Hundreds of I-77 speeding tickets dismissed: I-Team

NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found a lot of I-77 speed camera tickets suddenly thrown out.

This comes just weeks after we reported on questions surrounding nearly 50,000 tickets.

So now, a local court is taking action to try to prevent this kind of chaos with speed camera tickets issued by the Village of Newburgh Heights.

Nearly 1,500 people recently received a letter stating their ticket has been dismissed.

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“The registered owner of the vehicle in question was cited for speeding and a case was opened in Garfield Heights Municipal Court, however, the Village of Newburgh Heights has decided to dismiss the case,” one of the letter’s obtained by the I-Team states. “The registered owner may not have received the original citation within the statutory time period.”

The court tells us municipalities have 30 days to notify drivers of speed camera tickets.

When we asked Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins about the issue, he sent an email stating the cases were sent on time, but they were dismissed for a “technology error.”

“There were 1,484 citations that were filed in late May and early June 2023 that did not meet the required image standards as a result of a technology error by the village’s service provider,” Elkins stated in an email to the I-Team. “All motorists impacted by this have had their violations dismissed and this is the reason for the notice.”

Newburgh Heights is notorious for speed camera tickets issued on I-77. 

Marty Herron said he recently got a letter dismissing a ticket he didn’t even know he had.

“I think everybody just sees this as a money grab,” Herron said.

Newburgh Heights officials, however, have said numerous times that the program is not about money but about safety. Elkins says no one receives a ticket unless they are speeding.

Herron says he understands people should not speed, but he also noted that Newburgh Heights officials should have to follow the law when issuing the tickets.

A Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge agrees.

“We’ve pretty much reached our point of saturation,” said Judge Sergio DiGeronimo. “We’re not going to be tolerating much more.”

Last year, the court also found Newburgh Heights breaking the law in how it issued the speed camera tickets.

“We’re going to exact a more significant scrutiny on the process,” Judge DiGeronimo said. “We have to for the motorist.”

Late last year, the I-Team revealed 49,000 drivers received a notice from the court saying that they had unpaid tickets. Many said they never received the original ticket.

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The court has now ordered Newburgh Heights and the speed camera company processing the tickets to show proof the tickets have been mailed.

The judge also ordered a refund for any person who paid a ticket that has now been dismissed.

Alexander Grgat, Clerk of Court for Garfield Municipal Court, said his office has been swamped with calls from motorists. Many say they received notices telling them they had an unpaid ticket, but many also say they never received a ticket.

“There are so many people that need attention,” Grgat said. “Every person is getting their due justice and nobody’s being forgotten, because in a whirlwind of chaos, it’s easy to happen.”

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