First of all, thanks to everyone who has donated to the Andy Sullivan Defense Fund at Community Bank in either Kingston Springs or Pegram. It is much appreciated. Mr. Sullivan did have to hire an attorney to fight this ridiculous prosecution and it is still going.
The law says, “(3) ‘Motor vehicle’ is any vehicle which is self-propelled and designed to travel along the ground and shall include, but not be limited to, automobiles, buses, motorbikes, motorcycles, motorscooters, trucks, tractors, riding lawn mowers, go-carts, golf carts, campers and trailers.”
The law also says, “(4) ‘Junked motor vehicle’ is any motor vehicle, as defined by § 13-401(3), which does not have lawfully affixed thereto an unexpired license plate or the condition of which is wrecked, dismantled, partially dismantled, inoperative, abandoned or discarded, and as such is deemed to constitute a public nuisance affecting the health and safety of the community as a whole.” My trailer isn’t required by the state of Tennessee to have a license plate affixed to it. So, the city and the state are in conflict. Actually, the state wins and the city can’t do anything about it.
Moreover, this law is capricious, arbitrary, and unenforceable. How many trailers are ‘self-propelled’? For the sake of argument let’s say the city can come up with an explanation for that one. I have a trailer sitting alongside my driveway. It is in my ‘front yard’ but not visible from the road. That does not exempt me from the law as the law does not say that vehicles must be visible from the road. Okay, how does the city know it is ‘operable’? How do they know if a tire is flat? Do they know if a wheel bearing is seized up? Do they know if the tongue is cracked and it is unsafe to use? It was at one time, I won’t say if it is now. How will they know any of this – they will have to march onto my property and demand to inspect it. I dare them to do so. Besides the obvious violation of the 4th Amendment, it would also be trespassing.
The point is that you can’t tell if the vehicles and other items mentioned in the law are ‘wrecked, dismantled, partially dismantled, inoperative’ from the street. All you can see is if it is pleasing to your own eye – a very subjective measure and not one we want a government enforcing because your eye is different than mine. Heck, park it with the back end not visible to the street and they can’t even tell if it’s tagged! So, they’d have to trespass to determine if this law is being violated.
Laws should not be subjective. When they are they can be used exactly the way this one is being used – against a particular individual and in violation of the 14th Amendment with respect to Equal Protection under the Law. If they continue the persecution and prosecution of Mr. Sullivan, I will be interested to see their plan (and how they intend to fund it) for surveying and inventorying ALL vehicles and items mentioned in the law in the entire city so as to apply the law EQUALLY – visible from the roads and not. Because I’m certain the city doesn’t only enforce laws when someone complains like 3 people did in a 6 year period – a couple of them anonymously. I’m sure this law exists for good reason and should be enforced ALL the time and against EVERYONE (sarcasm intended). God forbid any exposed, inoperable vehicles exist anywhere in the city for it is this kind of offense against humanity that leads to the moral decay of society (lots of sarcasm today).
So, please keep contributing to the Andy Sullivan Defense Fund at either of the Community Bank branches. The fight continues.
Kingston Springs, TN