca Real Estate.

11 thoughts on “Illegal Curfew Order Starts at 3 PM”

  1. Where would you be going anyway? Stores, restaurants are closed-I feel it is meant to protect the thousands of homes left empty by evacuating families from possible looting.

  2. Unlike you, I thank God for the police and our local officials that put the good of us all over the “rights” of the few that want to exercise their rights to be idiots. Thise idiots never realize that their rights stop where my rights begin. To dumb that down for you, if you want to drive drunk or drive around during a hurricane, both of these “rights” impinge on my right to live in safety. Therefore my rights of safety trump your right to be stupid.

    1. Please explain How ones right to drive around infringes on your rights? Quite simple, Infringing on the rights of an individual for the sake of “safety for all” is exactly The argument police states use.

  3. You are so pathetic posting this s***. It’s too bad people care about people like you. These curfews that are being enacted are for everyone’s own safety and well-being and it also allows for emergency crews and emergency responders to get through to help people who are desperately in need. If you don’t like it tough crap. Like I told one of your wonderful viewers you can always be a rebel and run out in Hurricane Irma and have yourself a good time. You are encouragement for people to rebel is absolutely pathetic… why don’t you go get a real f****** life and let the people who run the state and worry about everybody do their job. There’s no legality in this and there is no real legality in this. If you want to go play in the storm then just go f****** do it and let the rest of us smart people stay where we need to be so that we can survive it. Anyone who appreciates this man’s views on what is going on you need to go get your brain checked.

    1. Hi we are starting a prayer chain for all the people in Florida please say a prayer and pass it on to as many people as you can if you can’t pass this on please let me know so the chain doesn’t stop ❤️?????????????????? Please just pass it on to as many as you can

  4. Thank you for posting this! These are illegal and illegitimate orders which are being normalized. And guess what, they aren’t going away and will be used more and more.
    Pointing out illegal power grabs by government officicals is being a patriot and respecting the constitution. If you don’t believe in the constitution then why are you even in america?

  5. It’s time Berger and Abrams did respond. I’m sure they’re moving around unfettered. Now, law-abiding citizens will be illegally detained or arrested under the guise of public safety. If our idiot commissioners are worried about looting, then what do you think will happen when the police begin stopping citizens instead of responding in force when they are really needed? STUPID!

  6. To the above complaining about Warren’s lack of support for a questionably derived curfew; work on your reading comprehension. He’s not opposed to the idea of a curfew; just supporting the notion that local gvt. is expected to follow State law in the process of enacting it.
    to drag out that old quote by some dead guy (benjamin frank-something or other, who knows, i’m public school educated)
    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  7. Oh Warren, complaining about a curfew when we were under threat of a giant hurricane. Even dodging a bullet, we still got a messy storm, and I expect you to complain about something else soon, like being given crappy treatment on a notoriously crappy airline. I bet you voted for Hillary Clinton.

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