Tulis asks sheriff to return car, tools to handyman Luman

Jon Luman stands in front of a car seized by Sheriff Jim Hammond’s deputies and given to Cain Wrecker Service in Chattanooga, which is refusing to release the car, claiming Mr. Luman is not the owner because he has not registered the car with Hamilton County government as a motor vehicle being used for commercial purposes. (Photo David Tulis)

As a broadcast journalist I try to help my listeners solve their problems. Here’s one that may bring fruit, depending on the openness of people in the sheriff’s department to a request that a court defendant be restored his work tools and his work car. Otherwise, Jon Luman faces major disability in making a living as a carpenter. This letter is directed to media spokesman Matt Lea, with a copy going to Dee Hobbs in the county attorney’s office, and also to Melydia Clewell of the district attorney’s office.

The car is being held by Cain’s Wrecker Service on Cherokee Boulevard.

Return of car

David Tulis, left, interviews Sheriff Jim Hammond. (Photo 92.7 NoogaRadio)

I’m going to bat for my listener, Jonathan Dale Luman, who appeared this afternoon in Judge Lila Statom’s court at docket number 1764863. As I write this he is trudging to his home in Red Bank on foot from downtown.

It is not clear what the charges are since the charging instrument is insufficient.

However, it appears that they are Tenn. Code Ann. Title 55 related, including “driving on revoked” and “no registration.”

Sheriff Hammond’s deputy, Gregory Carson, seized his 1997 Ford Explorer on May 30 in Mr. Luman’s arrest. Mr. Carson’s citation number appears to be 578302. The arrest occurred at 7:27 p.m..

Mr. Luman is being irreparably damaged by the seizure of his tools and his work car. Judge Statom told him she will look at the tools situation Friday, Mr. Luman tells me..

Mr. Carson apparently told Mr. Luman that he will not release the car unless Mr. Luman goes to Bill Knowles and registers the car as a motor vehicle. Under what authority is that demand being made upon which is fairly called consumer goods? (“Automobile purchased for the purpose of transporting buyer to and from his place of employment was ‘consumer goods’ as defined in UCC §9-109.” Mallicoat v Volunteer Finance & Loan Corp., 3 UCC Rep Serv 1035; 415 S.W.2d 347 (Tenn. App., 1966).

Limits on scope of statute

I have given your department notice about the limits of regulatory and police authority under Title 55. Arresting a man under rebuttable presumption that he is a commercial motor carrier under the shipping law is done in bad faith, intentionally and knowingly, according to transportation administrative notice, in which your department has acquiesced.

Mr. Luman’s rights, sir, like yours and mine, are God-given, constitutionally protected, inherent and unalienable.They are not to be dealt with cavalierly.

Mr. Luman intends to defend his rights and those of the people when he goes on trial July 30. Until that time, his property, whether on wheel or with handle, should be released for his use, for the betterment, sir, of local economy and free markets. Respectfully yours, etc.

Not under our authority

In response to this query, spokesman Matt Lea says, “The incident to which you refer to below pertains to a legal matter that is now in the Hamilton County Court system and is therefore not under my purview as the Public Relations Manager for the HCSO. If Mr. Luman has concerns, I would recommend that he direct his questions/concerns to the Hamilton County Sessions Court.”

Is Hammond using these tools?

The following items are belongings seized by Sheriff Hammond in the arrest of Mr. Luman, who provides this list. This man is making a living and also using the public roads and freeways for private purposes, for pleasure, for personal necessities and in the exercise of his God-given rights. His car and his tools are personal chattel, also called “consumer goods” in the uniform commercial code. They cannot be retained by non-owning parties apart from a clear tort.

1. 7-1/4″ circular saw
2. a sawz-all with several cutting blades
3. a trim router
4. a pneumatic trim nailer & 4000 nails
5. a set of leather tool/nail bags/belt
6. several hand saws
7. a 4 foot T-square
8. a 12″ halk and 10″ trowel for plaster work.
9. a laser level
10. Various wrecking bars and hammers.
11. A carry-all containing small hand and electrical fittings and tools.
12. 2 pairs of shoes
13. My personal papers contained in a folio on the back seat
14. a plastic container for $20 – $30 in change.
15. a selfy – stick

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