Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Chicago Red Light Camera Case

A sign warns drivers of the red light camera at the intersection of Irving Park and Kedzie.

The Illinois Supreme Court will hear a case challenging the legality of Chicago’s red light cameras, giving new life to a 3-year-old lawsuit that was dismissed by a lower court.

Several motorists filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of red light cameras back in 2010. But the case was dismissed by the Cook County Circuit Court in 2011 and that ruling was unanimously upheld by the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court in January.

John Bowman, spokesperson for the National Motorists Association, a group that opposed automated traffic enforcement, says their organization is pleased Illinois’ high court has decided to take the case.

“It seems like the appellate court that rejected the original class action suit had to engage in some pretty twisted logic to come to its ruling, such as its observation that the cameras don’t actually record moving violations since they only capture still images,” said Bowman about the prior court ruling. “We hope the Illinois Supreme Court engages in some common-sense collective thinking when considering the facts of the case.”

Simmons Law Firm filed its petition to be heard by the Supreme Court in May.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

13 Responses to Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Chicago Red Light Camera Case

  1. The Watcher says:

    And what happens if the Supreme Court reverses?

  2. Capt M-Plate says:

    Then the City Must remove them.

  3. The Watcher says:

    So if the law was never authorized will Chicago have to refund all the paid tickets too, like Minneapolis?

  4. Joseph Finn says:

    Really, the red-light violators are still going ahead with this lawsuit?

  5. bogeyboy says:

    I guess we’ll see just how deep the corruption goes with this ruling.

  6. nonya says:

    I think part of the deal with this suit is that Chicago put up cameras before the state law authorizing them was passed. So, there could be a ruling that all tickets issued between 2010 and when the law was passed (2011 sometime?) are invalid and have to be refunded.

    But it’s the ILSC, don’t get your hopes up.

  7. As I understand it Chicago started their red light camera program under the guise of the state Home Rule provisions in 2003. The only problem with that is the state allows the city the home rule provision, but this provision does not extend to the State Vehicle Code. Chicago tried to play games saying violating a traffic signal is not a moving violation. This violate common sense and logic, because you can’t move through and intersection without moving. The state Vehicle Code in under the sole province of the State of Illinois. The state enacted their red light camera law in 2006. So the red light camera tickets issued by the city of Chicago between 2003 and 2006 are the subject of this suit. I read the suit a couple of years ago, so this is what I remember.

  8. Pete says:

    The court will rule in favor of Chicago for two reasons: one, Mike Magigan said to, and he appointed all the judges. Two, Chicago has Home Rule authority which means they can do whatever they want and are not bound by state laws (obviously legislators from Chicago made this one up). So as much as I wish this suit would succeed, I know what the actual chances are.

  9. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    I don’t know if this makes everyone here feel any better, but here goes.

    I’ve been told by an attorney friend that 65-75% of the cases taken by the Illinois Supreme Court, which come out of the 1st Appellate District get over turned by the court.

    So, the chances are better than 50/50. I wonder if Justice Burke will recuse herself when the ILSC hears the case?

  10. Don says:

    NPR had an interesting article on red light cameras.

    A ‘Dilemma Zone’ For Red-Light Cameras: Safety Vs. Cash

  11. Mike says:

    I’m pretty sure Justice Burke did recluse herself. On another note, if successful, does this suit have any impact on speed cameras?

  12. The Watcher says:

    Where is the City going to get hundreds of millions of dollars to refund the tickets? Minneapolis had to do that after their Supreme Court ruled the city had no authority to alter uniform traffic enforcement methods.

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