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Even with the Ohio Statute prohibiting traffic cameras without a police officer present ( SB 342) and the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling finding administrative appeals of traffic camera tickets constitutional (Walker v. City of Toledo, Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-5461. ), there is still plenty of litigation around concerning traffic cameras.  For example, in Butler County, there is a class action case pending alleging that the Village of New Miami traffic cameras violated due process rights under the Ohio Constitution.  See Barrow v. Village of New Miami, Butler County Case No. CV 2013 07 2047.

Class action certification was granted by the trial court and this decision was appealed to the Twelfth District Court of Appeals.  The Twelfth District remanded the case back to the trial court, finding that the trial court needed to articulate its reasons for granting class certification.   The trial court, Judge Michael Sage, did so – see Entry on Remand Reaffirming Reasons for Decision Granting Class Certification. 

The Village of New Miami asked the Twelfth District to reconsider its ruling on the class action issue, arguing that because of the Ohio Supreme Court’s ruling in Walker v. City of Toledo, the plaintiffs did not have standing.  None of the plaintiffs went through the administrative appeals process, and the Walker decision said that administrative hearings must be exhausted before judicial remedies can be pursued.  The Twelfth District denied the motion for reconsideration, finding that Walker does not change the ability of the plaintiffs to bring a facial constitutional challenge without bringing an administrative appeal.  See Notice to Court Regarding Denial of Court of Appeals.

However, the Village of New Miami asserts that the trial court should grant its Motion for Relief from Judgment, because Walker voided the plaintiffs’ central due process claim – that the administrative hearing deprived them of the right to have their claims heard under the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Evidence and Ohio Traffic Rules.  Judge Michael Oster has taken over the Butler County case, as Judge Michael Sage has retired, so the ruling on New Miami’s motion will be up to him.  See Dayton Daily News:  Appeals court refuses to reconsider New Miami speed camera case.    So, it remains to be seen whether even a walker can kill traffic camera litigation (a small joke for Walking Dead fans).

In addition to litigation dealing with traffic camera tickets already issued, such as the New Miami case, look for future litigation by municipalities challenging the constitutionality of SB 342. The  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).”
Update (3/17/2015):  Judge Oster denied New Miami’s Motion for Relief from Judgment.  New Miami appealed the trial court’s Entry on Remand Reaffirming and Explaining Reasons for Decision Granting Class Certification.

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