Decision delayed on Elmwood Place speed cameras motion

ELMWOOD PLACE, OH (FOX19) - Judge Robert Ruehlman said he would not make a decision on Thursday regarding a Motion for Preliminary Injunction on the use of speed cameras in Elmwood Place.

Judge Ruehlman promised a decision on February 28th.

"We were hoping to have a decision today just to put this behind us and be done with it," Chief Peskin said.

Elmwood place police Chief William Peskin listened as both sides laid out their arguments one last time in court Thursday.

"I did expect a backlash you know, it's new. Its new technology," Chief William Peskin told FOX19. "This happened when they first brought out radar guns, there were officers sitting the same way I was then."

Attorney Michael K. Allen filed a lawsuit on Nov. 30, 2012 on behalf of motorists and community members in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.  The lawsuit alleges that the Ordinance is in violation of Ohio law and the Ohio Constitution and raises a number of procedural arguments related to the enactment of the Ordinance.  The lawsuit also alleges that the Ordinance violates the due process rights of citizens.

"That's not what this country was founded on. You can't take people's money without giving them due process of law and that's what Elmwood is doing," argued Mike Allen, attorney for the plaintiffs.

"As long as there is notice, and here there's a notice, they get current addresses from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles," Optotraffic Lawyer Chris Heekin argued. "Everybody has an obligation under the law to notify the Bureau of Motor Vehicles within ten days if they move."

"I've been in the system for almost 35 years. You cannot rely on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to give you a valid last known address," Allen said.

The Optotraffic Lawyer had filed a motion in an attempt to get the company added as a party in the case. The judge denied that motion but allowed the attorney to argue in favor of the cameras in court Thursday.

As part of the lawsuit, Allen filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction requesting that the Judge prohibit further enforcement of the Ordinance.   A hearing on the request for an injunction was held on January 9, 2013.  At the hearing, residents of Elmwood Place and others testified about problems with the implementation of the speed cameras.  Some of the witnesses testified that Elmwood Place resembled a "police state."

The Elmwood Place Police Chief William Peskin says the cameras have generated roughly $800,000 for the village thus far. He says roughly 20,000 tickets have been issued. Drivers caught speeding by the robotic cameras, which are usually on 24 hours a day, are charged $105 for a ticket initially.

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