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St. Ann, MO Municipal Court to Issue Warrants for Unpaid Red Light Camera Ticket Fines

St. Ann Municipal Court in St. Ann, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis) will soon begin issuing warrants against the license plates of vehicles ticketed for red light camera violations if the vehicle owners fail to pay the fines. The vehicle will be seized and whoever is driving at the time will have to call a friend (or a taxi) to pick them up at the police station. So, before you borrow a car from a friend, you might want to confirm that they have paid any fines for red light camera tickets in St. Ann, Missouri.

Many St. Louis area municipalities have installed red light cameras, but most do not issue arrest warrants for unpaid fines. If you fail to pay the fine for a red light camera ticket in most courts in the St. Louis area, you will probably receive a demand for payment from a debt collection agency or law firm. For now, the laws allowing red light camera tickets have been upheld. See this blog post about the Missouri Court of Appeals’ recent decision to¬†uphold a red light camera ordinance in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

A Missouri red light camera ticket is essentially a very expensive parking ticket because it is a non-moving, no-point infraction. If a vehicle enters an intersection when the traffic light is red, the red light cameras take a photograph of the vehicle and the vehicle’s license plate. Then a ticket for a red light camera violation is issued against the vehicle and is mailed to the owner of the vehicle. The owner of the vehicle is responsible for paying the $100 fine, regardless of who was driving the vehicle at the time the violation occurred.

For more information, see my previous blog post about red light camera tickets in St. Louis, Missouri.

25 Comments

  1. Matt Hay on February 9, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Where did this information come from? Did St. Ann issue some kind of press release today?

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on February 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

      A clerk in the St. Ann Municipal Court told me this week that they would start issuing warrants as soon as the judge approves it. I have no idea how soon that will begin. The warrant will be against the license plate of the vehicle that received the red light camera ticket.

      • Matt Hay on February 9, 2012 at 9:53 am

        Very interesting, thanks for the info. I am not seeing this strategy ultimately ending well for them, but love to see these folks attempt to push the envelope of extortion for revenue collection devoid of statutory authority.

        • tim kapeller on March 15, 2012 at 10:46 am

          all the talk concerns red light cameras…why is no mention made anywhere that in addition to red light cameras, St Ann also is charging motorists with speeding tickets by camera in at least one area in front of a school ?

          • Andrea Storey Rogers on March 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm

            That’s an interesting observation. Perhaps more people are talking about red light camera tickets because more are being issued, compared to the speed camera tickets. There are 51 red light cameras in the City of St. Louis alone. The speed cameras require a police officer in the vehicle to monitor the camera, and they are allowed in school zones, construction zones, and ARC zones because lots of accidents occur in those areas. It’s safer to use speed cameras to issue tickets in high-accident areas, as opposed to the risk of injury when a police officer has to chase a car and pull it over in busy traffic.



  2. Doug O'Brien on May 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I just received a warrant from St. Ann, MO. for this speed camera on Ashby Rd apparently in a school zone. This is the second time this camera has tagged me and I still haven’t noticed any warning signs or flashing yellows. The first time I just didn’t pay it. I got one follow up notice but no warrant. The second time, the followup was a warrant. I plan on attending my court date. What can be said about my right to face my accuser? Is that a legitimate right?

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on May 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      If there is a warrant for your arrest and you are pulled over for a traffic violation, or if a police officer just randomly checks your license plate and sees your warrant, you will be taken to jail. If there is a warrant for your arrest and you go to court, once you give your name to the bailiff, it is very likely that the bailiff will check your name against a list of defendants who have active arrest warrants and you will be taken to jail, where you will stay until you pay the bond or until the next time St. Ann holds court, which could be 1-2 weeks. Then you will be brought before the judge to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, the case will be set for trial and you will be given a trial date. If a warrant for your arrest has been issued, you don’t get a court date until you pay the bond or hire an attorney to handle it for you. An attorney can get your warrant cancelled, obtain a new court date for you, and represent you in court if you want to fight the ticket. Or, an attorney can get the warrant cancelled and then negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to get the speeding ticket reduced to a non-moving, no-point infraction that will not affect your driving record. You will still have to pay a fine and court costs, but you won’t have to appear in court at all if you choose the second option.

  3. Ed on May 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Andrea, thanks for the article. Red light cameras are frustrating. My wife barely ran a red light and we got a ticket in the mail. She remembered driving through the intersection that day because she took a different way home than normal. Someone was tailgating her when the light turned yellow. She began to stop until she heard the car behind her lock up their brakes. To avoid an accident, she when through the light that turned red a mere fraction of a second before the crossed the line. It was the safe decision. I would like to fight this, but by the time I pay the court costs, it’s not worth our time. I heard intersections with red light cameras have a higher accident rate due to rear-end collisions.

  4. Andrea Storey Rogers on May 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Yes, there are some cities that report a decrease in fatal accidents after installing red-light cameras but they also report more rear-end collisions. A red-light camera ticket is a non-moving, no-point infraction, so no points will be recorded on your wife’s driving record and it won’t be reported to the Missouri Dept. of Revenue.

  5. Doug O'Brien on May 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Sorry. Last post was inaccurate. I actually received a summons to appear in court over the camera speed ticket. Not a warrant as I previously stated. So can this type of ticket be reduced to a no-point violation? Is there a need for me to get my lawyer involved or are these camera tickets non-negotiable?

  6. Andrea Storey Rogers on May 29, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    If you receive a speeding ticket for a moving violation, then points will be added to your driving record. In that type of case, I suggest that the defendant hire an attorney to get the ticket amended to a non-moving, no-point infraction. If the ticket is a no-point, non-moving violation, then my recommendation would be to just pay the fine. You can call the court clerk for the St. Ann Municipal Court at (314) 428-6811 to confirm this, but I believe the speed camera ticket you received is a non-moving, no-point infraction, just like a red-light camera ticket, so there would be no reason to pay more money to hire an attorney to represent you at a trial. On the St. Ann Municipal Court website, it states that speed camera tickets are non-moving, no-point infractions and the fine is $126.50, which you can pay online. Here’s a link to the court’s web page regarding speed camera ticket fines: http://stannmo.org/index.aspx?nid=381

    • Doug O'Brien on June 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks! You’re the best!

  7. Paul R. Evans on March 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    I just received in the mail a ticket for 30 mph in a 20 mph zone on Ashby Rd. at Hoech School. It says this is a no points violation and that the fine is $100. I thought these were found to be illegal in the state of missouri. I have heard that the fine should be paid under protest. Any ideas on this and what happens if I pay it under protest.

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on March 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      There has been no ruling regarding the legality of St. Ann’s speed cameras or red-light cameras. The Missouri Court of Appeals may issue its ruling within the next few months regarding red-light cameras in St. Louis City, Creve Coeur, and Florissant, but I don’t believe there has been a legal challenge to the St. Ann camera ordinance. You can go to court and plead not guilty and the judge will set it for trial. If you refuse to pay the fine, then the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. In theory, if you pay under protest, then if the St. Ann red-light camera ordinance is eventually ruled to be unconstitutional, then you could request a refund of the $100, but I wouldn’t count on it.

  8. Paul R. Evans on March 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I have a thought on this subject and wonder if anyone has ever taken this approach to fighting the ticket. Below is an excerpt of who does the enforcment and provides the cameras free of charge for the city of St. Ann, MO.
    “The camera vendor, B&W Sensors LLC, is based in Crestwood and was incorporated in 2008. When a driver is caught speeding through the school zone, B&W reviews the footage and sends it to St. Ann police, says Schrader. If the police believe the infraction merits a ticket, they submit it back to B&W which mails a $100 citation to the owner of the vehicle. St. Ann receives $60 of the fine and B&W gets the rest.”
    It would appear to me that the police department is not enforcing the law, a private firm is. They have no right to enforce any laws in any city or county, not being a Missouri ceritfied law enforcment officer. The only exception to that rule is that a person witnessing a felony can make a citizins arrest. These guys are making citizens arrests every day without the authority to do so. The chief of police, Robert Schraeder, is basing these arrests on both circumstantial and hear say evidence, provided by a company who did not have a person actually witness the violation. This is the first speeding ticket I have gotten since 1978 and I believe the radar may have been tweeked a bit to show drivers moving faster than they really are. I am a former police officer and do my best to always obey the speed limit. I believe something here is a bit off.

  9. lisa niebur on July 16, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Thanks for the article. Will the warrants be issued only for new infractions? I mean, is there a grandfather clause because the repercussions have changed?

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on July 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      I don’t know, but you can call St. Ann Municipal Court and ask what their policy is regarding issuing warrants for unpaid red-light camera tickets. The Court has always had the ability to issue warrants for unpaid red-light camera tickets, because failing to pay any fine is contempt of court, for which a court can issue a warrant. But I have only recently heard of people being arrested by St. Ann police for failing to pay red-light camera tickets. The judge and the prosecutor are the people who decide when to issue an arrest warrant, so it’s done on a case-by-case basis.

  10. Danny & Karen Mills on August 16, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I was sent summons for camera speeding on baltimore ave in school zone (Buder Elementary) speeding 25 mph. But the school was closed for summer!!

  11. Ryan on September 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I recieved a speeding ticket due to a camera as well. I do have a few questions. What exactly is “paying under protest” mean and how do I go about doing that? Also, if I have recieved a court summons for the future but decide to pay it online now, do I still have to appear in court? If I did show up to court, who would act as my accuser that I have the right to face?

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on September 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      If you pay the fine online, you should not have to appear in court. If you choose to pay online, I suggest that you call the court clerk to confirm that they have received your payment. If they haven’t received your payment by the court date, then you will have to appear in court. If you choose to go to court and fight the ticket, then the judge will set your case for a trial date, and at trial, the prosecuting attorney for the city of St. Ann will question you under oath and will cross-examine any witnesses you have brought to testify on your behalf. Paying under protest means you pay the fine because you don’t want an arrest warrant to be issued, but you make it clear to the court that you are not doing so voluntarily. Usually this is done because the defendant wants to challenge the ordinance in court, hoping that the ordinance will be found to be illegal and defendant will receive a refund of the amount they paid. Otherwise, all payments made to the court are assumed to be made voluntarily and you won’t be entitled to a refund if the city ordinance is later found to be invalid. If you choose to do this, I suggest that you include a signed letter with your payment if you choose to pay under protest.

  12. Lee on September 13, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Today (September 13) i received a speeding ticket at hoech on Ashby rd from September 12 2012. How can they come after me a year later?. There must be some type of reasonable timeframe to be notified. Anyone have suggestions on fighting this? I have probably been driving for a while now with an arrest warrant.

    • Andrea Storey Rogers on September 14, 2013 at 6:56 am

      There is no statute of limitations on speeding tickets. If you failed to pay the fine and you failed to appear in court, then you should assume that the court has issued a warrant for your arrest and that warrant will remain in effect until the fine is paid in full. The court may have also suspended your driver’s license for failure to appear in court. You can call the Missouri Dept. of Revenue at (573) 751-4475 to see if your license is suspended. If you want to get the speeding ticket “fixed,” I can get it reduced to a non-moving, no-point violation. You will have to pay a fine and court costs, but you won’t have to appear in court. St. Ann Municipal Court does not lift warrants until the fine is paid in full, or until you turn yourself in at the police department and pay the bond.

      • Lee on September 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm

        I intend to fight this ticket, but when I’m looking at the ticket it only gives me the option to pay. I have the constitutional right to a court date and to face my accuser. This ticket does not take points, it is just the classical “non-moving money scam.” (a speeding ticket that is a non-moving violation….contradiction) The ticket violates Missouri law by treating a speeding ticket as a civil manner (which it is not), Speeding tickets are criminal, and Missouri law requires points to be taken off the driver’s license. The city of St. Ann does not have the authority to rewrite Missouri law so they can make a quick buck. They are banking on most people just paying the ticket.

        Furthermore, it is unconstitutional to issue an arrest warrant before being notified of an offense. The city failed to notify me for a whole year (I have proof I didn’t not receive anything until yesterday) about this ticket. It was not possible to represent myself as I was unaware of the ticket.

        • Andrea Storey Rogers on September 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm

          You can call the St. Ann court clerk and tell them you want to dispute the ticket. The court clerk will give you a court date. You will have to appear in court and either plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, the judge will set it for trial.

      • Lee on September 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm

        Just wanted to be clear, I didn’t fail to pay the fine. The city of St. Ann failed to notify me.

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