Floridian Camera Legal Saga Could Cost Counties Millions

Over 40 cities and counties in the State of Florida may need to  refund over $200 million in red light camera tickets, depending on how a series of lawsuits over the Constitutionality of the programs shakes out.

In October 2014, a Florida appeals court ruled that the City of Hollywood’s red light camera program ceded too much police power to its private camera vendor, which reviewed the camera footage for violations.  In May 2015, a number of violation recipients sued over 40 Floridian local governments in federal district court for refunds of their fines, arguing that all of the systems are illegal. The cities and counties argued for dismissal of that suit in federal appeals court, citing sovereign immunity protected them. However, last week, that court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case, since it still remains ongoing in the district court.

Meanwhile, another Florida appeals court ruled last July that Aventura’s red light camera program was perfectly legal, even if a private contractor reviewed camera footage for violations. The Sun-Sentinel reports that the disparity will likely wind up in the Florida Supreme Court for resolution.