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Final order on $3 million New Miami speed award needed, court says

A billboard warned motorists of the speed cameras set up in New Miami in June 2013. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
A billboard warned motorists of the speed cameras set up in New Miami in June 2013. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

The 12th District Court of Appeals basically said slow down to the village of New Miami’s request to appeal issues in its speed camera case.

The village filed a notice of appeal a month ago on several matters, including whether the village is liable for the entire $3 million amount the program collected, rather than just the $1.8 million that went into village coffers. The rest of the money went to the vendor that ran the old speed camera program.

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The village also claimed it is not liable at all because it is a governmental entity and thus has sovereign immunity.

Judge Michael Oster determined last month the village is responsible for the entire amount, based on unjust enrichment claims.

The speeders’ attorneys asked the appellate court to dismiss the appeal as premature.

Magistrate Ben Manning said the sovereign immunity claims can proceed, but the monetary issues need to be finalized by Oster first.

“There is no indication in the records whether a damage award will include all penalties paid under the automated speed program, including money paid to the non-party company administering the program, or only sixty percent of the fees paid actually retained by the village,” Manning wrote.

“There will almost certainly be an appeal filed from whatever damage award is made and from whatever attorney fee award is fashioned by the trial court. Judicial economy is better served by waiting until final resolution of all these issues.”