Calling claims “untrue, sham and false,” attorneys for the village of New Miami say a judge has no power to garnish their speed camera revenue and have asked him to strike a motion requesting he do so.
In May, lawyers for the drivers who sued the village asked a judge to garnish speeding ticket proceeds the village is now collecting under a new program.
The village collected $49,500 in February and March for 782 paid citations out of 2,905 valid tickets since it instituted a new program that involves an officer pointing a camera at drivers along the village’s main road.
Attorneys representing the drivers have accused the village of trying to “defraud” by contracting with an out of state company to manage the speed camera program and collect fines.
“It is not sufficient that the court simply deny the motion,” the village’s attorneys wrote. “The untrue allegation of fraud by New Miami is a matter of scandal and offense and should not be allowed to remain part of the record, but should be permanently stricken.”
One of the plaintiff’s attorneys, Josh Engel, said the village had trampled motorist’s Constitutional rights, grabbed their money and now are squirrelling some of that money away with an out-of-state vendor — all actions he says are wrong.
“What comes to mind first is Hamlet,” he said. “I think they doth protest too much.”
New Miami’s former speed catcher program was deemed unconstitutional in 2014, when Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Sage banned its use and granted the case class-action status, meaning thousands of other motorists who have been cited could join on and seek a legal remedy.
The village has spent $80,000 fighting to keep $1.8 million they have collected from speeders.
The garnishment issue will be the subject of a hearing later this month.