$50 Million Class Action Suit Filed Against City of Stone Mountain

Attorney for the plaintiffs claims illegal use of the police department’s speed detection devices.

An attorney in Decatur has filed a $50 million class action civil lawsuit against the City of Stone Mountain, mayor Patricia Wheeler, city manager Barry Amos, and police chief Chancey Troutman, claiming illegal use of the police department’s speed detection devices, or laser.

According to the lawsuit, filed by attorney Jennifer Watts on Aug. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, for a period of three months the city failed to comply with the following statute (O.C.G.A. 40-14-4): No law enforcement agency may use speed detection devices, unless the agency possesses a license in compliance with Federal Communications Commission rules, and unless each device, before being placed in service and annually after being placed in service, is certified for compliance by a technician possessing a certification as required by the Department of Public Safety.

“The City of Stone Mountain Police Department failed to comply with this law beginning December 29, 2011, when their certification expired; the certification was not renewed until March 27,2012,” Watts’ press release about the lawsuit says. “During this three month time period, the City of Stone Mountain’s certification was expired.”

According to Watts, “After acquiring knowledge of the expired speed detection devices, the City of Stone Mountain knowingly and intentionally continued to prosecute citizens of the State of Georgia, collecting fines and fees of over $100,000. As a result of these egregious acts, one of the Plaintiffs served sixty-seven (67) days in the DeKalb County Jail, lost his job, vehicle, apartment and all of his earthly possessions.”

Watts claims that as of the filing date, there were more than 200 citations  prosecuted with more pending.

City attorney Joe Fowler told Patch on Friday morning that he had not seen the complaint and that it had been turned over to the municipality's insurance carrier.

Check back with Patch for updates to this story.

Jesse Conner August 17, 2012 at 09:15 PM
the city of Stone Mountain government, top to bottom, is corrupt, rotten to the core.
CS August 19, 2012 at 02:24 PM
So what if I got a ticket during that time? Let's say the officer stated his equipment clocked me going 20mph over the speed limit and I know for a fact it was only 10?!? Can I get back the difference? Just curious?
roger August 21, 2012 at 06:31 PM
the biggest gang i know is called the government.
Nessie Jenkins August 30, 2012 at 04:42 PM
This is not a waste of time. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. WE pay our taxes to get treated with contempt and disregard FROM OUR OWN JUDGES AND LAW ENFORCEMENT? Everyone has to stop allowing themselves to get screwed. I have written proof of my own speeding ticket through what is called an OPEN RECORDS request that the speed device they sed was defective and did NOT COMPLY WITH THE LAW. They are REQUIRED to comply with the law. How can they be hypocrites, prosecuting Us for ALLEGEDY violating the law when they do the same thing all in the name of MONEY. When I found out the device was defective and BY LAW they should have dismissed my ticket. They abused their power by not allowing me to have a CONSTITUTIONAL TRIAL by Jury. For 2 yrs, denied my trial by jury as REQUIRED BY LAW to dismiss my ticket when they do not grant a trial by jury within a specific amount of time. If you all would LEARN YOUR RIGHTS, You and your children will not be milked for every dime they have by the government who does not care about THEIR PART in complying with the laws that THEY MADE. This is no laughing matter people. INNOCENT Americans are going to jail because Municipal Courts like Stone Mountain DO NOT COMPLY with law so they are breaking the law to make us criminals and mess up our records and take our money. This is Not fair, Not right and NOT IN GOOD FAITH or FAIR DEALING. They need to be stoppped. THANK GOD FOR YOU MRS WATTS.
Leonora Kareem February 20, 2013 at 02:30 AM
I live right behind the Stone Mountain City Hall for the last 20yrs. I got 3 ticket for the last couple of yrs. I hope my name will be in the class action. I hope i can get some of the difference as well. My ticket was $1,125.00.


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