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Judge orders Des Moines to refund some traffic camera fines

DES MOINES (AP) — A judge is ordering Des Moines to refund fines issued to hundreds of drivers who appealed speeding tickets they received from cameras on Interstate 235.

District Judge Lawrence McLellan ruled Tuesday that the city violated their due process rights and failed to follow its own ordinances by requiring appeals to go through an unauthorized administrative hearing process.

He says city code should have required Des Moines to file municipal infractions against those who disputed liability, a process that has more safeguards. That didn’t happen.

The class includes drivers who appealed tickets from December 2013 to present, were found liable and fined. One class attorney estimates they number in the low thousands.

McLellan’s ruling orders the city to refund penalties and stop collection efforts related to outstanding fines. Most tickets were for $65.

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