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Lawyer Sues Springfield for Red Light Camera Refunds

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/lawyersues_6145.mp3

After the Missouri State Supreme Court declared the way Springfield processes its red light camera violations is unconstitutional, a local lawyer is suing the city. His goal is to recover 800,000 dollars, the amount the city collected from people caught by the red light cameras. KSMU’s Chasity Mayes reports.

Attorney Jason Umbarger represented the man who contested the traffic ticket he received in July 2008 based on an image caught by a red light camera. The ticket was in the amount of 100 dollars.The Missouri Supreme Court ruled this week in favor of Umbarger's client, saying that the process used to give tickets based on camera footage is unconstitutional. The city of Springfield is dismissing any remaining tickets that have not been paid. Umbarger, who is taking the city to court again is hoping that he will be able to force the city to return funds to those who have already paid their fines. That totals over 800,000 dollars.Mike Brothers is a spokesperson for the City of Springfield. He says it’s too soon to tell how it would affect the city’s budget if it were ordered to refund the money. “Well, that’s hard to say because it would be a matter of timing and when that would come out of the budget. But at this point we really don’t anticipate that happening anytime soon. The process is just getting started,” says Brothers.

City officials say it could take over a year to receive a ruling in the case. They also say because a lawsuit has been filed they are limited as to what information they can give the public. Individual refunds are not being given at this time.For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.