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1/18/2006
Steubenville, Ohio Anti-Camera Class Lawsuit Proceeds
Judge to hold camera vendor accountable in ongoing Steubenville, Ohio anti-camera lawsuit.

Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David E. Henderson yesterday rejected the arguments of a German speed camera vendor in a lawsuit against the city of Steubenville, Ohio. Traffipax had sought to extricate itself from the case which may be certified as a class action in a hearing next Monday.

Attorney Gary M. Stern filed the lawsuit on November 23 after his wife was mailed a pair of $85 speed camera citations. She was not driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense.

On December 5, the court put a temporary ban on photo enforcement tickets which remains in effect "until further order." Judge Henderson wrote that there was sufficient evidence "to raise significant question as to whether the city complied with the mandatory notice provisions of its own ordinance, and raise legitimate doubt as to whether the city had authority under the Ohio constitution to enact the ordinance in the first place."

A final hearing on the case is scheduled for March 9.

Article Excerpt:
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
In the Common Pleas Court of Jefferson County, Ohio
April Stern v. The City of Steubenville, Ohio
Case No. 05-CV-524
---
Judge David Henderson

Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction having come on for hearing on December 5, 2005 and based upon the testimony and exhibits, the court finds sufficient evidence to (1) raise significant question as to whether the City complied with the mandatory notice provisions of its own ordinance, and (2) raise legitimate doubt as to whether the City had authority under the Ohio constitution to enact the ordinance in the first place.

It is, therefore, ORDERED, that the City shall be, and is, preliminarily enjoined from enforcing the ordinance until the time of the final hearing. The City shall not deploy any automated speed enforcement cameras, nor issue further citations, nor negotiate any checks received for payment of citations already issued, until further order. The court finds that no bond is required under the circumstances of this case.

This order is binding upon the City, its officers, agents, designees, and all those who are in active concert or participation with the City in its operation of the Speed Enforcement System.
(signed)
DAVID E. HENDERSON, Judge


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