Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wells v. City of Wilmington

United States District Court, D. Delaware

June 28, 2017

STANLEY W. WELLS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF WILMINGTON, DELAWARE, and STATE OF DELAWARE, Defendants.

          Stanley W. Wells, Jr., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Pro se Plaintiff.

          Sanjay Bhatnagar, Esquire, City of Wilmington Law Department, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendant City of Wilmington, Delaware.

          Stuart B. Drowos, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendant State of Delaware.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ROBINSON, SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Stanley W. Wells, Jr. ("plaintiff'), who resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, proceeds pro se and has paid the filing fee.[1] He challenges the constitutionality of Wilmington City Code § 37-95(b).[2] (D.I. 1) Presently before the court are defendants' motions to dismiss, opposed by plaintiff. (D.I. 14, 17) Plaintiff asserts jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (i.e., federal question). For the following reasons, the court will grant in part and deny in part defendants' motions.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The complaint alleges that on or about June 21, 2015, plaintiff received a traffic citation via U.S. mail for failing to stop at a red-light traffic signal on June 11, 2015, at 12:57 p.m., in Wilmington, Delaware. The citation and a civil assessment were imposed under Wilmington Code § 37-95(b)(1) as authorized by Delaware enabling statute 21 Del. C. § 4101(d)(2). Plaintiff disagreed with, the citation and mailed a notice of intent to appeal to defendant City of Wilmington ("the City"). A few weeks later he received a summons and notice of trial set for October 20, 2015 to be held at the Justice of the Peace Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County, Court No. 10.

         Following the October 20, 2015 trial, plaintiff was found liable for a civil assessment of $110 plus $25 court costs and a $10 court security fee for a total amount due of $145 to be paid in one installment on February 20, 2016. The complaint does not indicate whether plaintiff appealed. He commenced this action on February 11, 2016.

         The complaint alleges that Wilmington Code § 37-95(b) is unconstitutional because:

(1) it denies due process under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and also violates Article 1, Section 7 under the Delaware Constitution;
(2) it denies the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution;
(3) the representative of the company contracted by the City to operate the red-light camera program has a substantial vested monetary interest in helping the City convict an alleged red-light camera violator;
(4) the City uses retired police officers to review potential red-light camera violations under the erroneous belief that a retired police officer is not bound by the same oath as an active police officer;
(5) the City classifies the red-light camera violations as civil in nature so that the constitutional protections afforded a criminal defendant are inapplicable;
(6) camera monitoring violates the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution due to the unreasonable search and monitoring of movements;
(7) it violates the Fifth Amendment of the United State Constitution as it shifts the burden of proof to the alleged violator as opposed to the City which eliminates the presumption of innocence and deprives property without due process;
(8) it violates the right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment because ยง 37-95(b) is classified as a civil ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.