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Old March 30th, 2010
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Default Federal Appeals Court Embraces Speed Cameras

A divided three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit yesterday upheld the imposition of automated tickets on individuals who may or may not have committed any crime. The judges ruled on a case that began when Kelly Mendenhall received a ticket in the mail for allegedly speeding in Akron, Ohio in December 2005...

The Sixth Circuit panel briefly decided that the automated enforcement fine was civil in nature and therefore that full due process protections did not apply. The judges decided to keep the decision unpublished because it agreed with the lower court opinion on the subject and was not interested in rehashing the same argument...

Clay pointed out that the city could easily have included a provision to allow an owner to offer evidence that would show someone else had been driving. The city, however, only cares that someone pays the ticket, not whether the recipient is guilty or not.

"Akron does not provide an owner with a mechanism to avoid an erroneous deprivation of her property interest by proving that she was not driving at the time the violation occurred," Clay wrote. "Rather, Akron holds a driver liable regardless of whether she was the person who committed the act in question."

(emphasis added)

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