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Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Jack-Booted Thugs are Back!

My wife and I returned home the other night to find we'd had another visit from the fine folks at the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

I recounted in a recent post the efforts by local authorities to unlawfully seize our house. I noted in another recent post why these efforts are unlawful. But none of that has stopped the state-sponsored terrorism campaign being carried out--at least on the front end--by Chris Curry, sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and Mary Harris, the circuit clerk.

I suspect far bigger GOP fish than Curry and Harris are actually behind this.

What was the thugs' latest tactic? We returned home to find a notice taped to our garage door. It read:

Sheriff's Sale

By virtue of a Writ of Execution issued out of District Court of Shelby County, Alabama, and to me directed whereby I am commanded to make the amount of a certain judgment recently obtained against Roger Shuler in favor of Mike McGarity out of the goods, chattels, lands and tenements of the said Roger Shuler, I have levied on the following property, to wit:

(A description of the lot, block, book, and page number of our house)

Therefore, according to said command, I shall expose for sale at public auction, all the right, title and interest of the above named Roger Shuler to the above described property on the 7th day of April, 2008 at 12:00 noon, on the front steps of the Shelby County Courthouse in Columbiana, Alabama.

Dated at Columbiana this 29th day of February, 2008.

Chris Curry

Sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama

This all started with a writ of execution issued by Circuit Clerk Mary Harris, and I wrote here about threats to seize our cars. That didn't work, so the next move was to seize our house. Keep in mind, this is for an alleged debt in the grand total of $1,525.

(You might also recall that this whole problem with our neighbor started because my wife and I were victims of a crime--repeated criminal trespassing (a violation, not even a misdemeanor). When the guy continued to trespass after multiple verbal warnings and even a letter from a lawyer, we finally sought to have the crime prosecuted. Ron Jackson, a Republican district judge, found the neighbor not guilty even though a court transcript shows the guy confessed to the crime. Because the neighbor was found not guilty, he was able to sue me for a "disfavored" tort called malicious prosecution. That led to multiple unlawful rulings by Republican judges in Alabama, and ultimately, to the blog you are now reading. Turns out the neighbor has at least eight criminal convictions in his background. The lawyer who filed the lawsuit on his behalf has a 30-year record of unethical activity in the legal profession; he's had his license suspended and was tried for perjury in criminal court. A key lesson I hope readers will take from my experience: A victim who lives through any crime--assault, theft, rape, you name it--can be sued for malicious prosecution (and a similar tort called false imprisonment) if the defendant is found not guilty. These are considered "disfavored torts," and it's unlikely that a reputable lawyer would file such a case. And any reputable judge almost certainly would kick such a case. But I know from experience that the world is filled with disreputable lawyers and judges. And fighting such a bogus case can easily cost $10,000 to $20,000--or more.)

Why would authorities try to seize a house to satisfy a debt of $1,525? Can we say, "ulterior motive?"

Here is something interesting about this recent missive from Sheriff Curry: I noted in a previous post, that we already have received a "notice of levy," notifying us that our house was going to be sold to satisfy this alleged judgment. A notice of levy and writ of execution are governed by Rule 69 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure (ARCP).

But Rule 69 says nothing about taping a notice of the sheriff's sale to the garage door of the property owner. In fact, it says nothing about notifying the property owner, yours truly, of the sheriff's sale.

So why would they do it? The notice of levy already has told me that they are going to auction off my house. (Actually, it's our house, co-owned by my wife, who was not a party to the lawsuit in question.) So why did they notify me of the sheriff's sale? Do they think I'm going to show up and try to buy my own house?

Gee, can't imagine why I would suspect that ulterior motives are at work here.

But I do know this: There are significant legal ramifications to what Sheriff Curry and Clerk Harris are doing--assuming, that is, that the law applies anywhere in Alabama?

We will address those legal ramifications soon.

By the way, you can write to County Clerk Mary Harris and Sheriff Chris Curry and ask them why they are issuing invalid writs of executions on unconstitutional judgments--essentially conducting an unlawful terror campaign on one of their citizens. You might want to ask them: Hey, whose bucket of water are you carrying?

You can write them at:

Chris Curry:
ccurry@shelbycountyalabama.net

Mary Harris:
mary.harris@alacourt.gov

Tell them Legal Schnauzer sent you.

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