I n c o r p o r e a l s  C h e a p  S i n c e  2 0 0 2
N A K E D Louisiana O W N E R S H I P 
All Things Legal in Louisiana


December 13, 2008

What's up with the red light camera lawsuits?

In the past month or so, I've seen a couple of news stories (here, here) about red light camera law suits. The news, unfortunately, doesn't go into a whole lot of detail. I'm curious, so I did a little digging, and here's what I've found.

There are three lawsuits pending:

(1) Sevin et al v. Parish of Jefferson et al., No. 2:08-cv-802, pending before Judge Vance in the Eastern District: docket (pdf), complaint (pdf).

(2) Ware et al v. Lafayette City-Parish Consolidated Government, et al, No. 6:08-cv-218, pending before Judge Melancon in the Western District: docket (pdf), complaint (pdf).

(3) McMahon v. New Orleans City et al, No. 2:08-cv-5030, pending before Judge Lemmon in the Eastern District: docket (pdf), complaint (pdf).
These are the allegations.

The camera schemes violate the following individual rights:

  • the right to be innocent until proven guilty, because the photos are considered to be prima facie proof of a violation;
  • the right against double jeopardy, because your violation may be used against you at a later date;
  • the right to confront witnesses, because the "witness" is a machine;
  • in Lafayette only, procedural due process, because you have to pay an extra $30 in order to get a hearing;
  • the right to service of process, because first-class mail is insufficient in a civil proceeding;
  • the right against expropriation/forfeiture of property, because the government is making you forfeit money; and
  • the spousal testimonial privilege, I'm really not sure how.

The camera schemes violate the structure of government established by the state constitution because:
  • the city/parish is improperly alienating its police power by contract with a private entity;
  • the city/parish does not have authorization from the state legislature to enforce traffic laws with cameras; and
  • the scheme conflicts with state laws governing the same subject matter.

The allegations are found in the Sevin complaint at 14-28, in the Ware complaint at 14-27, and in the McMahon complaint at 13-28.

Here's the status of each case.

Sevin: the defendants have filed motions to dismiss, which are currently pending and "under consideration" (pdf).

Ware: the defendants have filed motions to dismiss, which are currently pending and "under advisement" (pdf). They've been under advisement since June, so hopefully an order will be forthcoming soon.

McMahon: the defendants still need to be served with process.

As for the specifics of the motions to dismiss, most of the documents are more than 30 pages long - which means it would cost $2.40 to access each document - and my curiosity is capped at about four dollars.

Posted by MBC at December 13, 2008 06:54 PM
Naked Ownership Resources
Codes and Statutes
News Links
Parish Data

Other Resources
Judicial Interest Rate
Prescription [pdf]

Naked Ownership Maps
Judicial Districts
Appeal Courts
Federal Courts

Court Rules
State District
LA Uniform Appeal
LA First Circuit
LA Second Circuit
LA Third Circuit
LA Fourth Circuit
LA Fifth Circuit
State Supreme
Federal District (La.)
US Bankruptcy (ED)
US Bankruptcy (MD)
US Bankruptcy (WD) [pdf]
US Fifth Circuit
US Supreme

State Court Sites
First Circuit
Second Circuit
Third Circuit
Fourth Circuit
Fifth Circuit

Federal Court Sites
Eastern District
Middle District
Western District
Fifth Circuit

Bankruptcy Court Sites
Eastern District
Middle District
Western District

Louisiana Blawgers
AJ Levy
Steve Covell
Bradley Parker
Ernest Svenson
Ray Ward
Gideon's Promise
Kitty Says

Baton Rouge
New Orleans


Syndicate / RSS

The Name

Al J. Robert, Jr.
Raymond P. Ward
Ernest E. Svenson

Browse by Month:

Browse by Category:

AG Opinions (2)
Alexandria (35)
Attorneys (14)
Baton Rouge (198)
Blawgistan (1)
Blawgs (10)
Civil Law (1)
Community (23)
Dicta (21)
District Courts (4)
Ethics (15)
Federal courts (1)
Judges (18)
LA 1st Circuit (17)
LA 2nd Circuit (10)
LA 3rd Circuit (3)
LA 4th Circuit (4)
LA 5th Circuit (1)
LA Case Opinions (1)
LA Register (1)
LA Supreme Court (46)
Lafayette (49)
Lake Charles (27)
Law Enforcement (2)
Law School (1)
Legislation (37)
Making A Differnce (6)
Meta (4)
Monroe (46)
National (6)
New Orleans (213)
Politics (9)
Practice (16)
Reference (2)
Shreveport (87)
Site of the Day (9)
State (8)
Technology (3)
US 5th Circuit (36)
US District Courts (8)

Site Meter