A homeschool grad who took mock trial as a teenager has failed in a bid to overthrow the abusive Virginia uniform summons, a document used in criminal cases by state troopers that summarily denies defendants their due process rights.
The Tulis family member was arrested and cited Dec. 21, 2019, and charged with reckless driving in a policing-for-profit “traffic stop” on Interstate 81 on her way to visit family in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.
In a Feb. 27, 2020, trial in a Smyth County district court in Marion, she defended herself vigorously, putting trooper Brandon Frye into a lockdown over the form and whether he obeyed its order to “describe charge.” He had not narrated the charge, only named the statute and given its code number. Her appeal briefs to circuit court and beyond exposed multiple due process violations, not just by the kangaroo court judge Travis Lee, but also the systemic due process wrongs built into Virginia customs and usages to extort the traveling public.
On Friday my daughter received a notice from the court of appeals in Richmond. The duty the officer has to make a full and sufficient charge in a criminal matter is denied by judges Humphreys, Causey and senior judge Frank (as they are identified in the memo), who as the appellate gateway appeal they uphold an initial denial of her appeal by a single judge. An unnamed gatekeeper judge had denied her appeal, and these three — following her petition for review — uphold his “no!”
The Tulis denial is based on the judges’ assertion that her petition did not include a transcript nor a statement of facts, and that it drew its strength from wrongs of the district court when the court of appeals has authority to hear appeals only from the higher-level circuit court.
The Tulises had argued that “no transcript is required” as “the case is purely a matter of law regarding a state form.” A 348-word demand for review said that reference to the lower district court should not “combust” her eight assignments of error, and that only one of her assignments was “district only.”
The Tulis family member is being dunned by the Virginia department of revenue for F$798.14, and I have advised her to get on a payment plan with the department. She lives abroad, a struggling artist..
Defending ourselves from commercial government has been a time-consuming process, deeply hurtful in many ways. But in the providence of God, an evil turns into a blessing in the lessons learned and insights gained.
In American law, we learn, the accuser must amply and sufficiently give notice to the accused of the nature and cause of the charge. We have a right, under the Virginia and Tennessee constitutions, to know the “nature and cause” of the offense. This provision is important in requiring the accuser to give full and sufficient notice to the accused exactly what she has done wrong, and how.
‘Essential elements’ of reckless driving
The requirement is that the officer — and here’s the important part — narrate the offense in his complaint (or in an indictment) the evidentiary facts in terms of the ultimate fact, which is the statute.
In other words, the accuser must narrate the evidentiary facts of criminal wrong in terms of the ultimate facts of the statute, which means that he must identify in his narration all the essential elements of the offense and accuse his victim in terms of the facts in the framework and in the wording of the essential elements of the crime as given in the written law.
In our case, reckless driving has five essential elements that cop Frye was to have identified in his complaint.
These are, in short —
➤ Movement of the car or vehicle
➤ Conditions of the road
➤ The proximity of other people
➤ Intent or scienter (recklessness is a moral fault)
➤ Finally, the use of the road for hire under the state trucking/transportation statute.
The trooper, Frye, who perjured himself on the stand, merely named the statute and cited it. Naming a statute is not notice under our due process rights as state victims or defendants.
Mr. Frye identified only movement of her car at trial as an essential element. Giving only one essential element is not enough to support a criminal case in Virginia. Nor in Tennessee.
The Tulis defense was proper. The young woman’s appellate briefs to the circuit court and to the Court of Appeals were coherent and clear as to how the law limits the state and how the summary system in Virginia is designed to short circuit due process rights to sufficient notice. The pleadings argue:
The courts below accept the Virginia uniform summons, the use of which injures appellant in her right under the constitution that requires every accuser to obtain standing to prosecute. The state and its witness did not obtain legal standing by giving a full accounting of allegations of how appellant violated the reckless driving law. This requirement for full notice cannot be waived by administrative convenience or a need to save the officer’s time and trouble alongside the highway in having to write an account of his charges.
But that’s what happens on Virginia’s highways thousands of times a year — and accused is a victim. The issue put to this honorable court is as follows: It is improper in courts below to allow the state’s witness and chief accuser, the trooper or officer, merely to name the charge in the charging instrument — the uniform summons — and not allege the essential elements. It violates a defendant’s rights to due process to receive from her accuser nothing but the name of the charge, as dictated by the summons.
Here is a link to the Tulis brief describing how chaotically the state moves against defendants. These lawful claims are denied by the judges as unreachable because of her alleged technical faults in her petition for relief.
That explains how the state moved against her, and steam-rolled her unjustly.
One might ask why bother with the details if it appears that the American judicial system is turning against the people and will not hear proper appeal. Just this week it is reported that the U.S. supreme court upheld in to cases the concept of “qualified immunity” for cops, giving them continuing sovereign citizen status. The principles in her defense are valid, and might be useful to others, even though justice appears unattainable. Hence, our family’s desire to put its filings into the public record, even though we are the “loser.”
Had we engaged an attorney to make the case, I doubt she would have obtained as good an analysis as we’ve given her case, nor as good an argument as we gave it. It would have cost us F$100,000 in legal bills had we elected to delegate our claims to an officer of the court and bar.
For an academic treatment of policing for profit, see https://www.governing.com/topics/finance/gov-addicted-to-fines.html.