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Speed Camera Battle: Thousands of Possible Refunds at Stake
ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- It was technology that angered thousands of people caught in the lens.
Elmwood Place's controversial cameras came down, but people who received tickets are still trying to get their money refunded.
"If government's going to stick it's hands in people's pockets and pull out 105 bucks, fine. You darn well better give people a legitimate means of fighting that."
According to critics, the tiny village of Elmwood Place reached into thousands of pocket in late 2012 and early 2013, collecting more than 1.7 million dollars from people nabbed by speed cameras.
That is until Judge Robert Ruehlman stopped it, "We always want to be fair."
The cameras came down. But attorney Mike Allen is trying to get the ticket money refunded to perhaps 10,000 people. Thursday was the hearing to see if Judge Ruehlman would award the money to one person which could then lead to everybody.
Allen said, "You see who's out there; it's retired people, it's people on fixed incomes, single mothers, people on social security. Those people who can least afford to pay those tickets."
But Elmwood says not only are the speed cameras legal, but there is a very easy way to avoid a ticket... don't speed.
The village says police officers should be used for more important things.
Judd Uhl, Elmwood Place Special Counsel, says, "Wouldn't we rather have them responding to break ins, violent crimes, drugs, real problems as opposed to having them sit there with a radar gun like Mayberry and write people tickets?"
Judge Ruehlman hinted which way he is leaning, "Efficiency is not really a good argument because if we want efficiencey lets just have a dictator who runs everything and nobody has any rights."
Whatever Judge Ruehlman rules, this is not the end of this case.
Oh no, it has a long way to go before it is finally decided. Both sides have said they are planning to appeal.
Judge Ruehlman will make his decision January 23rd, but an appeal is likely by whichever side loses.