Chief justice Roger Page, who ordained this reporter’s arrest for crashing an illegally secret judge conference, meets with attorneys at a social event. (Photo administrator of the courts)
Chris Sapp, midstate bureau chief for NoogaRadio 96.9 FM, meets with Larry Crain, a leading Tennessee constitutional attorney in Brentwood. (Photo David Tulis)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Tuesday, March 15, 2022 — The arrest November 2021 of this reporter by chief justice Roger Page is heading toward court action as radio bureau chief Christopher Sapp and reporter David Tulis fight to shed light on a culture of tyranny and breach in Tennessee’s court system.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 96.9 FM

Leading state constitutional attorney Larry Crain of Brentwood is weighing a civil prosecution of wrongs by Tennessee judicial department employees and others who conspired to block press coverage of a secretive judicial conference held at an Embassy Suites hotel in Franklin, Tenn., with three hours of analysis on “sovereign citizens” by a lecturer the courts refuse to identify.

This reporter is also in contact with other law offices, seeking an attorney who is convinced that my analysis of the constitution and the open meetings act is correct and that I have solid grounds for a suit for damages and public vindication of press and public rights..

The parties involved in the false arrest include the city of Franklin and an officer, William Orange; Embassy Suites at Cool Springs; head of the state’s administrator of the courts Deborah Tate; the AOC’s counsel Sharon Harmon; and agency educational head John Crawford. The AOC reports directly to chief justice Roger Page, who took certified mail receipt of my legal analysis of our rights Oct. 20, 2021, or 17 days before my arrest in the conference room on Nov. 6, a Saturday.

Judge Page received one day before the event, on a Friday, a similar legal analysis of the open meetings act and constitutional rights of the press from Mr. Sapp.

“I have Harmon’s word that [Mrs. Tate] didn’t want to allow us to come,” Mr. Sapp says. “Then we have the emails from Crawford saying, ‘We’re going to the state police because of unwanted individuals. So there was already an animus against us at that point that’s expressed in email that shows they were colluding with the state police [department of safety and homeland security and Tennessee highway patrol] against state law to lock us out a public function — what they’re saying is not a public function, which we’re saying is.”

“Our contention is it has to be public because they have the power to make recommendations to the state legislature,” Mr. Sapp says. 

In rehearsing the offending parties, Mr. Sapp wonders if a sixth should be added. “We don’t know that the chief justice isn’t involved.”

Top judge on hook for major tort?

Chief justice Page is directly responsible for the administrative office of the courts. Did he act to violate our constitutionally guaranteed God-given rights as chief justice, or was it in personal capacity — or in some other capacity?

“We didn’t invoke his power judicially,” Mr. Sapp says. “So he’s not exercising a judicial function. Therefore, it has no absolute immunity from the bench, because he’s not making his decision from the bench.” 

Mr. Page was exercising his administrative authority, in the world of business and commerce, the operation of an office in an employment matter. The journalists would not be going after him as chief justice, but head of the office.

2 hats

Says Mr. Sapp: Justice Page “wears two hats. His other hat happens to be guarding of the galaxy. If anybody had the wherewithal to understand what we had written, and to weigh it out, it would be guardian of the galaxy, who also happened to be the boss of the people who were there. We didn’t approach him as guardian of the galaxy. We approached him simply as the boss over the people who were telling us ‘No.’ But he had the understanding, or he should have, the boss of all bosses, to understand that what we were saying was right.

“Because we used his own words, the words of the office that he holds, the office of his previous bosses. His previous bosses have already declared, in other capacity, that this should be the rule of this conference.” Mr. Sapp refers to Dorrier v. Dark, 537 S.W.2d 888 (Tenn. 1976). 

Judge Page ruled for my arrest personally, administratively, “because he wasn’t sitting with four other justices to rule in a judicial capacity. He never put his robes on,” Mr. Sapp says, adding:

I didn’t file a writ of mandamus. I didn’t file suit. I didn’t file any of that. Neither did you. *** These people are telling us ‘No,’ and this is the memorandum of law to put you on notice that this is what the law says. Not as chief justice, but as supervisor with administrative power over this office, to straighten them out. Please exercise your duties as employer to correct their understanding of the law in granting us access to this public meeting that should be public under the public meetings act. Their interpretation of the law is incorrect. Here is our interpretation.

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