Order Dismissing Red Light Camera Ticket

Counsel for the Defendant appeared and argued that the City of Hollywood was prosecuting these alleged violations without complying with Florida Statute 316.650 (3)(c). The testimony elicited during the trial demonstrated that the traffic infraction enforcement officer was not personally

“providing by electronic transmission a replica of the traffic citation data to the court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense . . . ,”

as required by Florida Statute 316.650 (3)(c), but was merely hitting the “accept” button to begin the process of generating a Notice of Violation (NOV) once she had viewed the video of the alleged infraction and determined that a violation had taken place. The statute provides in full:

(c) If a traffic citation is issued under s. 316.0083, the traffic infraction enforcement officer shall provide by electronic transmission a replica of the traffic citation data to the court having jurisdiction over the alleged offense or its traffic violations bureau within 5 days after the date of issuance of the traffic citation to the violator.

Those NOVs that are not paid to the vender maintaining the cameras within thirty (30) days turn into Uniform Traffic Citations (UTC), issued directly by American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the vendor for the City of Hollywood.  The testimony also showed that although the CSO believed that ATS was communicating with the Clerk of Court once the UTC was issued, the CSO had no personal knowledge of the communication, what information was sent to the Clerk, and when it was done. Further, no testimony was ever elicited to prove that, even as of the date of this hearing, that this statutory provision has as yet ever been complied with.

A plain reading of this statute demonstrates the intent of the legislature. Florida Statute 316.650(3)(c) requires that a traffic infraction enforcement officer, which in this case was a CSO, provide the required information to the Clerk, not for it to be supplied to the clerk by a third party vendor. The City’s argument that ATS is authorized to make such communication with the Clerk is unpersuasive to the Court. There is no statute authorizing this process of having an entity other than the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a county or a municipality, electronically transmit a replica of the traffic citation data to a court having jurisdiction over an alleged infraction. This data, once transmitted to the clerk of a court, begins the procedure whereby a court might ultimately adjudicate the matter. Therefore, here it has become that a third party non-governmental entity rather than a governmental one which in essence is conferring upon a court the jurisdiction to hear a matter, contrary to the provisions of the statute.

Ticket dismissed.

Just to let the readers know, I handle these cases all the time. This issue is just one of many many that have been discovered to be contrary to the statutes or contrary to the rules of evidence.

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