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Judge Robert Ruehlman rules Elmwood Place can't collect on speed camera tickets

Police chief says city will win appeal

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CINCINNATI - Drivers affected by the Elmwood Place speed cameras could soon get some relief.

On Tuesday, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman held a special hearing on the issue.

Ruehlman said the village needs to pay back the 10 plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit against the city with attorney Mike Allen. The judge said the city must also pay for any legal fees.

All the other drivers who paid their tickets will have to file a class-action lawsuit.

Ruehlman said the village's ordinance was invalid and any hearings on the tickets should not go forward.

The judge said the village cannot collect any money from the tickets.

All Ruehlman's rulings are subject to appeal.

Elmwood Place Police Chief William Peskin said the village will not pay back anyone for the tickets until after the appeal and that the city believes it will win the appeal.

"The hearings are suspended," Peskin said. "Until our appeal goes through, which I am strongly confident that it will."

Previously, hearings were scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday for drivers to fight tickets they were issued.

During the hearing, Ruehlman said if those hearings go forward, he will order deputies to stop the proceedings.

After the hearing, Peskin said the hearings were suspended.

Unfortunately, not everyone may be getting the message. When people call the number for Optotraffic on the tickets, employees at the company are still telling drivers to pay their tickets and show up for hearings. There is no word on when that will change.

When 9 On Your Side called the number, the operator who answered and her supervisor said "the programs are continuing" and that ticket recipients are still on the hook for the money. The company is also still accepting payments.

The hearing comes just days after both the village of Elmwood Place and the operator of the cameras, filed an appeal to rescind the Hamilton County judge's earlier ruling.

You can read the judge's full decision below or at http://goo.gl/V0CI9 .

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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