CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Jan.13, 2020 — District Attorney General Neal Pinkston dismisses criminal charges against free-traveling constitution-toting tradesmen Gregory Parker who has insisted all along he’s not under state power in the use of his red pickup truck.
Judge Barry Steelman “asked me, ‘Mr. Parker, what’s this about the special appearance? I don’t understand that.’ I’s like, ‘Well, I’m here by special appearance because I’m not subjected to the court’s jurisdiction and this court has still failed to prove jurisdiction,’” Mr. Parker recounts in an interview.
“He looked over to the attorney general, and he stood up *** He rose and said the state is making a motion to dismiss on lack of jurisdiction as they wasn’t able to apply a statute — 40-something. I didn’t catch the whole deal.
“Then the judge was, like, ‘Well, I accept the state’s dismissal. And that’s when this case was dismissed.”
The DA’s office is represented by Andrew Coyle.
Mr. Parker says he is not sure about the Title 40 reference, though he thinks it may be connected to the seizure of his truck for 10 days — a matter that did not come up in the hearing.
“They’re telling me I have to have it registered, as state property — as a commercial vehicle. The way these privilege taxes apply to the registration itself, they’re kinda placing me into this commercial activity without any proof that I’m in this commercial activity.” Mr. Parker establishes in a document that his car is private chattel property, acknowledged in the uniform commercial code.
The action takes place in the Hamilton County criminal court under Judge Steelman, who overlooks the unwillingness of the accused to stand as courtroom etiquette requires.
Mr. Parker’s defense includes several motions and a judicial notice that, over four pages, lays out what he avers are the legal disabilities of the Chattanooga police department to enforce the state freight-shipping-hauling-trucking-transportation statute at Tenn. Code Ann. § Titles 55 and 65.
Neither of these department of revenue-enforced and department of safety-enforced laws seem easily enforceable by municipal officers, Mr. Parker avers, citing state verbiage that the THP is the “sole agency” to enforce the commercial traffic law.
Ready to fight
Mr.Parker says city officer Andrew Doub should have obtained as evidence the essential elements of every traffic case. And that is the proofs of the activity for which a proof of privilege is required to show that the privilege is being properly and lawfully exercised.
Those proofs, Mr. Parker says, would have been “waybills, bills of lading, passenger lists, any other type to document transportation of goods *** or contracts [or documents to show] you are employed by somebody, you’re actually operating someone else’s property.”
Mr. Parker says he handed Officer Doub an affidavit of status as a private person acting privately, but that he continued “his unlawful arrest.” Mr. Parker says he refiled an analysis of his situation as a motion for dismissal, both with Judge Lila Statom in sessions court and with Judge Steelman.
Mr. Parker says he intended to use transportation administrative notice as a public record describing the limited scope of the state’s transportation laws. The two relevant titles are imposed unconstitutionally, though the laws themselves are clearly in light with constitutional guarantees and liberties on one hand and the need for the state to regulate certain aspects of commerce in the public health, safety, welfare and moral interests.
Mr. Parker had a similar case tried in East Ridge. His attorney, Brandon Raulston, quit his service as a “conflict of interest,” Mr. Parker recounts about that case. “He quit me on it being a conflict of interest.” He’s had two cases tried in Walker County, also.
Trucking law ensnares many
➤ Also appearing before Judge Steelman is Kenneth T. Long, a lanky man facing criminal prosecution for exercising his rights, as he tells it, to use the public roads privately and without any connection with state through a privilege.
Mr. Long stands before Judge Steelman with Mike Wade, his bondsman. Judge Steelman recounts a sequence of court dates and judicial events suggesting Mr. Long did not care to appear when called to court. Mr. Wade relates how Mr. Long had come to the court twice, but court had been canceled. Judge Steelman orders Mr. Long into a jail cell. Two deputies put his phone, pen and other effects into a plastic bag as they take him out. The judge’s female assistant hands the bag to a man who’d brought Mr. Long to court, a coworker.
Mr. Long, 58, travels and is not under contract with the state to use the roads for hire, for private profit and gain. He works in repair — air conditioning, refrigeration, electrical devices, has been doing that since 1985.
➤ In a third case, Judge Steelman mentions to Tori Coleman the prospect of the penitentiary on account of a traffic accident. She is entangled with the mandatory insurance statute and the revocation of a driver license. She stands there next to her attorney, Lloyd Levitt.