Judge dissolves injunction against New Orleans traffic cameras

By Alejandro de los Rios | Nov 17, 2010

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Paulette Irons rescinded an Oct. 1 injunction that had stopped the city from collecting tickets from traffic cameras.

The move comes after the New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 to place the responsibility of administration and oversight of tickets with the New Orleans Police Department. This move comes after several court rulings went against the city.

New Orleans attorney Edward Washington III filed the petition for injunction on Sept. 20. It claimed that the New Orleans city charter gives the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) "the sole authority to enforce traffic regulations such as running a red light or speeding." Judge Irons ruled that the setup in which the Public Works Department issued tickets violated the city charter.

The City Council voted to give the NOPD authority of traffic cameras after the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled to uphold Iron's ruling on Oct. 27. The ordinance passed is retroactive to when the cameras were first installed in February 2007.

Metairie attorney Joseph McMahon III is currently seeking class certification in a related suit against the city which claims that the traffic cameras are unconstitutional. That suit seeks to refund all tickets issued by ATES, potentially costing the city nearly $10 million.

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