5/20/2008Minneapolis, Minnesota to Refund $2.6 Million in Photo Tickets
Minneapolis, Minnesota city council will refund illegally issued red light camera citations.
After stalling for more than a year, the city council in Minneapolis, Minnesota voted last Friday to issue $2.6 million in refunds to vehicle owners who had been illegally charged by red light cameras. The state supreme court ruled in April 2007 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.
A loss in the first of a series of lower court battles forced the city to suspended its operations in March 2006. By the time the high court ruled, about 4200 tickets that had been pending or unpaid were thrown out. The city initially refused to issue any refund to 15,000 motorists that had been paid on time, despite the ruling. Those who wanted their money back had to go through the hassle of filing a motion with the court to re-open their case (view form, 21k PDF file). A lawsuit in district court pressured the city to act.
The 15,000 vehicle owners paid $142 each and had points issued against their license. The settlement will return a portion of this amount, cancel the points and include a letter to ask insurance companies to reverse surcharges imposed as a result of the points.