Jackson gets license, escapes civil death sentence

Keelah Jackson has been under a civil death sentence with a block on her driver license. Seen here in Hamilton County sessions court in Chattanooga, she has lived the past three years unable to use a car to get about in her calling as activist, teacher and writer. (Photo David Tulis)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn., May 8, 2019 — A Chattanooga woman today makes an appearance in a Dalton, Ga., municipal court to clear up the suspension of her driver license.

By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio

Miss Jackson planned in appearance in the municipal court of Dalton, Georgia, on a charge of driving while she was exercising a right.

Her case includes her use of transportation administrative notice and the claim that she was not exercising a state privilege at the time of the roadblock.

However, she will not have any need to argue a liberty of movement. Rather, she will handle her troubles administratively with the showing that she has obtained a Tennessee driver license and that the license had been incorrectly suspended in 2016.

Here’s the story from Miss Jackson by email this morning.

“I went to the clerk’s office on Thursday to address my payment plan. Jennifer Collins initially told me what has been told to me the entire time that I have had the issue that I couldn’t get a payment plan because of my license being out of state. I then divulged my arrest. This sparked the conversation of my driving without a license. I then was able to show her all of my paper trail of attempting to rectify my situation. She then noticed that Georgia incorrectly entered my failure to appear instead of failure of insurance as the suspension factor. There never should have been a suspension.

“The lack of insurance was the factor that flagged the state of Georgia, but that was addressed when I paid my $65 fee to the state of Tennessee back in 2016 when I found out about the suspension. She then quickly drew up a payment plan for one payment schedule after my initial $200 deposit; she quickly walked me up to Judge Paty’s courtroom where she went in to see Judge Paty.

“She was in with Judge Paty for less than ten minutes. She returned with an amended extended plan initialed and offered by Judge Paty lowering my monthly payments.”

Miss Jackson said her boyfriend, Jody Harris, helped her cough up the cash for fines.

Getting TN license back

“I then went to the DMV on Friday, but I was unable to be seen; I had waited close to two hours without my number being called, and I had to head to my shift at Chambliss. I then headed back to the DMV on Monday. I was seen promptly, and I was told that I did not have any signs of suspension or revocation in Tennessee. They didn’t understand why there had ever been a hold placed on my being able to process my original attempt in 2016.

“I was then required to take the eye, written, and driving test to complete my application for re-entry into state licensure. God is faithful because I passed the unexpected tests, and I now have my license again.”

‘Paying double’

“Overall, Jody and I have paid almost double what I originally owed just trying to rectify the situation, and we are steadily working to begin a new savings fund. I now choose to move forward in the spirit of knowing that it rains on the just and the unjust, and in my instance, I know that God will have to continue to cover and protect me as I stand to defend myself.”

No need to argue travel right

Miss Jackson said her labors saved her from having to make any right to travel argument, which she had been prepared to make. Miss Jackson said she planned to pursue her defense aggressively in light of her obtaining a Tennessee driver license.

“I called to see if I could have a conversation beforehand to present all of my own material beforehand, and I was told yes. I will not go into any of the line of questioning covering traveling because no one is listening to that truth.

“I will stick to the facts of my situation hinged upon a clerical error that has since been readily acknowledged by the City of Chattanooga. I am requesting that the case be dismissed on those grounds, and my arrest expunged from my record. I do not intend to challenge anything any further because the legal system does not care.”

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

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