56 N.E.3d 997 (Ohio App. 6 Dist. 2016), L-15-1121, City of Toledo v. State

Docket Nº:Court of Appeals L-15-1121
Citation:56 N.E.3d 997, 2016-Ohio-4906
Opinion Judge:James D. Jensen, P.J.
Party Name:City of Toledo, Appellee v. State of Ohio, et al., Appellants
Attorney:Adam W. Loukx, Director of Law, and Jeffrey B. Charles, Senior Attorney, for appellee. Michael DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, Nicole M. Koppitch, Halli Brownfield Watson and Jordan Berman, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellants. Andrew R. Mayle, Jeremiah S. Ray and Ronald J. Mayle, for amicu...
Judge Panel:James D. Jensen, P.J. Arlene Singer, J., CONCURS AND WRITES SEPARATELY. Stephen A. Yarbrough, J., DISSENTS AND WRITES SEPARATELY. Arlene Singer, J., CONCURS AND WRITES SEPARATELY. Stephen A. Yarbrough, J., DISSENTS AND WRITES SEPARATELY. SINGER, J. YARBROUGH, J.
Case Date:July 08, 2016
Court:Court of Appeals of Ohio
 
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Page 997

56 N.E.3d 997 (Ohio App. 6 Dist. 2016)

2016-Ohio-4906

City of Toledo, Appellee

v.

State of Ohio, et al., Appellants

Court of Appeals No. L-15-1121

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Lucas

July 8, 2016

Page 998

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 999

Trial Court No. CI0201501828.

Judgment affirmed.

Adam W. Loukx, Director of Law, and Jeffrey B. Charles, Senior Attorney, for appellee.

Michael DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, Nicole M. Koppitch, Halli Brownfield Watson and Jordan Berman, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellants.

Andrew R. Mayle, Jeremiah S. Ray and Ronald J. Mayle, for amicus curiae Custom Seal, Inc., Bradley L. Walker and Kraig Kutschbach.

James D. Jensen, P.J. Arlene Singer, J., CONCURS AND WRITES SEPARATELY. Stephen A. Yarbrough, J., DISSENTS AND WRITES SEPARATELY.

Page 1000

DECISION AND JUDGMENT

James D. Jensen, P.J.

[¶1] Defendants-appellants, the state of Ohio and Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine (collectively referred to as " the state" ), appeal the April 27, 2015 judgment of the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, denying their motion for summary judgment and granting, in part, a motion for summary judgment filed by plaintiff-appellee, the city of Toledo (" the city" ). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

I. Background

[¶2] On February 12, 2008, the city enacted Toledo Municipal Code 313.12, authorizing an automated red light and speeding system in Toledo. Under Toledo Municipal Code 313.12, civil penalties are assessed against the owner or driver of a vehicle for red light and speed violations captured by photo-enforcement devices. The program is administered by the city's Division of Transportation, police department, and law department. In the event that the camera detects a red light or speeding violation, a " notice of liability" is processed by the city and forwarded to the vehicle-owner's address listed in the state's motor vehicle registration database. The owner of the vehicle has 21 days from the date of the notice of liability to submit evidence that someone else was driving the vehicle or that it was stolen, to pay a $120 civil penalty, or to file a notice of appeal with the hearing officer. The city may assess an additional penalty of $25 or impound the vehicle for failure to timely respond to the notice of liability, and the right to contest the citation is waived. Citations issued under the program are not registered under the offender's operating record and no points are assigned under R.C. 4507.021.

[¶3] On December 19, 2014, the Ohio legislature signed into law Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342, revising and enacting a number of statutory provisions governing the use of traffic law photo-monitoring devices. It took effect on March 23, 2015. The photo-monitoring system established under S.B. 342 differs from the city's program in a number of important respects. For instance: o Under R.C. 4511.093(B)(1), citations issued under S.B. 342 are valid " only if a law enforcement officer is present at the location of the device at all times during the operation of the device."

o Under R.C. 4511.094(A)(1), a municipality wishing to use a photo-monitoring device must erect signs along its border informing inbound traffic of the usage of traffic law photo-monitoring devices within the municipality. Under R.C. 4511.094(A)(2), signs must also be erected at every photo-monitoring location informing drivers of the presence of the photo-monitoring device. The statute provides details about the positioning of the signs.

o Under R.C. 4511.095, the municipality must complete a three-year safety study of any intersection at which the deployment of a new traffic law photo-monitoring device is proposed. Following completion of this study, a municipality wishing to place a new photo-monitoring device must conduct a public information campaign to inform drivers of the use of photo-monitoring devices, and must publish such notice in a local newspaper of general circulation. Additionally, a 30-day " public awareness warning" applies to new sites, during which drivers may not be fined for a traffic law violation based upon evidence gathered by a photo-monitoring device.

o Under R.C. 4511.0912 citations for speeding violations detected by automated photo-monitoring systems may not be issued unless the vehicle was traveling at least six miles per hour

Page 1001 over the speed limit in a school zone or at least ten miles per hour over the speed limit elsewhere.

[¶4] In light of the additional requirements imposed on municipalities by the General Assembly under S.B. 342, the city filed its complaint in the present action on March 13, 2015. In its complaint, the city alleged that S.B. 342 is an unconstitutional infringement of its right to self-governance under Article XVIII, Section 3, of the Ohio Constitution (" home rule provision" ). The city requested injunctive relief and a stay of the enforcement of S.B. 342 until such time as the trial court could determine its constitutionality.

[¶5] The trial court conducted a hearing on the city's request for a preliminary injunction on March 20, 2015. Two days later, it issued its decision, granting the city's request for a preliminary injunction, in part, and enjoining the enforcement of certain statutory sections pending resolution of the city's request for a permanent injunction.

[¶6] On March 23, 2015, the city and the state filed cross-motions for summary judgment. In its motion, the city argued that S.B. 342 impermissibly limits the power of municipalities to enact and enforce their own legislation in contravention of the home rule provision. The state countered by positing that S.B. 342 does not violate the home rule provision because it is a general law.

[¶7] In a decision dated April 27, 2015, the trial court concluded that a number of the statutory provisions enacted under S.B. 342 are unconstitutional under the home rule provision. Accordingly, it denied the state's motion for summary judgment and granted, in part, the city's motion for summary judgment, ultimately enjoining the enforcement of: o R.C. 4511.093(B)(1) and (3) (requiring police officer presence during the operation of photo-monitoring devices);

o R.C. 4511.095 (mandating the completion of a safety study prior to implementation of photo-monitoring system);

o R.C. 4511.096 (setting forth various law enforcement officer duties);

o R.C. 4511.097 (specifying the requirements for tickets issued under an automated traffic control program);

o R.C. 4511.098 (indicating the procedure that should be followed by one who receives a ticket alleging a violation of the traffic law under the automated traffic control program);

o R.C. 4511.099 (providing for an administrative hearing for those wishing to appeal a citation under the automated traffic control program);

o R.C. 4511.0911(A) and (B) (requiring manufacturers to provide maintenance records for photo-monitoring devices, along with a certificate of proper operation that attests to the accuracy of such devices); and

o R.C. 4511.0912 (specifying that speed limit violations are only punishable if the speed exceeds the posted limit by at least six miles per hour in a school zone and ten miles per hour elsewhere).

[¶8] Following the trial court's decision on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, the state filed its timely notice of appeal, assigning the following errors for our review: Assignment of Error No. 1: The trial court erred in holding that portions of Amended Senate Bill 342 (" Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342" ) impermissibly restrict municipal power and incorrectly analyzed whether the Bill is arbitrary, unreasonable, or rationally related to a legitimate

Page 1002 purpose when the controlling test set forth in Canton v. State, 95 Ohio St.3d 149, 2002-Ohio-2005, 766 N.E.2d 963, does not call for such an inquiry.

Assignment of Error No. 2: The trial court erred in holding that portions of Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342 do not prescribe a rule of conduct on citizens generally and, thus, erred in finding those portions are not general laws as set forth in Canton.

Assignment of Error No. 3: The trial court erred in granting the City's summary judgment motion, because Am.Sub.S.B. No. 342 satisfies all four parts of the general-law test set forth in [ Canton ], and is therefore constitutional in its entirety.

II. Standard of Review

[¶9] Appellate review of a summary judgment is de novo, Grafton v. Ohio Edison Co., 77 Ohio St.3d 102, 105, 1996-Ohio-336, 671 N.E.2d 241 (1996), employing the same standard as trial courts. Lorain Natl. Bank v. Saratoga Apts., 61 Ohio App.3d 127, 129, 572 N.E.2d 198 (9th Dist.1989). The motion may be granted...

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