Thursday, February 23, 2012

Missouri: Court Rules Red Light Cameras Unconstitutional


Circuit court judge rules St. Louis, Missouri red light camera program is unconstitutional and void.

A Missouri circuit court issued a final judgment Friday finding the red light camera program in St. Louis violated the Constitution. Circuit Judge Mark H. Neill reconfirmed his finding from May that the city's program was illegal because the state legislature has never authorized photo ticketing. St. Louis had asked Neill to reconsider and argued that charter cities did not need the legislature's permission to use cameras. He did not buy their argument.

"A city, even a charter city, is a creature of the state and, as such, has no inherent police power," Judge Neill ruled. "The only police power a city has is that conferred to it by the state... The court does not believe that the ordinance has a substantial and rational relation to the health, safety, peace, comfort and general welfare of the inhabitants of St. Louis. This court concludes that without specific enabling legislation passed by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, the ordinance is void."

The other fatal flaw in the program was the lack of due process. St. Louis city ordinance authorizing the use of red light cameras issued tickets against drivers, not vehicle owners, accused of violating the city's "steady red indication" ordinance. The private company American Traffic Solutions mailed out tickets that did not contain a court date or a notice that the citation could be challenged on grounds other than someone else was driving or the car had been stolen.

"The United States Supreme Court has consistently held that some form of hearing is required before an individual is finally deprived of a property interest," Neill wrote. "The court finds that the city's red light ordinance violates procedural due process."

The city has continued to allow its red light camera vendor to issue citations, despite the ruling. Judge Neill made it clear that this is unacceptable.

"A void ordinance, of course, cannot be enforced," Neill wrote. "As such, the court assumes that the city will not attempt to enforce the ordinance if and when a judgment declaring the ordinance void becomes final."

The city intends to appeal.


CLICK HERE TO READ THE COURT'S OPINION

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

They are there for the safety of the children. (Rahm)

Anonymous said...

Chicago is not Part of the United States so the judges ruling does not apply.

Anonymous said...

When the SHTF these people that thought up the cameras will be burning in the streets and I'll just drive by and say WTF were they thinking.

Anonymous said...

I am totally delighted with incredibly blog greatly that saved me. God bless you “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” - Friedrich Nietzche

Cowboy Tim said...

Neill's ruling is correct.

Anonymous said...

How about back to 7 seconds for yellow?

Greedy bastards ?

Anonymous said...

Yes they are.How does one face your accuser???

Anonymous said...

GARBAGE BLOG!

The King of All Crackers said...

I dont't mind when a police officer would pull me over for an offense as I know my accuser the time it happened. The red light camera thing is like big brother. The tickets say they are not moving violations and do not show up on your license and appear to be just an additional tax. I think the Illinois Republicans should get together ban the cameras by law and I think they could get a majority of voters in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Lets not start sucking each others dicks just yet, Illinois and Chicago HAS an approved ordinance. You can spit now

I Voted For Obama said...

Circuit Judge Mark H. Neill will not be on the bench much longer. Obama will make sure he is removed.

Anonymous said...

MISSOURI Didn't Vote for Obama. MISSOURI = Real America.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Lets not start sucking each others dicks just yet, Illinois and Chicago HAS an approved ordinance. You can spit now

February 24, 2012 9:46 AM

and that means what????

Anonymous said...

It was ruled unconstitutional in Missouri because there was no ordinance in place so the camera can be used without legal challenge. Quinn recently approved such an ordinance and Chicago did such years ago