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The Ohio Supreme Court held that administrative appeals of traffic camera tickets did not unconstitutionally usurp the powers of municipal courts as set forth in the Ohio Constitution.  The case involved the  City of Toledo’s practice of  diverting challenges to traffic camera violation notices to an administrative hearing officer set up within the police department. The case is  Walker v. City of Toledo, Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-5461.   See  Court News Ohio, City Appeals Process for Traffic Camera Violations Does Not Infringe on Jurisdiction of Courts:

“In a 4-3 decision, the court determined that the legislature’s constitutional authority to create municipal courts and the statute defining the jurisdiction of municipal courts do not give municipal courts exclusive control over traffic law violations.

In addition, Ohio municipalities have home-rule authority to establish administrative proceedings related to civil enforcement of traffic ordinances, and those proceedings must be exhausted before parties can seek remedies in the courts, Justice Sharon L. Kennedy wrote in the court’s majority opinion.”

A similar case, Jodka v. City of Cleveland, Case no.2014-0636 (Docket) was stayed for a decision in Walker.   Cleveland residents recently voted to amend the city charter to ban traffic cameras, “unless a law enforcement officer is present at the location of the device and personally issues a ticket to the alleged violator at the time and date of the violation.”  However, the case is still relevant to tickets issued before the ban, and possibly if similar procedures are utilized for traffic cameras when a police officer is present.

The Ohio House and Senate recently approved a bill that would outlaw the use of traffic cameras unless a police officer is present, and imposes other requirements on the use of traffic cameras.  SB 342. The bill must be signed by the governor or the veto overridden to go into effect.  Legislative Service Commission Analysis of this bill (as passed by the Senate) states:

“It is unclear if the provisions of the bill infringe upon a municipal corporation’s home rule authority under Article XVIII, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution. See Canton v. State, 95 Ohio St.3d 149 (2002).”


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