Judge rules against St. Louis red light cameras

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by John Knicely / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 23 at 10:19 PM

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Another judge has ruled that the St. Louis red light cameras are unconstitutional.  Circuit Judge Theresa Burke ruled the city’s tickets violate the driver’s right to due process.  She threw out the case against State Senator Jim Lembke.

Attorney Bevis Schock represented Lembke and says this is just further proof the cameras should not be allowed. 

A previous ruling by Circuit Judge Mark Neil also cited due process as reason the red light cameras are unconstitutional.  But Judge Neil’s ruling went farther saying there is no state legislation that grants the cities the right to use red light cameras.  That ruling is now being appealed by the city to the Court of Appeals.

“Eventually the Missouri Supreme Court is going to have to address the issue,” said Schock.  “And Judge Burke’s ruling strengthens the argument case red light cameras.”

City attorneys say they've already cleared up the due process issue.

"Judge Burke did not find that our program violates state law or is otherwise unauthorized," said City Counselor Patricia Hageman. "Not only does the City now use a different form of Violation Notice, but also we are confident that individuals both then and now are on notice they can go before a Judge if they think they did not commit a violation."

We wanted to get the take from an attorney who doesn't have a pending case. Attorney Andy Crouppen believes this recent ruling still strengthens the case against the city's cameras.

"You know I think the more people who find against it, I think it has to help in some way," said Crouppen. "I think when the appeals court looks at it they're going to focus primarily on applying the laws. But it can't go unnoticed that 2 lower judges have ruled against the city."

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