The battle over photo red tickets is heading back to court and this time it could cost the City of Spokane more than $2 Million.
The city is named in a class action lawsuit that claims drivers never got refunds on citations that a judge ruled were illegal. This class action lawsuit does not affect people who recently got a photo red ticket, but if you received a citation between 2008 and 2011, a local law firm thinks the City of Spokane owes you some money.
Spokane started up its photo red program five years ago in the hopes of reducing the number of crashes at some of our busiest intersections. Each red light running episode is caught on camera and only after police view the recording can a ticket can be issued.
However at the time, the officer's electronic signature was being printed on the citation at an out of state photo red vendor.
“What we found out was these tickets were not actually signed in the state of Washington, they were signed in the state of Arizona, however the certification said it was signed in Washington when it really wasn't,” Dean Chuang with the law firm Crary, Clark & Domanico said.
When a Superior Court judge heard the photo red tickets were getting signed out of state he declared about 18,000 of them invalid, however the lawsuit claims the City of Spokane never refunded any of those $124 citations that had been tossed out of court.
“It gives us concern, I don't know what a citizen has to do,” Chuang said. “I think it's pretty clear they were in the wrong and should make amends and take steps to remedy that but it hasn't happened.”
So now the class action lawsuit is demanding the city refund the invalid tickets with interest and take other drivers who didn't pay out of the collection process.
“You know the city holds citizens accountable for not following the rules. When the city doesn't follow the rules I think they should be held accountable too,” Chuang said.
If you are one of the people who have received an invalid ticket you don't have to do anything now. If your class action suit is certified by the court your attorneys will contact you through the mail at the address listed on your citation.