On February 19, 2016, a Circuit Court Judge in Chicago allowed a class action to go forward against the City of Chicago relating to the operation of its controversial speed and red light camera program. The suit alleges that the City ignored the requirement under its own municipal code to issue the appropriate notice to accused drivers and provide a 14 day grace period prior to issuing a determination of liability, depriving vehicle owners of the statutorily required due process and pre-liability notice. The suit also alleges that the City prematurely assesses late penalties in violation of its own municipal code. Collectively, according to the suit, these practices unlawfully accelerate the City’s ability to issue, enforce and collect fines and penalties.
In rejecting the City’s efforts to dismiss the case, the Court found that as a result of the City’s failure to follow its own laws “the determinations of liability are void” and that the City’s retention of payments from those tickets “violates the fundamental principles of justice, equity, and good conscience.”
Myron M. Cherry and Jacie C. Zolna of Myron M. Cherry & Associates, LLC represent the plaintiffs.
To read the coverage of the lawsuit in the Chicago Sun Times, click here and here. Several other news outlets also reported on the lawsuit, which can be viewed here (ABC Chicago), here (NBC Chicago) and here (WGN).