Today the Missouri Supreme Court will hear the case of Adolph Belt Jr.
a retired Missouri Highway Patrol trooper, who's fighting the red-light ticket he received in Springfield in 2008.
Belt is challenging the way the camera system works in Springfield -- as well as municipalities such as St. Louis -- in which tickets from the cameras are treated as an administrative action and not a criminal act.
"This case is not about Trooper Belt trying to get out of a $100
ticket," Jason Umbarger, Belt's attorney, told the Springfield News-Leader
yesterday. "But rather an attempt to challenge a "radical new
form of prosecution through administrative action."
"What we have here is a case where motorists in the city of Springfield
are being charged with a crime and fined without the traditional
presumptions of innocence or the other protections that criminal
defendants have," continued Umbarger. "This is a
criminal case, it's a criminal action, everything about it is criminal
in nature, except the city's willingness to honor defendants' rights."
Last year St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Robert Dierker challenged the red-light ticket he received
from a camera in the city. Dierker won his challenge in December and the case file was sealed immediately from pubic view.
Five years after they first began popping up in intersections across Missouri, red-light cameras are finally having their day before the state's highest court.