Sirens & Gavels

Court won't hear Photo Red appeal

Appellate judges have refused to hear an appeal by the city of Spokane after a Superior Court judge ruled that the way it had been printing tickets from red-light cameras violated state law.

At issue was the way the city had a police officer in Spokane review a photo of a car either running a red light or not coming to a complete stop and determining whether an infraction occurred. The officer then punched an “accept” button, sending an electronic signal to Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions to affix the officer’s electronic signature on the $124 ticket it sent to the driver.

The late John Clark, and later Dean Chuang, represented three clients who argued that state law requires those signatures to be written in Washington. After one judge ruled for the city, Superior Court Judge Jerome Leveque reversed that decision, which the city appealed to the Division III Court of Appeals. On Thursday, that court declined to hear the case.

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said after Leveque’s ruling, the city now has officers print out their signatures at the Public Safety Building, thus complying with state law. Red-light runners ticketed under the old system will ahve to challenge the ticket in court if they want a remedy.

The city now operates 15 cameras that officials estimate will generate about $750,000 next year.




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Thomas Clouse
Thomas Clouse covers area college and high school sports.

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