May 17, 2017

The future of red light camera programs will be determined by the Florida Supreme Court, justices decided Tuesday.

The high court accepted a case challenging Aventura's red light camera program after two appellate courts seemed to disagree on whether Florida municipalities can legally allow private companies to review traffic images and choose which ones to forward to police.

In the Aventura case, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled the program was OK as long as police officers actually reviewed the record in deciding to write a ticket, rather than just accepting the company's call. But an earlier Fourth DCA opinion found Hollywood's red light camera program unlawfully delegated police power to third-party vendors.

The Florida Supreme Court did not believe the decisions conflicted; attorneys for Aventura argued the facts in the two cases differed significantly. But the justices agreed to take the case because the majority of them accepted the Third DCA's assessment that it was a matter of great public importance.

Red-light ticket recipient Luis Torres Jimenez, who filed the case against Aventura, is represented on the appeal by Stephen Rosenthal of Podhurst Orseck in Miami, Mark Wites of Wites & Kapetan in Lighthouse Point and Louis Arslanian of Gold & Associates (also known as The Ticket Clinic) in Hollywood.

Aventura is represented by Edward Guedes and Samuel Zeskind of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman in Coral Gables, who also represented Hollywood in the Fourth DCA case. Senior Assistant Attorney General Robert Dietz is representing Florida.

Jimenez's initial brief is due June 5.

The article can be read here.