Appeal Prompts Change to Tallahassee Red Light Camera Protocols

By Julie Montanaro
September 9, 2014

A red light camera case has been thrown out on appeal.

The man's lawyer says this case could have big implications for others
ticketed by the City of Tallahassee, but the city says not so fast.

Folks whose cars are caught on tape running red lights in Tallahassee get a ticket in the mail for 158 dollars or the chance to contest it.

David Arroyo was among those fighting a red light ticket in front of a hearing officer Tuesday afternoon.

"I wasn't the driver at the time so I just feel like it was an unfair hearing and I gotta go pay 200 dollars now for something I'm not guilty of," Arroyo said.

Florida's red light camera law doesn't hinge on who's driving. It allows cities like Tallahassee to issue citations to the car's registered owner.

Andrew Borom got a red light ticket at the intersection of Capital Circle and Mahan back in February 2013, but he appealed saying police never provided any documentation to prove he owned the car.

Just last week Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis dismissed his violation saying "no documentary evidence was entered at the hearing linking Appellant with the vehicle in question."

"It has impact statewide," Borom's attorney Jeremy Cohen said. "My position is that over four million dollars have been collected (in Tallahassee) that should never have been collected at all because none of these have been brought to this level where they proved who the registered owner was."

Yet Tallahassee Police Department Legal Adviser Rick Courtemanche called the ruling "an evidentiary issue" not a "fatal blow" to the city's red light cameras.

"We're going to have to get a certified copy of the registration from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles," he said, "before we go before a judge or for a hearing."

The city has already made one change in response to the judge's ruling: the police officer who testified in the red light hearing this afternoon did bring certified copies of car registrations with him.

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