In late December of 2016, the City of Chicago began issuing “review” notices to motorists previously accused of speed and red light camera violations which purport to allow them another opportunity to contest violations that allegedly occurred years ago. Don’t be fooled. This is not some altruistic effort by the City, but rather an effort to interfere with a lawsuit challenging the validity of the very violations included in these review notices.
In March of 2015, our law firm filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago for its failure to properly notify motorist of alleged speed and red light camera violations and for prematurely accelerating late penalties. In February of 2016, the Judge in that suit issued an order finding that such practices would render the fines and penalties associated with those violations to be void. The suit, which has since been certified as a class action, seeks a refund of all amounts paid and the extinguishment of any debt owed to the City.
The new “review” notices motorists are receiving were issued pursuant to an ordinance quietly passed by the City Council in September of 2016, the purpose of which is not to help motorist, but rather impose “new and separate” liabilities for the old tickets that will likely be held invalid in the pending lawsuit. Make no mistake, these “review” notices are nothing but a scam by the City to collect illegal fines and penalties. Our firm filed a second lawsuit on November 1, 2016 challenging the legality of the new ordinance. If successful, all of the “review” notices sent out by the City, as well as the “new and separate” liabilities they purport to create, will be vacated. A copy of the lawsuit can be viewed here.
CBS Chicago ran a story on the “review” notices that can be viewed here. Mark Brown of the Chicago Sun Times also wrote a story that you can read here. Chicago Tribune coverage of the widespread problems the City had in implementing its “review” program can be read here.