Philadelphia Police Department

PHILADELPHIA – A Philadelphia law firm has filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia, claiming its police department has issued unauthorized speeding tickets on state highways for more than four years.

Philadelphia-based law firm Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt announced the suit on Wednesday, which was initially filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Oct. 4 and removed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Oct. 18.

In their lawsuit, plaintiffs Dominick Owens of Philadelphia, Rachael Bell of Levittown and Mark Zych of Cheltenham charge PPD with issuing speeding tickets on highways such as I-95, I-76 and I-676, when it supposedly knew that it lacked the authority to do so.

The plaintiffs claim pursuant to the State Vehicle Code, local police such as the PPD are prohibited from issuing speeding citations on the aforementioned highways without a speed enforcement agreement with the Pennsylvania State Police in place.

In addition, the complaint further alleges on July 17, 2012, then-Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey issued a memorandum notifying all PPD members that the Pennsylvania State Police had decided not to enter into a new speed enforcement agreement with the PPD covering roadways like I-95, I-76, and I-676 – and as such, the PPD was not permitted to hand out speeding citations on those highways in Philadelphia.

The plaintiffs include themselves in the class-action group of drivers who were improperly issued tickets, with added costs including “fines, attorneys’ fees, court costs and increased car insurance rates associated with these speeding citations.” 

The plaintiffs also allege that they were “improperly detained in violation of their constitutional rights” when they were stopped for speeding and issued tickets.

The class action complaint demands a jury trial and contains counts against the City of Philadelphia for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and violation of constitutional due process rights, under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus punitive damages, interest, costs of suit and other relief the Court deems equitable and just.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jason E. Powell of Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt, in Philadelphia.

The defendant is represented by Armando Brigandi of the City of Philadelphia’s Law Department, also in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:16-cv-05448

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 161000388

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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City of Philadelphia
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Philadelphia, PA 19107

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