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Jimenez v. State

Supreme Court of Florida

May 3, 2018, Decided

No. SC16-1976

Opinion

 [*221]  PARIENTE, J.

Luis Torres Jimenez received a traffic citation, based on images from a red light camera that showed him turning right while the traffic signal was red at an intersection marked no-turn-on-red. Jimenez does not dispute that he did, in fact, commit a traffic infraction. Instead, Jimenez challenges the legality of the City of Aventura's red light camera enforcement program, which includes the use of a third-party agent to review images from the City's red light cameras before sending them to City police to determine [**3]  whether a traffic citation should be issued.

The issue before the Court involves the interpretation of ] the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Program, which grants local governments' traffic enforcement officers the power to issue citations for traffic infractions captured by red light cameras. See ch. 2010-80, § 5, Laws of Fla.; § 316.0083(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2014). In addition to this grant of authority, section 316.0083(1)(a) "does not prohibit a review of information" from red light cameras by a local government's authorized agent before issuance of the traffic citation by a trained traffic enforcement officer. § 316.0083(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2014) (emphasis added). In this case, this Court is asked to determine the meaning of the word "review," as used in section 316.0083(1)(a).

The Third District Court of Appeal held that the City did not violate the statute because the City provided its authorized agent with written guidelines to aid its review of the red light camera images, and the decision whether to issue a traffic citation based on the images was made by the City's traffic enforcement officer. State ex rel. City of Aventura v. Jimenez, 211 So. 3d 158, 160 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016). The Third District also certified a question of great public importance, which, for purposes of clarity, we rephrase as follows:1

Does a local government have the authority under section 316.0083(1)(a), Florida Statutes (2014), to contract [**4]  with a private third-party vendor to review and sort information from red light cameras, in accordance with written guidelines provided by the local government, before sending that information to a trained traffic enforcement officer who determines whether probable cause exists and a citation should be issued?

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246 So. 3d 219 *; 2018 Fla. LEXIS 1011 **; 43 Fla. L. Weekly S 199; 2018 WL 2050000

LUIS TORRES JIMENEZ, Petitioner, vs. STATE OF FLORIDA, etc., et al., Respondents.

Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by Jimenez v. State, 2018 Fla. LEXIS 1343 (Fla., July 3, 2018)

Prior History:  [**1] Application for Review of the Decision of the District Court of Appeal — Certified Great Public Importance. Third District - Case Nos. 3D15-2271 and 3D15-2303. (Dade County).

State v. Jimenez, 211 So. 3d 158, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 11373 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist., July 27, 2016)

CORE TERMS

traffic, red, camera, Vendor, infraction, guidelines, intersection, database, toll, photographs, delegation, video, non-working, captured, trained, screen, municipality, third-party, rephrased, detector, notice, electronic, ordinance, exceeded, driver

Criminal Law & Procedure, Criminal Offenses, Vehicular Crimes, Traffic Control Device Violations, Transportation Law, Traffic Regulation, Traffic Control Devices, Red Lights, Governments, Local Governments, Duties & Powers, Police Power, Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Legislation, Interpretation, Private Vehicles, Traffic Regulation, Ordinances & Regulations, State & Territorial Governments, Relations With Governments, Classification of Offenses, Infractions & Minor Offenses, Commencement of Criminal Proceedings, Accusatory Instruments, Citations