Chicago being sued for mishandling Cellphone Ticket proceedings

The Chicago Tribune’s John Byrne detailed a case yesterday morning in which the city of Chicago is being sued by the same law firm that recently won a huge settlement in a suit over the cities mishandling of red light and speeding camera tickets. This time the firm, Myron M. Cherry & Associates, will be suing on behalf of drivers given cellphone tickets since the start of 2010. According to Byrne’s the suit “alleges the city took the cases to municipal administrative court for years in a bid to keep all the fines rather than share the money with county and state authorities.” According to the firm the cases were supposed to be taken to the state traffic courts instead where the proceeds from the fines would’ve been divided up. The motive for this according to the plaintiffs is clear as the suit contends that the city “purposefully circumvented the Illinois statutory scheme for prose cutting alleged distracted driving offenses and reporting offenders. Rather than send alleged ordinance violators to state traffic court, the city misrouted allegedly distracted drivers to the city’s private administrative justice system. The reason was simple: money.” Their basis for beginning the complaints at the start of 2010 is that there was a law passed requiring distracted driving citations to go to state traffic court that took effect that year. The article took a quote from Jacie Zolna, one of the attorneys filing the suit, stating “It’s another case of the city viewing municipal ordinance violations as a personal piggy bank. I think people are getting sick of it.” Zolna’s red light and speeding camera tickets suit last month won $38.75 million from the city council, and the forgiveness of 12 million dollars in unpaid tickets as part of the  settlement. The suit will be seeking a similar refunding of all cellphone tickets since the start of 2010.

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