Toledo to File New Lawsuit to Defend Home Rule Powers

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Ohio Supreme Court today reversed the Sixth District Court of Appeals’ decision regarding an injunction related to an automated-traffic camera statute. In 2014, the General Assembly attempted to effectively ban automated-traffic cameras by passing S.B. 342. The local Court of Lucas County Common Pleas and the Ohio Supreme Court have ruled that S.B. 342 is an unconstitutional infringement on the power of Ohio charter cities.

In an attempt to circumvent these rulings, the General Assembly passed three “Penalty Provisions” in the 2015 State budget. The Penalty Provisions attempt to enforce S.B. 342 by slashing local government funds to cities. The city of Toledo successfully obtained an injunction against the “Penalty Provisions” and the state appealed the injunction all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Today’s ruling reversing the injunction involved a matter of first impression and was largely procedural in nature. The decision does not affect the ability of charter cities, like Toledo, to continue using automated-traffic cameras. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a separate lawsuit should have been filed to enjoin the “Penalty Provisions.”

Toledo will be filing a separate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Penalty Provisions.

“The Ohio Constitution says that home rule cities have the power to make decisions for themselves,” said Toledo Law Director Dale R. Emch. “Toledo will continue to fight for its Constitutional rights.”