- Law Cases
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 11, 2011) — Judge Donald P. Harris is scheduled to preside over a trial for Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III on June 23, 2011, which was scheduled without any of the customary preliminary motions. The trial stems from a false arrest of October 27, 2010 which arose from a citizen’s arrest of the grand jury foreman on April 1, 2010.
Fitzpatrick filed an appeal of two convictions on December 30, 2010, the same day he was released from the Monroe County jail after spending more than two months there following the October 27 arrest.
Fitzpatrick has issued two subpoenas to Judge Harris to which Harris has not responded requesting the appointing orders for grand jury foremen dating back to 1985. A third subpoena was sent by way of Williamson County Sheriff Jeff Long but has not been served.
Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood has also refused to respond to Fitzpatrick’s subpoenas. Blackwood is suspected of having appointed at least one grand jury foreman. Mr. Charles Snow, the current foreman, has been serving for more than 23 years. There is nothing within the 2008 statute passed by the Tennessee legislature which allows a foreman to serve beyond the normal time frame allotted to other jurors.
In an interview completed shortly before his official retirement in 2004, Blackwood described himself as “jaded and frustrated.” However, in his retirement, he has apparently found “something suitable” for his dog after having bought and sold numerous properties.
Williamson County Sheriff Jeff Long recently responded to Fitzpatrick in a letter that the “Tennessee Rules and Tennessee Code Annotated” required a subpoena to be “properly issued through the clerk’s office.” The sheriff’s letter to Fitzpatrick contended that “Once that is done the document can then be forwarded to our office for any service required.”
Sheriff Long’s letter was written on June 7, 2011 and received by Fitzpatrick on June 10. Fitzpatrick immediately replied to Long, quoting Monroe County Chief Court Clerk Martha M. Cook as having “informed and instructed me on 7 October 2009 that neither Clerk Cook, or any of Cook’s deputy clerks is authorized to issue summons or subpoenas naming Tennessee State government employees. Monroe County General Sessions Court Judge J. Reed Dixon confirmed Clerk Cook’s position the next morning, 8 October 2009.”
Cook has acted as a witness in Fitzpatrick’s case and also selected the jury for his December 1, 2010 trial. One judge has openly acknowledged that Fitzpatrick’s grand jury of June 3, 2010 was tainted but supported its conclusions anyway.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Department then left the following voice message for Fitzpatrick: DS400237
Other citizens of Tennessee have issued their own subpoenas.
Of Judge Harris’s refusal to respond to his subpoenas, Fitzpatrick stated, “Donald P. Harris is avoiding service of process. As a backup measure to ordering the Williamson County Tennessee Sheriff to serve process, anticipating exactly what’s taken place, I sent Harris a summons directly. The United States Postal Service (USPS) reports two attempts to deliver Harris his witness subpoena.“
The courts in Tennessee are fraught with malfeasance including judicial prejudice, tainted juries, and false arrests. Victims have reported being beaten, tasered, falsely imprisoned, deprived of necessary medication and medical attention, and fined excessively for alleged infractions not supported by evidence. Grand jury foremen are routinely appointed by a judge “from wherever they choose” and reappointed for successive two-year terms, often exceeding two decades of continuous service. At least one grand jury foreman has described his former position as “an employee of the state.”
Section 16-15-708 of the Tennessee Code Annotated states, regarding the issuance of subpoenas:
(a) The attendance of witnesses to give testimony in court or by deposition is procured by subpoena or summons, requiring the witness to be present at a prescribed place and time, to give testimony in a case or matter stated in the subpoena or summons, mentioning the names of the parties litigant and the party at whose instance the witness is to be summoned, and, if necessary, requiring the witness also to bring any books, papers, documents or tangible things stated in the subpoena or summons. The subpoena is issued by a judge or clerk of the court at any time, and to any county within the state, on request of the party wishing the process, and may be served by any person authorized to serve process, by delivering or offering to deliver a copy of the subpoena to the person to whom it is directed. If any person without cause refuses to appear, to testify or to produce evidence when duly subpoenaed to do so, that person shall be committed to jail by the court before whom that person is bound to testify, to remain in jail without bail until willing to testify or give evidence as the law directs. [Emphasis ours.]
(b) This section shall govern when a judge or clerk is required to issue a subpoena and the consequences of a person’s refusal to appear, testify or produce evidence when subpoenaed pursuant to this section. If any local rule of court conflicts with this section, this section shall prevail and the clerk or other official shall issue subpoenas and the judge shall punish the failure to respond to subpoenas in accordance with this section.
Acts 1972, ch. 564, § 1; impl. am. Acts 1979, ch. 68, §§ 2, 3; T.C.A., § 16-1133; Acts 1997, ch. 377, § 1.
The TCA provides for the issuing of subpoenas in criminal cases as follows:
40-17-122. Subpoenas — Rules of Criminal Procedure.
The provisions of Rule 17 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure shall govern when a clerk or other authorized officer of the court is required to issue a subpoena in a criminal case in criminal court and the consequences of a person’s refusal to appear, testify or produce evidence when subpoenaed shall be governed pursuant to that rule. If any local rule of court conflicts with the provisions of Rule 17, the provisions of Rule 17 shall prevail and the clerk or other authorized officer of the court shall issue subpoenas and the judge shall punish the refusal to respond to subpoenas in accordance with the provisions of the rule.
Acts 1997, ch. 377, § 4.
Fitzpatrick has been trying to obtain a response from several judges for more than a month who have presided in various counties in eastern Tennessee regarding their appointing orders over the years. He contends that the grand jury which originally indicted him for crimes on June 3, 2010 was illicitly seated due to at least two members having served previously as jurors, contrary to Tennessee Code Annotated 22-2-314, which states:
A juror who has completed a jury service term shall not be summoned to serve another jury service term in any court of this state for a period of twenty-four (24) months following the last day of such service; however, the county legislative body of any county, may, by majority vote, extend the twenty-four-month period.
Judge Amy Reedy, who recently presided over a murder trial in which the defendant was declared guilty by a jury with at least one illegally-serving juror, was the judge who appointed the “repeat” juror to the June 3, 2010 grand jury which issued the indictments against Fitzpatrick.
Regarding judicial conduct, the Tennessee Courts website states:
Our legal system is based on the principle that an independent, fair and competent judiciary will interpret and apply the laws that govern us. The role of the judiciary is central to American concepts of justice and the rule of law. Intrinsic to all sections of this Code are the precepts that judges, individually and collectively, must respect and honor the judicial office as a public trust and strive to enhance and maintain confidence in our legal system. The judge is an arbiter of facts and law for the resolution of disputes and a highly visible symbol of government under the rule of law.
There is a process in place by which a citizen may file a complaint against a Tennessee judge.
On June 14, 2011, the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions will convene to “discuss potential changes to the pattern jury instructions. There will be no public comment at this meeting.”
The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts insists that the judicial Rules of Criminal Procedure trump the law passed by the legislature in 2008 in regard to the appointment of grand jury foremen. However, recently, certain judges in Tennessee have questioned the “objectivity and impartiality” of a long-serving grand jury foreman.
Coverage by the Knoxville News Sentinel directly prior to Fitzpatrick’s October 27, 2010 arrest did not address whether or not the judges were breaking the law by appointing grand jury foremen to multiple consecutive terms.
One judge has stated on the record that he has “never appointed a Grand Jury foreman in McMinn County. I will never appoint one. That’s not one of my duties.” However, an appointing order signed on December 5, 2007, bearing that judge’s signature belies his statement in the court record, which also curiously cited “McMinn County” rather than “Monroe County,” where the current hearing had been taking place.
Jurors are mandated by law to be selected in an automated manner, but jury members have openly admitted to serving within a 24-month period.
Some Tennessee residents have become impoverished by lengthy court cases, court fees, attorneys’ fees, and judgments which might have been illegal.
The Tennessee court system claims to be disciplining judges when they break the law; however, laws are broken and citizens’ due process rights routinely violated in Monroe County, among other counties throughout the state. Tennessee courts fall back on “Rules” which may or may not be supported by their state’s constitution.
On June 10, 2011, this writer was given a 25-minute explanation from the owner of a private court-reporting company as to why a court transcript could not be obtained. The “system” which the business owner attempted to describe involved obtaining the “permission” of the court for a transcript to be released or even prepared. This writer was told that in order to obtain a copy of a transcript, one had to be a party to the action. When we stated that if that were the case, a court reporter had broken the law by supplying a court transcript to a party who was not involved in a case but posted it on the internet before the defendant was able to obtain his own copy, he then said, “Well, it’s different in every situation.” He would not comment about our allegation of widespread corruption within the Tennessee judiciary.
While it is possible that the FBI in Knoxville is investigating the judicial corruption in Monroe and other counties, no arrests of judges, clerks, court reporters, sheriffs, deputies or police officers has occurred to our knowledge.
Fitzpatrick said he is seeking “the production of appointing orders that Judge Harris may have signed during his 20 years on the bench in Williamson County, Hickman County, Perry County and Lewis County, which are all in the 21st judicial district.”
Update, June 12, 2011: Additional background information and commentary on the latest developments from Walter Fitzpatrick in the case against Carl Swensson are as follows, in his own words:
On Monday, October 18, 2010, I went in to the courthouse and filed a motion to say that I was dismissing Attorney Stephen Pidgeon. The next day, on the 19th, Martha Cook filed notice of a criminal court hearing at 2:45 hours (14:45 hours local). In other words, I filed a motion dismissing Pidgeon on the 18th; Blackwood weighed in during the same week saying, “We’re going to see about this,” because he wasn’t going to let Pidgeon go. And I was thinking, “Who the heck is he to say whether or not Pidgeon remains as my attorney?” Pidgeon was gone.
The next day, Blackwood scheduled a hearing for Friday, October 22, at 10:00 a.m. The notice of that hearing was filed by Martha Cook on Tuesday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. That gave her 57 hours and 15 minutes to notify me, from the time she filed that notice until the actual 10:00 start time. The elapsed time was 57 hours and 15 minutes. That’s how much time this court allowed itself, but you can cut that by 24 hours. They should have notified me instantly somehow.
But they did this with the speed of heat; they were setting me up for an ambush. Blackwood scheduled a hearing a then made no provisions for a timely notice of hearing to me, the defendant. I wasn’t there on the 22nd because I didn’t know. There’s a great article written by Brian Fitzpatrick at WorldNetDaily on this. J.B. Williams nailed it to Fitzpatrick: I didn’t know.
There were rumors swirling all over the community about what was going on. In the following week, the rumors were building and building and building. Then there was an arrest warrant issued; Blackwood ordered the arrest warrant from my not having appeared. That’s when everybody was on pins and needles.
So sheriff’s deputies showed up on the following Wednesday, October 27. In the meantime, I called the FBI. It was on the 27th when I was told, “Yes, there’s an investigation; we’re looking into this.” I had been walking out the door to tell my neighbor about it, down the hill, behind the house. I knew I was being watched; I had received death threats; I have been told that I’m going to be taken out by people in the sheriff’s department or by whomever killed Jim Miller. I’ve been watching very carefully for a long time.
I walked out and looked to my left. The house faces the east. I go out the kitchen door, which is on the south side of the house. There’s a knoll that goes up and there’s a parking lot, and I pay very close attention to the cars that are up in that parking lot. So I walked out the kitchen door and turned to the east, looking up on the knoll, and I saw a white unmarked van with a Marine Corps license plate on it. I turned, took a couple steps, and said, “No, that’s not right; that van is not from Tennessee; I’ve never seen that white SUV with the Marine Corps plate.” So I turned back around, and there were three or four storm troopers heading at me. I was under assault. I was ambushed.
I made a beeline into the door, closed the door and locked it. Then it was broken down. And you know the rest after that.
Regarding the upcoming trial set for June 23, I sent a subpoena to Judge Harris directly asking for copies, since 1985, of all the appointing orders in that judicial district where Judge Harris was sitting on the bench. I got a call back from one of the county clerks, and she said, “Well, it’s going to take some time,” and that was two months ago. That’s the only response I’ve received. There has been no response to those subpoenas. I am confident that Judge Harris is as guilty in the crime of picking a juror when he is not allowed to as have been Judge Amy Armstrong Reedy here in Monroe County and Judge Carroll L. Ross.
So he didn’t answer those, and with that, he becomes a witness to come in and testify on these issues. I sent him a subpoena by way of the Williamson County Sheriff. His name is Jeff Long. It was sent to the sheriff to serve upon Donald P. Harris a summons to appear on the 23rd, which is the date that I have right now, as a witness. I anticipated that I would get some response from the sheriff which would be to say, “Operating pro se, you cannot issue a subpoena on your own behalf; it has to go through the clerk’s office.” I have this experience because two years ago, in October 2009, when I was trying to advance a criminal complaint against Mr. Pettway and Jim Stutts. I was deflected away from doing that. I was told that in order to get a summons, I had to go through the clerk’s office. I was in the Monroe County courthouse at the time, and they said, “We don’t issue those criminal complaints here; you have to go through the General Sessions court clerk,” which is across the street. It’s at 103 College Street. I went over there and met with a court clerk named Karen Wilburn. I met with her on October 7 after preparing to go in to file the complaint. She would not do it that day; she said, “Here’s a summons that we use,” and I said, “OK,” and she actually voided the summons that she gave me. It’s a preprinted form. She said, “You can’t use these as a civilian, so I’m going to cross off various things and send you a copy of it tonight. You have to come back with this, properly filled out, for us to execute that.”
So I did that, and I came back. I went back on October 8, 2009. She said, “Well, you know…” and then I told her against whom I wanted the summons to be issued: Jim Stutts, the assistant district attorney general in the Tenth Judicial District, and Gary Pettway.
Ms. Karen Wilburn told me, “No,” and she called Marty Cook. I wrote this down. Marty Cook told her deputy clerk, Wilburn, “No, we can’t issue any criminal summons against anybody in Monroe County government.” It was because Ms. Wilburn would not issue a warrant and it was because no law enforcement agency or police force in Monroe County to whom I went would act, and because neither the FBI nor the TBI would act, we were left with one option as it related to Mr. Stutts and Pettway and Sheriff Bivens and the judges with whom we were involved, and that was the citizen’s arrest. It was because the county clerk’s office, vested as that organization alone that issues subpoenas, refused to act, we had to, in a citizen’s arrest format.
Today, we’re looking at exactly the same thing. I got a letter back from Jeff Long, and in the letter, he said that he did as Karen Wilburn did two years ago: he called Marty Cook, and Marty Cook said “No. You can’t serve that summons because it doesn’t come from a county clerk’s office.”
It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens next. I knew that this was going to play out like this. I timed the summons that I sent out. As Jeff Long was talking to Marty Cook, I was putting in the mail the summons request to Sheriff Bill Bivens to serve on Marty Cook as a witness in the same case. Now is Ms. Cook going to come out and tell Bill Bivens, “No, you can’t serve that subpoena on me because I didn’t allow anybody to issue the subpoena?” You have the clerks in this state as gatekeepers against any action taken by any government official who might be committing a crime. If the clerk doesn’t issue the subpoena or the criminal complaint, then no police officer or sheriff will act on it. It’s a very closed system.
Well, now, Ms. Cook is caught in her own trap. I called Jeff Long’s office and spoke with the secretary, Vicki, and she said, “Well, he’s not in, and he’ll get back to you.” I said, “When can I expect his call?” and she said, “Well, sometime today; maybe Monday,” and I said, “OK.” I told her I was recording; she understood that. But I got this letter back that says that unless a court clerk gives permission to advance a summons or criminal complaint, then no police officer will act on it in the state of Tennessee. That means that these judges have carved out a special niche for themselves, their own community, again, disconnected from the state constitution and from the United States Constitution as well. As stated in the Tennessee constitution, the power is supposed to rest with the people…well, not so much.
Now Ms. Cook is named as a witness in my case. In fact, it was because she issued a subpoena against me, which got me arrested on the 27th of October 2010. Ms. Cook did that. Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood turned in his chair and said, “He’s not here; issue a “Capias” – a warrant for his arrest – and she did. Then a couple of days later, the sheriffs were here in an ambush against me. As a citizen myself, when I go in to try and get a summons issued against somebody who is committing a crime against me, I have to first get the permission of a court clerk, and Marty Cook has been a roadblock now for well over two years. And now, Ms. Cook has the dilemma to face today which is that she is named as a witness in my case, because she did issue a subpoena against me and a warrant for my arrest unlawfully. She now becomes a witness for me. It was issued, and I haven’t received any responses from her or the Sheriff, Bill Bivens, or from anybody else. But it’s been issued.
So what is Bivens going to do: come back and say to me, “I can’t serve this warrant because Marty Cook said I couldn’t”? Well, you see, Marty Cook can’t take that position because she was the person named in the complaint. No one saw this coming.
She, as the clerk of the court, has been in violation of the state and federal law, and she has been named as a criminal for a long time. We caught her stacking the jury in December 2010. It wasn’t reported until I was able to get out, but it was reported on January 6, 2011. It’s been reported again since. Ms. Cook is acting as a criminal in her position as the Circuit Court Clerk in the County of Monroe in the State of Tennessee, and no law enforcement officer will act against her unless she issues a warrant against herself? Is that how this works? I don’t think so.
It’s a closed system, and the government blocks you from acting against it. That’s not how the state constitution or U.S. Constitution operates. I also found out when I was talking to Sheriff Long’s secretary,Vicki, about the letter that I received, that “the sheriff typed that out himself.” This comes back to the point that Sheriff Mack has been making: the power of the sheriff is supreme. And here, this sheriff is saying, ‘No; we don’t work until we get an order from the court clerk,” and I’m thinking, “What?”
I’m operating pro se. I have tried the process that they’re telling me to go back and try again. I’m thinking, “No, I’m not going to do that because I’ve been through this once; I’m not going to go back and do it again.” I know how this works. The court clerk will say, “No, I can’t issue a subpoena against any state employee or employee in government; that’s just the way it works.” Who says so? Marty Cook. She is a criminal. She is the one who is as responsible as the judges in protecting them and everyone else. I cannot participate in my own defense because of a court clerk, Marty Cook, who is acting against me as a criminal and who acted as well against Mr. Michael Dewy Ellington. So she’s been able to do all of these things, and no one can lay a glove on her because she has to give approval for people to prosecute her. That’s not how our constitution works.
Marty Cook is the gate guard as well as every other county clerk in the state of Tennessee. I’ve gotten only one response from McMinn County; God bless that woman; her name is Rhonda Cooley. She sent out some documents, but that’s all I received. I have a binder of submissions, requests for information, and the government will not give them up.
Back in the day, when Jon Kerry Blackwood came to the scene, I didn’t know who he was or much about his background. But you and I were both hearing things about Blackwood from Rocky Joe Houston, as Blackwood was working in Roane County. That’s where Blackwood is sitting on the bench nowadays. We had heard by this point in time that Roane County’s grand jury foreman had been in place for 21, 22, or 23 years.
So without checking into it in the day, I made the assumption that Blackwood was coming out of that part of Tennessee. It wasn’t until I saw the article which I sent to you this morning with him out walking his dog that he comes from West Tennessee. He was working in a judicial district there, married his wife, who comes from Middle Tennessee, and then moved here to retirement in East Tennessee. There was a Judge Baumgartner who was dismissed, forced off the bench for criminal conduct on his part, and with that vacancy, as the article states, Blackwood has taken up a lot of the slack here on the eastern side of Tennessee.
I have not gone to the judicial district from which Blackwood came in West Tennessee with a request regarding any documents which Blackwood may have signed. But I did send Blackwood a direct request to send me those documents, and he has not responded. So Blackwood is not from Roane County where he happens to be practicing now. If he appointed anybody into a foremanship, it would have been from that footprint where he was working in West Tennessee.
But I’m sure that he did appoint a foreman into a grand jury, and we’ll find the same thing there that we found here. That’s why Blackwood refuses to answer the request. He came here and has been filling in for Judge Baumgartner, but Blackwood is as dirty as anybody else.
I’ve also subpoenaed four counties with Judge Harris.
Regarding Carl Swensson’s case, “Nolle prosequi” is Latin for “We don’t intend to pursue.” They have not dismissed the charges against Carl. They can still prosecute him if they want to. They haven’t said one way or the other, but the legal maxim, the legal platform that they’re standing on right now says “Well, we can go and prosecute you later if we want to.”
In some cases, it means complete dismissal, but that’s not what they’ve stated. The charges are still in place. We now know that those documents say that because he participated in the prosecution against Darren Huff and me, they’re not intending to prosecute him. Well, wait a minute: in the day, when the state of Tennessee was prosecuting Darren and me, Carl Swensson had no part in that. He hadn’t even been arrested for the first time yet; he wasn’t arrested until January 2011.
In the day, Carl wasn’t even sure that there was a warrant out for his arrest. People told him, “Yes, you do.” I was one of the people who told him, “Be careful; don’t come here.” He did anyway; he came here with Darren for a hearing in January and found himself under arrest, then traveled back down here to Monroe County and spent a couple of hours in the holding cell here and was released. That was in early January, because I had just been released myself.
So Carl Swensson had nothing to do with my prosecution in any way. So now we have Judge Harris in commission of perjury. He has his judicial oath, and he has perjured his oath in that he has signed off on a document that says he’s allowing the state to back off of Carl because Carl participated in my prosecution. Carl had nothing to do with it.
By keeping Carl’s charges on the table and by reserving the right to still prosecute him, it’s a threat. Should Carl become a participant in any future activities from this point forward, they can come back and say, “Sorry, we’re going to grab you now.” In other words, it’s another attempt that’s being used to intimidate people. It’s not going to work. But they could have just dismissed the charges and walked away from it cleanly.
They’re never going to bring Carl into a prosecution at this point because of what it raises up as issues because of what they did to Carl. If they go after him, then Carl brings into the courtroom the issue of Angela Davis and that grand jury of June 3, 2010. And the state is trying to say, “Well, you know, we don’t have enough evidence right now, and we’re going to let this lie dormant for a while…” It’s a threat that is still hanging against Carl, and it’s nothing but intimidation. That’s what Judge Harris has now participated in.
We’re looking for a law enforcement officer to come here and place Jim Stutts under arrest as well as Marty Cook and other people who are operating illegally in the state of Tennessee, specifically in Monroe County. Because nobody will come in and arrest them, they continue to break the law. They feel that they are immune from any kind of criminal consequence, so they break the law. And this is why we keep going back to the FBI, telling them, “Excuse me, but until you come in and stop them, they’re going to continue to keep breaking the law.”
Certainly, nobody from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is going to go after these guys. The last letter that you saw me send to the Criminal Court of Appeals had nothing to do with an appeal on my case; it was for them, as the justices on the Criminal Appelllate Court, to turn in their swivel chairs and exercise whatever jurisdiction they have over whatever law enforcement agency they hold jurisction over and order that agency into Monroe County and start effecting arrests. Once that happens, then all of the things that we’ve been talking about go away.
In the meantime, they pulled this stunt in Mr. Ellington’s case, and now they’re caught in that. Who is reporting that? The guy who sits here watching them. That’s why I was arrested in the first place, and the guy who is behind my arrest is Carroll Ross. He’s the one who drafted the charges, told the sheriff to go after me and arrest me, and that’s what happened. They’re trying to protect what they have going here.
The law enforcement agencies here have become the storm troopers. They’re not law enforcers; they are law breakers, and they’ve been acting against the citizenry here for who knows how long. The storm trooper is using the sheriffs as the goon squad. The storm troopers kick down doors and arrest people and then bring them into these courtrooms where there is no way in the world a person is going to get a fair hearing, and then they lock people up. That’s what people are so afraid of around here. Nobody will effect a lawful arrest of Amy Reedy or Jim Stutts or Martha Cook or any of the other players in this. We just keep racking up one criminal event after the next. Today, it’s the letter that Carl got from Donald Harris. Now we have another judge who is criminally complicit and who thinks he’s going to come in on June 23 and hear a case against me.
By officially claiming Carl was part of the prosecution in my case and Darren’s is to attempt to legitimize the state’s case by spreading misinformation regarding a case the state knows is totally illegitimate.
Just as one would expect it to work in a totalitarian, dictatorial government.
This is what happens when law enforcement is turned against us, and the the Grand Juries taken away from us.
The ambush on the 27th of October was nothing but intimidation, and not just against me, but against other people in the community: “If you think you’re going to stand up against us, look what we’re going to do to you.” This is really serious stuff, and I am trying to get people to understand that. This whole thing blows wide open once the first arrest is made against anyone whom we’ve named.
I just happened to be in the courtroom on May 16, when Carl had a status hearing. We now know that the request to stop the prosecution of Carl was submitted to Donald Harris on May 9. In order for the state to carry out its intent not to prosecute, they needed the permission of the trial judge. So Harris had that on his desk as of the 9th of May, and he didn’t move on it for a month. So when Carl came in for a status hearing on the 16th, Jim Stutts and the State of Tennessee didn’t tell Carl or anybody in open court that the state had in front of the trial judge, Donald Harris, a request not to proceed. That would have been big news that day.
Judge Harris is evading process. It is now documented that he received a motion from the state of Tennessee requesting that Carl Swensson’s case be taken off the calendar because the state was asking permission to not prosecute. The judge was available on the 9th of May to receive that document. That means that he was in a position to be receiving, as well, the documents which I sent to him. He was in the room on May 9. He’s been available. Then again, he was available on June 9, because that’s when the request to drop Carl’s case was filed, and in the meantime, he has these documents coming from me and other documents coming from Carl, and he hasn’t us. However, he answered the state.
So he can’t come in and complain about not being available or say “I didn’t see it.” The track-and confirm-document that I sent to you a day or so ago says that notice was left to Donald Paul Harris on June 8, at 11:13 in the morning and later that afternoon at 6:12. So they notified him twice on the 8th of June that he had mail waiting for him from me. He signed out a ruling the next day.
He should have picked up the subpoena on the 9th. I printed out that track-and-confirm on the 11th, which means that he was put on notice that this was there on the 8th, and that he was purposefully evading going and picking it up. So Harris was notified on the 8th and didn’t pick it up; he was in the building on the 9th because we know we got his ruling of the 9th; he was available on the 10th. What that means is that if he had picked it up on the 9th or the 10th, that tracking confirmation that I printed out yesterday would have appeared as “delivered.” But he didn’t pick it up. That’s huge.
He was available on the 9th that we know of. He was put on notice on the 8th, which means he could have picked this document up and could have received it on the 8th, 9th or 10th, and did not. In the meantime, the Williamson County Sheriff, having talked to Martha Cook, said, “No, I’m not going to do it, either.” Well, OK.
Update, June 12, 2011: Links on the Monroe County website leading to appointed and elected officials, as well as county commissioners, yield “404 Error” messages. Links from the “Educational System” tab, “Maps,” and “Chambers of Commerce” links are still functional. The “City of Madisonville” linked site is currently being redesigned.
A link to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department website picturing Sheriff Bill Bivens receiving an award now yields the following message:
You are not authorized to view this resource.
You need to login.
This writer can affirm that this was not previously the case. However, Bivens can still be seen here along with the statement, “My door will always be open to you and the people of Monroe County for suggestions, questions, concerns, or ideas.” The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department has been accused of brutality, human trafficking, and extortion by residents of the community.
Capt. Pat Wilson and Capt. Michael Morgan of the MCSD have both stated that they are “not afraid of the FBI” in regard to any investigation of the department which might or might not be ongoing.
Tags: Administrative Office of the Courts, Charles Snow, Criminal complaint, grand jury foreman, Judge Amy Armstrong Reedy, Judge Carroll L. Ross, Judge Donald P. Harris, Martha M. Cook, Michael Ellington, Monroe County, Perry County, Roane County, Sheriff Jeff Long, subpoena, Tennessee, Tennessee constitution, U.S. Constitution, Williamson County