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Ohio Court Finds Red Light Camera Fines “Unconstitutional” — Forces City to Refund ALL Tickets

Posted By: RumorMail
Date: Saturday, 3-Feb-2018 13:20:49

By Matt Agorist

New Miami, OH — In a time where there are daily attacks on the US Constitution, a glimmer of hope has arisen in New Miami, Ohio as the state appeals court ruled in the favor of the citizens. All drivers who were sent one of the town’s ‘unconstitutional’ speed camera tickets will be getting a refund thanks to a court system that protected freedom instead of the state.

The court ruled that the $3 million in fines stolen from drivers with no due process was all obtained illegally and they must now pay it back.

The Ohio Court of Appeals on Monday delivered a heavy blow to New Miami’s attempt to block a court-ordered refund of $3,066,523 in speed camera citations. The village insisted that the lower court (view ruling) got it wrong and that the village should not be forced to pay back any amount on the grounds of sovereign immunity. Not so, said the unanimous three-judge panel.

“While it is true that New Miami has the authority to enforce its traffic laws, it must do so in a constitutional manner,” Judge Michael E. Powell wrote for the appellate court. “New Miami does not have the authority to do so in an unconstitutional manner.”

The battle over speed camera tickets started six years ago in New Miami. After the citizens of New Miami woke up to the fact that their due process had been entirely removed by Optotraffic — a private vendor allowed to extort citizens with the blessing of New Miami politicians — the people fought back in the form of a class action lawsuit. Because drivers were simply mailed a ticket and told to pay it or else, this eliminated their due process as guaranteed by the Constitution.

As Techdirt reports,

the lower court had problems with the lack of options made available to ticket recipients to challenge speeding tickets. It also had problems with New Miami’s cozy relationship with the speed camera company, which provided free cameras in exchange for a percentage of collected fines. This fostered an unhealthy relationship between the two, leading to the town becoming most famous for being a speed trap. The company saddled New Miami with a minimum of 100 operating hours per camera each month. This led to a spike in tickets and a healthy thirst for continual cash infusions on the part of New Miami’s governance.

The greedy government—unwilling to let go of the $3 million—then took their case to the appeals court, who once again ruled in the favor of the constitution. The city government attempted to claim “sovereign immunity” noting that they should not be held liable for damages arising from a civil suit. However, the court found that refunding stolen money to extorted drivers is hardly the same as paying out monetary damages.


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