For a year now transportation administrative notice has imposed a legal claim on policing in Chattanooga. It intends to reduce and eventually bring a halt to abusing law enforcement officers enforcing laws on the wrong people.
Notice is starting to have its peaceful and benevolent effect on cops. It is a ground-up reform that within three years, I predict, be recognized at the top of these agencies.
By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio
Officers in the Chattanooga area are learning about the distinction in the law between travel and transportation. Chattanooga city council got notice Feb. 20, 2018. Sheriff Jim Hammond got notice March 1. Several other jurisdictions, and the department of safety, too, have been legally notified of the scope and nature of Title 55, the state motor vehicle law.
Since no one has rebutted notice, much less taken slight heed from it, there is reason to believe its rehearsal of Title 55, state and federal court cases and U.S.C. at Title 49 is correct.
The possibility of its being correct may be giving pause to local police in jurisdictions notified about the limits of the law to spread policing against private travelers.
Hint of mollified cops
The evidence for notice slowly taking its place in the legal landscape of the Chattanooga area is a report from a bold Tennessean who provides a helpful “red flag” to officers as to his status as one of the free people in the state — a printed public notice on the back of his car.
John Luman of Red Bank has put on the back of his Ford Explorer work truck a plate that says “Private Traveler” and, on a second line, “not for hire,” with two legal references accompanying the block type.
Cops lay back 15x
In an interview Mr. Luman cites examples of officers exercising their discretion in his favor, though his tag might be seen by some officers as an invitation to stop and hassle.
He says at least 15 times in the past two years, officers have seen his plate but did not molest him in his travels.
“I take am taking Amnicola all the way to downtown, of course. And, I’m aware Chattanooga city has a [police] station along the way. I look behind the mirror, and he follows me for maybe a mile or so.
“And sheriff’s deputies have done this too. In an area like this one. And me getting off 27 at Morrison Springs. From the top of that exit, also. And on Ashland. Follow me for maybe a mile. And I’m over here in my rearview mirror and I can see that he’s thinking about it. Considering it. Should I pull this guy over? Or maybe he’s calling his dispatcher.
“One sheriff’s deputy in particular out here in the woods, I thought he must be calling his dispatcher for what should I do, because he was up behind my bumper, then backed off. Then he followed me maybe two miles. And so I thought he is checking with his dispatcher, deciding should he pull me over or not. Then we came to a stop sign. I took a left, and the next left was in subdivision I was going to.
“When I got up to that next left, I looked in the rearview mirror, he was still at that stop sign, still, I guess thinking about it, or, you know. But he didn’t follow beyond that stop sign.
“The same with a Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy probably around September. I was going home and I noticed at the top of the Morrison Springs exit, which is a long ramp, here’s a sheriff’s deputy right behind me. And all the way down the ramp, I get down to the bottom of the stop sign, and sit there a few seconds, five or 10 seconds. and I make my right turn, and he makes his right turn, right behind me. I make a right, there at the Mapco, to go home. And he continues on.
No Wyatt Earp syndrome
“The other day on 58, there was a sheriff’s deputy. Same thing on 58. He came from behind in the other lane. I was in the middle lane; I just moved to the right lane, and he just moved on.”
“At times like those, I think, well, y’know, those are cops who don’t have that Wyatt Earp syndrome. Or they’re being told, leave that guy alone. Maybe they are checking with their dispatcher, who says leave that guy alone. He’s already been dismissed twice, which is the amazing thing about Jan. 3” arrest by deputies serving Sheriff Jim Hammond, Mr. Luman’s sole pending case.
“Exact same charges, exact same way. Dismissed twice. And the latest for lack of jurisdiction. [Sessions court Judge] Lila Statom may not admit that. But that is what my verbal motion was made. Lack of jurisdiction.
“And the next date, she said, ‘I’m going to have to grant your motion for dismissal.’”
Mr. Luman, has long been active in his 64 years defending the people’s rights as against the administrative state. The state in the Chattanooga area operates on the presumed authority of Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 55 on vehicles and motor vehicles. The transportation statute gives the Tennessee highway patrol authority to stop people involved in transportation, which is the regulable activity of carrying goods or people for hire in line with the federal transportation law at U.S.C. § Title 49.
Mr. Luman is not afraid of court action nor of being arrested.
He is already been charged twice under Title 55, once in Red Bank and once by Chattanooga. In each case, he says, the criminal charges were dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
On Jan. 3, however, three sheriff’s deputies serving Jim Hammond arrested him and charged him.
The trial is set to begin proceedings in sessions court of Hamilton County. Judge Statom already has dismissed a similar charge. The fact that Mr. Luman is been cited by deputies again following an earlier arrest, signifies bad faith.
Hamilton county Sheriff Jim Hammond received transportation administrative notice on the 1st of March, 2018, in a personal meeting with the person who prepared the notice and has refused to take seriously its claims upon him personally, his officers personally nor the county corporately.
Any officer who arrests someone under Title 55 who is not involved transportation commits an act of oppression under the state statute, under federal oppression statute and is also subject to claims of tort in chancery or circuit court.
The notice strips any officer who arrests a noncommercial user on allegation of commercial use of his usual defense, that of lack of intent or lack of knowledge.
These claims can be laid against the officers personally since they are acting personally under color of law without authority. Transportation administrative notice operates to deprive them of their traditional good faith defense, to at least make that colorable claim by law enforcement victims. The power of the notice, however, is unproven and mere potential, awaiting its first year near the end of its first year as a public record.
Mr. Luman is considering further action as his case proceeds.
District attorney Neal Pinkston also is under the control of a statute, since he was notified of the distinction between travel and transportation by my personal service of the document to his office March 26,2018, a Monday.
Chattanooga becoming freer city (slowly)