- Associated Press - Friday, December 20, 2019

WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa (AP) - Drivers who received tickets from traffic cameras at a notorious speed trap in suburban Des Moines filed a lawsuit Friday alleging that their rights have been violated.

The proposed class-action lawsuit seeks damages from the City of Windsor Heights, which announced earlier this month that it would remove the speed cameras on University Avenue this spring.

The cameras have brought in millions of dollars for the city since their installation in 2012. But business owners argued that they keep away customers. And drivers complained that, until a recent change, the cameras were at a location where the speed limit unexpectedly dropped to 25 miles per hour.

Attorney Jim Larew filed the lawsuit on behalf of five plaintiffs. It alleges that the city’s efforts to collect fines and seize tax refunds of vehicle owners with unpaid tickets violate state law and the Iowa constitution in several ways.

The lawsuit relies on a recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found traffic camera tickets issued by municipalities must be processed through district court. It says the citations issued by Windsor Heights didn’t follow that process, and that appeals had to be mailed to Arizona.

Larew has successfully challenged other cities’ traffic camera procedures, including those in Cedar Rapids.

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