The Gaddy case in Sequatchie county pits a homeowner against the corporation called City of Dunlap in which officials are demanding right of “inspection” of Thomas and Carol Gaddy’s acre of land, with its War to Prevent Southern Independence-era house on it.
By David Tulis / Noogaradio 1240 AM 101.1 FM
I am suggesting administrative notice as a way to put upon city government actors the onus of bad faith and unjust dealings. This notice allows for litigation afterwards for the personal fortunes and future incomes of the state actors who pursue the citizen or commoner outside their statutory authority.
By submitting administrative notice to all state actors involved in a conflict, you deprive them of the good faith immunity that courts always grant bureaucrats. You deprive them of the power to say they didn’t intentionally or knowingly oppress, harass, molest or bother you outside legal authority.
I wrote this notice prior to a 2013 vote on final reading by the municipal corporation known as City of Chattanooga to give domestic benefits to homosexual and other live-in roomies of city employees. It says city council members lack that authority. The council voted yes, but angry voters overturned the ordinance in a plebiscite.
While the conflict may not be hot today, I offer this document so you can look at its form.
But also note the important argument its various parts make about the limitations on municipal authority. City government’s have delegated power only. They don’t have power to contradict constitutional frameworks such as that favoring marriage. There’s a possibility they may not even have legal authority to operate police departments that enforce state laws. Their power is purely civil, not criminal.
However, with the poofter opinion Obergefell v. Hodges and other cases, lawfulness and submission to constitutional authority have become laughable concepts in American law. Obergefell destroyed all Tennessee law on marriage because all of it is premised on man-woman marriage, or so every lawyer will tell you. Yet law practices and courts continue as if nothing had happened. Law is not fixed, but fluid, subject to individual needs and practice. Do we have a statute on marriage, or do we not?
These considerations aside, administrative notice presumes lawful government, the verity of constitution and statute; it shares in the pretense that Tennessee and the U.S. operate under law, and not pursuant to judicial whim and vague “public policy.” In the context of an individual conflict with a state actor, administrative notice should have a vivifying and curative effect on the hearts and minds of officials harassing you.
Here, then, my humble effort to lay a groundwork for future relief, originally posted Nov. 13, 2013.
Administrative notice is hereby given to state actors serving the people through the offices of city of Chattanooga’s governing body, the city council, and its agents:
- Municipal corporations are creatures of the general assembly, which has absolute control over them and may create or abolish them at its pleasure. Elizabethton v. Carter County 204 Tenn. 452, 321 S.W.2d 822 (1958).
- A municipal corporation is a political or governmental agency of the state, which has been constituted for the local government of the territorial division described and which exercises, by delegation, a portion of sovereign power for the public good. Thornton v. Carrier, 43 Tenn. App. 615, 311 S.W.2d 208 (1957)
- The state has absolute control and complete sovereignty over municipalities. Municipalities have the inherent right of self-government, but this inherent right does not go beyond the General Assembly’s control of such right. City of Knoxville v. Bailey, 222 F.2d 520 (6th Cir. 1955). De Caro v. Collierville, 213 Ten. 254, 373 S.W.2d 466 (1963)
- Municipal corporations hold and operate under charters for the public good alone. The charter is the constitution of the local government with powers that must be consistent with the constitution of Tennessee. A charter is the grant of power; from it city government derives its life and vigor; and to its restrictions and limitations the municipality is subject. State v. Sinking Fund Comm’rs, 1 Tenn. Cas. (Shann.) 490 (1875). State ex rel Kercheval v. Mayor of Nashville, 83 Tenn. (15 Lea) 697 (1885)
- Cities thus have no powers except such as are given to them by their charters and the general law. Barnes v. City of Dayton, 216 Ten. 400, 392 S.W.2d 813 (1965)
- Municipal charters will be strictly construed, and clear authority for the powers assumed to be exercised under them will be required. The provisions of the charter are mandatory; and, if in conflict with an ordinance, the charter must prevail. Municipalities may exercise only those express or implied powers delegated by the general assembly in their charters or under statutes. Marshall v. Nashville, 109 Tenn. 495, 71 S.W. 815 (1902). City of Lebanon v. Baird, 756 S.W.2d 236 (Tenn. 1988)
- Any fair, reasonable doubt concerning the existence of a power is resolved by the courts against the corporation and the power is denied. All acts beyond the scope of the powers granted are void. Mayor of Nashville v. Linck, 80 Tenn. (12 Lea) 499 (1883)
- Only those powers can be implied from charter language that are essential to the object and purpose of the municipality. The corporate authorities of the city have no power other than that which is for the protection of the city and the good of its inhabitants. City of Memphis v. Memphis Water Co. 67 Tenn. (8 Baxt.) 587 (1876).
- An ordinance may be declared unconstitutional because violative of the spirit of the constitution equally as if in contravention of the words or paragraphs thereof. Nashville v. Hager, 5 Tenn. Civ. App. (Higgins) 192 (1914)
- In 2006 Tennessee voters approved a marriage protection amendment to the state constitution. “The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one man and one woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state. Any policy or law or judicial interpretation, purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one man and one woman is contrary to the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable in Tennessee. If another state or foreign jurisdiction issues a license for persons to marry and if such marriage is prohibited in this state by the provisions of this section, then the marriage shall be void and unenforceable in this state.”
- The constitution is to be construed to give effect to the intent of the people adopting it, as found in the instrument itself, and it is presumed that its language is employed with sufficient precision to convey that intent. Where this presumption prevails, nothing remains except to enforce this intent. Shelby County v. Hale, 200 Tenn. 503, 292 S.W.2d 745 (1956)
- A constitutional provision will be taken literally unless its language is of doubtful import. Courts construe a constitutional provision as written and will not read any ambiguity into it. When the words are free from ambiguity and doubt, and they express plainly and clearly the sense of the framers of the constitution, there is no occasion to resort to other means of interpretation. Shelby County v. Hale, 200 Tenn. 503, 292 S.W.2d 745 (1956). Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hosp. Auth. v. City of Chattanooga, 580 S.W.2d 322 (Tenn. 1979).
- Provisions of the constitution are presumptively mandatory, and no provision shall be construed otherwise, unless the intention that it shall be so construed unmistakably and conclusively appears upon its face. Gouge v. Burrow, 119 Tenn. 376, 104 S.W. 526 (1907)
- Every positive directive contains an implication against anything contrary to it, or that would frustrate or disappoint the purpose of the provision. Lynn v. Polk, 76 Tenn. (8 Lea) 121 (1881)
- The constitution must be construed as a whole. The whole is to be examined with a view to arrive at the intent of each part. Effect is to be given, if possible, to the whole instrument, and to every section and clause. If different portions seem to conflict, the courts must harmonize them, if practicable, and lean in favor of a construction that will render every word operative, rather than one that may make some idle and nugatory. One part is not to be allowed to defeat another, if by any reasonable construction the two can be made to stand together. No part can be construed so as to impair or destroy any other part. McKinney v. Memphis Overton Hotel Co., 59 Tenn. (12 Heisk.) 104 (1873). Memphis v. Memphis City Bank, 91 Tenn. 574, 19 S.W. 1045 (1892)
- City government’s charter contains enumerated powers. Title 2 contains 64 enumerated powers, and, at 65 and 66, a grant of general power to pass ordinances not contrary to the constitution “necessary for the health, convenience, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the city.”
- Domestic partnerships are not in Title 2 among enumerated grants of authority.