How can a huge number of opportunities occur without people realizing they are there? The law of combinations, a related strand of the Improbability Principle, points the way. It says: the number of combinations of interacting elements increases exponentially with the number of elements. The “birthday problem” is a well-known example.
Now if only we could harness this to make an infinite improbability drive!
Another red light camera company is in trouble, this time in St. Louis, MO, where a judge has just invalidated the city's red light camera ordinance. American Traffic Solutions (whose legal issues we've detailed here previously) has just had its camera system kicked to the curb as a result of some questionable moves it made during a recent lawsuit.
A St. Louis judge issued an order Tuesday that invalidates the city's red-light camera ordinance.So what prompted Ohmer to shut down the system? Well, the tickets that were central to the case, which were over a year old at the point of the suit's filing, were dismissed almost immediately after the lawsuit was filed. Why the sudden show of largesse?
Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer wrote in the order that the city is prohibited from attempting to enforce the ordinance, sending violation notices, processing payments or sending collection letters relating to the tickets.
Those named in the suit including the city, Mayor Francis Slay, Police Chief Sam Dotson and American Traffic Solutions Inc., which operates the cameras had argued to dismiss it. Some of the defendants said the claims were moot because the tickets had been dismissed and that the petitioners lacked standing because they were not hurt by the ordinance.Ohmer didn't let this transparent attempt to dodge a legal battle go unnoticed.
"Here, it is clear that the City dismissed the Petitioners' tickets for the sole reason of avoiding an injunction in this matter, which the Court was poised to enter following the November hearing," he wrote.Nearly every other claim made by the defendants was rebuffed by Judge Ohmer. The defendant's argued the plaintiffs had other venues to pursue their claims, like the municipal court, but a recent decision found that this court didn't provide adequate remedy for their claims. The defendants also argued the two filers didn't meet the requirements for a class action lawsuit. Judge Ohmer pointed out that the pair satisfied the "class action" stipulations because the ordinance affected other citizens.
Veni, Vidi, VISA: I came, I saw, I did a little shopping.