I had a front row seat yesterday for corruption in George W. Bush's America, watching up close and personal as corrupt Republicans in Shelby County, Alabama, "auctioned" my house--or at least a portion of my interest in it.
Under the law, they actually didn't do anything. You can't conduct a sheriff's sale without a judgment lien, and you can't get a judgment lien without filing a certificate of judgment. After attorney slimeball Bill Swatek and sheriff's deputy dirtbag Bubba Caudill went through the charade of playing "Monty's Cookie Jar" with my house, I stopped in the probate office in the Shelby County Courthouse.
I checked the computer records myself and saw no judgment lien on my property. But to be doubly sure, I walked across the hall and checked with a woman in the probate office. She checked records back to 2000 and found no judgment lien on my house. I told her that my house had just been auctioned on the courthouse steps, which caused her eyebrows to go up like pyramids. "You would need a judgment lien to do that wouldn't you?" I said. "You would think," she said.
To make de-dog doubly sure, I went back across the hall and down a ways to another probate office. A friendly woman told me they do wills and estates in this office, but she could help me with anything. (The other woman was friendly, too. Nice to see that some decent people do work at the Shelby County Courthouse. The dirtbags are the judges, lawyers, sheriff types and other "officials.") I asked her about a judgment lien on my house, and she checked her computer and didn't find any. I told her the story about the auction on the courthouse steps. Her eyebrows did a pyramid thing, too. "Kind of hard to do that without a judgment lien isn't it?" I said. "You would think," she said.
I've got much more coming on yesterday's Showdown on the Courthouse Steps, hopefully with video of the whole shootin' match. I was trying to channel my inner Michael Moore, complete with goofy ball cap. You can tell me how I did--assuming I can figure out how to get the video up. Working on that, in between trying to put out forest fires.
In the meantime, here's a copy of the Claim of Exemption I filed a week or so ago. By law, this little number had to put a stay on the sale. I told our guy Bubba that, both on the telephone yesterday morning and on camera while I was channeling Roger, I mean Michael, Moore. At one point, I think Bubba actually said he didn't care what the law says. Will have to double check the audio on that. Regardless of what he said, his actions clearly shows he doesn't care what the law says.
I was waving the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure around the way Jimmy Swaggart waves the Old Testament. Bubba acted like Superman (after way too many all-you-can-eat buffets) trying to get away from kryptonite.
This Claim of Exemption should give you an idea of just how unlawful the Bubba & Bill Show was yesterday:
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF SHELBY COUNTY, ALABAMA
CLAIM OF EXEMPTION FORM
My name is Roger Shuler, and I am the defendant in the case Mike McGarity v. Roger Shuler, Civil Action CV 00-1248. I received a writ of execution, signed by clerk Mary Harris on September 21, 2007, stating that I owed a judgment in the amount of $2,229.64. I received a sheriff's notice of levy on February 8, 2008. On February 29, 2008, I received a notice of sheriff's sale, informing me that my home was to be sold at auction at noon on April 7, 2008, on the front steps of the Shelby County Courthouse. I was told that sale was postponed due to an error by the Sheriff's Office, and I received noticed that it was rescheduled for noon on May 12, 2008.
Pursuant to Rule 69 (d) of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, I state as follows:
• The judgment in this matter is void because the court acted in a manner inconsistent with due process. Greene v. Connelly, 628 So. 2d 346 (Ala., 1993). The judgment in this matter also violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court has held: "The Due Process Clause entitles a person to an impartial and disinterested tribunal in both civil and criminal cases. . . . The neutrality requirement helps to guarantee that life, liberty, or property will not be taken on the basis of an erroneous or distorted conception of the facts or the law. Marshall v. Jerrico 446 U.S. 238 (1980). The record in this case is replete with "erroneous and distorted conceptions" of the law, showing that judges did not act as impartial arbiters. Therefore, the judgment is void and my property is exempt from levy.
• The judgment in this matter is void because numerous necessary parties were not joined in my counterclaim. "The absence of a necessary party requires a dismissal of the cause without prejudice or a reversal with prejudice or a reversal with directions." Holland v. City of Alabaster, 566 So. 2d 244 (Ala., 1990). Therefore, the judgment is void and my property is exempt from levy.
• The judgment in this matter must be set aside because the sheriff has failed to give written notice of my right to claim exemptions. I've even notified Deputy Bubba Caudill of this, and I've still never received the notice that is required by law. McLaren v. Anderson, 81 Ala. 106 (1886). Therefore the judgment in this matter is to be set aside and my property is exempt from levy.
• The judgment in this matter is void because a verdict was improperly rendered with fewer than 12 jurors. Rule 48 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure states that a jury of fewer than 12 jurors is proper only when it is stipulated by the parties. The parties did not stipulate the use of fewer than 12 jurors, so the judgment is unlawful, and my property is exempt from levy.
* The sale in this matter cannot proceed because records in Shelby County Probate Court show that no certificate of judgment has been filed in this case, and therefore no lien exists on the subject property. "The judgment creditor's rights in the property attach upon the act of recording the certificate of judgment." Garrett v. Garrett, 628 So. 2d 659 (Ala., Civ. App., 1993). The judgment creditor in this case has failed to act in accordance with Ala. Code 6-9-210, 211, so any levy on my property is unlawful.
• The levy is moot because the case already has been settled. I filed a notarized claim of exemption in this matter the week of March 31-April 4, as required by law. The opposing party has never filed a contest, so that claim of exemption is due to be upheld. There is no Alabama law stating that a valid claim of exemption is set aside merely because the sheriff made a mistake on the notice of levy. The opposing party has had way more than the allowed 10 days to respond--and has done nothing. "Because the claim of exemption was not property contested, it was considered to be correct and was due to be upheld." Young v. Strong, 694 So. 2d 27 (Ala. Civ. App., 1997)
• The court and the sheriff's department have butchered this case and this process from start to finish. "The judgment lien statute is in derogation of the common law and is to be strictly construed." AmSouth Bank v. Bischoff 678 So. 2d 1102. (Ala. Civ. App. 1995). Furthermore, Alabama courts have held: "Substantial compliance in every essential particular is required before the benefits conferred by such statutes can be obtained or enjoyed, and an omission of any material or particular requirement cannot be deemed a substantial compliance. Duncan v. Ashcraft, 25 So. 735 (Ala., 1898).
• The sale in this matter is due to be stayed because the subject property is exempt for multiple reasons, primarily because both the judgment itself and the levy process have been reached in an unlawful manner.
My commission expires: ___________________
5204 Logan Drive
Birmingham, AL 35242