Tally O’s Opinion: We find it unfortunate that Doctor Jackson didn’t collect the about $6,000 owed by the City for his attorney and storage fees in relation to this case. However, he kicked their butts hands down!
There has now been a policy put into place with the city which will limit illegal spying against Tallahassee Citizens by the government. There is now more accountability since Investigator Donna Brown got photographed and burned on an investigation conducted by the city. City Officials have to sign off on a case investigation now showing the officials responsible instead of denying facts and acting like idiots for denials when they screw-up.
Doctor Jackson was vindicated and won the case during the moment that the city sent an apology letter and a check for $75.00. The amount of the check was a joke but it show’s guilt by the City Officials whether even if it had been written for $1.
It is so great in our American Democracy that Doctor Jackson stood up to these clowns and idiots in Tallahassee Government. Having the Mayor John Marks, City Manager Anita Thompson-Favors and City Attorney Jim English All Hauled To Court By Subpoenas Was Well Worth The Costs! Doctor Jackson has made an excellent donation to the city and can easily write off the business costs in which much justice has been served in the case without the money paid.
Furthermore, it’s good that he didn’t hire an attorney to represent himself in court. It’s good that he took the case on his own showing that an individual can fight BIG GOVERNMENT with all their attorney’s and bottomless tax payers resources. Doctor Jackson probably would not have won this case for the financial costs even with an attorney for fighting the case in a kangaroo courtroom with the City’s own good ol’ boy judge. This case seemed to be very biased but Action Jackson fought an Army all on his own which was also on their own grounds.
Knowing how “Good Ol’ Boy Government” of “Quid Pro Quo” in Tallahassee works, Jackson probably would have had a better chance of winning his case on financial costs if he had donated to the 2012 Relection Campaign of Judge Augustus Aikens.
12:10 AM, May. 18, 2012 | Written by Jeff Burlew Senior government editor Of The Tallahassee Democrat
It wasn’t exactly the trial of the century.
But the spectacle factor was high Thursday as City Hall critic Erwin Jackson took his small-claims case to trial against the city of Tallahassee.
Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, City Manager Anita Favors Thompson and City Attorney Jim English all were called to testify in the bench trial before County Judge Augustus Aikens. However, Aikens sharply narrowed the questions Jackson could ask of them, and each testified for only a few minutes with no bombshells dropped.
In the end, Aikens ruled against Jackson, saying he was never denied any right to use a utility easement that runs behind rental property he owns on Airport Drive.
“The city has the right based on its right-of-way policies to establish standards for use of this easement,” Aikens said after ruling in favor of the city.
Jackson, who represented himself, asserted that he was given “special treatment” by the city when it locked him out of the mowed utility easement his work crews used to access an equipment building in the backyard of one of his properties.
However, city officials testified that the city locked a gate at the easement after getting a complaint from a citizen about large trucks driving along the property.
Jackson tried to ask English his legal opinion about the case, but Aikens wouldn’t let him.
“I’m not going to permit that,” Aikens said. “His legal opinions are not germane to the case.”
Jackson, who regularly attends City Commission meetings to speak out against the mayor, had hoped to bring up a number of City Hall controversies to prove the city retaliated against him. But Aikens asked Jackson to keep his questions to the issues of access and damages only.
In January 2011, the city locked Jackson out of the easement, which he said he’d used without trouble for 30 years. City officials, relying on property appraiser records, believed the city owned the land at the time. But after doing a title search, they later discovered the city had been given an easement only.
Jackson, who said he was locked out of the easement for five months, eventually billed the city for $2,512.50, for legal and other expenses. After the city sent him a check for only $75, Jackson sued. He said during the trial he was offended by the amount.
Aikens, however, said the $75 was appropriate.
Assistant City Attorney Louis Norvell grilled Jackson about his expenses in the case, whether the storage building was being used for a commercial purpose to service other rental properties — something not allowed in the residential zone — and whether Jackson ever really lost access to the building. Norvell said Jackson employees were still able to access the building from the front yard even after the easement gate was locked.
City officials waited for hours until they were called to testify. Favors Thompson said she had more important things to do, including working on next week’s City Commission agenda. Marks agreed.
“We’ve got a lot of other things we could be doing than this,” Marks said outside the courtroom.
One of Jackson’s tenants, Evan Blythe, was asked to testify on behalf of the city but was never called. Blythe, who lives in the Airport Drive home in question, applauded the city for fighting Jackson in court.
“The city is protecting the taxpayers’ dollars,” he said. “Even if they’ve invested a bit of money into this trial, it’s definitely going to be worth it.”