Hughes v. City of Cedar Rapids, No. 15-2703 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, a group of drivers, filed suit against the City and Gatso, alleging that the Automatic Traffic Enforcement (ATE) system violates their right to procedural due process, their fundamental right to travel, Iowa Code 602.6101, and causes unjust enrichment for the City and Gatso. The City contracted with Gatso to install and operate the ATE system. The district court dismissed plaintiffs' claims. The court concluded that the district court did not err by determining that plaintiff Hughes lacks Article III standing where he does not allege that he has incurred any costs to mitigate or avoid the threat of ATE enforcement, or that the threat of an ATE citation is sufficiently imminent, and plaintiff Mazgaj lacks third party standing where he failed to show a hindrance to his wife’s ability to protect her own interests. The court concluded, however, that plaintiff Lee's claims are ripe where he was found guilty of violating the ordinance and no further factual development is necessary. Thus, Lee has the hardship of citation and the cost of litigation. The court further concluded that the district court never had jurisdiction of Hughes and Mazgaj’s claims and therefore their claims should be remanded to state court. Plaintiffs Robinson, Sparks, Northrup, Yarpezeshkan, French, and Stimpson have established standing to bring procedural-due-process claims. However, these plaintiffs failed to state a violation of their procedural due process rights. The court rejected plaintiffs' claims that the system violated their substantive rights, Equal Protection claim, and unjust enrichment claim. Because the City’s appeal of the IDOT’s ruling is still pending, this claim is not ripe. Therefore, the district court should dismiss without prejudice the drivers’ state-law claims based on the alleged violation of IDOT rules. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.