CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Jan.. 11, 2021 — Gov. Bill Lee insists in court that he is not liable for performance of the state’s quarantine and isolation statute that he has ignored in creating a state of emergency and, for millions of Tennesseans, a state of disaster.
By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM
Chancery court judge Pamela Fleenor continues to protect the fraud that I put into the court’s record Oct. 2 by way of an affidavit of complaint, at 212 paragraphs and 11,500 words. Acting on behalf of state of Tennessee, I am the relating party of the people’s grievance against Gov. Lee and the local health administrator, Becky Barnes.
The relator insists that these two people are violating black-letter law at Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 68-5-104, and that they are violating these laws in their personal capacity under color of office.
The relator cites the rules of equity which Judge Fleenor’s jurisdiction respects, as chancery is that great enemy in Tennessee of inequity, injury, deceit and scammery. These rules do not permit fraud to be unaddressed, particularly when it has been in the court’s record unrebutted and accepted for 101 days. The defendants — called respondents in the law — are using technical and procedural arguments to escape the affidavit of petition’s claims, and in so doing admit to the fraud, irreparable harm and economic devastation caused by refusal to obey the law.
I suffer having multiple motions thrown out intended to hold Gov. Lee and Mrs. Barnes to account, with Judge Fleenor giving no foundation or legal rationale for any of her orders of denial. A motion pro confesso is denied without a reason — it is a bid for her to rule immediately prior to hearing on admitted facts in the case. My motion for default judgment is denied, with the judge getting the math wrong on the number of days respondents have to answer summons and letting each slide without my getting my right to default judgment. Projecting a mirage, Judge Fleenor claims a “record” shows a much later date of service than the existing record, which includes a letter from the Chattanooga postmaster Debra Groshko.
The respondents are in legal default, but the judge props them up and keeps them going.
Gov. Lee and Mrs. Barnes say that I have no standing because I repeatedly identify with the thousands of people suffering as much as I am; being indistinguishable from others, the lawyers argue, I lack an individualized harm required for my proposed remedy to work, they allege.
I am demanding Judge Fleenor issue a writ of mandamus, a powerful common law remedy by which the people can compel officials to obey the law in any act or duty that is ministerial and not discretionary. There is no discretion in the law whether Gov. Lee or Mrs. Barnes must obey the primary law controlling how epidemics are handled in the interest of public health.
Harm ‘common to all the citizens’
Lee and Barnes say my claims must be dismissed because there is no “redressability” in the case — mandamus settles nothing because they are under no duty to obey the law, and I have no clear legal rights in their alleged performance of their duty.
This is a situation where the plaintiff lacks the standing to seek that declaratory and injunctive relief. *** Bottom line here is that in order to have standing to seek that kind of relief, the plaintiff has to show a concrete, a particularized injury that is, that is — there are the three elements, your honor. It has to be a concrete, particularized injury. It has to be shown that it was fairly traceable to the conduct of the party, in this instance, that would be the governor. And that it is capable of being redressed by a favorable decision of the court.
The permanent injury, your honor, that the petitioner alleges, is that the governor is not following the law. He’s not following the law as the petitioner believes the governor should be following the law. In particular, he’s not complying with 68-5-104. But that is an injury, your honor, common to all the citizens of the state of Tennessee, not just the petitioner. In fact, that is a position repeatedly asserted and alleged by petitioner in the petition; throughout the petition, he alleges that the respondents have harmed the relator and fellow Tennesseans, that the plaintiff and state of Tennessee are being irreparably injured, that the pretense of respondent jeopardizes everyone in the state of Tennessee. He specifically asserts that the constitution and the laws of state of Tennessee, such as Tenn. Code An. 68-5-104 have been, and are being contravened, and rights secured thereby are being infringed, unwarranted power exercised in an arbitrary and oppressive manner, to justify this honorable court to prevent wrong and oppression. In essence, petitioner is alleging the governor is not following the laws as he believes the governor ought to be following the laws. And that is not sufficient to establish standing.”
She cites off-point cases and misrepresents them in support of the need for a mandamus petitioner to establish particular claims. She ignores the case record that contains my affidavit of injury particular to me.
The governor’s violation of 68-5-104 “is an injury shared by all citizens” and so the relator, she asserts, lacks standing.
She brings up my claim for equitable compensation and converts that “essentially into a claim of damages against the governor” that is “barred by sovereign immunity.”
Justice forbids evasions with admitted fraud
My carefully crafted opening statement locks in my appealable issues, as I am certain that Pamela Fleenor, to date an unjust judge slothful with issuing immediate justice on admitted evil, will either continue to delay, or refuse to compel obedience to the law.
For the record for any appeal, consistent with the factual evidence in the petition, notwithstanding the boiler plate offered by both respondents, or inadequate, order denying the motion to strike respondent’s motion to dismiss for continuing fraud, which, and, among other things, the challenged orders, consequent with granting, if justice is to be done,
— needed to provide notice,
— show how the petition was insufficient
— and that this court, contrary to its actions to date, provide the state on relation with an opportunity to amend any particularized inadequacy,
— then that relator refused, or failed, or could not amend, and to provide foundation for how this court can continue to allow fraud to infiltrate, subsist and be subsidized in chancery and tolerated by equity principles;
that despite the vast discretionary authority granted an honorable court, these same requirements apply, equally, to the purported motion to dismiss, and this court is required to provide its valid foundation and notice for due process consideration or that ultimately justice be done;
Dismissal upon the otherwise inadequate if not frivolous motions of the respondent, in admitted fraud and breach of duty causing, with evidence of record, particularized irreparable harm to relator or the state of Tennessee on relation, is unwarranted and constitutionally invalid against the relator’s rights to remedy for the particularized harm — again, particularized harm — done to him by respondent in any capacity.
The motion to dismiss is improper being the fraud now admitted by respondent in choosing this route — the procedural route — has not been answered pursuant to equity principles and the court is duty bound to summarily and immediately the writ of mandamus, that the respondent is compelled to obey the law and stop committing, or by omission, the irreparable harm, your honor evidenced in the adequate petition, no lawful record existing to the contrary.
And so, just briefly, in introduction, I demand that justice be done in favor of the state on relation immediately, your honor.
I go to the specifics of striking the motion by Lee to dismiss as part of the fraud that I declare is being subsidized by the chancery court. Mrs. Kleinfelter’s motion —
is improper. We are 101 days into an admitted violation of 68-5-104. That is a fraud. Equity disallows fraud. It disallows breach of trust. It disallows oppression and violation of oath to stand unaddressed in this court. Actions by the respondent personally are addressed because his health security show in defiance of the law is done, I would think, in his personal capacity under color of law and not in his office. His office has no authority to ignore the statute and declare a state of emergency. The motion to dismiss the state of Tennessee’s claims on relation with prejudice is not particularized. It is not particularized, your honor. It does not answer to the fraud. The motion that you have read and have heard discussed now is from one who has no standing to argue anything, with unclean hands, admitting fraud, violating oath. There is no right — no right of having law and notice not shine upon it that this case is doing.
We are in a state of breach of public trust. There is no lawful title by respondent Lee before this court for 101 days. There is no title, either, to the property of the people whom he has injured; no lawful excuse — and it’s not a matter of discretion we’re dealing with here. There’s no lawful excuse, no discretion, in default in reply to his oath. He is 100 percent in the red. If the court lets stand this motion, I would like to have answer in writing as to what, and if this motion survives in any way, Judge Fleenor, I would like at least 21 days to answer it.”
I argue in the alternative for “misjoinder.” That means, if Judge Fleenor thinks that Gov. Lee can be sued only in Davidson County chancery, that my case against him be transferred there. If there is no jurisdiction, Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-1-116 and Rule 21 would put the case in Davidson by transfer. The courts’ grant of “venue privilege” to commissioners being sued and Gov. Lee claims that privilege to answer there.
Your honor, if fraud is not addressed in a court of equity, which is chancery’s jurisdiction, a great godly power, these procedural claims are improper, and this motion by Mrs. Kleinfelter should be stricken.
Kleinfelter has no response to this barrage, and no questions. Judge Fleenor is taking it “under advisement” and will give “a written opinion.”
Barnes claims ‘discretion’
Sharon Milling makes the case for administrator Becky Barnes. She also argues lack of standing “because of a nonparticularized injury” on the relator’s part.
She hones in on the mask directive in Hamilton County and offers a confusing analysis. She tries to tie the relator’s injuries to the nature of the statute, and looks at it as if it were somehow connected with the average citizen.
She wants to bring into play “whether the petitioner has an individualized injury based on this statute.” *** He has not alleged such an injury. Nor has he alleged that, personally, the provisions of 68-5-104 have been applied to him relative to quarantine.
Regarding the writ of mandamus, she quotes from her brief and cites the great peril of the erstwhile Covid-19 pandemic. The Barnes defense to disobeying the law is discretion.
[T]he law of mandamus in Tennessee is well settled. *** Mandamus will only lie to enforce a ministerial act or duty and will not lie to control a legislative or discretionary duty. In this case, we have understandably — the petitioner does not believe it to be true. But we have before us a pandemic where we have thousands of people being infected, or hundreds of thousands across across the country, *** and thousands of people in state of Tennessee have died. It is an undertaking that has not occurred at least since I have been in the legal field, certainly I don’t believe in my lifetime. *** And the discretion to issue a mask directive — that most certainly is discretionary. Meaning that a mandamus does not lie to address this issue.
Mrs. Milling repeats the Gov. Lee argument about damages, a falsehood, and chaseable only in circuit court at law; I am not seeking damages, but equity.
Slamming Barnes on fraud
I argue that Barnes’ motion for dismissal of the supporting brief as improper. The court “pretending to have a concern for procedure when the fraud that is in the record, and not rebutted — which is disobedience to 68-5-104 — is unaddressed. The fraud of disobedience to black-letter law that applies to everybody, from the governor on down; everybody involved in health and public health is bound by that law. That law, in sum, is not a matter of discretion.”
I argue that my affidavit of complaint is sufficient, and in laying fire upon Barnes I say to the judge that the arguments vs. Barnes are applicable against the Lee motion, too.
It fails to account for fraud; that is not allowed in equity. It is not allowed to have a party with a duty, a known clear legal duty, to obey. Here, we the health administrator in Tennessee ignoring and having no proof of compliance with this statute which has about five demands upon her and her office. This suit was filed when I determined as a fact that she had not once looked at this law, not once had any discussions about it — there are no reports under it — not a single item of evidence that she is obedient to this law — the key health law, the quarantine-epidemic law in Tennessee ignored by the respondent Barnes.
And so that is fraud.
That is deception. That is damage.
And we are all damaged, and I am specifically damaged as well. And that will go to my discussion on standing, your honor.
I insist that the Barnes brief is “a demurrer and an evasion.”
We don’t have demurrer in Tennessee law. But that’s what this is. And it is an evasion for 101 days to say that Mrs. Barnes is exercising discretion is simply frivolous. It is a frivolous argument. The motion is under color of a proper motion, and it is using this court with each day that passes without a ruling for mandamus it is asking and demanding the court perpetuate the fraud of this whole top-down solution to the year’s virus.
I object to the court not demanding obedience immediately to 68-5-104, or evidence of coming into compliance, the evidences, your honor, that I insist that you ask for — that they are in the process of obeying, or they have plans to obey — maybe starting tomorrow, your honor, that this official plans to start looking at the law to see what it has in there for her to do. I am asserting I have a due process right in her compliance with the statute. My due process rights as evidenced in my affidavit of damages with my five points, those damages came to me because she ignored her duty. That statute is, figuratively speaking a complexity thicket. And she has to go into that thicket, and she has a duty to go into that thicket and meet all its obligations before she can do anything.
That statute is binding upon her. There is no discretion apart from obedience. Discretion does not operate contravening black-letter law, in the health law, the health statute at Title 68, binding a woman whose whole life as a nurse and a local official has been under that statute. She knows that statute very well, and I would say in her motion she is not denying fraud. And she’s not saying I’m misperceiving the job or that I’m misreading. There is a suggestion that somehow I’ve misread it, that somehow this law I’m misapplying it, that somehow it doesn’t apply to her.
And yet, and yet Mrs. Barnes accepts my affidavit of complaint, the petition of 212 paragraphs, and she accepts without rebuttal, without putting me on the stand for my injuries, she accepts the affidavit. In chancery, there need not be testimony in this case because of the damages are particular and personal to me. And so the petition, your honor, is sufficient. That is my main point here. It is made in good faith.
It accurately portrays the law, the duty and the obligation of this official. It is proof of disobedience to legislative enactment — the people through the general assembly passed this law, and she is in stark disobedience to the people’s will through this statute that applies to her.
‘Roaches feeding on stinking cancerous tumor’
I finally pull together the picture of lawlessness in Tennessee, a pandemic of wrongdoing by officials who are spiting God before whom they made their oaths of office, or who work for those such as Mayor Jim Coppinger or the commission here in Hamilton County who took oaths of office.
My case, my claims, are a — I would say — a brilliant light on corruption, fraud, roaches feeding on a stinking cancerous tumor dragging across the calendar of 334 days as of today, a rolling stock of constitutional violations and arbitrary and capricious acts by the boxcar, by the boxcar; the constitution has been violated multiple times. I am leaving those points aside because I am firing the people’s tracer bullets, your honor, at the locomotive pulling this rolling stock, and that is this law and this official, denying obedience and duty to this law. In her duty to obey this law, petitioner and the state on relation have their due process protections. We have protections in her duty. And I, as a representative of the public in Tennessee and Chattanooga and Hamilton County — I have a right, I have a claim in equity, in equity, upon Mrs. Barnes’ performance. I have a right, I have title, I have interest in equity.
I also insist I have a right from the court to know of inadequacy in my petition so that I can amend it. I also defend mandamus as a remedy. I say that the case is “justiciable,” that there is no rebuttal as to the facts of the affidavit, that there is a “causal connection” between Barnes’ disobedience and my economic and other damages.
Amazing mandamus remedy: 1-sentence order
I insist mandamus provides “redressability. That is very clearly in my favor, as well. Mandamus, which is a one-sentence order directing her to obey the law, is redress. That solves my problem. That satisfies the state of Tennessee.”
I highlight the case Tousant v. Memphis, the 2001 case, a “very useful discussion, your honor, about mandamus.”
You can’t use it to force or coerce a discretionary power. It can’t be applied upon exercises of judgment, as these good attorneys have said. It’s not enforceable for an act “done by an official who has lawful authority to determine whether or not he will perform the act.[”] You can’t use mandamus to control an official judgment or discretion. Mandamus does not lie where the right is “doubtful.[”] In Tousant vs Memphis, and also, you can’t use mandamus in “any discretion in the doing of an act.[”]
But — but, mandamus must lie to enforce an official duty as defined in law. It is a purely ministerial act. It is a summary remedy, Tousant says. It is “extraordinary in its nature when the right has been clearly established.[“] And I say I have a clearly established right in her duty. It is a command to act or obey. It is not controlling discretion. Discretion is within obedience. That is my position here. Discretion is not apart from and contravening obedience the statute your honor. It is within — within the statute. It is not apart or against it.”
I insist that mandamus is the mode of relief to end the state of disaster against state of Tennessee brought against her by Gov. Lee and, in Hamilton County, Mrs. Barnes.
I have no other remedy. *** I am not asking, your honor, for anything that is shocking or weird or fruity or bizarre. I am asking for a minimum, a minimum; in one sentence, no doubt, it can be done. The minimum is, that Mrs. Barnes and Gov. Lee obey the wholesome and good law and serve the public health.
And in the interest of judicial economy, I would say mandamus is a great thing to get in your court. It may interfere with your routine child custody, probate and contract cases, your honor. But because it’s peremptory, it throws your dockets out of array or way for 15 days or so. But then it’s gone.
But that hasn’t happened. I find this a very dolorous circumstance. Mandamus, Chancellor Fleenor, exists exactly for this case. This case is a perfect mandamus case. And Barnes and Lee don’t say mandamus won’t solve the problem regarding their duty and my rights. They’re not saying it doesn’t work. And they don’t object that my demand won’t stop irreparable harm. My demand will stop irreparable harm. And this case, your honor, empowers you and chancery court to bring and restore the status quo ante of our rights respected. And I would say that regarding your authority, as Gibson’s Suits in Chancery points out (the 1955 edition I believe I have) that chancery handles in wholes and not in halves.
I want to take this opportunity to demand that the writ issue.
Relator upholds law
I insist that “I’m not saying the state has done anything unconstitutional. I am not saying anything about the state. I am the state. I represent the state of Tennessee. I am the relator. I am not saying that any law is unconstitutional. I am not attacking any law. And I’m not attacking the state. I am the state.”
Rather, your honor, rather, the state of Tennessee on relation says that Mrs. Barnes has violated the sovereign state’s legislative enactments. The state does have sovereignty. It cannot be sued. And Mrs. Barnes has violated the sovereign state’s legislative enactments through its people. And that, your honor, is fraud. That, your honor, is irreparable harm. And they are continuing with the court’s leave — with each day that there’s no mandamus, the one sentence that says “obey the law” — we have irreparable harm. I am defending the law. Your honor, I am defending the law, the good, honest government services it requires, it invites. Law and order. Duty and honor, and representative, constitutional government.
I am personally injured. There has been no rebuttal by Mrs. Barnes ob my injuries. If she wants to put me on the stand, she can do that. But I’ve got it all right there. Five areas of damage. And the fact that we have many people damaged is a very dangerous position to take, your honor.
‘Lovingly, caringly’ for the people
The relator cites a case that defies the boilerplate law work of Mrs. Kleinfelter and Mrs. Milling regarding particularized injury.
The fact that an injury may be suffered by a large number of people does not of itself make that injury a nonjusticiable generalized grievance, under the requirement for Article III standing that the plaintiff suffer a particularized injury. Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 194 L. Ed. 2d 635 (2016), as revised (May 24, 2016)
I keep insisting on harm specific to me personally and also as representing the people of Tennessee.
They are pretending that because I represent the people as a whole, and speak about them lovingly and caringly as suffering like me, that suddenly I don’t have a damage. No. I have a specific damages. And everybody who’s listening to this hearing and everybody in this state is suffering individually in different ways. Just because we have infamy writ large doesn’t mean we don’t have infamy. And I am specifically damaged, and personally damaged. And they have a duty, Mrs. Barnes has a duty, your honor, that implies my right of relief today — my right of relief today for the writ of mandamus.
Judge Fleenor’s promise of a written opinion means she intends to deny mandamus.
Time to fight