LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. (May 2, 2016) — Confusion reigned at my hearing today in Lawrence County’s circuit court. As you may recall, the previously recused prosecutor pro tem in my first traffic case, Tammy Rettig, has been re-appointed by Judge Russell Parkes to represent the state in my second case by March 30 order, a case which is on appeal.
I am under accusation for exercising the constitutionally protected right to travel by car or truck, insisting I do not have to yield any rights by applying for state privileges in commerce such as a driver license or a state-registered and regulated motor vehicle.
By Arthur Jay Hirsch
Judge Parkes said he made the iffy re-appointment based on the advice of the Office of Court Administrators whose Nashville officials denied my claims about a conflict of interest. In January I fired back at Ms. Rettig with a civil lawsuit claiming abuse of process and fraud, and Ms. Rettig had recused herself in further action against me, citing conflict of interest.
Judge Parkes, who had reappointed Ms. Rettig, also had scheduled today’s hearing. Its purpose was to determine the status of the criminal charges against me, hear plea offers and/or set a trial date.
Ms. Rettig was under orders to be in the courtroom and represent the state.
But she failed to appear.
There were no documents of recorded explanation for her absence — no notice, no request for withdrawal. Miz Rettig had not communicated with me or with the court about not wanting to prosecute my case. The local (recused) DA mumbled something about a rumor that Ms. Rettig was intending to recuse herself again and was looking for a district attorney from another district to be a special prosecutor pro tem.
Plea offer ignored
Not only was she careless about her presence. Ms. Rettig failed to address a certified good faith plea offer of Feb. 16 or a followup letter Feb. 22 even after she had been reappointed by Judge Parkes. I’d been expecting to meet with her this morning and get the matter resolved before coming before the judge since that was one of the main purposes for the hearing — to press the parties toward a settlement.
Judge Parkes said his court is “in the dark” about what was going on. He would call the OCA again during his lunch break and try to find a solution to the problem of appointing a willing special prosecutor pro tem, he said.
Scribbled lunchtime motion to dismiss
During the lunch break I drafted a handwritten motion to dismiss and a motion for a hearing to show cause why Rettig should not be held in contempt of a court order.
I rushed to the clerk’s office and had the motions file stamped. I returned to the courtroom and gave the motions to the clerk and a note for Judge Parkes that I wanted to speak on the record before he called the OCA.
As the last item on the docket for the long morning session (9 a.m. -1 p.m.) the judge called me to the podium.
I pointed out that Ms. Rettig is still the state’s prosecutor as of this day, May 2, since there is no document to the contrary in the record. Judge Parkes agreed.
I said Ms. Rettig had not communicated with me or the court as to any desire to withdraw from her appointment as prosecutor and that she had a duty to appear in court today. I’d wasted four hours of my time because of her failure to appear, I said.
Had I failed to appear, would not the judge have immediately signed a capias warrant for my arrest? I demanded. He said yes.
Judge saves state
In view of the moral requirement not be a “respecter of persons” and not to be partial, I declared, and to apply the rules and law equally between the state and me, the accused, I moved that he enter an order dismissing the case with prejudice for cause since Ms. Rettig was absent
The judge said the rules call for a five day period for filing motions before hearing. (This claim is absurd since I didn’t know five days prior that Ms. Rettig was not planning to appear.) Judge Parkes said he would schedule a hearing May 24 to hear my motions.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,” Paul says in Romans 8:28, “to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
The Judge set my trial date for Aug. 4 – unless a plea agreement is worked out. I told him I wanted to ask him some questions regarding a “bench trial.” He seemed uncomfortable — lots of Catch 22 questions regarding the law and the state’s fraud against the constitutionally protected right to travel await him. I told him I would bring it up later.
God’s people — please pray
I believe the Lord is at work confusing and confounding the court and the prosecutor. God’s promises are sure and I’m standing on them for a victory over the enemies of truth and righteous justice that the name of the Lord Jesus may be praised, honored and glorified! (Ps. 91:14-16)
Friends, thank you ever so much for your long-term prayer support. Please continue. I’m standing on God’s Word and defending our God-given, inherent rights and the rule of law against the state’s idolatrous, humanistic and perverse statutes.