Sunday, Aug 19, 2018
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Justices refuse to hear latest camera case

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear the latest appeal of the city of Toledo’s method of hearing appeals of civil citations tied to automated red-light cameras.

The appeal is the second brought by Bradley L. Walker, a Kentucky man ticketed in 2009 while visiting Toledo. In the initial case, the high court ruled 4-3 to uphold the city’s use of an administrative process to hear appeals instead of municipal court.

Mr. Walker initially paid the $120 fine but then sued for restitution, challenging the administrative appeals process. But the Sixth District Court of Appeals found that Mr. Walker, by not appealing his citation, had not exhausted remedies before suing for restitution.

“Instead of considering the municipal court’s broad jurisdiction, the court in effect held that every city council in this state may mandate that rather than having a day in court, an alleged violator of an ordinance must submit to the jurisdiction of a political appointee whose job depends upon the city and who is not elected,” wrote Mr. Walker’s Fremont attorney, Andrew R. Mayle.

The Supreme Court voted 4-1 not to hear the appeal with Justice Pat DeWine casting the sole dissent. Justices Terrence O’Donnell and now-resigned Justice William O’Neill did not participate in the decision.

In a separate case, the high court also refused to hear a case in which Toledo lost. The city had urged the high court to reverse a ruling by the Sixth District that allowed a suspected drunken driver to have his license reinstated.

The license had automatically been suspended because the driver refused to take a chemical blood alcohol test. The Sixth District found that the city police officer had waited six days to file a police report, which did not give the defendant enough time to review it and properly prepare an appeal.

The city maintained that the decision erroneously expanded what a municipal court can consider at an administrative license suspension hearing.

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