Florida judge rules red light cameras unconstitutional

Florida judge rules red light cameras unconstitutional

Pasco County Judge Anne Wansboro said that use of the  cameras “impermissibly shifts the burden of proof to the Defendant and therefore  does not afford due process, and is unconstitutional to the extent due process  is not provided.”

(Liz Klimas) — A man from Pasco County, Fla., who got nabbed by a traffic camera to catch red light runners believes the camera was wrong — both in snapping his license plate and constitutionally.  On the constitutional front, Thomas Filippone now has a county judge’s ruling to back him up.

The Tampa Bay Tribune reports that Filippone received a $158 traffic ticket,  but he wasn’t about to pay up and be more careful with the reds next time:

“If they are going to prove I was driving the car, it’s their duty under the  law to prove the identity of the driver,” said Filippone, 45, who maintains his 2002 Nissan Altima crossed the intersection a split second before the light  turned red on April 15.  “It unjustly shifts burden to me and makes me shoulder the burden of having to prove their case.”

(Related: Meet the 17-year-old fight ‘big government’ and traffic  cameras)

Pasco County Judge Anne Wansboro was in agreement and dismissed the case  Filippone brought before her stating that use of the cameras ”impermissibly  shifts the burden of proof to the Defendant and therefore does not afford due  process, and is unconstitutional to the extent due process is not provided.”

But the case is not completely closed.  The Tribune points out that the  traffic cameras remain in place — there has not been a motion to remove them — and some city officials within the county will be appealing Wansboro’s  decision:

“We do not agree with the decision,” said City Manager Tom O’Neill, who said  the city was not notified of any constitutional challenge to its two red light cameras on U.S. 19.  “It would be our position that we were not afforded due process and did not have the opportunity to speak.”

Port Richey city attorney Joe Poblick said officials have also notified the  Florida Attorney General’s Office of the ruling.  The state Constitution requires that the attorney general be notified whenever a state statute’s constitutionality is at issue.

(Related: Is your community profiting by installing traffic cams to monitor you?)

City officials in other Florida counties are keeping tabs on the proceedings as it makes it through the appeals process but continue to use their cameras as  is.

For Filippone though, he thinks the ruling stands in Pasco, meaning he “[shouldn’t] get another red light ticket in Pasco County for the rest of my  life.”  In fact, he is already planning to use the ruling to fight another ticket  he received from a red light camera.  Filippone, who is an insurance attorney,  said he is “looking forward” to his April court date.

Read more: http://www.wtam.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticle.html?feed=104668&article=9935575#ixzz1pwmtx59r

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One Comment on “Florida judge rules red light cameras unconstitutional”

  1. Hotstuff Says:

    Not only do I hate speed traps, I don’t agree with the whole “big brother” mentality of the government either! IMHO, traffic cameras are both unconstitutional and unfair, especially if you get nabbed due to a faulty setup or there are extenuating circumstances. So if you really want to avoid getting illegally ticketed, you can try this cool trick. It makes your license plate Invisible to red light and speed cameras. As an added bonus, the cops just hate it.. which makes it even better! Check it out Here


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