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post #1 of 7 Old Sep 14th, 2011, 8:25 am Thread Starter
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Thumbs up CA Traffic "Cams" Judgement

Recent case in California overturning validity of a red light camera. Judge ruled that these photos were not only inadmissible hearsay, but violated the defendants right to confront his accuser.

The ramifications of this appeals decision are going to be, potentially, huge in CA.
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File Type: pdf CA Traffic Camera judgement.pdf (581.4 KB, 71 views)

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post #2 of 7 Old Sep 14th, 2011, 8:51 am
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Re: CA Traffic "Cams" Judgement

That judgement is based on some technicality... They'll soon find a way around that you can be sure.. Just have to pay the right Judge...

John

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post #3 of 7 Old Sep 14th, 2011, 11:06 am Thread Starter
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Re: CA Traffic "Cams" Judgement

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSpen
That judgement is based on some technicality... They'll soon find a way around that you can be sure.. Just have to pay the right Judge...

John
Not an attorney but this establishes "Case Law" which can be used in future cases.

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post #4 of 7 Old Sep 14th, 2011, 12:28 pm
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Re: CA Traffic "Cams" Judgement

Be careful with this -- this May 2010 decision appears to reverse the conviction on the ground that the prosecutor did not provide enough evidence, of the correct type, to permit the photographs to be used in *this* case.

The appeals court did *not* say that photo enforcement is per se improper. All they said was "prosecutor, do it right if you want to win."

After this decision, all a prosecutor has to do is dot the i's and cross the t's to establish that the photographs are "trustworthy" per the long-standing rules of evidence, and then the photos can come into evidence to be used as a basis for a conviction. The decision may have made it a bit more of a pita for the prosecutor to line up testimony from the camera contractor's people, but that's about it -- it didn't provide a death blow to photo enforcement.

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post #5 of 7 Old Sep 14th, 2011, 7:01 pm
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Re: CA Traffic "Cams" Judgement

Quote:
Originally Posted by mneblett
Be careful with this -- this May 2010 decision appears to reverse the conviction on the ground that the prosecutor did not provide enough evidence, of the correct type, to permit the photographs to be used in *this* case.

The appeals court did *not* say that photo enforcement is per se improper. All they said was "prosecutor, do it right if you want to win."

After this decision, all a prosecutor has to do is dot the i's and cross the t's to establish that the photographs are "trustworthy" per the long-standing rules of evidence, and then the photos can come into evidence to be used as a basis for a conviction. The decision may have made it a bit more of a pita for the prosecutor to line up testimony from the camera contractor's people, but that's about it -- it didn't provide a death blow to photo enforcement.
I'm not a Lawyer.
I think it will take quite a lot more than crossing T's and dotting i. It seems like this ruling came form a panel of 3 justices appointed by a higher court to crank out the decision. What I came away with is that the court overturned the lower court based on several laws, rulings and findings. Major points for the prosecutors to adopt and not that easily achieved:
1 Intersection is a public space unlike a bank, liquor store or building entity (hard to change that)
2. A private surveillance outfit is not a government agency. Thus they cannot represent governance of traffic laws being broken. The caretaker/custodian will have to be a member of law enforcement to monitor the system 24/7. It was stressed he must have up to date knowledge on the workings of the system, maintenance of the system, how the records are gathered and documented and most important trustworthiness meaning how soon after the violation the evidence is noted. Like instant replay in sports.
3. Their final decision was based on SEVERAL prior cases and rulings. Some dating as far back as '75 that is 1975. The Jurists were very detailed in building their foundation and laying out the i's and t's. And by using those other cases to show what could be allowed and what did not cut mustard.
Physically I have seen cameras disturbed by the wind and weather elements, power outages or just instrument malfunctions.
But the court is clear no easy fix to be taken seriously.
ride safe
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post #6 of 7 Old Sep 14th, 2011, 7:13 pm
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Re: CA Traffic "Cams" Judgement

Quote:
Originally Posted by billsmith
I'm not a Lawyer.
I am a Lawyer.

This decision is on narrow grounds -- whether the rules of evidence were met. They weren't, so the decision was as expected. You would not be well served to think this is something you can cite as a rejection of enforcement cameras on general legal principles, .

The number of cases is not significant -- it is what they are cited for (in this case, support for why the evidence rules were not met, i.e., showing this decision was consistent with past decisions).

Disclaimer: I am not licenced in California, and this is not legal advice -- just warning all to not rely on this as a basis for getting out of a camera ticket!

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post #7 of 7 Old Sep 14th, 2011, 9:06 pm
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Re: CA Traffic "Cams" Judgement

All they need is the right guy to testify to the correct questions...It's all about the wording..

Right and Wrong no longer have any meaning in a court of law.. It's all about meeting certain requirements.. Meet them, Conviction, Don't meet them, Dismissal...

I unfortunately was in traffic court a while back due to a little fender bender..

I watched the city attorney ask the exact same questions to a police officer in ten different speeding ticket cases. The officer answered every question with exactly the same words every time... This is how you get a conviction.. It's a system....

John

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