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Camden, NJ May Force Late-Night Restaurants To Close Earlier

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) - The City of Camden is considering imposing a curfew on restaurants, especially take-outs, in an effort to cut down on late-night crime.  But some business owners are threatening legal action to block it.

At the corner of Broadway and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Camden is Crown Chicken, where owner Liaqat Ali (above) says the proposed curfews -- 11 PM on weeknights and 12 midnight on weekends -- would eliminate 30 to 35 percent of his business.

In addition, he says, it would hurt area people who work on late shifts.

"We have a transportation center right here, 24/7, and Cooper Hospital nearby, 24/7, and everybody wants the food," he says.

"We serve food, not crime," he adds.

His patrons agree.

"They should leave it open," says Fox (no last name given).  "A lot of people get out of work late; it's convenient for people who work the third shift."

Ali says he'll be among those taking the city to court if the ordinance goes into effect.

Similar public safety measures were successfuly challenged in the past. In 1998 and again in 2006, the Camden County Superior Court ruled the curfew ordinance was unconstitutional.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060

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