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Gaddy arrested, faces Dunlap jail cell as political prisoner

An assault case in Soddy-Daisy city court in a dispute with a garage brought Carol and Thomas Gaddy into a courts building in Chattanooga today, leading to her arrest in her property rights case in Dunlap, Tenn. , where she is under a finding of contempt. (Photo David Tulis)

An assault case in Soddy-Daisy city court in a billing dispute with a garage owner brought Carol and Thomas Gaddy into a courts building in Chattanooga today, leading to her arrest in her property rights case in Dunlap, Tenn. , where she is under a judge’s finding of civil contempt. (Photo David Tulis)

Carol Gaddy was arrested Monday in Hamilton County courthouse during an appearance to schedule a hearing, but her husband, Thomas, escaped the notice of county deputies sent after her by an attorney who recognized her as wanted under a judicial civil contempt ruling in another county.

Mrs. Gaddy, 69, is a protagonist in a constitutional rights case over the use of private property and its defense against government searches and seizures absent a warrant or probable cause.

By David Tulis / Noogaradio 1240 AM 92.7 FM

She is under a contempt finding by Sequatchie County Chancery judge Thomas Graham, who earlier this year said she must voluntarily grant consent to search her house without a warrant — or face jail.Noogaradio logo 92.7 fm

“They’re being taken to the Sequatchie jail, and there ain’t going to be no mercy there,” says June Griffin of Dayton, who got Mrs. Gaddy’s only free call after being arrested. Mrs. Griffin said Tuesday that Mrs. Gaddy will be in Hamilton County jail until Friday under charges of failure to appear at a court hearing.

Mr. and Mrs. Gaddy have resisted in court for two years an effort by Mayor Dewayne Land of Dunlap to “inspect” the house.

The arrest took place less than two hours after a Crossville, Tenn., engineer, Barry Field, gave a Chattanooga radio interview in which he declared the Main Street house is structurally sound in every way and not a danger either to residents or neighbors.

‘It’s up to him what he does’

Steve Greer, city attorney for Dunlap, said he could not comment because “Judge Graham put that order down, so that’s up to him what he does. *** I don’t know that it’s up to the city to make a petition at this time. It’s in their court [the Gaddys’], not ours,” he said. “They’re the ones who need to be asking for relief from the judge.”

Mr. Greer says that in an order of civil contempt, the person targeted of the order has the keys to his own liberation by granting the judge what he wants.

“She was at a hearing in the Soddy-Daisy situation pertaining to that old trial that had with the car, they were there to set a date for a hearing. And one of the attorneys — I don’t know which one it was, [son] Kelly [Gaddy] could tell you — but he went outside and called the Sequatchie County police department, and then Hamilton County arrested Carol and took her to jail. Thomas had already gone down the elevator, so he was out.”

“She is asking people to pray,” Mrs. Griffin said, “pray that she’s released. It’ll take a miracle because there’s such hatred against her in Sequatchie County, and the judge, Rusty Graham, said that she would be in there indefinitely until they comply, which is an act of tyranny.”

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