Drivers who won red light camera suit want new ticket revenue to pay $1.8M award

Drivers who won a $1.8 million class-action suit against a small Ohio town over its use of red light cameras want to collect their damages -- straight from the pockets of a new crop of motorists caught by the unpopular and all-seeing digital eyes.

Lawyers for thousands of drivers cited in New Miami filed a class-action lawsuit in 2013 against the Butler County town of 2,000 for using an automated speed camera system that they said violated due process rights.The plaintiffs won their case and a subsequent appeal by the town, which now hopes to put the case before the Ohio Supreme Court.

In the meantime, plaintiffs -- and their lawyers -- want their money. And in a case of extreme irony, they want to collect it by garnishing fines generated by New Miami's new red light camera vendor, Blue Line Solutions.

"We want to make sure that any money that New Miami received from their new speed camera program goes to pay back the plaintiffs that had to pay under the old speed camera system," attorney Michael Allen told on Wednesday.

Allen, along with the other four attorneys involved in the suit, argue that the new stream of ticket revenue is the cash-strapped town's "only remaining substantial asset."

Last week, Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Oster denied the motion to garnish New Miami's current red light camera revenue -- at least until the final appeal is exhausted.

"This case is currently pending review before the Supreme Court of Ohio," Oster wrote on Thursday, adding that garnishment [is] an extraordinary remedy under these circumstances, which should not be considered lightly."

Allen said the attempt was rejected for "legal, technical reasons."

"We're waiting for the Supreme Court to say, 'No, village of Miami. Get your wallets out and start paying these people,'" he said.