Court ruling stops red light cameras

An ordinance intended to restart red light cameras died Tuesday, after a state appeals court in Kansas City ruled against them.

Now the camera tickets are in a state of indefinite legal limbo as city attorneys decide what to do.

They had hoped minor changes to the ordinance Tuesday would allow the city to restart the cameras in 10 days. They have not used them for tickets since Nov. 6, after a negative ruling by another appeals court.

But the Tuesday ruling by the Western District Court of Appeals in Kansas City states flatly: “We hold that the ordinance is invalid on the ground that it conflicts with state law and is therefore void and unenforceable.”

The ruling also said a Jackson County judge had improperly dismissed the lawsuit without considering evidence on various allegations in it, including that the city law amounted to ‘unjust enrichment.”

That is the third state appeals court ruling on such city laws and the second to find they conflict with state law requiring that points be assessed against driver licenses for moving violations.

Kansas City officials said this week that in 2009, the year the city program started, the Missouri Department of Revenue determined that the department would not assess points in such cases.

The Missouri Supreme Court needs to resolve the matter, city council members said Tuesday.

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