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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

My brothers are trying to turn a Missouri probate court into the stage for a farce that wastes taxpayer dollars

Lowther Johnson law firm of Springfield, MO
Do my brothers in Missouri have a legitimate case for trying to have my wife, Carol, and me declared incapacitated and disabled? Is the court-appointed attorney assigned to Carol and me actually representing our best interests?

The answer to both questions is "not even close." In fact, we have come to see the Republican presidential primary race often described as a "clown car." Now we know that term should be reserved for the legal stunt my brothers--Paul J. Shuler (radiology tech at Mercy Hospital) and David N. Shuler (lawyer, Shuler Law Firm)--are trying to pull in Greene County Probate Court.

My brothers' nefarious activities make the Donald Trump-led GOP train seem positively quaint and genteel by comparison. At least there is a legitimate reason to have a GOP primary. There is no lawful or factual basis for the "INP and DIS" (incapacitated and disabled) case my brothers have wrought.

How do we know? For starters let's look at the Public Administrator page for Greene County, the very jurisdiction where my brothers filed their petition. It's clear that "INP and DIS" proceedings are not for people who have been the victims of bad luck or the targets of bad people (as we have been)-- it's not for folks whose property has been stolen over a 15-year period of time (as ours has been, by corrupt lawyers, judges, and law-enforcement types); it's not for folks who've had their home wiped out by a tornado or flood; it's not for those badly injured in a car crash or other mishap.

These cases are for people who have the most serious of mental-health conditions. Here is how the Greene County public administrator explains the process--and it seems reasonable to assume that he is drawing from statutory and case law:

The Guardian/Conservator Appointment Process:

There are four types of mental disability and incapacitation that may cause the probate court to appoint a guardian and/or a conservator:

* Mental illness (such as schizophrenia and bi-polar illness)

* Mental retardation/developmental disabilities

* Brain injury or disease

* Diseases of the aging (such as Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia)

Do we have schizophrenia or bi-polar disease or anything similar to them? No one has even hinted that we do. Do we have mental retardation or brain injury or any form of dementia? Again, no one has even hinted at that.

Even if we did have one or more of those conditions, that is not necessarily grounds (under Missouri law) for appointment of a guardian or conservator. From the Public Administrator Web page:

The above disabilities are not by themselves sufficient reasons to declare someone incompetent. Competency has to do with a person's ability to make an informed decision without the risk of harm that may be experienced as a result of inability to provide for him/herself or manage his/her affairs.

Further, a conservator may be appointed when only a physical disability impairs a person's ability to handle his financial affairs. . . .

Guardianship/conservatorship is the most restrictive form of protection given to mentally disabled and incapacitated individuals and should be used only when less restrictive measures are not adequate to meet their needs.

That Paul and David Shuler have brought such a baseless case should be grounds for sanctions against them. It also should outrage taxpayers who are seeing their funds wasted.

Even more alarming is this: Evidence strongly suggests the "INP and DIS" case was filed with an ulterior motive in mind. It has nothing to do with the well-being of Carol and me. It's all about protecting the landlord, sheriff deputies, and lawyers (including my brother, David) who are responsible for our injuries. One sign of that is the court-appointed lawyer who is assigned to "represent our interests."

Daniel G. Menzie
His name is Daniel G. Menzie, a solo practitioner based in Suite 200 of Hammons Tower at 901 E. St. Louis St. in Springfield, MO. Who just happens to be on the 20th floor of Hammons Tower? That would be Lowther Johnson, the law firm that represented landlord Trent Cowherd in our eviction case and allowed the eviction to proceed even though it was unlawfully scheduled inside the 10-day window when no such action could take place--and even though we had filed a Notice of Appeal, which put an automatic stay on the eviction.

In other words, Lowther Johnson and Trent Cowherd (not to mention the Greene County Sheriff's Office) have major liability for the injuries Carol and I have suffered--and "our attorney" just happens to be Daniel Menzie, one of Lowther Johnson's office neighbors.

On top of that, we have become aware of documentation about the way Mr. Menzie spends some of his extracurricular time, and it calls into question his ethics, taste, and judgment. We will share that information shortly, and it likely will help you understand why we want no part of Mr. Menzie--or the charade he is trying to help my ethically challenged brothers to pull.


Anonymous said...

Your lawyer brother's behavior is typical for corrupt individuals in the field. They don't care one bit how much public funds are wasted on their wild goose "cases."

Anonymous said...

I'm not familiar with Missouri law, but I am familiar with these cases in general, and they definitely are for people who are suffering from serious mental-health problems.

The fact that you write a blog of this caliber 4-5 days a week is a real clear sign that you do not qualify.

Is your lawyer brother representing the brother who filed the petition? If so, he should know better than to bring this case.

Anonymous said...

Your lawyer brother's behavior is typical for corrupt individuals in the field. They don't care one bit how much public funds are wasted on their wild goose cases.

legalschnauzer said...

My petitioner brother is not represented by my lawyer brother, @11:09. He's represented by an attorney named Linda K. Thomas, who must not have a clue what she is doing. That, or she is ethically compromised like so many people in the field.

Anonymous said...

Roger, get into the court room and out smart them in the public venue!!! I am praying.

vintagecarole said...

I hope that you have the stamina to see this through to the justice you deserve.

Modesto Culbertson said...

What a tough thing to have to deal with. Especially as a family member. It's so hard to have an opinion as an outsider, but it can't feel good to have your brother trying to get you to do things you don't want to. It seems like you are getting some good advice though.

Modesto Culbertson @ D & Z Law Group