753 F.Supp.2d 6 (D.D.C. 2010), Civ. 10-297(RJL), Dixon v. District of Columbia

Docket Nº:Civil Case 10-297(RJL).
Citation:753 F.Supp.2d 6
Opinion Judge:RICHARD J. LEON, District Judge.
Party Name:Henry DIXON, et al., Plaintiffs, v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant.
Attorney:Gregory L. Lattimer, Law Offices of Gregory L. Lattimer, PLLC, Washington, DC, for Plaintiffs. Jacques P. Lerner, Office of the Attorney General for DC, Washington, DC, for Defendant.
Case Date:November 28, 2010
Court:United States District Courts, District of Columbia
 
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753 F.Supp.2d 6 (D.D.C. 2010)

Henry DIXON, et al., Plaintiffs,

v.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant.

Civil Case No. 10-297(RJL).

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

November 28, 2010

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Gregory L. Lattimer, Law Offices of Gregory L. Lattimer, PLLC, Washington, DC, for Plaintiffs.

Jacques P. Lerner, Office of the Attorney General for DC, Washington, DC, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD J. LEON, District Judge.

Plaintiffs Henry Dixon (" Dixon" ) and Cuong Thanh Phung (" Phung" ) (collectively, " plaintiffs" ) filed this purported class-action complaint against the District of Columbia (" the District" ) alleging denial of equal protection of the law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Specifically, plaintiffs claim that motorists who are accused of driving at speeds in excess of 30 miles per hour over the speed limit receive disparate treatment when they are stopped by an officer as compared to when they are cited by the District's Automated Traffic Enforcement System (" ATE" ). Now before the Court is the District's Motion to Dismiss. Upon consideration of the pleadings, relevant case law, and entire record, the District's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

General Order 303.1 of the District's Metropolitan Police Department (" MPD" ) provides that motorists stopped by police officers and charged with speeding more than 30 mph over the speed limit are subject to automatic arrest, as well as possible criminal prosecution, a fine of $300, and imprisonment of not more than 90 days. Compl. ¶ ¶ 12-13. By contrast, however, when a vehicle is photographed traveling at such speeds by the District's Automated Traffic Enforcement System (" ATE" ), the District merely mails a summons and notice of infraction to the registered owner of the vehicle. Compl. ¶ 11. The registered owner, in turn, may then request a hearing. Id. The maximum penalty for the alleged infraction in that situation is a civil penalty. Id. The District's ATE system was introduced in 1999 pursuant to D.C.Code § 50-2209.01. Compl. ¶ 10.

On February 15, 2008, at approximately 11:00 p.m., Dixon was stopped and arrested by an MPD officer for speeding more

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than 30 mph over the posted speed limit. Compl. ¶ 14. On November 27, 2009, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Phung was...

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