Gov. Bill Lee is ignoring the Tennessee health law that imposes the duty on the state to make a determination of an infectious agent in an epidemic. (Photo governor’s office)
Pam Fleenor, chancery judge

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., April 21, 2021 —   A judge today upholds the Tennessee state of disaster begun 405 days ago by claiming Gov. Bill Lee is not required to obey state law and that a court cannot require him to respect the people’s constitutional protections.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM

In her third and fourth orders of dismissal in a single cause brought by an investigative radio journalist, Judge Pamela Fleenor, a Republican, says fellow party member Lee is no way required to obey — or to command his commissioner of health, Lisa Piercey, to obey — the  102-word provision in the state health law that require a finding of an epidemic county-by-county and that a determination to be made about the “contagious principle” or agent of contagion of a virus or disease.

Covid-19 has no known isolate, and no Tennessee official has made a determination about the cause of the widespread illness as required in Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-5-104 so that public health might be protected.

Judge Fleenor’s double rulings, totaling 19 pages, uphold Gov. Lee’s state of emergency that began March 12, 2020. They also uphold the claim of a second respondent, Becky Barnes, administrator of the Hamilton County, Tenn., health department. She has argued that she has discretion whether to obey the law and that there is no connection between her role and the police state that her emergency created, the sheriff’s deputies and cops of which appear in two of the five incidents of harm cited as evidence for standing in my affidavit of complaint.

This reporter and longtime former newspaper copy editor, representing the state as “relator” of its grievances, asserts the officials are acting in personal capacity outside of the law. I am seeking a writ of mandamus to shush them back into their offices and under authority and duty of law. 

I assert that officials inTennessee are required to obey the law and that they have no authority to overthrow constitutional liberties as a fruit of ignoring a statute. The people’s due process rights protections, I allege, are protected by the statue, which effectively is a complexity trap forbidding them from crying, “The sky is falling — the sky is falling!” as they have, forcing everyone to stay home, close their businesses, hold church in parking lots and to wear chin diapers.

In Tennessee, as elsewhere, the Covid-19 so-called “pandemic” is public health theater, and the people wear their tickets on their chins.

‘To perform any act, period’

Judge Fleenor says, with emphasis, she has no authority to compel the governor to obey the law, making him effectively a sovereign individual.

In its January 21, 2021 Order, the Court ruled that no court can issue a writ of mandamus requiring the Governor to perform any act, period. Therefore the Court granted the Governor’ s motion to dismiss. In seeking to alter that Order Relator now argues that his affidavit demonstrates he has standing to seek a writ of mandamus against the Governor, but the Governor and this Court just disregarded his affidavit. The Court did not disregard the Relator’ s affidavit. Rather the Court determined that no allegations in Relator’ s affidavit can overcome the law that the Governor “is not subject to the mandate of any court.” State ex. rel. Latture v. Frazier, 86 S. W. 319, 320 (Tenn. 1905).

Judge Fleenor says the state’s chief executive is not charged with “administering” the law, as the constitution says. “He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” says Article 3 section 10. Also, “All grants and commissions shall be in the name and by the authority of the state of Tennessee, be sealed with the State Seal, and signed by the governor,” section 16 (emphases added). In other words, he is principal, and others are agents who serve at his will.

“[N]owhere in T.C.A. 68- 5- 104 does the statute delineate ministerial duties that the Governor is to perform,” Judge Fleenor says. Rather than take judicial notice of how government works, the judge accuses relator in making these points as making late-stage new arguments. One can almost hear her chuckle in pity that state of Tennessee on relation has such a silly prosecutor for its cause. 

Relator in seeking to alter that Order now asserts for the first time that the commissioner of health is appointed by the Governor and acts under the Governor’s supervision and control. The Relator then argues that this Court should redraft the statute and substitute the word “Governor” in T.C.A. 68- 5- 104 in lieu of the word of [“]commissioner” and issue a mandamus requiring the Governor to perform the duties the legislature directed to the commissioner.

Judge Fleenor holds that the governor is a sovereign individual, not accountable to the people, not subject to laws enacted by the people’s representatives in the general assembly.

Her assertion is that my assertion about principal-agent is new material, which she forbids under the rules, rather than something self-evident. Her tone about “previously unasserted theories” is patronizing and hectoring, and across her nine pages of review she shows clearly a desire to not understand plain meaning, of law, equity or precept.

Judge Fleener tut-tuts the relator, whom she accuses of goading her to rewrite state law to suit his own purposes.

[T]his Court is not to legislate from the bench and broaden the statute. Rather this Court is to carry out the legislative intent as clearly set forth by the plain wording of the statute. As the Court ruled ***, the plain wording of the statute does not apply to the Governor.

She claims she has no subject matter jurisdiction because of a venue privilege in Tennessee requiring commissioners be sued in Davidson County, in Nashville. Though claiming no subject matter jurisdiction, she issued initially a 15-page dismissal order, with only a single page endorsing his Davidson county defense, the success of which showed she had no subject matter jurisdiction.

To neutralize my scandalous language about the court, Judge Fleenor cites my words regarding Gov. Lee’s role in mass fraud.

Relator now asserts that, rather than the Governor causing him harm, this “court of chancery … irreparably harms relator without remedy” and “since the courts of appeal are compromised by executive branch impositions against their independence,” they likewise are “willing to play along with chancery.” ( p. 36) Further Relator asserts that “chancery itself becomes the causative agent of the irreparable harm,” and “enwraps the court as a participant in the fraud.” ( p. 42) “Chancery’s null and void pages of analysis are a trespass on the law itself, also upon relator’s case, a smear and slander, showing the judge’ s policy against the state of Tennessee she believes will be upheld by compromised superiors who, twice already in petitions to the state supreme court, have turned their back on equity and grievances laid against chancery’s maladministration of this case.” ( p. 37) This Court concludes this likewise does not give rise for a ground to alter its January 21, 2021 Order of dismissal as to Governor Lee.

The court “concludes” my scorching analysis of the judiciary’s role in the CV-19 state of disaster swindle “does not give rise for a ground” to rescind her earlier orders and to issue the writ of mandamus to compel obedience.

Local official — no duty to obey law

Becky Barnes openly defies Tennessee law in managing the CV-19 panic for Gov. Bill Lee. (Photo county health department)

Also excused today is the county official involved in the overthrow of constitutional government in Tennessee. Becky Barnes has argued that she is exercising discretion in whether to obey the law, and since discretion controls, the remedy of mandamus cannot apply. As a rule, mandamus applies to compel acts that are duties, mandatory, nonoptional, not an exercise of discretion. The judge takes up this cause with a vengeance.

The economic collapse devastated the journalist’s personal fortunes, with no one willing to buy advertising at his radio station for months. The initiatory Oct. 2, 2020, affidavit describing these effects of a lockdown economy is finally deemed insufficient by Judge Fleenor, though neither respondent would touch any of the facts within the document.

A man injured by a mass fraud goes to court for relief, but the court cannot see his harms. As to my claim that my five-page affidavit, only three paragraphs, Judge Fleenor says, “arguably could state any particularized harm allegedly suffered by Relator. 

“However, in neither of those paragraphs does Relator allege Respondent Barnes injured Relator. Rather Relator only alleged certain deputies and certain police officers injured Relator.” She says that because I say that the statute’s provisions “haven’t harmed him,” I am not harmed by the statute in operation, and thus have no standing to sue, she says.

The harm comes, as I had explained, not by the operation of the statute, but in its rejection. Lines in my motion to alter and rescind the dismissal orders express frustration at this point.

This suggestive sequence of suppositions bends the court’s memo into an alternate dimension of reality into which relator’s imagination has scarce enough wits to enter. Truly, a reflexive quantum leap. The relator cannot be expected to allege misdeeds of a law not in operation. Theoretically, were the statute honestly being administered, relator could have had an encounter with a local health authority about its provisions; he would then have had right to notice, etc., and the protection of his due process rights. But since the law isn’t operational, its provisions haven’t harmed him. He is not subject to the law, has no duty under it — not charged in its administration.

Relator is failing to state a claim, as the court sees it, arising from operation of a law that respondent Barnes refuses to put into operation.

The court forced two duties — one to not have merely a private harm, the other to have a particularized injury specific to me — to cannibalize each other. It has provided reams of evidence that it does not intend justice, and that it denies duties detailed in a Tennessee controlling authority, Gibson’s Suits in Chancery.

Judge Fleenor spends three of her seven-page dismissal order upholding Mrs. Barnes’ right to collect F$11,000 in fees from her victim. I had objected to that sidebar as improper, given that Mrs. Barnes, like her superior in Nashville, is involved in admitted and unavoided fraud.

Judge Fleenor denies argument that discussing fees prior to a final ruling in the case is prejudicial, that chancery is the “arch enemy of fraud” and won’t tolerate fraud, that costs have mounted across the calendar because Judge Fleenor has refused to act “forthwith” on the emergency petition (in two weeks or less, or immediately, if not sooner) as the law requires, that the billing is by one violating the felony misconduct statute at Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-16-402, that the billing is by an attorney on notice as to breach of the code of ethics that forbids aid furthering a client involved in crime or fraud.

Legal misfire?

I immediately mailed notice of appeal to the court of appeals in Knoxville, which received it early as April 23. I intend to pursue the state’s interest, since neither the attorney general Herbert Slatery III nor the county’s attorney, Sharon Milling, wants to disturb the new status quo of CV-19 fraud and mass experimental inoculation of the population.

Noble, bold sentiments, perhaps. But foolish? Is there any chance of success? Little, because the bar association members who control the judiciary (and the general assembly in Tennessee) will not allow me to overturn their coup against the constitution and restore the earlier frame of law, which has biblical antecedent and common law and equitable roots.

Judge Fleenor is a knowing participant in the whole. Chief Justice Jeff Bivins initiated the fraud in a March 13, 2020, judicial “order” joining with Gov. Lee in sidestepping the crucial health law at Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-5-104. He and the other four justices closed the courts in violation of the bill of rights. 

Judge Bivins is familiar with my case while Judge Fleenor had hog-tied it. On Nov. 2, 2020, I made petition to the supreme court about her train of misdeeds and maladministration. The top judges rejected out of hand three detailed pleadings of administrative nature. Their “per curiam” orders are unsigned, and unanimous.

I have prosecuted the people’s interest vigorously. Four hearings (including one before clerk and master Robin Miller) and multiple filings exhausting every prospect of relief have set a clear record of abuse by chancery court, including federal civil rights and ADA violations.

Understanding the main legal problem

The “great reset” proposed by Klaus Schwab and other global figures is occurring in the courts across the U.S. My case shines a bright light upon the “choices” the judges and high officials have made, and properly accuses them of rejecting the premises of constitutional and republican forms of government, where law accounts for the rights of the people.

Generally, police power in American law operates on the basis of law, warrant or exigency. It cannot be aimed promiscuously and generally upon nonindividuated members of the the healthy public, but is rightly directed upon those subject to it — upon the sick specifically, those who pose a threat to public health by refusing to isolate or self-quarantine. The “reset” consolidates arbitrary police power within itself, creates unitary power among branches of government, with governors legislating and courts ensuring that, in Tennessee at least, former distinctions are of no effect.

My case shows how when arbitrary power is allowed to cohere, it decoheres the law itself, and denies the citizens a remedy. Unjust judge Pam Fleenor’s legal work is full of density and darkness as she uses every possible nuance to show me in foibles and thus to deny relief to 6.8 million souls.

Though I am losing steadily in Tennessee, my method is sound, and I believe replicable in other states, and in future oppressions. I found the governor’s first mistake, and sued upon that. I didn’t focus attention on the multiple violations of the constitution that came as a result of the first wrong. I fired my legal tracer bullets at the locomotive and not at the rolling stock of wrongs behind it. I sued once I had established a record in correspondence that Gov. Lee and Mrs. Barnes had no evidence of compliance with the law, not emails, not studies, not reports, not even a single yellow sticky note from obedience to their duty.

Had I had to hire an attorney for the work of the past 400 days, I’d be out probably more than F$200,000. But I do my own legal work, self-funded with the help a GoFundMe page.

David Tulis runs NoogaRadio 92.7 FM 95.3 FM HD4 and is editor of, covering local economy in Chattanooga and beyond. He is not an attorney and does not give legal advice; for that, consult an attorney licensed to practice in your state or on another planet, where the law may indeed matter. He hosts a marketplace show two hours weekdays starting at 1 p.m. live at and also live on Facebook at NoogaRadio. He is married and the father of four homeschooled children.


My petition for writ of mandamus filed Oct. 2, 2020, is a possible national model that a top legal mind helped me to draft.

Trace developments in the Tennessee case here.

The Tulis Report is 1 p.m. weekdays at NoogaRadio 92.7 FM.


Time to fight


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