Ohio village fights class-action status in speed camera case

NEW MIAMI, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio village’s attorney said he will ask the state’s high court to overturn an appeal court’s approval of class-action status for motorists who paid nearly $2 million in fines before a judge ordered New Miami to turn off its traffic cameras.

New Miami’s attorney, Felix Gora, said he will ask the state Supreme Court later this week to reject the approval of class-action status for the lawsuit’s plaintiffs, the Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported (http://bit.ly/1VIscWL ). Two Butler County residents and two Cincinnati residents filed the lawsuit over the $95 speeding tickets.

The village’s traffic cameras were installed in 2012 but ruled unconstitutional after a little over a year. The village collected about $1.8 million on 45,000 citations during 15 months of operation.

Gora acknowledged that it’s an uphill battle to convince the high court to take the case, but he said the issue is worth it.

“The Supreme Court in discretionary appeals is very careful, and they take very few cases,” Gora said. “Of course we believe it’s a case that should be reviewed.”

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Josh Engel, said he is dismayed that the village is continuing to pursue appeals on “procedural issues.”

“Most observers would probably say that the likelihood the Supreme Court will take this case on a procedural appeal is low,” Engel said. “We look forward to having this case back before the Common Pleas Court as soon as possible so that we can begin the process of getting refunds to motorists.”

But the village’s solicitor, Dennis Adams, said New Miami “didn’t ask to be sued” and has to defend itself. Adams has previously said the village has 10 years to pay the refunds if it loses.


Information from: The JournalNews of Hamilton, http://www.journal-news.com/cgi-bin/liveique.acgi$sch=jnfront?jnfront

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