News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

The Holden Arboretum

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Crime and Courts


Traffic cams may be legal in Ohio, but is the hearing process?
That's the debate Ohio Supreme Court justices took up today
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor pressed on what belongs in court and what is left to home rule.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A case that tests how cities can use automated cameras to catch and fine people who speed and run red lights went to the Ohio Supreme Court today. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler explains the arguments.

LISTEN: The closely watched debate

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:10)


The case comes from a ticket that Bradley Walker of Kentucky got from an automated traffic camera in Toledo in 2009. In 2011, he sued, claiming that the process by which he could appeal the ticket was unconstitutional.

Cities typically send a camera ticket appeal to an administrative hearing rather than into the court system, since the violation is civil, not criminal. And that’s appropriate under Ohio’s constitution, says Adam Loukx, who argued for the city of Toledo. 

“A principal part of that constitution is the home-rule authority of a city to self-govern. And a principal part of self-government, we submit, is the ability to set up administrative appeal boards to have quasi-judicial hearings on matters of local controversy.”

Courts couldn’t handle the load
Loukx said if all disputes ended up in the courts, they’d be overwhelmed – so cities have set up administrative panels such as civil service commissions, tax appeals boards, even taxicab commissions and dance-hall review boards. And he said anyone who wants to appeal a traffic camera ticket can do so after they pay the fine.

If they don’t like the hearing officer’s decision, they can take it to court – though he said that hasn’t happened often. And he acknowledged that information about the court option usually doesn’t accompany the ticket when it’s sent in the mail. But

It’s the courts’ business
Andrew Mayle, representing the cited driver Bradley Walker, argued that the administrative hearing process created by Toledo is unconstitutional because state lawmakers haven’t permitted it.

“The municipal court has jurisdiction unless the General Assembly says otherwise. Toledo cannot self-create an exception.”

And Mayle said drivers who don’t want to pay the tickets while they appeal the violations could risk losing their cars because the law allows the city to act on those tickets as if they were debts.

A bigger goal
After the arguments, the attorneys for the city of Toledo and the camera operating company declined comment.

But Maurice Thompson from the libertarian 1851 Center for Constitutional Law was talking. He helped Bradley Walker’s team, but for a bigger overall goal. 
“As a nominal legal matter, winning this case for us does not shut down the camera programs. What it means is that red-light camera tickets have to go through the municipal court. Now, as a pragmatic economic matter, what it means is that it’s no longer profitable and lucrative for cities to pursue these things.”

The driver, Bradley Walker, was also there to see his case argued before the state’s highest court. 

“Kind of surprised that it went like it did, I will tell you that. Did I expect when we first started talking about what was there that we didn’t appear today? I can’t tell you that I would ever believe that would be the case.”

A previous Ohio Supreme Court decision ruled cameras to catch speeders and red light runners are legal. It could be several months before a ruling on the hearing process, which Thompson says is used by the 15 Ohio communities that have traffic cameras. 

 

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

FitzGerald isn't giving up, but many Stark voters are worried, wary and weary
SB5 stands for "Snow Ball 5" because voters have about a snow ball's chance of remembering what it was.

Columbus groups are trying to pass a Bill of Rights to combat fracking
Its about time we make a stand against the criminal actions of an entire Indsutry.

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University