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Decision in Red-Light Camera Lawsuit Expected in August

This falls just days before the Riverside County Registrar of Voters' Aug. 15 deadline to publish the November ballot, on which the initiative is scheduled to appear.

A Riverside County Superior Court judge will decide Aug. 1 whether to accept or dismiss a .

This falls just days before the Riverside County Registrar of Voters' Aug. 15 deadline to publish the November ballot, on which the initiative is scheduled to appear, according to attorney Peter Lepiscopo of Pacific Justice Institute.

"(Aug. 1) is when the Superior Court will actually decide whether to grant the petition or dismiss it," said Lepiscopo, who is representing anti red-light camera proponents Diana Serafin and Robin Nielson.

Lepiscopo was present at an ex-parte hearing held Wednesday morning in Riverside, as were attorneys from the city of Murrieta, Riverside County and Bell, McAndrews and Hiltachk, the firm that is representing Murrieta resident Steve Flynn in his fight to get the measure removed from the ballot.

"We are hoping that the petition will be denied," Lepiscopo said. "When a petition like that is denied that is the end of the case."

Lepiscopo said the ex-parte hearing originally scheduled for Friday was continued to today because he objected and asked for an elected judge instead of a court commissioner.

"We only ask for a fair hearing," Lepiscopo said. "Hopefully the court will rule in our favor, and then there won’t be any problem."

Lepiscopo said the case was referred to him, but would not say who is paying him to represent Serafin and Nielson.

"That is confidential information," he told Patch in a phone interview.

Lepiscopo noted he did not hesitate to take the case.

"When you have a ballot measure that is trying to be stopped before it goes on the ballot it should be a concern to all lawyers," he said.

A call to the Sacramento office of Charles H. Bell, Jr., who filed the lawsuit, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

The suit alleges the city does not have authority to regulate red-light cameras as it is state jurisdiction, therefore the measure should not appear on the ballot.

The city of Murrieta, whose city council and city clerk were named in the lawsuit,

Susan Marsh June 21, 2012 at 03:03 AM
If as "The suit alleges the city does not have authority to regulate red-light cameras as it is state jurisdiction". If the jurisdiction belongs to the state, then the city did not have the jurisdiction to install the cameras. Therefore they must be removed and can only be installed at the expense of the state. Who would then also need to cover the cost of officers who watch the tapes and issue the tickets. The camera does not take your picture and send you a ticket. My understanding is that officers watch the video from the cameras and determine who to ticket. "At their discretion".
Paul June 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I think there may need a few more words in this article to be clear. I did not read the suit, but I think an earlier article said that since there are state laws about red light cameras CITY COUNCILS could decide to have them or not have them, but that the city voters can not because the state law says the CITY COUNCILS council can decide THAT TAKES AWAY THE RIGHT OF OF THE CITY VOTERS TO BE ABLE VOTE THEM IN OUT OUT. I do not think that argument is valid. I am guessing, but it is past my bedtime so I will not look it up now.
M. Lee Davis June 22, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Red light cameras DO NOT SAVE LIVES!! If anything the increase injuries from people slamming on the brakes resulting in rear endings. People who violate red light intersections do so only in the last 1/2 to 1 second of crossing the intersection. In that same period of time the cross traffic hasn't even begun to move. To keep it safer they need to increase the time of yellow and increase the time between the red and the cross traffic green. If there was a 3 second pause between north and south traffic red light and east and west green that would solve all the problems. If there is a t-bone after that then red light cameras won't do any good since the accident would likely be 8-12 seconds after the light turned red. Running red lights at the last second is annoying as hell but people shouldn't be penalized hundreds of dollars for being 1 second late. And being 1 second late is NOT endangering anyone's life. Injuries and fatalities the are caused by running red lights are caused several seconds after the light has turned red.
M. Lee Davis June 23, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Corpus Christi, Texas Red Light Cameras Increase Accidents http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/27/2743.asp 83% increase in accidents http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/fort-collins "From 1998 to 2004, the newspaper found that the number of crashes at locations with cameras more than doubled. Injury and fatal crashes climbed 81 percent, and broadside wrecks -- considered among the most dangerous -- increased 30 percent." I can find more if you want. Red light runners who cause accidents are not running the red lights the same as people who are getting theses tickets. Red light camera's capture people running the red light at the very last moment before the light turns red. People who run red light and cause accidents are running the red lights AT 8-12 seconds after the light has ALREADY turned red. Red light cameras WILL NOT prevent those red light runners that cause the accidents. Studies show that the majority of red light runners are, in no particular order, police, fire, ambulance and drunk or impaired drivers. Don't believe me, believe all the articles and studies. Anyone who truly know how these cameras work and how these accidents happen know that these cameras are only there to catch the last minute red light runners to get money from them.
Timber June 24, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Mr. Cline, Your government has no Legal duty to protect you. The relationship between the individual and Law enforcement is an adversarial one. This also applies to the individual and the courts. An example of a class of people that receive such "protecting' are those that are incarcerated, to which government owes a "duty" to protect. Are you suggesting that The Murrieta Police Department has jailed the People within the boundaries of this city?
James C. Walker June 26, 2012 at 07:29 PM
The city could publicly say: We are technically neutral in the suit, but the majority of the Council hopes the issue does get to the ballot in the fall and the Council pledges to respect the results. THAT would be a moral stance to take. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, MI
Timber July 05, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Then literally you might be deceiving yourself to the fact that you are truly the only one that provides for your own protection. And in this country, that ability (to deceive yourself) is what Liberty can be about. Happy Independence Day

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