Motorist Beats Camera Ticket
Someone had a good start to this year. After losing at the trial level and an intermediate appeal, motorist Viktors Rekte convinced the Court of Appeal sitting in Riverside that the City of Riverside should not have not been allowed to introduce video and digital images captured on the red-light camera system used by the City of Riverside, but maintained by Redflex in Arizona. In a 2-1 decision, the Court of Appeal agreed that Mr. Rekte's expert had provided testimony sufficient to rebut the presumption in favor of such electronic evidence under Evidence Code §§ 1552 and 1553. The Court of Appeal concluded that because of the way the images had been handled (they were previewed by Redflex and then forwarded to the City of Riverside), the evidentiary presumptions had been rebutted and it was incumbant upon the City to introduce evidence that the printed representations were accurate. When it failed to do so, the evidence of these images was considered inadmissible and the question of Mr. Rekte's guilt had to be determined without the photographic evidence. Without this evidence, the court concluded there was not reliable evidence to support a violation of the Vehicle Code.
While most people won't have the financial ability to challenge a $490 ticket as Mr. Rekte did here, the decision is still an interesting one. If you'd like to read the actual opinion, Click Here.