Category Archives: Red Light Cameras
ABC 7′s I-Team tries to explain what steps drivers should take to try to get their money back from the city for old red light camera tickets in a recent report.
While the report skims over the process, it does a poor job explaining why the over 1 million notices went out recently and the most effective ways to fight the tickets.
You see the city got caught violating its own municipal code which, at the time, required the city to send out a 2nd notice to drivers who allegedly were captured on video going through a red light. So now that a class action lawsuit is threatening to force the city to refund tens, if not hundreds of millions of red light camera fines to drivers, the city is trying an end run by allowing drivers a chance to fight RLC tickets issued between 2010 and 2015 now.
If you got one of those notices in the mail recently and want to fight back, take the advice of attorney Patrick Keating, who lays out an aggressive and compelling defense.
Are you one of those drivers who received that weird red light camera notice from the City of Chicago in the past week or so?
Your’re not alone–another 1.2 million drivers who also received it.
The notices, many showing the fines have been paid, are giving motorists a second chance to contest red light camera tickets issued between 2010 and 2015.
Why? Well, it’s because the city is facing a very potent pair of class action lawsuits attacking the city for not properly follow it’s own red light camera laws in two ways. The first is that the city did not mail drivers a second notice for the initial red light violation as required under the law. The second is that the city doubled fines for RLC tickets that were not paid after 21 days. Unfortunately for the city, the municipal code stated fines could not double until after 25 days.
The city is running scared–scared courts will force it to refund tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in fines that were possibly collected improperly.
The recently mailed notices give drivers another chance to contest the violations and possibly get a refund from the city and attorney Patrick Keating has drafted a very robust “How To” letter/defense to assist drivers in contesting their tickets.
Keating, was the lead attorney who fought the city’s red light cameras in a different set of class action lawsuits all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. Unfortunately, too many of the justices recused themselves so no final ruling by the court was made leaving Chicago’s red light camera laws and fines they collected, intact.
Keating’s advice and the defenses he puts forth covers a lot of legal ground and will help the rest of the non-legal world in possibly exacting a bid of revenge against the city.
“I am advising folks to contest the new belated ticket notices ideally in person, but at least by mail, and send the attached notice in,” says Keating via email.
Check out Keating’s document below.
City Makes Last Ditch Effort To Wriggle Free Of Refunding Improperly Issued Red Light Camera Violations
The City of Chicago must be getting nervous.
That’s the only way to explain the notices that have started showing up in the mailboxes of over 1.2 million drivers who received red light tickets over the years.
The notices, many showing the fines have been paid, are giving motorists a second chance to contest these tickets.
John Bills is going to spend 10 years in prison for the bribes he received for maneuvering Redflex Traffic Systems into the lucrative multi-million dollar contract to operate Chicago’s red light camera program according to the Sun-Times.
Bills, arguably the god father of Chicago’s highly lucrative red light camera program, conspired with Redflex executives to make sure the company was awarded the initial contract and contract extensions while pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars of bribes which came in the form of cash, gifts, cars and even a home in Arizona.
While Bills did express remorse, Judge Virginia Kendall admonished him for not fulling admitting his guilt according to the Chicago Sun-Times. While Bills, during the course of the trial, implied higher ups in city government were involved in the scheme, he never named names. Bills, at one time, did work for Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan.
The wheels of justice continue to turn slowly in the Redflex bribery scandal in Chicago.
John Bills, the former Chicago, Illinois deputy transportation commissioner who took bribes from the Australian company is now receiving “mental health counseling” as he awaits sentencing.
On Monday April 25th, Bills, 55, returned from Naples, Florida where he attended a wedding over the previous weekend.
Redflex is trying to convince a judge to dismiss its former executive vice president, Aaron M. Rosenberg, from a lawsuit he filed on behalf of the city of Chicago to recover up to $383 million from the ticketing firm because it lied in official documents. Rosenberg’s attorneys and the city insist that his insider perspective is essential to making the case against Redflex.
After their lawsuit challenging the City of Chicago’s legal authority to operate its lucrative red light camera program was dismissed on April 1st, plaintiff’s have filed a motion to reinstate the case Friday morning.
In their motion, the plaintiffs are claiming Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak took what they say is an unprecedented step of dismissing the case it its entireKata Mot Reconsideration May 6ty, with prejudice, the first time it was considered. They also believe, as a result of her ruling, Judge Novak created three new rules of law that challenge legal precedence on how local laws must be in concert with the state constitution and that the city could shorten the duration of yellow lights in Chicago to fractions of a second and the red ligth tickets would still be valid.
Lead attorney for the case, Patrick Keating of Roberts McGivney Zagotta LLC, had strong words challenging the court’s ruling a few weeks ago.
John Bills, the former Chicago, Illinois transportation official convicted of taking bribes from Redflex Traffic Systems, continues to insist that the government’s case against him remains fatally weak. In documents filed with the federal court, Bills attorney Nishay K. Sanan asked Judge Virginia Kendall to reject the feds’ attempt to confiscate the $680,107 in illicit funds that Bills had accepted in return for expanding the Windy City’s red light camera program.
“The government relies on the testimony of Martin O’Malley and Aaron Rosenberg,” Sanan wrote. “This testimony was not believed at trial, and should not be bought into now.”
On the heels of a ruling allowing one red-light camera lawsuit against the City of Chicago to move forward toward class action status, another Cook County Circuit Court judge put the brakes on another suit on Friday.
Attorneys for the case were hoping to get a green light from the court to move the case to class action status, which they hoped would help them recover more than $600 million in fines, fees and interest paid by vehicle owners.
In her ruling, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak threw out the lawsuit.
The suit, Kata v. City of Chicago, has been lingering in Cook County Circuit Court since it was filed four years ago this month. The case was postponed twice while another lawsuit with similar claims, Keating v. City of Chicago, was moving through the appellate court and ultimately the Illinois Supreme Court. But the state supreme court deadlocked on that suit after two justices recused themselves, thus ending that lawsuit.
Kata v. City of Chicago argued that when the city initiated its red-light camera program back in 2003, Illinois law specifically prohibited this type of automated traffic enforcement. But the judge said none of the plaintiff’s tickets were older than 2006, the year the Illinois General Assembly approved a law allowing municipalities located in just eight counties to utilize red-light camera enforcement.
Illinois State Representative Ken Dunkin (5th) is in the political fight of his life this election year.
Members of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras have held dozens of protests over the years but until now, have never faced a counter-protest before.
Polls show, almost universally, save for the uninformed or anti-data/anti-safety crowd, red light and speed camera are loathed by Chicagoans.
But at this past Saturday’s protest against the cameras at 63rd & Pulaski along with
Jason Gonzales, a political challenger to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’a seat, faced a large contingent of counter protesters.
The anti-Gonzales demonstrators were full-throated in their support of the cameras and Madigan, who has been blocking a vote on a bill in Springfield to ban automated traffic cameras statewide.
Perhaps not coincidentally, John Bills, a foot soldier for Madigan, was recently convicted on 20 counts of bribery when he ran the city’s red light camera program starting from its inception in 2003.