New Miami, OH — Take away the political corruption, bribery scandals, increased accidents, and police state issues with Red Light Cameras and we are still left with a system that is rooted in the removal of due process. After the corporatist red light camera industry spread through the nation like a cancer for more than a decade, people are finally beginning to realize their inherently despotic nature.
After they woke up to the fact that their due process had been entirely removed by Optotraffic — a private vendor allowed to extort citizens with the blessing of New Miami politicians — the people fought back in the form of a class action lawsuit.
As the Newspaper reports, a group of three lawyers had filed suit in 2013, arguing that New Miami's automated ticketing ordinance gave vehicle owners no realistic opportunity to defend themselves against the demand for a payment of up to $180 that arrived in the mail. Optotraffic, a private vendor, sent the tickets to motorists passing through the less-than-one-square-mile town on US 127, a major highway that links Cincinnati with points north.
During that period of Optotraffic extortion, the city robbed drivers of $3,066,523.00. Now, after Butler County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Oster Jr.'s ruling, the city must pay back all of it.
"If the government has created an unconstitutional law/ordinance that has taken people's money without affording them the necessary due process protections, should not justice demand, and the law require, restitution of that money to the people?" Oster asked at the opening of his ruling. "Once the complexities of the law are analyzed, the answer is simple: Yes."
The city attempted to fight the ruling of the state's second highest court for more than a year. However, the case was so cut and dry that the Ohio Supreme Court chose not to intervene.
New Miami officials attempted to claim sovereign immunity to protect itself from monetary damages. However, the court failed to grant them immunity since they had violated the constitutional rights of its citizens.
"Ohio law is clear that the reimbursement of monies collected pursuant to an unconstitutional enactment or invalid rule is equitable relief, not monetary damages, and is consequently not barred by sovereign immunity," Judge Oster concluded. "No later than thirty days after the filing of this order, plaintiff is to file with the court and affidavit evincing monies paid under the invalidated ordinance, along with an Excel spreadsheet, so that the court can set the proper amount of restitution/refund as determined under the laws of equity."
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This ruling set by the court is a precedent that should be used by towns across the United States to give people their money back who've been extorted by these due process-removing companies.
If you are one of those people who couldn't care less about the removal of due process, perhaps the sheer corruption of these companies would be enough to deter your support.
After being found guilty of bribing politicians to implement her due process-removing products, Karen Finley, former CEO of the red light company Redflex, was sentenced last year to 14 months in prison. Her crimes spanned across multiple states and are so extensive that she is still facing future trials.
In April, the Free Thought Project conducted an exclusive interview with New York resident Stephen Ruth -- aka Red Light Robin Hood.
Ruth has recently become targeted by local politicians in his community who are 'addicted' to the funds from these red light cameras.
Unwilling to sacrifice innocent lives for millions of dollars in gross revenue, this nonviolent vigilante admittedly sabotaged traffic cameras in order to call attention to drastically shortened yellow lights endangering lives in his community. He now faces arrest, threats, break-ins, and more.
While Ruth is not a politician, his sentiment toward unconstitutional red light cameras represents a growing resistance in this country — just as the case in New Miami illustrates. As with any tyrannical or fascist regime, these private red light camera companies rely on your compliance for their very existence.
As more people refuse to comply, these companies, who rely on corrupt and greedy politicians willing to sell out their citizens for a buck, will begin to fail. And, when they lose — freedom wins.