By on August 5, 2010

Minneapolis, Minnesota is angry enough at being forced to refund $2.6 million in red light camera tickets that it has filed a lawsuit against the private company it hired to issue those citations. The city last month filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County Court to recover damages, but Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia yesterday asked the US District Court for the District of Minnesota to take over the case.

“The constitutionality of the (city) ordinance was challenged and the Minnesota Supreme Court held it was pre-empted by state law (view decision),” Minneapolis City Attorney Susan L. Segal wrote in a brief to the county court. “As a result of that challenge, the city incurred substantial losses.”

Minneapolis wants that money back. It had contracted with Redflex on March 14, 2005 for a “turn-key service contract… inclusive of all hardware, software and support service required to implement and maintain the system” which consisted of a dozen automated ticketing machines. The contract required that Redflex abide by all state and federal laws and to indemnify the city against all legal liability from court challenges to the program. According to the state’s highest court, the city had no legal authority to allow Redflex to issue traffic citations. It was forced to settle a class action lawsuit filed by Willard Shapira by agreeing to refund every citation.

“The city has incurred substantial expenses, costs and attorney’s fees as a result of the Shapira lawsuit and the pre-emption of the ordinance, independent of the reimbursement of fine revenue,” Segal wrote.

This, however, was not the end of the financial burdens for Minneapolis. After the cameras were installed, Redflex got caught in a billing dispute between the contractor responsible for the installation work, Network Electric, and its subcontractor, Collins Electrical Systems. Collins was supposed to be paid by Network Electric, but it did not receive payment. As a result, Collins sued the city and a judge ordered the city to pay $163,516.48 in unpaid bills and $181,804 in legal costs to the subcontractor. The city argues that, by contract, these costs must be paid by Redflex.

“The city was not to provide any monies for installation, had no responsibility for the installation or performance of any electrical work, and had no privity of contract or any relationship with any subcontractors Redflex hired,” Segal wrote. “Now, as a result of Redflex’s negligence in failing to procure a payment bond, judgment has been entered against the city for the remaining payment owed to Collins. The city has paid the remaining payment to Collins, which is more than its fair share.”

Minneapolis did not provide a damage figure in its filing, but based on the losses described, it could exceed $3 million. The Redflex filing is available in a 255k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Notice of Removal (Before the US District Court, Minnesota, 8/4/2010)


Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

7 Comments on “Minneapolis Sues Redflex Over Camera Ticket Refund...”

  • avatar

    gotta love it

  • avatar

    One can only hope that this changes the minds of every municipality that’s thinking about signing a contract with RedFlex. What’s the over/under on when RedFlex files for bankruptcy?

  • avatar

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Minneapolis installed those things as a money grab – why else – and put them at tricky intersections where they knew it would be an easy take. For example a “no right turn on red” which wasn’t marked all too clearly. I don’t have much sympathy for the city. That said, if the courts side with Minneapolis and Redflex has to pay out it would set a good precedent and perhaps keep all of these parasite companies out of the country.

    • 0 avatar

      Redflex is the worst thing a community can do to its citizens, guests, and law enforcement. At least with conventional law enforcement, the public can identify with the effort made by those sworn to protect and serve. We see them every day, saving lives, fighting crime, keeping us safe. They are our friends and neighbors. Not so with Redflex, all we see are tall white skinny poles with big lexan faced cameras. Every time they flash, half a dozen motorists get nervous and lose their focus. Every intersection becomes another trap. The stress alone probably kills more people than speeding and red light running. Redflex’s only strength is in the slow, methodical, process of legislating them out. Then they simply go to another town and spread their lies and money around. There’s no shortage of stupid “leaders” willing to buy into their scheme; a successful con that can feed on political greed indefinitely.

  • avatar

    Redflex is in bad financial shape. But ATS is not. Redflex may go away soon, but red light cameras will not.

  • avatar

    One of those cases where you wish both sides would lose.

  • avatar

    What a joke.. The fun ended as soon as the cash grab turned 180 degrees..
    Redflex and these greedy municipalities all have the grabbing part down but scream and holler when they are forced to pay. As if the cameras would go up by themselves. Serves the city right for screwing the people with the people’s money. Cockroaches.. the lot of ’em..

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • thornmark: Why All Those EV-Battery ‘Breakthroughs’ You Hear About Aren’t Breaking Through In the superheated market...
  • Goatshadow: Can always count on this site for the delusional whackjobs to show up in the comments. Disappointed there...
  • Mike Beranek: The article is based on a false premise. There is no reason to believe that batteries that don’t...
  • Jeff S: Agree we will have ICE for at least a few more decades and even if manufacturers stop making ICE eventually...
  • redapple: EB> – Elect generating capy will need to grow by 60-65% by 2030. (closing coal plants 25% elec gen...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber