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1/17/2009
Minnesota: $2.6 Million in Red Light Camera Tickets Refunded
Refunds proceed for illegally issued red light camera tickets in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Judge Michael J DavisMore than 14,000 recipients of red light camera citations in Minneapolis, Minnesota will soon receive a refund. The city this week began mailing notices informing those ticketed that they will be sent a refund check unless they choose to opt out of a class action settlement. US District Court Judge Michael J. Davis has set a February 27 date for a hearing to approve the final repayment details.

"Under the settlement, the city will also provide class members with a letter that class members may send to their motor vehicle insurance company to assist them in requesting an insurance premium refund or a reduction, if they believe their rates increased as a result of a Stop on Red conviction," the settlement notice explains.

The problems for Minneapolis began in 2005 when the city decided to issue red light camera tickets without the sanction of state lawmakers. By April 2007 the Minnesota Supreme Court had ruled that the use of automating ticketing machines violated state law and deprived motorists of due process (view ruling). The city was forced to end its program for good, but it had no intention of returning the $2.6 million collected from the program.

In addition to the city's fines, thousand of drivers paid hefty surcharges to their insurance company and about 300 had their drivers' licenses suspended as a result of the illegal photo tickets. The lawsuit was required to force the unwilling city to take action in May to clear the driving records of those affected. The three plaintiffs who brought the successful suit will receive $1500 each, and the city will cover the legal fees accumulated during the lengthy court battle.

A copy of the settlement notice is available in a 35k PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File Notice of Class Action Settlement (US District Court, Minnesota, 1/14/2009)

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