Another Florida City Settles Suit Over Illegal Photo Ticketing

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

Many Florida municipalities now regret jumping the gun and installing red light cameras before the state legislature authorized their use in 2010. The Hallandale Beach city commission will vote later today to approve a settlement of $375,566 to be repaid to vehicle owners who were mailed tickets before the program was actually legal. American Traffic Solutions (ATS), which controlled the program, will pay $43,221 — its proportional share of the amount.

Attorney Jason D. Weisser had filed a lawsuit against Hallandale Beach, its vendor ATS and all of the other towns that jumped the photo ticketing gun. He argued the city and ATS were guilty of unjust enrichment and the tort of conversion. Fearing legal defeat, Pembroke Pines was among the first to settle in June. Partial refunds will now be given to “all who have been cited and paid fines to the defendants prior to July 1, 2010 for violations of the ordinance.” ATS had already signed off on the deal in February.

“The stipulation is intended by the settling parties to fully, finally and forever resolve, discharge and settle the litigation and all released claims against all released persons,” the proposed settlement states. “The settling defendants have concluded that further conduct of the litigation would be protracted and expensive and that it is desirable that the litigation be fully and finally settled in the manner and upon the terms and conditions set forth in this stipulation. They also have taken into account the uncertainty and risks inherent in any litigation, especially in complex cases such as this litigation ”

Although it authorizes issuance of partial refunds, the settlement stipulates for legal reasons that neither Hallandale Beach nor ATS admit they ever did anything wrong. The settlement allows the city and ATS to pay thirty percent of the amount of money they collected — far less than they would have to pay than if they had gone to court and lost, as happened in Minneapolis, Minnesota over the same issue ( view settlement). Settlement allows the city to escape the full cost of refunds and attorneys’ fees.

Cities that adopted the cameras may find themselves in more trouble as new members of the state legislature already have a House majority opposed to automated ticketing machines. Another push will be made to repeal the authorization in the next session.

[Courtesy: Thenewspaper.com]

The Newspaper
The Newspaper

More by The Newspaper

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Mnm4ever Mnm4ever on Nov 02, 2011

    Yet here in Tampa (most corrupt city in the state??), they are just getting started on round 2 of the red light camera collection machine. St. Pete is beefing them up too. How can they see all the reports from all these other cities and states where these things are getting slammed, and still think its a good idea?? What a slimey business...

  • Rrhyne56 Rrhyne56 on Nov 03, 2011

    These civic entities need to get stuck and stuck hard to make them think twice about such tomfoolery if the chance arises again. Now, that being said, will this happen? probably not.

  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.
  • Stephen My "mid-level" limited edition Tonino Lambo Ferraccio Junior watch has performed flawlessly with attractive understated style for nearly 20 years. Their cars are not so much to my taste-- my Acura NSX is just fine. Not sure why you have such condescension towards these excellent timepieces. They are attractive without unnecessary flamboyance, keep perfect time and are extremely reliable. They are also very reasonably priced.
  • Dana You don’t need park, you set auto hold (button on the console). Every BMW answers to ‘Hey, BMW’, but you can set your own personal wake word in iDrive. It takes less than 5 minutes to figure that that out, btw. The audio stays on which is handy for Teams meetings. Once your phone is out of range, the audio is stopped on the car. You can always press down on the audio volume wheel which will mute it, if it bothers you. I found all the controls very intuitive.
  • ToolGuy Not sure if I've ever said this, or if you were listening:• Learn to drive, people.Also, learn which vehicles to take home with you and which ones to walk away from. You are an adult now, think for yourself. (Those ads are lying to you. Your friendly neighborhood automotive dealer, also lying to you. Politicians? Lying to you. Oh yeah, learn how to vote lol.)Addendum for the weak-minded who think I am advocating some 'driver training' program: Learning is not something you do in school once for all time. Learning how to drive is not something that someone does for you. It is a continuous process driven by YOU. Learn how to learn how to drive, and learn to drive. Keep on learning how to drive. (You -- over there -- especially you, you kind of suck at driving. LOL.)Example: Do you know where your tires are? When you are 4 hours into a 6 hour interstate journey and change lanes, do you run over the raised center line retroreflective bumpers, or do you steer between them?
Next