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UPDATE: CA Supreme Court Sends Murrieta Red-Light Camera Case to Appeals Court

Will a proposed ban on red-light cameras be on Murrieta's ballot in November? State Supreme Court sends case to appellate court for decision

UPDATED 6:30 p.m. Aug. 8

The California Supreme Court, without comment, has transferred Murrieta's ballot battle to a lower appeals court, an attorney involved in the case reported Wednesday evening.

The state's highest court was asked early Wednesday to decide the battle over whether Murrieta voters can control cameras on city traffic lights. A Riverside County Superior Court judge had ruled last week that a voter initiative cannot be placed on the November ballot seeking to ban the cameras.

Instead of taking the case to the next level, the state appellate court, an attorney for those who support the initiative reported Wednesday that he'd asked the California Supreme Court to issue a stay of the Riverside County court ruling by Thursday, Aug. 9.

The San Diego-based attorney, Pete Lepiscopo, also filed legal challenges asking the state’s highest court to toss out the court ruling and dismiss the case.

If the court sided with those who support putting the proposed ban on the ballot, that tight Thursday deadline would allow Riverside County and Murrieta officials to meet their own deadlines for preparing for the election, according to Lepiscopo. That would mean that elections officials could then put the initiative on the Murrieta ballot, according to Lepiscopo.

On Wednesday evening Lepiscopo reported that the Supreme Court, without comment, has transferred the case to the Court of Appeal in Riverside.

The cameras on traffic lights at three Murrieta intersections catch those running red lights; the errant drivers are mailed tickets. The intersections are Murrieta Hot Springs and Whitewood roads, Murrieta Hot Springs and Margarita roads, and Clinton Keith Road and Nutmeg Street.

The proposed ban on the red-light cameras was headed for the ballot after a successful petition drive by Murrieta residents Diana Serafin and Robin Nielson.
But then Steve Flynn, a former Public Safety and Traffic Commissioner largely responsible for implementing the cameras in 2006, sued.

Last week in Riverside, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia agreed with Flynn’s arguments that state traffic laws can only be regulated at the state level, according to the Pacific Justice Institute, which is aiding the initiative’s supporters.

Murrieta city council to renew its five-year contract with American Traffic Solutions for the cameras, plus add two more. However, another long-term contract and the addition of more cameras was being delayed until after the November election.

Rick Johnston August 09, 2012 at 08:27 AM
Ryan, its because "Al" feels only his voice & opinions are important. That's why he also uses multiple profiles to flag comments as inappropriate so they get dropped from the conversation. And while he may be correct on this topic it gets lost on all his venomous rhetoric & viciosly attacks of anyone who thinks differently than him. Don't believe me? Look at his comment history, it speaks for itself......
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Fred on Prop 8.....LOL, why don't you get this? The majority in our country can't establish laws to discriminate against the minority. We all know of the conservative hatred in this country for the gay community, but the US Constitution protects their rights. Remember again, a majority cannot inflict its hatred, its prejudice on a minority in our country no matter what percentage of the majority votes for it. Fred, wants to succeed.....LOL, you wouldn't be able to just succeed from the state Freddie, you'd have to succeed from the US...LOL!!!! Who would be your first Governor? Jeff Stone? It's funny as conservatives and conservatism keeps losing in our highest courts, including our Supreme Court, all they do is blame the judges when in essence they should blame the US Constitution, the law all judges use.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Oh, and Ryan, I am allowed to express my feelings towards the EXTREME conservative element in our city with disgust. Diana Serafin and Robin Nielson are a part of that element and have been told to stop commenting on the blogs because their rhetoric is so loony. Last we heard Diana Serafin was standing around waiting for drones to fly over her home and a UN representative to come and take her military assault weapon from her hands.
Ryan August 09, 2012 at 04:48 PM
So, did Al Lee delete his own comments or were they removed by board mods? Al, you are absolutely entitled to express your views, and I was not meaning to dismiss that at all. The acidity of your tone is repeatedly counterproductive to any real discussion. I've had many great debates with people I disagree with, civil debates devoid of name calling and belittling. It was in these debates that I actually met some great people. Through these debates, I got a better understanding of their opinion and we peeled back what the surface issues were and got to deeper issues. In some aspects, my view was in fact changed or softened, and vice versa. At the end of the day, we parted amicably and continued and agreed to disagree where needed.
Rhonda Hayes August 09, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I saw a few other comments disappear too. If what Rick had said was true then it looks like Al may have become a victim of his own injustices. But you are spot on Ryan, that kind of acidity, tone, & name calling is counterproductive..
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Ryan, I don't know where comments go......maybe to comment heaven. I do know, that no matter what you are not allowed to post direct court documents or try to cyber-bully other posters with the name and address of people who are anonymous. I thought you read Maggie's comments and listened to them ROY.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Whats really great is that the Murrieta Patch Red Light camera issue can lead into a wonderful article I read in the Wall Street Journal from a day ago. It stated that with only 89 days left before the election, the lowest poll, has Obama with 280 Electoral Votes and the highest has him already capturing 323 Electoral Votes in November. You only need, as all Americans know, 270 votes to win. Its virtually impossible for the country to make a mad swing, and the way Romney does gaffes and only appears on Fox News, the debates will only strengthen Obama's lead.....LOL.....its a great day in the neighborhood. Is someone erasing my comments??
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Fred on Prop 8.....LOL, why don't you get this? The majority in our country can't establish laws to discriminate against the minority. We all know of the conservative hatred in this country for the gay community, but the US Constitution protects their rights. Remember again, a majority cannot inflict its hatred, its prejudice on a minority in our country no matter what percentage of the majority votes for it. Fred, wants to succeed.....LOL, you wouldn't be able to just succeed from the state Freddie, you'd have to succeed from the US...LOL!!!! Who would be your first Governor? Jeff Stone? It's funny as conservatives and conservatism keeps losing in our highest courts, including our Supreme Court, all they do is blame the judges when in essence they should blame the US Constitution, the law all judges use.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Oh, and Ryan, I am allowed to express my feelings towards the EXTREME conservative element in our city with disgust. Diana Serafin and Robin Nielson are a part of that element and have been told to stop commenting on the blogs because their rhetoric is so loony. Last we heard Diana Serafin was standing around waiting for drones to fly over her home and a UN representative to come and take her military assault weapon from her hands.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Everyone wants to know where Steve Flynn's protest money is coming from......I want to know where the Murrieta-Temecula Republican Assembly is getting its money to pay lawyers??? How about Granite Corp that the Assembly is so invested in seeing approved? The state law says that citizens CANNOT vote on traffic safety laws. Maybe Bob Kowell wants to put a stoplight in front of his home so he can gain more spotlight, or Diana Serafin decides she wants to have a stop sign, right in front of her home, so everyone can watch for the drones she say are coming. These are the lunatics, the BIRTHERS and the TENTHERS in our community and hopefully the Supreme Court shuts them down.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Steve, here's the connection. Granite has been feeding the Murrieta-Temecula Republican Assembly for a few years now, so they will continue to write support on blogs and show up in support of Granite at its quarry hearings. Now, this is all the Tea Party or the same as MTRA, in this lawsuit. In my opinion Granite is bankrolling this attack on the red light cameras. Second, your right, it is a tool to control traffic. Do you think that the voters could rally and vote down the use of a firearm or radar gun the police use to protect you? LOL I don't think so Steve, but maybe you are smarter.......no youre not so I can't say that. The judge looked at the law, read the initiative and kicked it out......so will the Supreme Court of California because conservatives are far to stupid and radical in their thinking....aren't you Steve?
Rhonda Hayes August 09, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Child & spousal abuse are no joking matter Al, I agree. But last time I checked Patch doesn't make commenters go through background checks before they are allowed to post. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, & I'm sure you have a few of your own. But what does that have to do with the red light camera case? I won't judge someone unless I know the accusations are indeed true & as you said, your not allowed to post court documents. So I will not judge others if you can't back up what your saying about the gorilla. And by the way, I had read some of your other comments earlier on other articles. Are you sure you want to start throwing accusations of cyber-bullying around? As Ryan said, your comments quickly spiral into acidic attacks to others.
Jacob Stillman August 09, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Ryan I find Al's tone to be what is being expressed all over America
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Its a beautiful day in the neighborhood, when you don't have to work third shift, for no pay.....on a beautiful day.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 06:17 PM
You know what's great reading?? The CA Motor Vehicle Law. It says in V C Section 21455.5 Traffic Signal Automated Enforcement Photographic Records; Section 2 A- "(c) Only a governmental agency, in cooperation with a law enforcement agency, may operate an automated enforcement system. ONLY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, such as the City of Murrieta, IN COOPERATION WITH A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, such as the Murrieta Police department may operate an automated enforcement system. No where in the law does it say that Republican Tea Party members can vote out the system, if they are afraid the cameras are invading their security and privacy, as stated by both Serafin and Nielson. Lets grow up people, learn not to speed, learn not to run red lights and realize that no one cares to look at your face......that means you Diana Serafin.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Steve Flynn is going to debate Diana Serafin, the loon herself. I have to be there. Maybe Diana will tell you that Romneycare never existed. Maybe that Romney has paid "some" taxes in the last ten years. Maybe Diana will tell you about the drones and she may repeat that President Obama isn't really our legal President, Herman Cain should be.....LOL....all coming up on- as Steve Flynn takes on the Village Idiot.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 06:55 PM
You know what's great reading?? The CA Motor Vehicle Law. It says in V C Section 21455.5 Traffic Signal Automated Enforcement Photographic Records; Section 2 A- "(c) Only a governmental agency, in cooperation with a law enforcement agency, may operate an automated enforcement system. ONLY A GOVERNMENT AGENCY, such as the City of Murrieta, IN COOPERATION WITH A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, such as the Murrieta Police department may operate an automated enforcement system. No where in the law does it say that Republican Tea Party members can vote out the system, if they are afraid the cameras are invading their security and privacy, as stated by both Serafin and Nielson. Lets grow up people, learn not to speed, learn not to run red lights and realize that no one cares to look at your face......that means you Diana Serafin.
Jacob Stillman August 09, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Wow Dave Peters, seems the only time you post is in the early afternoon, you must have a third shift job, just like your friend, "The Gorilla" aka Roy Holmgren. As a matter of fact, you only post as a tag team, a coordinated duo and your comments are always the same, or same line......wow.....If you don't believe me, check in Dave's glorious history.....LOL LOL LOL LOL
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Now Ryan, think very hard.......use some of that conservative know how....why would my comments be removed by a board moderator? They were removed and have been returned after Murrieta-Temecula Republican Assembly attack dog Roy Holmgren deleted them.
Al Lee August 09, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Rick Johnston, youve placed only one comment on this blog....EVER, and its to attack Al, just like the Gorilla and Dave Peters and Rhonda, also a first time poster. Yes look at the posters history Roy....its easy to track Roy Holmgren's multiple personalities after he promised to destroy this blog.
The Gorilla August 11, 2012 at 02:30 AM
As of now Red Light Camera Initiative is on the ballot. Judge Ottolia's stupid and biased judgement was thrown out. Any further action needs to go to State Supreme Court but since they threw it to the appeals court without a word it is doubtful they will render an opinion before the ballot deadline.
Gary Stein August 11, 2012 at 03:33 AM
This is a great victory for voters, whether or not you agree with the Red Light cameras. Collecting signatures to get an initiative on the ballot (No matter the issue) is real democracy in action. It should prove to people every where that it does not take a Politician to bring about "change" in your local community and that voters still do have power.
Gary Stein August 11, 2012 at 04:24 AM
Gorilla. I find it funny that you have judged me with out ever speaking to me. You only know what the media feeds you when it comes to my case. I have a solution. I invite you sit down to lunch with me next week. This is an honest invitation. Send me an email at GarySteinHomes@gmail.com
Gary Stein August 11, 2012 at 04:50 AM
I would like to know what extreme right views you think I have. Also, I never broke my oath, never refused to follow an order, never refused to deploy, never refused any think of that nature. So again I believe your thought and feelings about me are not based on facts. My offer to meet still stands... anytime.
Gary Stein August 11, 2012 at 04:57 AM
I will be staying in the race and Look forward to speak to you in person at a later time. God Bless
Al Lee August 11, 2012 at 05:33 AM
LOL.......It wasn't thrown out!!! It was stayed until an appeals court hears both sides.......DAH..... It means nothing except the judges decision is put on hold until Flynn's attorneys answers them PUT ON HOLD IDIOTS.......YOU GOT THE DIMWIT AND NUMNUTZ running around celebrating.....NOTHING. Flynn’s legal team has until Wednesday to file a response to the court’s ruling. Flynn’s attorney, Paul T. Gough, said the appeals court issued the stay because it had heard only one side. “We think we have plenty to say,” Gough said. If Flynn's legal team prevails after the registrar's deadline, there is still a period of several weeks before the ballot is printed, so the initiative could be removed. LOL LOL LOL
Al Lee August 11, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Here is the Murrieta-Temecula Republican Assemblies newest candidate for City Council- GARY STEIN !!! Here you go again Roy, telling people where they can blog and what they can say. Gary Stein, meet your newest buddy and friend- Roy Holmgren. A matched set!!!
Ryan August 11, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Gorilla, I watched this morning's exchange between you and Al Lee. Lee's concerns and fears, at the time, seemed unfounded. He seemed to read way too deep into your comments. After your exchange with Mr. Stein here, I'm reconsidering just how off base Mr. Lee really was. While you never did threaten Mr. Lee, you have certainly threatened Mr. Stein here in this forum. Despite your criticism, name calling, and threats (political threats, not personal), Mr. Stein maintained a steady demeanor and even offered to meet with you. Instead, you told him to get 'your stinking name off this string! We don't want your support. So shut the EFF up.' I share your views on Mr. Stein, and until this very moment had not given him a second thought as a serious candidate. Your threats to personally see to it that Mr. Stein receives no good press in Murrieta have given me pause. Mr. Stein, as a former Navy HM, I too am concerned about your candidacy and do not think I would vote for you. Up until the moment Gorilla offered to personally see to it that you received no good press, I was firmly in the column to not vote for you. At this time, I must say, Gorilla has moved me to the undecided column, willing to listen.
Al Lee August 11, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Ryan, this is a quote that was deleted by the PATCH.....Toward me...."Jeff, I threaten you and your family". This is after he posted my address and talked about going shooting at the Shootist with his daughter.....also saying his daughter was going to beat me up. He has also challenged me to a fist fight.....OVER A POLITICAL STRING.
Ryan August 11, 2012 at 06:06 AM
Gorilla, I was merely pointing out that you are impeaching your own credibility. But, it sounds like you already know that and don't care. Sounds like you are also a part of MTRA. Good to know. I'll step back now and stay out of your's and Al's way.

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