By ALLISON WOOD
AKRON â€” Because a laser device used to catch a suspected speeder was not ruled by experts to be accurate, the 9th District Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a $100 speeding ticket for a truck driver traveling on Interstate 71 north in Brunswick Hills Township.
Donald Miko, 32, of Shirley, N.Y., was ticketed by an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper on March 12, 2006, for going 67 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone, court records show.
The trooper, who was parked in the median, used an LTI 20-20 laser device to record Mikoâ€™s speed, which the appeals court ruled had never been proven by any expert in any court proceeding to be an accurate device.
Miko was convicted and fined $100 plus $162 in court costs and received two points on his license after a trial before a magistrate in Medina Municipal Court.
Mikoâ€™s attorney, Kenneth Turowski, said the ruling could open up possible appeals from drivers found guilty of speeding in the court in the last month, the Associated Press reported.
Medina law director Greg Huber said he will meet with Municipal Court Judge Dale Chase soon to see if they will need to hold a hearing with a company representative or other expert to verify the deviceâ€™s accuracy.
In a 1993 case in Medina Municipal Court, Huber said an expert claimed the device was accurate, but this testimony was never mentioned in the magistrateâ€™s ruling.
Chase cited this case when he overruled Mikoâ€™s objection to his conviction last year.
There are several different types of radar devices used by police departments, and each must be verified that they are accurate, Huber said.
Medina post commander Lt. Josh Swindell said the LTI 20-20 models are issued to most troopers throughout the state and the agency has its own experts trained in the deviceâ€™s operation.
The city prosecutorâ€™s office did not file an appellate brief in Mikoâ€™s case, which the appeals court said has happened before.
â€œThis court has noticed a disturbing pattern of the Medina Municipal Prosecutor failing to file appellate briefs,â€ it said. â€œThe court will not do the prosecutorâ€™s job for him.â€
Huber said he was not aware that the office failed to file a brief until Monday and wishes it had.
â€œItâ€™s not right to not file a brief on a case like this,â€ he said.
Medina Municipal Courtâ€™s jurisdiction includes the cities of Medina and Brunswick, Chippewa Lake and Spencer villages and 11 townships.
Wood may be reached at 330-721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.