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Beginning of the End of the Red Light Camera! Judge Orders Tiny City to Pay $3 Million

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Precedent was set when a Judge ordered New Miami, Ohio, population 2,200, to pay back every cent of $3,066,523.00 in “unconstitutionally” Red Light Camera collected fines to motorists caught in the trap! OUCH!

It was a complicated situation and the decision was based on several Red Light Camera court cases. The judge agreed with plaintiffs that it was “unjust enrichment”.

“Any collection or retention of the monies collected under the ordinance was wrongful,” Butler County Ohio Judge Michael Oster wrote in his decision last week.

Precedent is set. A Judge ordered New Miami, Ohio, pop 2,200, to pay back $3 Million in “unconstitutional” Red Light Camera fines collected from motorists!

The private vendor that handled the Red Light Camera paperwork took in more than a million dollars. Tickets were issued to over 45,000 motorists over a period of 15 months. The city also squandered over $100k defending the cameras after citizens launched a class action lawsuit.

This better be an eye opener to cities and towns around the country that are still using these un-Constitutional devises. It was just a matter of time before this happened and now that it has…

It has set a simple precedent that will make any further Red Light Camera court cases much easier to win.

Fox News reports:

Speed cameras became a cash cow for the small village of New Miami, Ohio.

The town, with a population of about 2,200, collected over $3 million in revenue from heavy-footed motorists after it installed stand-alone speed cameras along one of its major throughways, US 127. The speed cameras in New Miami, which is less than one square mile, automatically fined motorists $95 if they drove faster than 50 miles per hour.

It proved to be a lucrative venture for the village just 35 miles north of Cincinnati. Flush with cash, it raised its annual budget from roughly $1.5 million to $2.5 million in 2013.

But now, the Village of New Miami must pay back every cent of the $3 million it collected from the speed cameras, which were ruled “unconstitutional” in 2014 when drivers filed a class-action lawsuit against the village.

An Ohio judge ruled in favor of drivers, who claimed they were unfairly ticketed.

“Any collection or retention of the monies collected under the ordinance was wrongful,” Butler County Ohio Judge Michael Oster wrote in his decision last week.

The village reportedly cited almost 45,000 people and collected $1.8 million during the 15 months the cameras were tracking drivers. The village paid another $1.2 million to Optotraffic, the company that ran the speed camera program.

“We’re gratified and we’re getting closer to being able to show the drivers that we’re going to be able to put some money back into their pockets,” Mike Allen, attorney for the plaintiffs in the class-action suit told, Fox News. “Any municipality that enacts speed camera legislation can expect their budgets to swell.”

Over the last few years, many cities have already removed the cameras. The cities wasted tax-payer monies to install them, only to find that the tickets, being un-Constitutional among other items, were easily beat in court.

New Miami just happens to have found the perfect scam as they were tiny with a major through-way. Who is going to go back to fight a Red Light Camera ticket?!

If you are reading this and you are involved in city government, you have been warned.

Activists fighting Toll Roads and Red Light Cameras tend to be the same group and they are not inactive! They are fighting such craziness all over the country. Believe it or not, they have been around since the 60’s!

Again, legal precedent has been set and made accomplishing the task of fighting City Hall much easier!

A big win for We the People!

 

About Author

Scott Osborn is a Writer, Preacher, Political activist, as well as the Social Media Director for the TV Comedy Show, The Flipside with Michael Loftus. Scott hosts several radio shows, including the wildly popular “Conover U” starring Rodney Lee & the Preacher..

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