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Title: VICTORY! Court Rules Gov’t Must Refund Millions in Red Light Camera Fines
Source: FromThe Trenches/FTP
URL Source: https://www.activistpost.com/2019/0 ... in-red-light-camera-fines.html
Published: Sep 7, 2019
Author: Matt Agorist
Post Date: 2019-09-10 07:39:45 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 153
Comments: 24

New Orleans, LA — Take away the political corruption, bribery scandals, increased accidents, and police state issues with Red Light Cameras and we are still left with a system that is rooted in the removal of due process. After the corporatist red light camera industry spread through the nation like a cancer for more than a decade, people are finally beginning to realize their inherently despotic nature. Kind of.

The city of New Orleans is now on the hook to repay more than 200,000 drivers who’ve fallen victim to the city’s entirely unconstitutional red light camera system. Drivers who’ve gotten one of the expensive $110-$150 tickets between the years 2008 and 2010 are now due a refund — plus interest — according to a recent court ruling.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal this week upheld an earlier judgment against that city that tickets issued to more than 200,000 drivers are invalid because they were handled by the Department of Public Works instead of the police department.

Ad hoc Judge Robert Burns ruled against the city in 2017 as several similar lawsuits that were consolidated into a class action. The city quickly appealed, arguing that it was within its right to assign tickets to a City Hall agency rather than the NOPD.

But a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit – Chief Judge James McKay III, Judge Paula Jones and Judge Dale Atkins – issued a ruling Wednesday that city’s home rule charter states that “a traffic bureau within the NOPD shall be responsible for enforcing the street regulations of the city.”

Those who’ve been extorted by the unconstitutional red light camera systems should not get their hopes too high, however. The corrupt city officials of New Orleans have a history of breaking the law, ignoring judgments, and refusing to pay them.

However, because these funds are due to individuals and not corporations, Judge Burns ruled that the city “shall immediately refund” the fines and fees to plaintiffs. We shall see.

The reason this is “kind of” a victory is that the money is coming back into the hands of those who were extorted (which is a win) but it is being done so because of a bureaucratic error, not because government had an awakening to the unconstitutional nature of such ventures. Other municipalities like New Miami, Ohio, however, have actually made similar judgments based on the unconstitutionality of red light cameras.

As TFTP reported at the time, after they 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.

As the Newspaper reported, a group of three lawyers had filed suit in 2013, arguing that New Miami’s automated ticketing ordinance gave vehicle owners no realistic opportunity to defend themselves against the demand for a payment of up to $180 that arrived in the mail. Optotraffic, a private vendor, sent the tickets to motorists passing through the less-than-one-square-mile town on US 127, a major highway that links Cincinnati with points north.

During that period of Optotraffic extortion, the city robbed drivers of $3,066,523.00. In 2017, after Butler County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Oster Jr.’s ruling, the city was forced to pay back all of it.

“If the government has created an unconstitutional law/ordinance that has taken people’s money without affording them the necessary due process protections, should not justice demand, and the law require, restitution of that money to the people?” Oster asked at the opening of his ruling. “Once the complexities of the law are analyzed, the answer is simple: Yes.”

The city attempted to fight the ruling of the state’s second highest court for more than a year. However, the case was so cut and dry that the Ohio Supreme Court chose not to intervene.

This ruling set by the court is a precedent that should be used by towns across the United States to give people their money back who’ve been extorted by these due process-removing red light camera companies.


Poster Comment:

This ruling set by the court is a precedent that should be used by towns across the United States to give people their money back who’ve been extorted by these due process-removing red light camera companies.

When enough people get fed up with this bullshit, maybe they'll start doing what the Brits have been doing for years.

Angry Populace Burning British Surveillance Cameras

Alternate text if image doesn't load (1 image)

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#1. To: Deckard (#0)

and police state issues

We don’t live in a “police state”, numb nuts. If we did, you’d have been sentence to life in prison, 10,000 posts ago.

Though I feel “red light” cameras are not sufficient, in most cases, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, a particular vehicle driver violated a constitutionally legal written vehicle & traffic law, simply because in almost all cases, the red light cam doesn’t show who was driving, I do feel the camera itself is constitutionally legal because of that.

Here it is in a nutshell... to get a LEGAL conviction for a traffic ticket, you must prove the following:

1) The incident happened upon the maintained portion of the roadway

2) WHO the driver was, at the time of the incident.

3) The vehicle needs to be identified.

4) Date, time and location of the incident.

5) Has to be handled by a proper jurisdictional authority (AND THATS THE ONLY REASON ALL THE TICKETS TALKED ABOUT IN THIS ARTLE, WERE THROWN OUT. )

Red light cameras are used to track vehicles involved in major crimes, as they drive through urban areas, along with cameras placed on urban street corners. I’ve personally requested these videos, they don’t EVER show the driver, but clearly show a vehicle traveling through a city, that just left a homicide scene.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-09-10   8:04:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Deckard, GrandIsland (#0)

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal this week upheld an earlier judgment against that city that tickets issued to more than 200,000 drivers are invalid because they were handled by the Department of Public Works instead of the police department.

Ad hoc Judge Robert Burns ruled against the city in 2017 as several similar lawsuits that were consolidated into a class action. The city quickly appealed, arguing that it was within its right to assign tickets to a City Hall agency rather than the NOPD.

But a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit – Chief Judge James McKay III, Judge Paula Jones and Judge Dale Atkins – issued a ruling Wednesday that city’s home rule charter states that “a traffic bureau within the NOPD shall be responsible for enforcing the street regulations of the city.”

What I notice the most in these cases that go against red light camera companies is that the courts do not like a private company gathering evidence in a scheme of revenue generating robotic cameras. It seems to be a consistant thing. If it looks like something just designed to generate a lot of tickets, is operated by a private company that gets a major cut (and not by police), the judges seem to find all kinds of reasons to toss those tickets and to reject the entire notion of a company whose business model is to act as an evidence collector who uses police power to generate tickets. The courts want no part of this scheme, even if the various local scumbags at the city council and Chamber of Commerce think that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Judges seem to basically prefer that cops do all the policing. Period. Anyway, that seems to be the outcome around the country as these cases go to trial. The causes vary but there's always one pair of losers: the red light camera company and the local city council.

Those who’ve been extorted by the unconstitutional red light camera systems should not get their hopes too high, however. The corrupt city officials of New Orleans have a history of breaking the law, ignoring judgments, and refusing to pay them.

However, because these funds are due to individuals and not corporations, Judge Burns ruled that the city “shall immediately refund” the fines and fees to plaintiffs. We shall see.

Will even the incompetent scofflaw scumbags that run NOLA dare to refuse a direct court order? And if they do, what will the courts do about it? And there is plenty the courts can do if they want to. NOLA wouldn't like it if suddenly they started losing every single court case from a united judiciary. That would happen about the time that no competent reputable lawyer would agree to work for NOLA and its principal elected officials. Such a situation is quite rare in American history.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-10   8:24:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: GrandIsland, Gatlin (#1)

Red light cameras are used to track vehicles involved in major crimes, as they drive through urban areas, along with cameras placed on urban street corners. I’ve personally requested these videos, they don’t EVER show the driver, but clearly show a vehicle traveling through a city, that just left a homicide scene.

I don't think people object to cameras in use in toll road fee collection. Similarly, they don't object if cameras are used to trace suspects by police.

But the robot cameras that mail tickets to citizens? People feel very differently about that. Maybe you can argue that the camera doesn't discriminate and the camera doesn't profile minorities or the vehicles being driven.

The fact remains: everyone hates red light cameras. Including the judges in a lot of different cases that were lost by cities and their red light camera buddies. This is why you see all these websites about how to beat red light camera tickets in court. The judges seem to be just waiting to strike down these tickets willy-nilly because they don't like these robotic cameras writing tickets to the citizenry. Watching the perspiring masses move around the city is okay, even toll paying is okay. But that's it.

Tip: don't invest your retirement savings in red light camera companies. Sell them short instead and you're very likely to make good money.

There you go, Gatlin, a hot stock tip. LOL

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-10   8:32:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Tooconservative (#3)

But the robot cameras that mail tickets to citizens?

If I got a ticket via one of those, and I was truly guilty, I’d plea that way... that’s how I roll. However, if I got one of those tickets mailed, and I wasn’t the person driving my truck or car, I’d take the ticket to trial... and make the STATE prove I was driving. A necessary element to a conviction.

They won’t be able to.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-09-10   20:33:35 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: GrandIsland, Deckard (#4)

If I got a ticket via one of those, and I was truly guilty, I’d plea that way... that’s how I roll.

Uh-huh. You'd just wave your little badge and your record as a career cop and the charges would just suddenly disappear. And you know it.

You're not fooling anyone.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-11   9:38:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Tooconservative (#5) (Edited)

Uh-huh. You'd just wave your little badge and your record as a career cop and the charges would just suddenly disappear. And you know it.

You're not fooling anyone.

Once the ticket is issued, it’s now automatically transmitted to the states capital. Ain’t no changing them, anymore.

I co-signed on a car loan, for my current wife’s youngest son. That put my name on the registration. He’s got numerous parking tickets... and my name is on the ticket, when it arrives at my home in the mail.

I’ve paid every one of them, because if I wait for my wife’s son to pay the ticket, they’ll put a warrant out for me... and I’ve never even drove his vehicle, let alone, parked the fucker.

When I walk in the court, it don’t matter the badge in my wallet, I still pay the full fucking price.

The shit you talk, is old school bullshit, and pure hype for today’s standards. The state balances budgets on ticket fines... they don’t give a fuck if cops get them, or not.

The only way to “ get out of a ticket”, would be if you are stopped... and you tin the officer before he issues the ticket.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-09-11   18:26:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: GrandIsland (#6) (Edited)

I co-signed on a car loan...

Yikes. Run.

Once the ticket is issued, it’s now automatically transmitted to the states capital. Ain’t no changing them, anymore.

Hmmm...maybe for state patrol. But they don't write most tickets or make most arrests, at least not in the states I've lived in.

Traffic court is still largely a local affair. If I get a ticket here in town or anywhere in the county, it is a local matter. Just as it has always been.

Are you trying to tell me you don't have city tickets or county tickets or city court or county court in your state? I find that very hard to believe. Even the most dinky-ass states still have local tickets and local courts.

And these red-light camera tickets were also local matters wherever I've read about them. Almost invariably, a company sells the city manager and the city council on all that money they'll make together, usually some bedroom community that has a lot more people commuting through than local residents. So they can operate as a bandit town, preying on passersby. And when people fight these tickets, they do it in city court or county court. They mostly succeed in getting rid of the red-light company in federal courts though.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-11   20:48:50 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: GrandIsland (#6) (Edited)

and you tin the officer before he issues the ticket.

Is that some east coast phrase for bribery? Never heard it before.

Also never heard of anyone bribing a cop writing a ticket either.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-11   20:51:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Tooconservative (#7)

I got one of those tickets once. I called and had to talk to a police officer at a desk. I said I wanted to contest the ticket and she said I had to pay a fee to contest it. That if I won I would get my money back. I said fuck that and threw the ticket in the trash can. That was several years ago. Nothing came of it.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-09-11   21:31:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Tooconservative (#7) (Edited)

Hmmm...maybe for state patrol. But they don't write most tickets or make most arrests, at least not in the states I've lived in.

Speaking for the state I live in now, and NYS, all V&T tickets issued with a violation of that states traffic code, get dumped into the same network database, whether a state, county or local officer rights it. The local court only keeps a small fee.

Parking tickets are based on local ordinances... but by the time I get the kids parking ticket notification, it’s already been filed with the court... ain’t no tearing it up then, even with a badge.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-09-11   21:57:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Tooconservative (#8)

When you “tin” an officer, you’re showing him your badge. Ain’t bribing. It’s asking for “professional courtesy.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-09-11   21:58:30 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: A K A Stone (#9)

Nothing came of it.

Yet.

They can forget about any number of unsolved rapes and murders. But they never seem to forget a ticket.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-11   23:11:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: GrandIsland (#10)

Speaking for the state I live in now, and NYS, all V&T tickets issued with a violation of that states traffic code, get dumped into the same network database, whether a state, county or local officer rights it. The local court only keeps a small fee.

So every little night deputy who writes a ticket enters it in the state database.

I did some checking with other states (WY/CO/GA), you pay a local court or contest your ticket there.

As a rule of thumb, tickets issued by state patrolmen are paid or contested in the county where they were issued. For no contest, you can mail it in or pay online.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-11   23:15:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Tooconservative, GrandIsland (#13)

I did some checking …

Confirmation bias …

… is our tendency to cherry-pick information that confirms our existing beliefs or ideas. Confirmation bias explains why two people with opposing views on a topic can see the same evidence and come away feeling validated by it. This cognitive bias is most pronounced in the case of ingrained, ideological, or emotionally charged views. By understanding this, we can learn to identify it in ourselves and others.

Salute,
Gatlin

Gatlin  posted on  2019-09-12   3:14:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: Tooconservative (#12) (Edited)

They [law enforcement officers] can forget about any number of unsolved rapes and murders. But they never seem to forget a ticket.

A False analogy is an informal fallacy. It applies to inductive arguments.

Do law enforcement officers “forget about any number of unsolved rapes and murders?” Or, is there simply never enough law enforcement personnel in departments throughout all levels to solve every – or even most – crimes? In various cases there also is not sufficient latent information available to meet the threshold for the department to commit resources to solving them – due to this manpower problem.

It may somewhat relieve your mind to learn that there are instances where numerous cities, counties and states have created small "cold case" units which review unsolved crimes. Although these units have made some spectacular finds, it is unfortunate that there are instances where the victim dies, witnesses move or die, or memories of the event fade. While the cold case units make good attempts in their work, they however usually have small budgets and large caseloads, meaning that only the most prominent cases get their fullest attention.

I know this post will not make your mind more receptive or give reason to change your attitude about law enforcement since you seem set in your ways about anything pertaining to law enforcement. This post did however give me satisfaction by being able to present some carefully considerated information on the topic.

So, I say to you: “Carry On” …

And you may now return to “kicking ass” with your condemnation of law enforcement.

Salute,
Gatlin

Gatlin  posted on  2019-09-12   4:32:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Too conservative (#13)

Yeah... your “local court” sends large sums of fine money to the state, all the time. That’s for all the fines from any guilty verdict or plea, for any STATE law that was violated. Even the expensive surcharges go to the state. The local court keeps a small amount for handling the matter.

If you were to be ticketed for speeding, or arrested for a baggie of weed... it’s California Vs Too conservative. Not Local Court Vs Too conservative.

Now, on rare occasion, very large CITIES make their own traffic sections for things like speeding and red lights/stop signs... and if the officer uses the cities code (which they are ordered to), the city keeps the fine money. NYC does this.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-09-12   7:06:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: GrandIsland (#16)

Yeah... your “local court” sends large sums of fine money to the state, all the time. That’s for all the fines from any guilty verdict or plea, for any STATE law that was violated. Even the expensive surcharges go to the state. The local court keeps a small amount for handling the matter.

The courts here, as in many states, set the actual fines imposed for traffic tickets. And they may exhibit some leniency that is not by the book.

Your description does not really reflect the reality on the ground.

We have no state system of electronic ticketing. You pay or contest your tickets locally and have a decent chance of prevailing against a dicey ticket. Even more so during certain times of the years, especially in March and April. The best times to fight a ticket in many places in rural America.

I'm glad you were big enough to admit you were wrong.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-12   8:17:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Gatlin (#14)

Confirmation bias …

I am too decent as a human being to succumb to such pettiness but I do agree that others need to be watched carefully for confirmation bias.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-12   8:19:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: Tooconservative (#18) (Edited)

... but I do agree that others need to be watched carefully for confirmation bias.

Absolutely, as well as those who become victims of confirmation bias need also to be watched ever so carefully.

Those victims of confirmation bias who because of their ignorance and lack of rational thought – these may be one and the same here – let themselves fall prey to confirmation bias and become swayed to quickly form bad opinions about law enforcement based upon the use of confirmation bias.

Resulting thereafter, their compelled need to immediately rush to post unsubstantiated malicious condemnations upon law enforcement officers.

Disgraceful …

Salute,
Gatlin

Edit - Yes, you are a decent human being.

Gatlin  posted on  2019-09-12   8:40:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: Gatlin (#19)

confirmation bias

What is it called when someone continuously fellates anything with a badge and believes they can do no wrong?

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-09-12   8:49:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: Deckard (#20)

What is it called when someone continuously fellates anything with a badge and believes they can do no wrong?
I do not have the experience in giving that sort of thing that you obviously do – since I have never engaged is such a thing.

However, in an effort to answer your question, I think if it happened – it could be appropriately called “giving a Deckard”.

Great response – Eh?

Salute,
Gatlin

See you later - I need to go make some money now.

Gatlin  posted on  2019-09-12   9:16:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: Gatlin (#21)

it could be appropriately called “giving a Deckard”.

I don't figuratively blow cops - that would be you cop sucker.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2019-09-12   9:52:59 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: Tooconservative (#17) (Edited)

The courts here, as in many states, set the actual fines imposed for traffic tickets. And they may exhibit some leniency that is not by the book.

Your description does not really reflect the reality on the ground.

1) We have no state system of electronic ticketing. You pay or contest your tickets locally and have a decent chance of prevailing against a dicey ticket.

2) Even more so during certain times of the years, especially in March and April. The best times to fight a ticket in many places in rural America.

1) Yes you do. Your local police AND your local courts, use the same software your STATE uses, from traffic related offenses. Your local officers have a computer in the patrol car, connected to the states software that has all the data involving licenses, registrations, warrants... and the officers write their tickets accident reports, using that software. The car will have a printer in it... and tickets are printed now and issued at the V&T stop. Then at the end of the officers shift, while sitting near the station, the car electronically dumps the issued tickets, onto a big mainframe computer, inside the station. That computer transmits the tickets to both the court AND THE STATE... and that is why each court has a “court code”.

Once the ticket is transmitted, it’s a paperwork nightmare to rescind the ticket.

Furthermore, states have already written MINIMUM and MAXIMUM fines for every level of traffic offense, written into the states traffic code. Judges CAN impose a fine BETWEEN those min/max limitations. In reality, the judge does decide the fine amount, but he/she is limited to discretion.

2) I have no clue what you’re talking about here... I’ve spent hundreds of hours inside of many different local courts in TWO states. Both states are nearly identical in process.

Also, accident reports aren’t normally issued at the accident scene, because the officers supervisor normally have to review and sign off on them AFTER the data is dumped into the departments mainframe computer. Traffic tickets do NOT require supervisor approval so they are issued during the stop. ALSO... most police records departments CHARGE a fee for accident report printouts... insurance companies pay more than the person involved.

Another thing... the new breath test instruments (data master is just one) are connected by computer cables, RIGHT TO THE STATE DATA CENTER. As soon as your breath test is completed, the STATE already knows what your BAC is... and what TICKET NUMBERS were used for the tickets.

I really don’t have time to educate you... reading your posts, it’s obvious, you might have had an inside view of this process 35 years ago... but in today’s day and age, EVERYTHING IS DONE BY COMPUTER... and it’s INSTANT.

GrandIsland  posted on  2019-09-12   18:09:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: GrandIsland (#23) (Edited)

Well, I only had one warning in the last 30 years or so. Perhaps I'm behind the times.

I know that in some local counties, the cop cars have lights and sirens and radios and that's about it. They still operate the old way, probably just don't have the needed equipment. They're still driving Crown Vics. I'm talking about very rural sheriff/deputy cars in a state with a lot of counties so they can't afford much equipment or anything else.

I know when I got my pistol permit some years back, there wasn't a single working computer in the sheriff's office. I sat down for some coffee with the sheriff so we could talk and before long he hand-wrote me a pistol purchase permit.

You may not be aware of just how rural some counties in rural states still are. It's Hooterville out there.

Tooconservative  posted on  2019-09-12   20:24:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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