GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Attorneys representing several drivers in a lawsuit against the City of Girard and its traffic camera violations are appealing a ruling made by Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas Judge Andrew Logan.
Attorney Marc Dann filed the notice of appeal Wednesday on behalf of plaintiffs Miles Black, Melissa Black, Lorraine Morris, John Perfette, Samuel Rotz and John Beal.
Earlier this month, Judge Logan ruled that the plaintiffs could have fought their speeding tickets but chose not to. He also ruled that the City of Girard has immunity because they were performing a government function.
The lawsuit centers on tickets that were issued on Interstate 80 in December of 2017 and January of 2018.
The claims by the group, who received the citations after the speed limit in a construction zone on I-80 was restored, but the violations were given based on a 55-mile-per-hour limit for which signage was not updated, made several claims in their lawsuits. Some have already been dismissed, but many drivers paid their fees or were unable to appear in court to argue their cases.
Judge Logan dismissed claims that due process was violated, stating drivers had an opportunity to appeal their tickets and did not.
“The plaintiffs were afforded these opportunities for due process and most chose not to avail themselves of these benefits. This is not a violation of procedural due process. This is a personal choice to disregard such opportunities,” Judge Logan wrote.
Some of the plaintiffs chose to appear for an administrative hearing for their citations where their fines were reduced, according to court documents.
Other issues decided were the immunity factor in the civil conspiracy claim. The City of Girard is offered immunity to damages when performing a government function, for which the speeding tickets fall under that umbrella. While there are expectations, Judge Logan wrote, this case does fall under those guidelines.
Attorneys representing the plaintiffs have said they hope the 11th District will rule in their favor and reverse the case back down to Judge Logan to decide damages on behalf of the certified class.
Girard Mayor Jim Melfi has said the goal of the tickets was to get drivers to slow down in the area.