Judge Orders Halt to New Miami Speed Cameras

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New Miami Hearing (from WKRC)

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

A judge has ordered a southwest Ohio village to stop using speeding cameras, saying they violate motorists’ rights to due process.

Butler County Judge Michael Sage also granted a motion for class action status, meaning thousands of drivers could seek refunds from the village of New Miami.

New Miami Speed Cameras (AP Photo)

 

Dan Sewell, from the AP, has more details (via Ohio.com):

It was estimated in court Tuesday that more than $1 million has been collected from more than 10,000 drivers, although some may have been ticketed multiple times. An attorney for the village indicated an appeal was likely. The village had contended it had the right under state law to use the cameras to ticket motorists, with a compelling interest for safety.

Questioning attorneys during more than two hours of legal arguments, Sage wondered aloud whether the speed camera system in the village, along a busy highway just outside this county seat city, were like taxing people for driving through. The cameras have been used for more than a year in the village of some 2,200 residents; the lawsuit charged that the system bypassed courts and made it difficult for motorists to challenge the $95 citations.

“The court has great concerns about due process in this case,” Sage said. “This is a fundamental value in our system.”

Motorists can challenge citations, but in an administrative system the judge said favors the village and police, which he said have “a vested interest” in collecting the revenues. Sage said he could reconsider his ruling if New Miami changed the speeding cameras system to allow motorists to challenge tickets in court.

We will have more information as this story develops.

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About Joshua Adam Engel

Joshua A. Engel, Of Counsel to Michael K. Allen & Associates, is a highly respected and experienced former prosecutor, appellate advocate, and civil litigator.

A graduate of the Harvard University Law School, Joshua is a frequent lecturer and author on cutting-edge legal issues. A recent law review article by Joshua was listed among the top ten downloaded articles on law enforcement issue. In 2007, his work as a prosecutor was recognized by a Meritorious Service Award from the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association. He was selected for a number of Committeess for the Ohio Supreme Court and served as a Fellow with the Ohio State Bar Foundation. In 1992, he was honored as a recipient of a Harry S. Truman Scholarship for Public Service.

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Comments

  1. Hi ! ..
    So, in a civil suit, when party A (Optotraffic) sues party B (us) (for $98.95); and
    Then B joins class-action countersuit against A and receives a judgment (as has now happened ??), ..
    Then B doesn’t pay A, as original suit is either on hold temporarily or is now dismissed totally ??

    So, we do not have to pay it at this time…?
    Is there any documentation that you can post or send us to this effect?
    Is there any documentation that we should submit to New Miami or to the Optotraffic, (in Lanham, MD.) ?
    Per Optotraffic, today, they are still awaiting a final verdict.
    Since Butler County Judge Sage has merely granted an injunction, is there a final judgment yet?
    Thanks, Dave

  2. I am a recently retired police officer and find these cameras offensive and a slap in the face of the rule of law that I followed for decades, the right to face your accuser. My son-in-law would drive through New Miami in the middle of the night to work in Lebanon and received 2 citations in New Miami from these cameras which are clearly in place to generate revenue. Citations he and his young family could not afford. I would like to be able to tell them they could be part of a class action to recover their funds.
    Law enforcement should not be used to enhance revenue It invites corruption.

  3. Quintin Fyffe says:

    I have been charges 2 times 95 bucks for speeding through New Miami! I don’t speed! I can’t, my job depends on it! I have no way of facing my accuser so I feel I’m owed back for this! In justified!

  4. Dirk Domaschko says:

    Is there a process to request citation refunds?

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