With $3.4M owed, New Miami asks for more time to appeal speed camera decision

The latest battle in the five-year New Miami speed camera case is over the village’s motion to “stay” payment of the first installment owed to an estimated 33,000 speeders until the appeals run their course.

Judge Michael Oster issued his final appealable order on July 10 and set a 10-year repayment schedule. Oster ordered the first annual payment of $349,007 be paid that day, but James Englert, one of New Miami’s attorneys, filed the vilage’s notice of appeal within hours of Oster’s order and asked the judge to “stay” any payments during the appeals process.

The speeders’ attorneys argue the village isn’t entitled to a payment delay but asked the judge, if he grants the stay, to safeguard the money.

RELATED: Judge rules on New Miami speed camera lawsuit payment: How much will drivers get?

“If the court is inclined to grant a stay, the court should require the village to pay all funds into an interest-bearing escrow account or appoint a receiver to assure the availability of funds for the class,” the motion reads.

They said during an in-chambers status conference last year the village’s attorneys said the village couldn’t pay restitution because it will be “insolvent.”

“This court should not provide further opportunity for the village to escape its obligations,” the attorneys said.

But the village’s attorneys said the speeders’ attorneys “apparently forget the comments were made in the context of immediate payment of a $3 million-plus judgment” not the installment payments. They also said it was “alarming” the speeders would bring the off-the-record statements up given a hearing was held on the matter and the village isn’t broke.

MORE: New Miami: Financial watchdog for speed camera case would be ‘death knell’ to the village

They also say the judge must grant the stay because “Ohio law is clear that the trial court is required to issue a stay where a political subdivision appeals the court’s decision.”

Oster ruled the speeders are owed $3.4 million, which includes interest that started rolling a week-and-a-half ago.

This is not the first time the speeders have tried to ensure refunds from the unconstitutional speed camera program. Last year, they wanted a financial watchdog appointed to make sure the village didn’t use funds that could be needed to repay them for other purposes and earlier in the case wanted to garnish proceeds from the new speed camera program the village started. Oster said no to both.

Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.