A unanimous three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals has dismissed a Greenville woman’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s red-light camera law.

The judges agreed they could not rule on the case because a Superior Court panel had issued no ruling on the state’s involvement in the dispute.

Plaintiff Mary Sue Vaitovas originally sued Greenville, the Pitt County school board, and the top officers in the N.C. House and Senate. She claimed that a law permitting automated red-light cameras in Greenville violated a provision of the N.C. Constitution. That law prohibits local laws relating to health.

A three-judge Superior Court panel ruled in favor of the city and school board but never addressed a motion to dismiss the case against legislative leaders. No one representing the state took part in proceedings before the Appeals Court.

Writing for the unanimous appellate panel, Judge Richard Dietz notes:

This lawsuit is a facial constitutional challenge to a state law that names the State as a party. Before this Court hears the matter and addresses the constitutionality of that law on the merits, the appeal should include a judgment entered as to the State, so that the State, if it chooses, can appear and advocate for its position on that constitutional question.