CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – A Coral Gables resident who is suing the city over its use of automated license plate readers can move forward with the lawsuit.
A judge recently denied the city’s request to dismiss the case.
“Even though I’m considered to be a good citizen, my city feels the need to basically track and monitor my movements,” Raul Mas said.
CBS4 News first reported last October that Mas filed a lawsuit
He claims the city is violating state law that protects his right to privacy.
He alleges the city is also violating the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment that prevents the government from conducting searches and seizures without a probable cause.
The co-defendants in the lawsuit are Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of State.
“The city has my daily movements and they can figure out what you’re doing every single day,” Mas said.
He talked to CBS4’s Ty Russell along busy US1 near the University of Miami Metrorail Stop where there is a license plate reader. There are several more throughout the city. Other agencies use them throughout South Florida.
Mas also wanted to point out that he’s not 100 percent against the license plate readers.
“If there is a child that has been kidnapped or something. These automatic license plate readers, these cameras theoretically help you find that vehicle a lot faster. But that is somebody who is under criminal suspicion, right? Who has kidnapped a child. I don’t have a problem with that,” he said.
Mas wants the data collected to be immediately tossed if there’s no probable cause of warrant.
According to his lawsuit, the city keeps records from three years to confide with how the state department keeps its records.
In a statement from City Attorney Miriam Ramos, she said, in part:
“The City, along with the co-defendants, is committed to defending the constitutionality of the program, which has proven to be an effective law enforcement tool.”
A judge recently ruled against the city of Coral Gables.
Leaders wanted the lawsuit thrown out involving the license plate readers but Monday night they say they will keep fighting.
And the man who filed the lawsuit says he’s ready.
So what’s next? Well, the case moves into discovery.
For the plaintiff, that means requesting more documents from the city when it comes to a program, he says, has already recorded 30 million license plates in 2018.