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Reporter dragged from meet sues TN chief justice, cop

Radio journalist David Tulis winces in pain as Officer William Orange, right, cinches cuffs on his wrists. Officer Orange made the arrest without a warrant, as Tulis had demanded. A sessions court judge ruled the arrest had no probable cause. (Photo Franklin PD)
Roger Page, right, oversees Administrator of the Courts as head manager. He is also chief justice of the  five-member Tennessee supreme court. (Photo AOC)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., Wednesday, Nov. 9 — A journalist has filed a lawsuit against Tennessee’s chief justice alleging that he conspired to have him falsely imprisoned and arrested covering a judicial conference. 

David Tulis of NoogaRadio Network and 96.9 FM is demanding a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Nashville to hear Roger Page’s defense in the deprivation of protected fundamental rights of the press and the unwarrranted obstruction of press members Tulis and midstate NoogaRadio bureau chief, Christopher Sapp of Sparta, Tenn.

The arrest took place Nov. 6, 2021, in a conference room of the Embassy Suites Cool Spring hotel in Franklin during which time the judges socialized, played “sovereign citizen bingo” and heard from a secret speaker about how to deal with members of the citizenry who assert their rights and handle their own cases.

Tulis, who runs the legal reform blog and airs a 7 a.m. three-hour weekday news show, forced the arresting parties to drag him out as he sat at his laptop at a conference room table. He insisted he doesn’t “have the strength to cooperate in an illegal arrest” and warned Franklin police officer William Orange he had to get a warrant under T.C.A. § 40-7-103.

The lawsuit asks compensation of at least F$75,000 and that the federal judge order Page, who oversees the Administrator of the Courts, to open the judicial conferences to the public, as are conferences for federal courts.

After arresting Tulis, Page and a new AOC director put the department in full lockdown on “security” grounds. A Feb. 1, 2022, order makes secret conference dates, locations and agendas and bans the public. The order sparked a federal lawsuit in June by Liberty Justice Center demanding the conferences be opened.

“The lawyers in the judicial branch connived to get the hotel to ‘trespass’ me,” Tulis says, “knowing full well they have no authority under our constitution and the open meetings act to kidnap me while covering these public proceedings where they discuss legislation and tactics to defeat access to justice. We have as much right to cover these conferences as we do a school board meeting or doings at an honest election venue.”

“Page conspired with others in the deprivation of the protected fundamental right of the press, to cover a judicial conference of immensely important public interest,” Tulis says. 

Also named in the suit are Officer Orange, the city of Franklin, AOC education manager John Crawford and Atrium Hospitality in Alpharetta, Ga., whose manager Lisa Hegwood was convinced to stand in as the offended party and have Tulis arrested.

Tulis was charged with criminal trespass. On Dec. 14, 2021, Williamson County sessions judge M.T. Taylor dismissed the case in a 70-minute hearing as lacking probable cause.  


Watch Orange arrest Tulis on pCloud

Christopher Sapp, midstate bureau chief for NoogaRadio Network, asserts his rights to attend the judicial conference as Lisa Hegwood, hotel manager, left, demands he leave. (Photo Franklin PD)
John Crawford, education manager for Administrator of the Courts, right, confronts David Tulis on his way to take his seat to cover a Tennessee judicial conference. (Photo Franklin PD)
David Tulis is a reporter with NoogaRadio Network and covers law, police and Christian reconstruction. He is editor of (Photo Franklin PD)
Hotel manager Lisa Hegman pleads with David Tulis to leave the premises, and puts herself forward as the offended party in a trespass allegation for his coverage of a taxpayer-funded meeting of judges. (Photo Franklin PD)
A handcuffed radio journalist, David Tulis, is rolled out against his will and without probable cause after he attends a public meeting of Tennessee judges in Franklin, Tenn. The Nov. 6, 2021, arrest was determined to be without probable cause, and Tulis is suing to force the conferences to open to the public. (Photo Franklin PD)
David Tulis, left, of NoogaRadio Network and 96.9 FM, and midstate bureau chief Christopher Sapp of Sparta discuss their fight to cover the Tennessee judicial conference under constitutional protections and the Tennessee open meetings act as they leave the Franklin, Tenn., hotel where Tulis was arrested Nov. 6, 2021. (Photo Christopher Sapp)
Tennessee judges at a secret conference play a game of sovereign citizen bingo during secret sessions hearing about citizens who defend their rights in court. (Photo David Tulis)


  1. chris
  2. Stacy Lee
  3. We T. People
  4. Tom Pinkerton

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