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Thursday, April 11, 2013

We Catch Federal Court Employees In A Con Game On My Wife's Lawsuit Against Infinity Insurance

Hugo Black U.S. Courthouse
My wife and I caught federal "justice officials" in a scam yesterday morning at the Hugo Black U.S. Courthouse in downtown Birmingham. In fact, we caught them so red-handed--and it confirmed our suspicions so thoroughly--that the experience was alternately infuriating and exhilarating.

The purpose of the scam was to use the U.S. mails and court process to cheat my wife in a pending employment lawsuit. My use of the word "scam" probably is too mild to describe what happened; a strong case could be made that we unearthed a criminal conspiracy for obstruction of justice.

The infuriating part of the experience was that we drove about 40 miles round-trip for a court proceeding that did not occur--and, in fact, never was intended to take place. The exhilarating part is that we foiled a  plot for now, and we are going to unmask the culprits on this blog. What happens next? We don't know, but you will be reading about any and all developments here at Legal Schnauzer.

Regular readers probably recall that Mrs. Schnauzer (MS) was unlawfully terminated from her job at Birmingham-based Infinity Insurance in October 2009, during the course of our lawsuit against various debt collectors and lawyers under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

As the FDCPA case was reaching a critical juncture, with discovery about to commence, my wife's supervisor at Infinity told her to change her start time from 9 a.m. (central time) to 9:30, in order to assist with the company's large customer base in California, which has a two-hour time difference from Alabama. MS did as she was told and started arriving at work around 9:20 each day, only to have her supervisor allege she had been chronically tardy and fire her. When MS pointed out the directive to start her workday at 9:30, the supervisor acted as if it had never happened, even though it was given in front of about a dozen coworkers.

In a case styled Carol Shuler v. Infinity Property & Casualty et al, my wife alleges that various entities and individuals conspired to interfere with her employment because of our aggressive pursuit of the FDCPA action. Evidence also suggests that the same political/legal forces who cheated me out of my job at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) were involved in my wife's case.

The handling of MS's case has been emitting an unpleasant smell for several months, but we weren't certain about its origins--or the machinations that caused it to drift our way. The events of yesterday morning erased any doubts that we had.

Here is the issue at the heart of yesterday's attempted screw job: As a pro se litigant, MS must rely on the U.S. mail to receive court documents about her case. Electronic filing has become commonplace in American courts, but that only applies to members of the bar. If you are representing yourself--and given our experiences with lawyers, MS is not about to hire one--you must rely on snail mail.

My wife's case has proceeded at a curious pace from the outset. Her complaint was filed on September 22, 2011, and assigned to U.S. Magistrate T. Michael Putnam. Defendants filed motions to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), and over about a nine-month period, Putnam issued a number of orders, mostly related to those motions.

Putnam seemed to be handling matters in a relatively prompt fashion, by federal-court standards, but the case came to a screeching halt last summer. Putnam issued an order on July 11, 2012, and for the next five months, the case went dark. When MS or I were downtown, we usually would stop by the courthouse to check the file on public computers--only to find that nothing was happening. As the new year approached, my wife considered filing a motion to see if the case had somehow slipped through the cracks and been forgotten.

In early February of this year, Carol Shuler v. Infinity Insurance suddenly sprang back to life. We received a copy of an order regarding a review of Putnam's report and recommendation on the various motions to dismiss. When my wife read the order, she quickly realized that it referenced other orders Putnam had issued on December 11 and December 26, 2012.

These orders dealt with critical issues, recommending that some defendants be dismissed while others remained in the case. The December orders gave MS 15 days to file any objections to the magistrate's report, and she had a number of objections. But she never received those orders in the mail, and the deadline for filing objections had passed. (Curious note about federal courts: A judge can sit on his hands for five months, doing nothing on a case, but then give you 15 days to respond to one of his orders.)

Our noses started picking up foul odors at this point. Mail delivery to our home might not be flawless, but the possibility of us failing to receive two court orders in the span of roughly two weeks . . . well, it is  extremely unlikely. In the almost 23 years we've lived at our current address, we've never had any legal or financial difficulties that were caused by failure to receive important documents in the mail.

On February 27, 2013, MS filed a motion to stay the proceedings, noting that she had not received the December documents via U.S. mail and asking for a time extension so that she could file objections to Putnam's report. (See motion at the end of this post.)

At a hearing on March 8, Putnam gave MS 15 days to file objections. He also questioned her about the mail problems, asking if the court had her correct address on file. When she replied that it did, Putnam said records showed the clerk's office had mailed the documents, so he could not understand why they were not received. He then stated that it was the plaintiff's responsibility to keep up with her case, and if she experienced future problems with mail delivery . . . well, that would just be tough.

The gist of the the judge's message seemed to be this: "I'm cutting you a break for now, but if you miss deadlines in the future because you didn't receive mail from the court, I will dismiss your case."

Putnam filed an order, giving MS until March 25 to file objections and citing several cases that supposedly backed his claim that she would be SOL (shit out of luck) if mail did not reach her going forward. (See order at the end of this post.)

A quick review of the cited cases showed that they do not say what Putnam claimed they say. They generally deal with lawyers who fail to keep up with client cases and said little or nothing about pro se litigants. They certainly offer no support for Putnam's apparent contention that he could lawfully dismiss a case because a pro se litigant failed to receive documents via U.S. mail.

At this point, the smell surrounding MS's case officially became a stench. We began to strongly suspect that the court intentionally was not sending documents to our address, for the purpose of concocting grounds to dismiss my wife's case.

It turns out, we were right.

(To be continued) 


jeffrey spruill said...

What do you think they're afraid of?

Might uncover criminal behavior on behalf of Drayton Nabers?

Anonymous said...

could you request the system mail you documents with Delivery Confirmation or could you just pick them up?

Anonymous said...

You can write your congressman about the "mail service" That always gets attention plus you can file a charge with the US Postal Service Postal Inspectors if you suspect tampering.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 8:28--

Those are good suggestions, but we learned yesterday that the problem isn't with the mail system. It's with the court, which intentionally is not mailing documents to my wife. I will explain further in upcoming posts.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 8:29--

The tampering is at the courthouse, not in the mail system. And that likely goes to criminal activity, such as obstruction of justice. Will provide more details in upcoming posts.

legalschnauzer said...


Yes, I think that's part of it. Nabers is a staunch ally of former Gov. Bob Riley and his felonious son, Rob Riley. Those are the people who cheated me out of my job at UAB, and since Nabers sits on the Infinity board, it was very easy for them to have him cheat my wife. In addition to being a Riley Republican, Nabers is big with the insurance industry and the legal tribe, working at Bham firm Maynard Cooper & Gale. Lawyers live off cash from insurance companies, so they are tied at the hip and protect each other like bandits. I believe we have multiple motivations in play here, but covering for Nabers almost certainly is one of them.

Anonymous said...

Legal Schnauzer, first a "magistrate?"

Magistrates in Oregon can be told no, only an "Article III Judge" can sit in on the case.

Real US Constitutional "Justice," and your case as well as Carol's are indeed Constitutional issues.

Also, there is an "allotment" and I can't remember the Rule, but indeed Pro Se are entitled to I believe $3K, it was that a few years ago, for COUNSEL. In the matter in law.

Therefore, have Carol or you been told that this allotment for pro se is available? It is supposed to be up to the "court" and the "Justices" to let pro se know.

At least this is true in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Of course Alabama is not part of the US, since Rove got there and with Fuller did away with due process law.

There is a new writing and I really think the title is perfect:

"Time to Bell The Obama Cat."

It is really about the CONGRESS and how they are totally not a representative body of US We The People. What to do to the members of our political force that refuse to take the false power of globalism and stop already.

The courts are in the globalist mode of operation. Told to do what they do because they are THE CORPORATION. Get the reason why the Supreme Court ruled for the CORPORATION?

The court system IS what IS being protected in this time, grew to be the biggest hog to slaughter and left for last.

Gotta feel a little sorry for the dumbos shackled by the "Digital Credit Units," they also were not schooled in how to be protective of our "Bill of Rights," and so sell us down the river just like South Africans did to their own, too and look see what happened.

Southern Crackers are just like all the White Crackers, slave owners that do whatever can be gotten away with since the George W. Bush Jr.'s family was hired as the agents to do the NWO.

Exposing the criminals in every facet is the key. Does not matter that "oh we didn't know," there is no excuse for the insanity that has been governing in dressed up fake "justice."

Carol and Roger Shuler have proven the pro se are not what was said. And, Carol and Roger prove the civics in our public schools must be taught because look how great America really is, reflected in the Shulers' genuine patriotism vs. Karl Rove, et al vile evil.

Thank you Carol and Roger Shuler, not enough accolades and certainly not enough support in the arena of DCUs, or greenbacks, or ?

Sorry about the ignorant USA, your blog does raise the IQ and EQ levels and for this, our US faux money cannot ever actually do.

The times are a'changin and Carol and Roger Shuler are the working class heros that John Lennon's song sings.

May The Greatest Of All Energies Be The Circle In All Your Squares.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to reading more about this. Definitely smells fishy at this point.

Gerry with a G said...


Bravo to you and the missus for fighting back. Too many Americans sit back and take it. You don't, and best of all, you show the rest of us how to fight.

Anonymous said...

Gee, I wonder what discovery will show in this case. I hope Mrs. S socks it to the bastards.

Anonymous said...

I think I see where this is going, but I won't spoil it for the rest of your readers. Will wait to see if my hunches prove correct.

I will say this: This all tells me your wife likely has a very strong case against Infinity. The legal system would not be trying to pull these stunts if that weren't the case.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:00--

I think it will show an e-mail trail to key individuals at major law firms, insurance companies, and the federal courthouse--plus probably political figures.

Anonymous said...

Did you lay eyes on Judge Putnam yesterday?

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 10:36--

No, we did not see Judge Putnam. When we got there, on time, the courtroom was empty. A clerk came in and said Judge Putnam wasn't there, even though he had scheduled the hearing about 10 days earlier.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Judge Putnam didn't want to face you.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:01--

Yes, I think that is the case. A reasonable person might ask, "If the judge had to cancel, even fairly late in the game, why didn't he have someone contact you to let you know?"

Well, evidence suggests an interesting answer to that, and I will be sharing in an upcoming post.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the clerk's office at Hugo Black is screwed up. I've had a few dealings with them, so wouldn't be surprised at any incompetence coming from that place.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:12--

Oh yes, the clerk's office is engaging in all sorts of erratic behavior. The docket is filled with irregularities, and I will be posting it shortly.

Anonymous said...

LS everytime I read one of these stories it gives you more and more credibility! Most importantly, it makes the political and judicial establishment look like trash! I'm almost emberassed to admit this but I USE to vote for republicans in AL. I even voted for Riley. Your "news", the REAL news, helped me and many I know see these thugs for who they really are. I send people who still support them to your blog on a regular basis in fact daily! The word it getting out! On top of these bastards screwing with the wrong folks! That combo will hopefully be toxic for them in coming elections!

Point is, you are obviously doing something right and making the thugs scurry and scatter! They will fuck up! Already have!!! If you weren't right on target you wouldnt be a target! You are inspiring and more people in this God forsaken country need balls the size of yours!

I'm not joking when I say this, if you ran for public office I would vote for you! I would even pitch in for round the clock body guards for you and the Mrs! You are a hero! NWO can be defeated and it will be in this country! I have to believe that. If not their will be a lot of dead NeoCons and NeoLibs! No I am not threatening anyone, I only speak truth. People are waking from the coma and they are mad as hell!

It would be in Bob Riley's best interest to stay the hell out of Alabama politics! We've had enough of his redneck shit! That goes for his tools currently in office! You know who you are and it would be in everyone's best interest that you step down! BUT before doing so, I suggest you pay back the money you stole from the General Trust Fund via crazy scare tactics!

Thank you LS for what you do!

Anonymous said...

As a personal observation I have seen situations where a judge can express his dislike of a litigant to staff and clerks. Clerks pick up these "sents". Not hard to do. Thus, a prejudice exists as to certain litigants - especially pro se litigants. Why? Well, pro se litigants create more work for the staff. No electronic filings mean hand processing filings. Just to name one source of resentment.

This should not be so because the courts should be open to all persons, but it is the reality in our judicial system.

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 12:36--

You're points are well stated and well taken. I get the sense that judges often don't like pro se litigants because they can't be "managed." I was there to hear Putnam lecture my wife about her "duty" to ensure that she receives mail, and here is what I heard between the lines: "Madam, if you have an attorney he/she will be able to keep up with filings electronically, and we won't have this problem. More importantly, an attorney can keep you from going with your case in places we don't want you to go. We need an attorney to 'manage' a loose cannon such as yourself. Pro se parties, especially smart ones like you, are extremely irritating to us because they demand to know all of the pertinent facts about a case, who caused them damages, etc. In other words, you are likely to actually want justice, and we have no interest in that. Our concern is making sure that certain corporate and legal and political interests get out of their messes with as little accountability as possible. Therefore, we really would appreciate it if you would hire an attorney so we could get rid of your case with as little pain as possible for the big mules who guide us every step of the way."

Anonymous said...

AND! LS!! Furthermore, the Infinity Insurance trade and exchange is one of the best public retirement portfolio stocks.

Riley, Rove, Fuller, pests plus vermin and the rest of pond scum rise to live high on the hog at the Carol and Roger Shuler and other public citizen's expense.

What architecture has developed into quite a statement of opulent modern, across America and NOT certainly "sustainable," during Green's Agenda 21? Ah isn't the Federal Court House a dizzying display of the Federal Reserve System's power, demanding the craaazy hirees cower before Wall Street's fraud.

Doofs scum bags paid digital debt to circumvent their own futures.

Obstructionists to the real law, can't communicate or cooperate with the genuine human American population, Mom&Pop US.

Duh, the courts are the corporation's digital no due process, completely contaminated injustice system run amok, the game Wall Street gang runs.

Alabama has been very blessed to find from the pond scum clean-up crew, THE Legal Schnauzer Brigade, demonstrating to the community how to restore our dignity in the fine old-new Southern culture.