CBS Local — A woman in Iowa battling a $75 speeding ticket has pulled off a miraculous legal feat by getting the state’s Supreme Court to hear her case.
67-year-old Marla Leaf was reportedly ticketed for speeding on a freeway in Cedar Rapids. The alleged infraction was captured on automated cameras hanging over the road. It was Leaf’s first ticket; however, the driver is sticking to her story that she wasn’t speeding. “Why should I pay for a ticket I didn’t do?,” Leaf questioned.
The “he said, she said” case isn’t as simple as it seems. Leaf is reportedly arguing that the state’s laws and her constitutional rights were all violated because the city used a private, for-profit company to run the camera equipment instead of local police. Leaf’s lawyers are claiming the cameras are, “unduly intrusive, unfair, and simply amounting to sophisticated speed traps designed to raise funds for cash-strapped municipalities.” Attorney James Larew added that the cameras take advantage of drivers and admitted, “busy people find it preferable to shut up and pay rather than to scream and to fight.”
The Iowa Supreme Court has combined Leaf’s fight with another case that’s making similar arguments on behalf of six other drivers. The case is even more rare because small claims cases hardly ever make it all the way to a state’s highest court. “It shows that what seems sometimes like the smallest case can actually involve really major issues,” Drake University law professor Mark Kende said.
Leaf’s case may be bolstered by the fact that Iowa’s Department of Transportation ordered the cameras to be taken down a year before she was ticketed in 2015. Cedar Rapids has kept the speeding monitors up and working while the city appeals the decision.