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Judge rules in favor of motorists in Elmwood Place camera case

traffic_camera.jpg
Sarah Ramsey
/
WVXU (file photo)
Judge Ruehlman ordered the sheriff's department to confiscate the village's traffic enforcement cameras last summer.

Hamilton County Judge Robert Ruehlman has ruled in favor of motorists who are suing Elmwood Place over its automated traffic speed cameras.

The decision, granting summary judgement, came Thursday and here are some of the highlights.

  • The Elmwood Place ordinance allowing the cameras did not include the times when and the places where it was posted or if it was posted for 15 days before it took effect.
  • The ordinance is invalid because it improperly strips the Hamilton County Municipal Court of the authority to adjudicate violations of the ordinance.
  • Plaintiffs are entitled to equitable restitution of all amounts paid to Elmwood Place.
  • Plaintiff Class would be entitled to equitable restitution in the amount of $1.7 million plus any additional amounts the company that owns the cameras, Optotraffic, charged as convenience fees for online payments.

It might be a while

Elmwood Place will likely appeal, meaning the case is not final and motorists will not get their money immediately.

The Village defends the use of the cameras. Police Chief William Peskin told WVXU they help free up village resources to do crime prevention and when the police department has to run radar the criminals know where officers are, just like the traffic does.

There is a proposed state law that, if passed, would outlaw the cameras.

Last summer the Elmwood Place cameras were confiscated, as WVXU reported.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.