A Cook County judge has denied a request from the city of Chicago to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it denied due process to motorists ticketed under its red-light camera program.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Judge Kathleen Kennedy's late Friday ruling declares the tickets void and keeps alive a lawsuit seeking to have the city refund hundreds of millions of dollars to motorists ticketed since 2003.
Plaintiffs' attorney Jacie Zolna can now move forward with a request for class-action status. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of three named plaintiffs, argues the city violated its own rules, bypassing the law requiring a second notice, also allowing for 14 days to pay or request a hearing.
“What I look at is making sure that the law is consistent and I don’t want to comment on anything that’s in the middle of court,” Emanuel said. “I would be wrong to do.”
City Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey says the city believes the plaintiffs aren't entitled to "any recovery, let alone any refunds."
State rep. Lashawn Ford supports a moratorium on red and speed light cameras altogether.
"We knew that the inspector general of Chicago [Joseph M. Ferguson] said that there is a problem. We also knew that people were complaining about not having the due process with the red light cameras, and so I've been pushing and I have a petition I've had for almost two years.
It is likely to take months -- if not years -- to find out how many motorists are eligible for a refund should the courts order one.