Dear Mr. [Rheubin] Taylor [County attorney], I contacted you Oct. 18 about the car seized by Sheriff Jim Hammond 181 days ago in the arrest under Tenn. Code Ann. Title 55 of listener Jon Luman.
It appears that the car, a Ford Explorer used by Mr. Luman in his work as tradesman, has been stolen by the county. It has not been seized under a civil asset forfeiture process but the corporation is refusing to return it.
[This inquiry is sent today to county attorney Rheubin Taylor, to Matt Lea and Austin Garrett of the sheriff’s department and to Mike Dunn, spokesman for county Mayor Jim Coppinger.]
The car was taken by Hammond deputy Gregory Carson on May 30. Judge Poole directed Mr. Luman to get a driver license, but Mr. Luman says the department of safety will not give him a new license though he went personally to apply.
What is the warrant for holding the car? Where is the car, and on what grounds is it being held? Is it being held under the personal authority of Mr. Hammond? Under the personal authority of Officer Carson? Under the auspices of the county commission? What has the county instructed Cains Wrecker Service as regards this car?
County ignores legal paperwork
I have reported that Mr. Luman presented you a copy of a one-page affidavit of ownership and a 3-page brief on the right to travel outside of any state-granted taxable privilege.
He says he personally gave it to you Sept. 20, 2015, or thereabouts and he indicates you cared nothing for it and ignored it, saying “This is not how we do things.” Mr. Luman says you did not rebut his legal claims as to his rights. You advised the county register to refuse to enter his documents into the public record.
Mr. Luman says the car is his private private property and that he owns it, and that his paperwork of ownership and statement of rights was on the dashboard of the car when Officer Carson seized it. In the arrest, Mr. Carson displayed these Mr. Luman’s papers on the hood of the car. From the back of the car Mr. Carson removed and has custody of another notice, a metallic plate containing the words “PRIVATE TRAVELER.”
The county is under transportation administrative notice as of March 1, 2018, and appears to be acting in disregard of state law and the Tennessee constitution in the arrest and, now, in the possession of this chattel.
Please help my listeners and readers understand what is happening in this matter. Respectfully yours, etc.