CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland is getting six more fixed traffic cameras bringing the city’s total number of ticket-issuing cameras to 61.
Fifteen of those are portable cameras that the city moves around.
The cameras are in the following locations:
— St. Clair Avenue at E. 105th St.
— St. Clair Avenue at E. 152nd St.
— Woodland Avenue at E. 30th St.
— Lorain Avenue at W. 65th St.
— Stokes Boulevard at Cedar Ave.
— Woodland Avenue at E. 55th St.
The cameras are already installed at the intersections, but the city won’t be issuing tickets until March 28th. This is warning period.
But some see a court ruling as a warning to Cleveland.
The ruling ordered the city of New Miami to stop using its traffic enforcement cameras.
Butler County Judge Michael Sage on Tuesday ruled in favor of an argument that people who had been fined because of traffic camera violations have been denied due process.
His ruling is similar to one that declared traffic cameras in Cleveland unconstitutional because accused violators of a city ordinance could not appeal their citations in municipal court.
“At the heart of due process is fairness, and I just don’t believe this is a system that provides fairness to people who have been accused of speeding in the village of New Miami,” said Sage.
In the New Miami decision, Sage also approved a class action status paving the way for hundreds of drivers to try to get refunds for the fines that they paid.
“It’s a fundamental principle that if the government is going to stick their hands in people’s pockets, they have to give themselves a right to defend themselves in a meaningful manner,” said Attorney Josh Engle following Tuesday’s decision.
The attorney who won the decision against Cleveland’s traffic cameras believes drivers here are entitled to refunds, too, and is asking the full 8th district court of appeals to rule in his favor.
Attorney Andrew Mayle believes the New Miami decision as well as similar rulings in Toledo and Elmwood Place support his arguments.
“The Toledo and now the southern Ohio case plus Elmwood Place all say look, if you unconstitutionally deny people their day in court you have got to refund their money and that’s what we are asking the 8th district to do,” said Mayle.
Mayle also believes that as long as Cleveland continues to use a traffic camera enforcement process that the courts have ruled unconstitutional, it only strengthens his argument in favor of refunds.
“I think the city of Cleveland is proving our point. There has to be some sort of remedy when the city violates the constitution in connection with collecting money and that remedy has got to be a refund. If there’s no remedy, the city is just going to go on about its merry way violating the constitution so we need the courts to say no, not only that it’s unconstitutional you have to give the money back,” said Mayle.
Sage has reportedly said he is willing to reconsider his decision involving New Miami if the community were to change their system to allow accused violators to challenge their citations in court.
It is a process that Mayle believes communities, including Cleveland would not want to do because it could become cumbersome, costly and could potentially overwhelm the courts.
Attorneys for New Miami say they intend to appeal Sage’s ruling.
“I would anticipate that an appeal will be filed with respect to the certification of the class, also the injunction as well as the court’s finding that there has been a denial of due process,” said Attorney Will Weisenfelder.
For extended coverage on traffic cameras in Cleveland, click here.