In the News

WSH Attorneys Ed Guedes & Sam Zeskind Win Appeal for Aventura in Red Light Camera Case

May 1, 2013

On April 24, WSH Partner Edward G. Guedes and Associate Samuel I. Zeskind obtained an appellate victory for the City of Aventura (the “City”) in a dispute over the City’s red light camera program. The appeal challenged a conviction for a red light camera citation. In her appeal, Geovana Achury argued in part that the trial court violated her right to due process by predetermining the evidence and relying on evidentiary and pre-trial rulings made in an unrelated case. The trial court relied on previously-determined evidentiary rulings in State of Florida v. Jason Vanderpool, 2011 WL 2742641 (Fla. Miami-Dade Cty. Ct. 2011) concerning the validity of the procedures used by American Traffic Solutions and other companies that maintain red light cameras. Taking judicial notice of the evidentiary rulings, the trial court held that the photographs and video generated by these cameras were admissible evidence.

Sam Zeskind handled the oral argument and won the appeal for the City. In its Opinion, the Circuit Court judges held that the trial court correctly took judicial notice under Florida Statutes §90.202(12) of the findings in the unrelated case. Because the trial court correctly took judicial notice of these findings, they were properly admitted as evidence and the trial court could rely on them in determining that the appellant committed the charged traffic infraction.

WSH attorneys have extensive experience defending municipalities in challenges to their red-light camera systems. WSH Miami-Dade Partner in Charge Michael S. Popok and Partner Edward G. Guedes successfully defended the City of Aventura in a red light camera case in City of Aventura v. Masone at both the trial level and before the Third District Court of Appeal. Our Litigation Division has represented several South Florida municipalities in red-light camera litigation, and our Appellate Practice Group routinely handles constitutional challenges before appellate courts at the State and federal level. Attorneys in the Appellate Practice Group include Board-certified experts, and work closely with the Litigation Division on appeals generated by the Firm’s trial practice. Their collective experience includes handling some of the most significant constitutional and government law matters to come before the courts of Florida and the United States.