Refund checks have been mailed to drivers who sued over the $110 tickets issued through a defunct Jefferson Parish red-light camera program.
Checks for $23.18 each were mailed Feb. 26 to about 177,000 drivers who didn’t contest their fines, according to a telephone hotline created for people seeking information about the case.
About 5,000 drivers who were part of a class that contested the fines before paying them were mailed checks of $38.93; they got more to cover the court costs they were charged.
Attorney Steven Mauterer, who represented one of the groups of plaintiffs, said drivers had to settle for refunds that don’t cover the full amount of the tickets because the plaintiffs failed to convince 24th Judicial District Judge Henry Sullivan on a pair of key arguments.
They did not persuade Sullivan that the tickets violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights or that only the state of Louisiana — not local government bodies — had the right to pass laws governing traffic signals on roadways, Mauterer said.
A traffic camera program administered by the Arizona-based firm Redflex was in effect in Jefferson from November 2007 to March 2010, when it was suspended amid questions about payments the company had made to local political lobbyists.
Three high-profile civil cases resulted from the program: separate lawsuits filed by two classes of drivers, as well as another suit that Redflex pursued against Jefferson Parish.
Sullivan in November approved a legal settlement that resolved all of those cases.
The agreement directed $7.1 million to drivers, with their attorneys receiving about a third of that amount. Another $9 million went to Redflex, $3 million to Jefferson Parish, $900,000 each to the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, and $100,000 each to the 1st and 2nd Parish Courts.
Members of the public can call (800) 290-2151 for information.