DAMASCUS, Ark. (KTHV) - A Faulkner County Circuit Judge has denied a request to reverse a prosecuting attorney's order barring the City of Damascus from issuing traffic tickets.
Damascus mayor, L.B. Pavatt, filed an ‘ex parte order’ for injunctive relief in Faulkner County Circuit Court, hoping to reverse prosecuting attorney, Cody Hiland’s order.
Ex parte matters are when a judge makes a decision without requiring all parties to be present.
In the court filing, Pavatt’s motions stated that “these sanctions would potentially endanger motorists and pedestrians if the public knew that the Damascus Police Department was unable to effectively perform its traffic control and management duties.”
Last week, Hiland’s office barred the City of Damascus from patrolling all affected highways within the jurisdictional limits of the city.
The order means any violation of the sanction by any police officer shall constitute a “Class A” misdemeanor per each citation issued.
This followed an investigation launched in June of 2016 after THV11 found Damascus police wrote an average of 1,500 tickets per year on the small stretch of State Highway 65 that runs through the city.
In February, findings in the investigation were made public, deeming Damascus a “speed trap.” The city said it does not reach the 30 percent threshold required to be deemed a “speed trap.”
On Monday, circuit judge Chris Carnahan denied the motion filed by Mayor Pavatt, stating in the ruling “the court cannot find that there is any irreparable injury at this time. The plaintiffs’ own pleadings in this matter indicate that agents of the Arkansas State Police, Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office, and Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office will take up the traffic enforcement duties along the effected highways, as such alleviating any need for an injunction.”