Drivers challenging Cleveland traffic camera tickets asked to leave

Process for challenging tickets suspended

CLEVELAND - UPDATE: The city of Cleveland’s appeal process for automated traffic camera tickets has been suspended for the time being but the traffic cameras are still active, according to Maureen R. Harper of the Mayor’s Office.

Motorists fighting red light and speed light camera tickets in court in Cleveland had their hearings put on hold on Friday.

Drivers were being sent home after the hearing process was temporarily “stayed” or shut down pending a review by the law department.

This comes after a driver who challenged the way Cleveland handles traffic camera tickets won a jurisdiction issue but couldn't get his fine overturned.

The 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals ruled Thursday the city must allow motorists to fight tickets in Municipal Court, not before a hearing officer as it's been handled.

The court says Cleveland's system violates the requirement that tickets come under Municipal Court.

Sam Jodka of Columbus sued over how Cleveland handles challenges of ticket fines up to $200.

He lost a bid to get reimbursed for his fine because he didn't challenge it. His attorney tells The Plain Dealer in Cleveland that he expects to appeal the fine issue.

An email from city spokeswoman Maureen Harper says the Cleveland Law Department is reviewing the ruling.

We received the ruling late yesterday and the Law Department is reviewing the ruling to determine the City’s next steps. 

We continue to urge motorists to obey the speed limits and pay attention to traffic signals. If they do, our streets will be safer and they won’t receive tickets.

At issue is how the appeal process for these civil violations is handled.  Here’s a link to the entire process: Use of Automated Cameras to Impose Civil Penalties upon Red Light and Speeding Violators

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