By Josie Wales
New Miami, OH — A Butler County judge has ordered the village of New Miami to refund $3 million in fines to motorists ticketed for speeding by traffic light cameras. The ruling was issued Wednesday by Butler County Judge Michael Oster, who said the money amounted to unjust enrichment of the village.
The cameras were ruled unconstitutional in 2014 by Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael J. Sage, who approved class action status. That ruling allowed the drivers to seek refunds. Nearly 45,000 citations were issued in just 15 months, and though motorists were permitted to challenge the tickets, the judge saw the administrative system as unfairly favoring the village and police.
Of the $3 million collected in fines, 60% of the revenue went to the village while 40% went to the traffic light company running the program. The village’s attorney plans to take the case to the Supreme Court, claiming the village should not be responsible for funds it did not receive, seemingly ignoring the fact that it was responsible for implementing the unconstitutional program and collecting the fines in the first place.
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