New Miami Criticized for Filing Another(!) Appeal in Speed Camera Case

The village of New Miami continues to fight to avoid having to repay motorists fined under its unconstitutional speed camera scheme.  And motorists who expect refunds are getting fed up.

The News Journal reports that the Village has filed an appeal after a judge ruled that $3 million should be returned to drivers caught by speed cameras later deemed unconstitutional.

The newspaper interviewed a motorists who paid fines under the unconstitutional ordinance:

Shirley Walker and her husband, David, like to go to Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield so they usually travel from their home in Eaton down U.S. 127 through New Miami to get there. Walker says her husband got caught by the old cameras two or three times and dutifully paid the $95 ticket each time.

She says they “hate” the speed traps and find it frustrating the case — that has been traveling around the Butler County and state appellate courts since 2013 — will be delayed even more.

“I feel like it’s a rip off,” she said. “We were going to fight it, it’s not right, it’s not fair, it makes me so mad, but by the time you get a lawyer to fight it and stuff, you might as well go ahead and pay it.”

Josh Engel said he and the other attorneys representing motorists will ask the court to dismiss the appeal as premature.  He also criticized the Village for continuing to delay paying back motorists:

“This is appeal is unlawful and we intend to ask the court to dismiss it immediately. This is yet another in a series of efforts by New Miami to delay their obligation to pay back motorists who paid fines under their unconstitutional scheme,” he said. “The rules of court prohibit filings for an improper purpose such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation. Yet this is what they are doing in this appeal.”

In response, New Miami’s outside counsel James Englert said only that this is a “gray area.”