Lawsuit involving Bluff City speed cameras dismissed

Matthew Lane • Sep 4, 2012 at 4:25 AM

GREENEVILLE — A federal judge has dismissed a $6 million class action lawsuit filed against Bluff City, its mayor and an Arizona-based traffic camera company regarding tickets issued from two speed-enforcement cameras on Highway 11-E.

Motorists Chris Cawood and Jonathan Kelly Proffitt filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Greeneville in September 2011 naming Bluff City, Mayor Irene Wells and American Traffic Solutions as the defendants.

The lawsuit claimed Bluff City and ATS conspired to violate the Fair Debt Collections Act, state law and the city’s own ordinances by imposing an administrative fee of $40 on top of the $50 fine imposed for motorists allegedly captured on the city’s two speed-enforcement cameras on Highway 11-E.

Last month, Judge Ronnie Greer granted the motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

In his opinion, Greer wrote that conspiracy has to be supported with enough factual allegations ... that is plausible on its face.

“The only factual allegation regarding ATS is that ATS installed and maintained the cameras at issue,” Greer wrote, noting this is insufficient to establish a c o n s p i r a c y.

Court documents state Cawood received such a ticket in May 2010 for traveling 58 mph in a 45 mph zone on Highway 11-E, while Proffitt received a similar ticket for driving 56 mph in the same zone. Though Proffitt paid his violation, Cawood did not, nor did he attend the court hearing on the matter in September 2010.

Bluff City argues the one-year statute of limitations on filing a claim has expired since Cawood and Proffitt received their citations more than a year ago.

Read the expanded version of this report in today print or enhanced electronic edition of the Times-News.

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