Florida Judge Rules Red Light Cameras Are Unconstitutional

Posted: March 22 @ 5:00pm by 610 in Bolivian
Tags: , , ,

[Y100]  A man from Pasco County, Fla., who got nabbed by a traffic camera to catch red light runners believes the camera was wrong — both in snapping his license plate and constitutionally. On the constitutional front, Thomas Filippone now has a county judge’s ruling to back him up. The Tampa Bay Tribune reports that Filippone received a $158 traffic ticket, but he wasn’t about to pay up and be more careful with the reds next time. “If they are going to prove I was driving the car, it’s their duty under the law to prove the identity of the driver,” said Filippone, 45, who maintains his 2002 Nissan Altima crossed the intersection a split second before the light turned red on April 15. “It unjustly shifts burden to me and makes me shoulder the burden of having to prove their case.” Pasco County Judge Anne Wansboro was in agreement and dismissed the case Filippone brought before her stating that use of the cameras ”impermissibly shifts the burden of proof to the Defendant and therefore does not afford due process, and is unconstitutional to the extent due process is not provided.” But the case is not completely closed. The Tribune points out that the traffic cameras remain in place — there has not been a motion to remove them — and some city officials within the county will be appealing Wansboro’s decision. “We do not agree with the decision,” said City Manager Tom O’Neill, who said the city was not notified of any constitutional challenge to its two red light cameras on U.S. 19. “It would be our position that we were not afforded due process and did not have the opportunity to speak.” Port Richey city attorney Joe Poblick said officials have also notified the Florida Attorney General’s Office of the ruling. The state Constitution requires that the attorney general be notified whenever a state statute’s constitutionality is at issue. City officials in other Florida counties are keeping tabs on the proceedings as it makes it through the appeals process but continue to use their cameras as is. For Filippone though, he thinks the ruling stands in Pasco, meaning he “[shouldn’t] get another red light ticket in Pasco County for the rest of my life.” In fact, he is already planning to use the ruling to fight another ticket he received from a red light camera. Filippone, who is an insurance attorney, said he is “looking forward” to his April court date.

I hate smug shitheads like Thomas Filippone.  I’ve been pinched by these cock-sucking cameras a few times.  Gotten the letter in the mail out of the blue, complete with a few snapshots, the fine amount and a link to the video.  I don’t want to pay that shit just as much as you, Tommy.  Back when I lived in Queens I’d get at least a parking ticket per week because of the alternate-side crap.  I’d always plead ‘Not Guilty’, sending the ticket back with some bullshit letter about how my grandma was in the hospital or I was stuck at the soup kitchen because the homeless are still hungry after 8:30am.  If you wanna call me Thomas Filippone, Jr. go right ahead – but this 30-word letter I re-printed and sent with whatever ticket I got was the extent I’d go to fight a fine.  It usually resulted in the amount sliced in half, but when it didn’t, it didn’t matter.  I wasn’t fighting the good fight for my constitutional rights over a hundred bucks, especially considering I knew I was lying my face off.  That’s where Tommy boy & I differ. Proud as fuck about his persistence in shoving the Constitution down the throats of Pasco County law enforcement despite knowing full-well he’s guilty.  All over $158.  No, I guess can’t knock the hustle but fuck, man, you gotta have something better to hustle for.

Now if this somehow spirals into the dismantling of red light cameras nationwide, then All Hail Thomas Filippone!

  1. Thomas Filippone says:

    This is Thomas Filippone. There is nothing smug about fighting an unconstitutional law. When the State oversteps its authority it erodes our liberty and freedom – the very things that allow you to post your comments as you did here. I have another hearing on April 11 on a second red-light ticket. You want these cameras turned off ? – read the results after April 11 – as I will make a motion to have them shut off until such time that my brief and subsequent ruling is overturned. I believe, however, that should the town appeal the District Court will uphold the ruling.

    • scrody says:

      How dare these fascists deny you your right to blow through red lights. What is this, Russia? Go get ’em, Tommy.

    • 610 says:

      The definition of “smug” is when someone thinks the state overstepped their authority & eroded your liberty & freedom because you run red lights and get caught habitually. Why not just go for broke and protest red lights entirely? Petition car manufacturers to build cars with brakes as an option package?

  2. Hotstuff says:

    Not only do I hate those damned speed traps, I don’t agree with the whole “big brother” mentality of the government anyways! IMHO, traffic cameras are both unconstitutional and unfair, especially if you get nabbed due to a faulty setup or there are extenuating circumstances. So if you really want to avoid getting a bullsh*t ticket, you can always try out this cool trick. It makes your license plate Invisible to red light and speed cameras. As an added bonus, the cops just hate it.. which makes it even better! Check it out Here

  3. Lopaka Lolo says:

    Having received a ticket for a red light camera on Hwy 19 & Grand Blvd, I will say this, If I was guilty (which I doubt), then so be it, I’ll pay the fine. But wait, when I see the amount of $265.00 for a red light , than it gets serious. A little research shows that the County gets about $75.00 with the ones leasing the cameras getting most of the rest, it’s indeed time to draw the line. This is bullshit and I’m with Tom and I hope he sinks the C-suckers and their cameras. By the way, what was the final outcome Tom?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s