An Iowa traffic ticket lawsuit could result in over 20,000 traffic tickets that were issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation to be invalidated and paid back to the drivers.
This situation began in May 2016 when a 16 year-old, Peyton Atzen, was issued a speeding ticket by a DOT officer. He and his parents filed a lawsuit with the notion that the DOT officer didn’t have the appropriate authority to issue such tickets under Iowa law. Atzen and his parents won the case, which subsequently opened the door for thousands of similar tickets – noncommercial moving violations ranging from seat belt violations to expired insurance cards – to be threatened under a new class-action lawsuit.
The court filing claims that these tickets issued by the Iowa DOT are illegal because of a ruling made 70 years ago by the Iowa Supreme Court. Additionally, in 1990, an attorney general opinion backed that ruling by stating that the state’s DOT is limited to DUI/OWI offenses and violations related to vehicle size, weight, and registration.
Even so, the Iowa DOT argues, public safety officer training is the same as state officer training, and tickets issued by the DOT are to ensure public safety, not increase revenue.
If this lawsuit is successful, the state of Iowa will be obligated to repay five years’ worth of fines and court cases – a figure reaching well into the millions.
Read the article here.