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Traffic Camera Ticket Lawsuit Gains Momentum

Posted on in Traffic violations

camera, Kane County criminal defense lawyerA lawsuit filed against the city of Chicago seems to have been strengthened by testimony offered in a deposition this week, according to the lawyer representing the three motorists serving as plaintiffs in the case. The attorney claims that a city employee acknowledged that City Hall manipulated the processes in place regarding tickets issued for alleged violations captured by red-light cameras and speed-cameras throughout Chicago.

The Suit’s Basics

The suit was filed on the basis that motorists were being routinely denied due process as the city attempted to boost revenue created by the traffic camera ticket program. The plaintiffs and their lawyers claim that City Hall ignored the Chicago municipal code which requires second notices of a violation to be sent to alleged offenders before liability can be determined. Despite not sending the second notices, non-responding violators were found liable, and substantial late fees were added to the initial fine. Over the last dozen years, the practice is said to have netted the city tens of millions of dollars in additional revenue, which the lawsuit is seeking to have refunded to motorists.

Potentially Damning Deposition

Jacie Zolna, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, says she deposed a member of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s staff earlier this week, and the information provided could be damaging to the city. According to Zolna, the city employee admitted that officials "accelerated the determination of liability on the front end, sped up late penalties on the back end," and amended their practices when they were called out as part of the developing lawsuit. Zolna also said the staffer was presented with a photo used as evidence to ticket one of the plaintiffs, and that the employee could not verify, based on the photo, that any law had been broken. The employee did say, however, that issuing tickets on disputable evidence was a common practice, Zolna told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bolstered by a strongly-worded ruling from a circuit court judge in February, Zolna is pushing forward with the case in hopes of seeking justice for his clients and potentially thousands of others around Chicago. Judge Kathleen Kennedy rejected the city’s motion to dismiss several months ago, and, in doing so, issued a statement that accused city officials of violating "the fundamental principles of justice, equity, and good conscience."

Fighting a Traffic Violation?

If you have received a traffic citation—due to a traffic camera or after being pulled over by police—it is important to discuss your available options with an experienced Kane County traffic violations defense attorney. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule a free consultation at The The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola today.

Sources:

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/red-light-speed-cam-lawsuit-gets-stronger-after-deposition/

http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Judge-rules-against-city-of-Chicago-in-red-light-camera-suit--369829571.html

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