Image by M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons
The lawfulness of New Miami traffic cameras is back in question after a recent decision by a Butler County Judge.
New Miami installed speed cameras in 2012, generating nearly 45,000 citations and $1.8 million in fines during just 15 months. Not surprisingly, many believe the cameras' purpose was to make money - not save lives. This contention gained momentum when the small village of 2,249 increased its spending by $430,000 during 2013.
One of the recipients of a New Miami speeding ticket sought representation by attorney Charles M. Rittgers, who agreed to challenge the lawfulness of the automated citations. In a joint effort with other victims and lawyers, the plaintiffs obtained an injunction from Judge Michael Sage (retired) in March 2014, banning the village's traffic camera program. New Miami recently rewrote its laws governing the program, insisting it now complies with Ohio law.
The status of the speed cameras is again unclear, as Judge Michael Oster said his court does not have jurisdiction to rule on the village's push to reinstate cameras. That declaration raises issue concerning the enforceability of the ban put in place during 2014. New Miami officials insist the latest ruling gives the village the right to get the traffic cameras back up - and plan to do so within two months.
"Once they put this in effect, then the question will arise whether or not we want to file a motion for contempt for their violating the injunction, if we think they are," Charles M. Rittgers said to the Hamilton Journal-News. "Or whether it'll create new litigation with a different set of plaintiffs. I don't know."
An oral argument on the issue of class action status is scheduled for Oct. 19 at the Butler County courthouse.
The legal twists and turns in something that initially seems simple - the lawfulness of automated speeding tickets - demonstrates the importance of an experienced attorney who can creatively support your position through a variety of methods. Adversity is often part of the legal process. It is crucial to choose an attorney who you trust will relentlessly fight for your cause.