Sessions court judge Lila Statom delays a hearing in a criminal case in which the legal establishment is assailing the right of free communication and movement among the working classes.
By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio
The judge continues the case against Gregory Parker, a welder and family man accused of “driving on revoked” on the streets of Chattanooga.
“I was pulled over for an out-of-date tag, arrested, kidnapped, had my property stolen, assaulted on the side of the road — I was manhandled and groped and felt less than by a group of thugs acting as a gang, and was deprived of my freedom, put in a cage like an animal, had my property stolen. It’s a lot to — “ and, here, Mr. Parker is unable to finish his sentence.
Does Mr. Parker possess a written copy of the criminal charges? “No, sir, I have not. I have not received a statement of discovery” nor given any paperwork except a note about his bond.
So uncertain is Mr. Parker about the nature of the charges that he filled out an open records request used by activists and members of the press for details about the arrest. As of this morning, he has not gotten any information.
Judge Statom asks Mr. Parker when he is going to get his license back. “I told her I am not required to get a license, and she said, ‘You’re right, you’re not required.’ *** That I am correct, that I am not required.”
That courts and officials pretend otherwise, Mr. Parker says in an interview, is a fraud.
Harassing DA encounter
Mr. Parker says he went into the open area outside the court and met with an attorney from the DA’s office, and he proposes that the DA drop the case “for lack of evidence, or the correct notice of claim, no evidence being provided.” Mr. Parker hoped that the state, embarrassed, would file a motion for dismissal.
Has Judge Statom denied Mr Parker his due process rights?
“Absolutely,” Mr. Parker says in an interview. “They have not provided me the information I need in order to conduct a fair trial or a fair defense because they are not providing me information that by law is their due process, they are supposed to provide.”
City arrests Parker with its eyes open
His accuser is Officer Andrew Doub, a city employee treading on perilous ground in the Parker arrest. His employer was notified Feb. 20, 2018, about the limits of Tenn. Code Ann. @ Title 55.
Officer Doub, in arresting, jailing and harassing Mr. Parker and seizing his truck, courageously acts under his personal authority. That leaves him open to Mr. Parker’s wiles in civil litigation. TAN is a racial reconciliation project and a legal reform that aims to halt all traffic stops not within the scope of the law, even though courts endorse the abuse.
The officer was absent and in light of his absence, Judge Statom veered toward a violation of Rule 2.2. “A judge shall uphold and apply the law, and shall perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially.” The rules forbid Judge Statom from showing favor to any party. The judge’s rulebook defines impartiality as “absence of bias or prejudice in favor of, or against, particular parties or classes of parties, as well as maintenance of an open mind in considering issues that may come before a judge.”
Statom’s eyes see blue
Mr. Parker moved for dismissal in light of the missing officer, but Judge Statom showed favor to the accusing party, and will be forcing Mr. Parker to miss another day of work — at least a morning of work.
The attorney from Neal Pinkston’s office, in a meeting in open public with Mr. Parker, says he has read Mr. Parker’s motions (and evidently, his notice pertaining to his constitutionally guaranteed rights) and says, “If you want to litigate this motion, we have to set another date, according to the officer’s day. I say litigate, I mean you have a motion — .”
The unidentified attorney says at the 1:30 docket the cases are set so they can be “worked out” (plea bargained) but since evidently Mr. Parker doesn’t want to entertain his gracious offer, it has to be reset to the 8:30 a.m. docket on another day with the officer present. He says Mr. Parker can present his “chatter” in the second hearing.
Mr. Parker says there is no evidence and no witness, the attorney says, “I understand that. *** I understand you don’t want an offer. I’m going to ask for the officer to be here. That’s what I’m going to ask for. *** Any questions?” The attorney is in a hurry and is highly patronizing. He and Mr. Parker seem to be talking at each other rather than to each other.
The Pinkston emissary says he is going to “talk to the judge” about the case — which he cannot alone without the other party present under the judicial rules. A DA-Statom tete-a-tete would be an ex parte communication. No judge can speak with one side in a matter without the other side being present. The DA’s office seems to be admitting it enjoys ex parte privileges that people such as Mr. Parker — the hoi polloi, the proletariat — do not. If Mr. Pinkston’s office is here confessing routine ex parte communications between DAs and Judge Statom, a major reform of sessions practice is in order.
As to the transportation charges against Mr. Parker, the court and the police have been put under double notice. Mr. Parker has filed his own notice of status with the court. Under the doctrine of notice, a party who persists in an abuse after proper is without excuse for failure to reform his activity, and persists in said lawlessness in bad faith (and not by accident and not unintentionally).
“They have no jurisdiction over a free man unless he has committed a crime,” Mr. Parker says, citing Title 39 as the criminal code that enumerates common law crimes such as robbery and rape.
“It’s not them to hold us accountable, and punish us. We’re supposed to punish them. The only job they [have] is to protect us, our rights — I don’t need protection. Just to keep other people from infringing on our rights. And they’re the only ones in my experience that have ever infringed on my rights. I’ve never had an individual ever do it.”
He says every generation since 1910 have been taught to obey authorities without question, even when no law warrants a claim.
Questions for judge
As I have been thinking about the Parker case — delayed now until May 6 at the 8:30 a.m. docket — I am thinking of further questions Mr. Parker might ask. These are directed at Judge Statom.
Am I entitled to a fair trial?
Am I presumed innocent of the charges?
Am I presumed to be innocent of all the elements of the charges?
Has the prosecutor put into the record evidence of all the elements necessary to show that the accused was involved in traffic? (Neal Pinkston’s people very likely haven’t).
The most important posts of the past year are those that are based on transportation administrative notice and formulate questions for the evidence the accusing officer intends to produce as witness on the stand. One of them is this essay about questions Keelah Jackson (or her family-hired attorney) should ask in her transportation trial in Dalton, Ga., May 8 and the other is the 11 questions to ask the officer to show him a nincompoop and acting without jurisdiction.
These essays cover the same ground, though with different styles. I urge you to read them, because they suggest what I would do if I were in your situation.