New lawsuit challenges Chicago’s speed and red light cameras

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CHICAGO -- A new lawsuit accuses Chicago of ignoring due process when enforcing its system of red-light and speed cameras.

According to the Sun-Times, the suit claims Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration violated its own rules by not issuing a second notices before it started giving fines.

The suit claims the city failed to specify the make of the vehicle, which is required under state law.

It also says the city assesses late penalties before the legally required 25-day grace period.

Three plaintiffs are named in the lawsuit now.

But it can grow to class action status for plaintiffs who were penalized since 2003, when the first set of cameras was installed.

If that happens, the city may have to refund $600 million if it loses in court.

The lawsuit also seeks an injunction on the city collecting on future violations until the mistakes are fixed.

"Automated traffic enforcement is an important public safety tool, and while we haven't seen the lawsuit, the program already has been upheld by the courts in a prior challenge filed by this same law firm and we are confident it is on solid legal ground," said Chicago law department spokesman John Holden.

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