“The good news for the motorists is that the judge already issued a ruling that the ordinance was unconstitutional,” attorney Josh Engel said. “We can proceed in the case as a class action and we can attempt to recover the money for all those motorists.”
Engel made that observation after an Ohio Appeals Court approved class action status on Monday for thousands of motorists fined for speeding in New Miami, a southwest Ohio village that issued about $1 million in citations from automatic camera enforcement.
Attorneys for the drivers plan to ask a judge to order New Miami to pay back more than $1 million collected in the less than two years the cameras operated in the village of some 2,200 people. A Butler County judge ruled in 2014 that they violated motorists’ rights to due process and ordered them shut off.
* * *The state’s highest court has twice affirmed the authority of Ohio municipalities to use camera enforcement. The appeals court Monday said it was only upholding class certification in the case and wouldn’t address for now what impact the latest Supreme Court ruling, which upheld Toledo camera enforcement in 2014, might have on the New Miami case.
Engel is also an attorney for motorists in the Cincinnati area village of Elmwood Place, where a Hamilton County judge called traffic cameras a scam and ordered refunds of fines and fees totaling some $1.8 million. That case is still under appeal.