(SANDUSKY, Ohio) - In a June 28, 2013 decision, in the case captioned Walker v. City of Toledo, et al., case number L-12-1056, the Sixth Appellate District Court of Appeals reversed the Lucas County Common Pleas Court and held that Plaintiff, Bradley Walker, properly challenged a Toledo law incorporating stoplight traffic cameras, Toledo Municipal Code 313.12. The Court not only reversed dismissal of Walker’s claims against the City of Toledo and the traffic camera manufacturer, but also explicitly found that the municipal code at issue violated Ohio’s Constitution. In so ruling, the court stated that, “[t]he plain language of the ordinance also reveals that the appellee city has attempted to divest the municipal court of some, or all, of its jurisdiction * * * Such usurpation of jurisdiction violates Ohio Constitution, Article IV, Section 1, and is therefore a nullity.” The Sixth District Court of appeals further ordered remand of the action back to the common pleas court to go forward on the merits.
Walker is represented by attorneys, John T. Murray, a partner with the law firm of Murray & Murray Co., L.P.A., as well as Andrew R. Mayle, Jeremiah S. Ray, and Ronald J. Mayle, of Mayle, Ray, and Mayle.
The case comprises an important battle in the ongoing conflict to protect citizens’ fundamental rights as society adopts technological advancements that threaten these rights. Specifically, Walker alleges that the legal scheme to enforce and review Toledo stoplight cameras violates the Ohio Constitution because it defies the legislature’s exclusive grant of authority to the municipal courts to handle ordinance citations under Ohio Revised Code 1901.20(A)(1). In effect, the Toledo Municipal Code provision granted police department officials the authority to decide important aspects of the ticketed person’s hearing. Walker also asserts that the review procedures for the wrongly issued citations do not protect due process rights of those ticketed. In addition, the lawsuit claims that camera creator, RedFlex Traffic Systems, Inc. (“RedFlex”), unjustly receives a portion of the traffic ticket funds paid by ticketed persons. Walker, through his attorneys Murray & Murray and Mayle, Ray, and Mayle, seeks the return to himself and others similarly situated of all monies collected by the City of Toledo and RedFlex through the unconstitutional ordinance.
The Sixth District Court of appeals held all of Walker’s claims may go forward, including those against RedFlex for unjust enrichment.
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