California Court of Appeal rules that this is the wrong plaintiff and wrong lawyer to challenge red light camera collection tactics.
California’s second highest court on Thursday blocked a class action lawsuit against a red light camera collection agency. Motorist Richard Howard had filed suit against GC Services after he received notices falsely claiming that he owed $680 to the Los Angeles County Superior Court over an unpaid red light camera citation. The state Court of Appeal refused to allow his claim to be heard by a jury because this was the wrong person, with the wrong lawyer, to bring the case as a class action.
When Howard received a collection letter on July 12, 2010, he was confused as he had never received any photo ticket in the mail. Howard lives six hours away from Los Angeles in Concord, and he had not driven that far south since 1999. The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) knew nothing about the citation.
Howard’s suit argues that the collections letter was filled with fraudulent claims, including the false statement that the county court would garnish his wages if he failed to pay up immediately. In Los Angeles County, the court actually refused to enforce photo tickets, which led to the city dropping its camera program entirely. The collection letters were sent to as many as 22,000 motorists.