Let notice put F$25,000 to F$500,000 in pocket after false arrest

Alan Dunn from the Hamilton County DA’s prosecutes innocent users of the road such as Jon Luman, right rear, who insists he is not using the road under a state privilege as a driver, but traveling on the road as one of the people of the state of Tennessee. Messrs. Dunn and Luman arranged to get criminal charges against him dismissed under what Mr. Luman calls a tort by the arresting officer. (Photo David Tulis)

It’s good to consider the dollar value of administrative notice to the victim of police misenforcement in Chattanooga and Hamilton County — its abuse of the state shipping-freight law to arrest working people like you who are not involved in trucking.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM

Is it worth F$100,000? A cool million? Or, is it F$20 million, as demanded in the Jones case of people dragged by city cops out of their car while making a bank deposit on Gunbarrel Road in September 2018? 

Every traffic stop in Tennessee is premised on the authority given to the officer under Tennessee code annotated Title 55, motor and other vehicles. This law is to be properly used by parties authorized to use it. The code and a federal agreement signed yearly indicate that the sole authority to enforce the transportation law in Tennessee is the highway patrol. The law is unlawfully used when municipal cops and local sheriffs apply it to people not involved in the activities described in the law. 

But it gets even better for the plaintiff in this Strong Towns-inspired local government reform project. The law is used maliciously and in bad faith when officers use it in full knowledge that it is being exploited illegally and against the rights and innocence of the people.

The activities subject to the law are freight, shipping and transportation. If you are using your car or truck privately, for pleasure, for private business, for personal necessities, for the exercise of your rights, you are not involved in freight, shipping, traffic or transportation, as the law defines them.

 Clear to you, but not clear to judges and police. Not clear to the myriad commercial and lawyerly parties who profit financially from the status quo.

The citizens’ areas of liberty are protected by the state and federal constitutions. The right of travel is protected as an unenumerated right by the 9th amendment to the U.S. constitution, a right that is a subset of the rights of free speech expressed in the first amendment.

 The 9th amendment says, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The Tennessee constitution protects free movement in many areas, usually by implication. But we do have the right of free communication and free speech which is a main right protected under the right to travel. If you have a right to speak freely, you have a right to get to the place where you will be speaking or the place where you will be heard if you are heading toward the podium and the mic.

Transportation administrative notice is intended to allow people to defend themselves in court and also to sue for damages under tort for false arrest. The question is: How much is the wrong against you worth? How badly damaged were you? 

I would say that a minimum demand will be for F$25,000 if you are suing personally. If you have an attorney, operating under the contingency fee system, I would propose starting at F$100,000. If the jury awarded you of that amount, you would collect F$66,666, because the lawyer would take a third.

If you sue for F$500,000, your tax free earnings would be F$330,000 . If you sue for $1 million, your collection would be $666,000.  High awards are more likely if you are dragged from your car or injured by the officer. A good video will increase the award.

I already have drafted my lawsuit that I would file in chancery if I am falsely arrested under Title 55. I’m not sure that I would make a dollar amount demand. I might leave it to the judge to determine. Cases in chancery are heard without a jury.

Please don’t hear in my suggestions anything clucking, gleeful, excited or grifticious.

It might seem unkind to propose capitalizing on the mistakes of the city or county or even the state. But the following jurisdictions have been put on notice, and know full well the limits of the statute. They use their police departments to continue to press false claims against the people traveling on the roads. These municipal corporations jail, harass, cite and otherwise abuse people who have committed no crime and injured no one and hurt no one. 

The jurisdictions that are under notice are city of Chattanooga; Hamilton County via Sheriff Jim Hammond; the state of Tennessee through the offices of district attorney general Neal Pinkston, and also the office of the governor, Bill Lee, as of March 2018 (via the Haslam administration); and three cities: of East Ridge, Red Bank and Dayton. 

If you are entrapped any of these jurisdictions under Title 55, I propose, you have grounds for redress of grievances that wasn’t plainly available as it is today. This redress I propose be litigation seeking damages, both of the officer personally and individually, and also against his employer, the city or county corporation.

The pivot is the fact these corporations have been given notice about the limits or disabilities of the law, and they ignore them. They have been informed about how the law frames travel, and how the people rest secure in their liberties, as guaranteed by the state and federal constitutions. A police abuse victim must simply be aware of his remedies. 

He must understand he can sue for damages, and use transportation administrative notice to indicate the knowingness and intentionality of the officer and his employer in the arrest and the subsequent abuse of due process rights.

The David Tulis show is 1 p.m. weekdays, live and lococentric.

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