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Dayton Granted Temporary Injunction Halting New State Traffic Camera Mandates

traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker
Flickr/Creative Commons

A judge has granted the city of Dayton’s request for an injunction, putting on hold some provisions in the recently passed state transportation budget. City officials had sued the state over the provisions reducing local state government funding by every dollar generated by red light camera ticketing programs.

Dayton argued the provisions violate the city’s established right to home rule.

The state transportation budget passed last month also contained other provisions the city argues are unconstitutional. They include requiring traffic tickets to be processed in court rather than through an administrative process.

John Musto, chief trial counsel for Dayton, says the judge's ruling on Wednesday puts these provisions on hold temporarily.

"The court found that the city was likely to prevail on the merits of the claims that specific facts in the verify claim showed that there was immediate and irreparable harm to the city of Dayton And that is outweighed any arguments or negative issues that the state had brought up," says Musto.

The decision, he says, mirrors a similar one by the Ohio Supreme Court when the city sued the state over the requirement that police officers must be stationed at camera sites in order to issue any citations. In that case, the state’s high court struck down the requirement.

"It's just unfortunate that additional legislation was passed placing what we believe to be unconstitutional restrictions on our home rule, our rights, and our municipal legislative authority," he says.

Musto says the court of common pleas is expected to make a decision on whether to make it permanent after August 14. If that happens, the state will be eligible to appeal the decision.

In the meantime, the city of Dayton is free to continue issuing red light camera citations.