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Wilkey’s defense in 44 officer abuse counts: Hammond was under administrative notice & didn’t tell me

Sheriff’s deputy Daniel Wilkey, left, imposes raw power on a citizen in a body-cavity search arrest under the state’s shipping and trucking statute, Title 55, apparently knowing that he is misapplying the law upon a party not involved in shipping and trucking pursuant to Sheriff Jim Hammond’s instructions to do so. (Photo sheriff’s department)
Sheriff Jim Hammond greets officials prior to a meeting of the Hamilton County commission. (Photo David Tulis)

There is a defense in the Daniel Wilkey civil and criminal cases about which he may not be aware. It is the fact that I put deputy Wilkey’s superior, Sheriff Jim Hammond, under transportation administrative notice on March the 1st, 2018, regarding the limits of the state freight law that Deputy Wilkey had been enforcing on patrol.

By David Tulis / NoogaRadio 92.7 FM

I have discussed my notice project with attorney Jerry Summers, senior partner in Ben McGowan’s firm, which is hoping to land at least part of Mr. Wilkey’s defense. The legal problem for the prosecution is court-approved ultra vires  (outside the scope, outside the view) enforcement of Tenn. Code Ann. § Title 55, the state motor another vehicle statute, regulating transportation, shipping and trucking.

Daniel Wilkey

It appears Mr. Wilkey had being misled in his service to the sheriff’s department in thinking that he was free to stop people on the road for violations of the state transportation law. 

This authority is reserved exclusively to the Tennessee highway patrol, my reporting indicates. There is no delegation to sheriff departments to enforce Title 55, and such activity is outside the statutory grants to the sheriff at TCA 38-3-102. Mr. Wilkey’s traffic stop of James Myron Mitchell on July 10, in Soddy-Daisy, apparently, for a window tint violation, was under Title 55. So were other of Deputy Wilkey’s encounters with members of the public.

I have discussed these matters in detail at the city’s leading radio station, NoogaRadio 92.7 FM. I run the 1 o’clock show weekdays with a great deal of interest in police work and courts. That show and TNtrafficticket.us cover the misuse of Title 55 by officials statewide and I call for reform and respect of the constitution.

The fact that I put Sheriff Hammond under legal and unrebutted notice 685 days ago means that he directed Mr. Wilkey into traffic enforcement activities knowing he had no authority to do so, and intending at least some of the results of his activities as his agent.

I made personal service of TAN to Sheriff Hammond among witnesses. Sheriff Hammond apparently made no traffic stop protocol reforms for which I have called, the duty of which to perform is implied in the notice. He did not inform department employees about the limits of his authority under Tennessee law, to all appearances. 

Or did he? Did Mr. Wilkey hear anything about TAN’s challenge to department policy?

Were there reforms about which I have not reported? I’ve heard no news from Matt Lea, the department spokesman, who promised me a response in March 2018 when I met the sheriff and gave him personally a copy of TAN.

These abuses may have been mere oversight on Sheriff Hammond’s part. But doctrine of notice indicates a much worse condition of the sheriff’s office than that. With proper legal notice, an activity ignoring the substance of the notice is done on awares, done with awares, done upon awares — and so appears to be done in bad faith (aka malice).

Mr. Wilkey should insist on his rights as client — whether of Mr. McGowan or of Micah Guster, another attorney, to have all defenses used in these his days of trouble.

The David Tulis show is 1 p.m. weekdays, live and lococentric.

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