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NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – A local couple who recently got a ticket from a speed camera on I-77 in Newburgh Heights reached out to the FOX 8 I-Team for help, saying the car in the picture is not theirs and they are being asked to pay to fight it.

“The ticket says we owe $150,’ said Donna Kestranek, of Medina County. “The problem is that is not our car. The picture they sent us is very dark, but it shows an SUV. We have a Ford Fusion.”

Donna said her husband, John, is working in Dayton and they have receipts showing they were not in town when the ticket was issued.

“At first I thought it was a scam,” John Kestranek said. “We looked into it and found out if we want to fight it we have to go to Garfield Municipal Court. I can’t believe the hoops we have to go through to prove our innocence. It’s crazy. “

On the back of their ticket, it states that if they want to have a hearing to dispute the ticket they need to pay $50.

“I think that is outrageous,” Donna said. “I don’t understand why I have to pay $50 to prove I have no fault in this.”

The FOX 8 I-Team reached out to Garfield Municipal Court Judge Deborah Nicastro about that filing fee. She says the issue is currently before the Ohio Supreme Court.

“I am eagerly awaiting the supreme court to tell me if this is the proper procedure,” Judge Nicastro said.

The I-Team checked with other municipal courts, including East Cleveland, Girard and Parma. Officials at those three courts say drivers do not have to pay a filing fee to request a ticket.

The judge said:

“This is all in the supreme court right now and as a matter of fact there was an oral argument a couple weeks ago… We have two villages in our court district that have traffic cameras, Newburgh Heights and Walton Hills.  Newburgh Heights appealed the state law that says they have to pay the filing fees to the court of appeals here. The court of appeals found they don’t have to make the advance payment. The state is challenging that now in the supreme court. So the question is, who pays the filing fee and does the village have to pay it in advance when the ticket is issued or when someone files an appeal? So we are all waiting to find out. In the meantime,  the law director for the Village of Newburgh Heights issued a legal opinion we generally have to go by unless someone challenges it, that in light of the court of appeals decision the driver has to pay the fee and we have to asses a $26 fee to the legal aid society that the state collects. So on every civil filing, we are suppose to collect $26 for the state. So out of that $50, $26 goes for legal aid support and 20 some dollars goes for us. That’s how the fee is calculated.”

The judge said if the person has the hearing and gets the ticket dismissed, they can ask to have the $50 refunded.

State Representative Tom Patton says he is going to look into the matter saying he doesn’t believe someone should have to pay to have their day in court.

Donna and John agree and say they plan to fight the ticket.

“I refuse to pay for that ticket,” Donna said. “I know where we were and I know that wasn’t us.”