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Citizen journalist files lawsuit against property owners from 2014 rally
A-Tisdale Indictment mug

DAWSON COUNTY - Nearly two years after Nydia Tisdale was arrested at a GOP rally at Burt's Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville the "citizen journalist" has filed a lawsuit against the farm and its owners, Kathy and Johnny Burt.

Court records show Tisdale's lawyer, Bonnie Jones, filed the litigation against the Burts on Aug. 22 in Dawson County Superior Court. The lawsuit seeks an award of an unspecified amount of damages, as well as an award of punitive damages.

Tisdale has also written a letter citing her intention to file sexual assault charges against former Dawson County Deputy Tony Wooten. The letter was posted to her personal website.

The letter was addressed to Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.

As of this Tuesday afternoon, the Dawson County Sheriff's Office had not confirmed receipt of the letter.

Tisdale's letter, also dated Aug. 22, states that she is "filing the formal complaint to preserve her rights that may expire due to the statute of limitations."

Her allegations against Wooten include sexual assault and/or battery, and violation of oath by a public officer.

In the letter, Tisdale described the incident and the alleged assault, where she says Wooten held her arms against her back and pushed her up against a countertop, bent her body at the waist and pushed his crotch against her backside.

"For several weeks after the assault, I had extreme pain in my pelvic region," she wrote. "Prescription pain medication was taken to ease my agony."

Clerk of court records show that Tisdale has not filed a lawsuit with the Superior Court of Dawson County against Wooten in regards to sexual assault.

Tisdale was arrested Aug. 23, 2014, after she refused to stop videoing the rally at the farm and would not leave the property when asked.

She was booked for felony obstruction of an officer and misdemeanor criminal trespass. A charge of misdemeanor obstruction of an officer was later added.

Tisdale was indicted on the charges in November and pleaded not guilty to all counts in March.

In August 2015, Tisdale filed a notice that a lawsuit against the Dawson County Sheriff's Office and Dawson Board of Commissioners was looming unless a settlement could be reached in the case.

The notice said Tisdale is seeking $550,000.

In June, Tisdale and her lawyer filed a motion to have Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh removed from her case, citing a conflict of interest.

Tisdale's next court date is a motions hearing scheduled for Oct. 4.

Tisdale also filed a suit in federal court on May 9 against the Dawson County Sheriff's deputies involved in her arrest at the farm: Wooten, Cpl. Russell Smith and former Cpl. Laura Bishop. She claimed that her First, Fourth and 14th Amendments were violated when she was asked to stop filming the rally.