A Hamilton woman who appealed a speeding ticket she got from New Miami’s traffic cameras has won her case — not because of the cameras, but because the village failed to file a transcript of the woman’s hearing.
Lara Rodeffer appealed her ticket, arguing that New Miami’s cameras cameras were nothing more than a money-making scheme. However, Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Pater ruled in Rodeffer’s favor, writing that “the Village of New Miami failed to file a transcript of the hearing because it is unable to do so. Apparently all, or virtually all of the proceedings were not recorded.”
The law requires that any administrative body that has an appeal filed against it is required to prepare and file a transcript of the administrative hearing. New Miami did not do so. Therefore, Pater ordered Rodeffer’s $150 fine be dismissed, and that the Village of New Miami pay her court costs.
Rodeffer filed her case without the assistance of an attorney. She had gotten a ticket because a camera recorded her speeding at 49 mph in a zone with a 35 mph limit.
“I’m happy, but I was hoping for a little more. The whole process is a scam,” she said.
New Miami’s speed cameras remain in place, as the ruling did not address the cameras. Pater stated that his case shall have no value as precedent, “inasmuch as neither the facts of the case, nor the parties’ arguments have been addressed by the court.”
New Miami’s police chief, Kenneth Cheek, said the village tried to make a transcript, but the recording of that hearing turned out to be inaudible. The system used to record the proceedings did not pick up sound properly. The village has since been using a different tape recording system and hopes to get something more advanced in the future, the chief said.
New Miami Mayor Patti Hanes deferred comment to the village’s attorney, Dennis Adams, because she was unfamiliar with the case. Adams could not be reached for comment Friday.