Judge won’t put the brakes on New Miami speed camera case

The five-year-old New Miami speed camera case will proceed to a judgment for the estimated 33,000 speeders who say they are owed $3.2 million due to the unconstitutional program.

Judge Michael Oster announced today, after a two-hour hearing, that he was unswayed by recent decisions in other court jurisdictions and denied the village’s request that he reconsider a previous decision that found the program trampled speeders’ rights to due process.

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New Miami’s lawyers had argued the landscape of speed camera litigation had changed since retired Judge Michael Sage issued his ruling in 2014. But Oster wouldn’t disturb his predecessor’s finding.

“We think we’ve been right on the law and facts of this case from the very beginning,” said Mike Allen, one of the attorneys for the speeders. “We’re looking forward to some kind of final resolution to this so we can put some money back into the pockets of the people who had to pay those tickets.”

The village did win in one regard with the judge, who ruled a financial watchdog is unwarranted and not allowed under the law.

“I don’t think it would be necessary…,” Oster said of the request by the speeders’ attorneys to have someone safeguard money to satisfy a judgment. “I believe it would be expensive. I believe it could do the opposite of what is being requested from this court.”

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The case has been limping along since 2013 and it is far from over. Oster said he needs some time to consider a motion by the village to pay the judgment out over a 10-year period and the speeders’ request for prejudgment interest that stands at almost $400,000.

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