declared incapacitated and disabled in the wake of our unlawful eviction that led Missouri deputies to break Carol's arm in multiple places? To answer that question, it helps to learn a little about Missouri law on what are called "INP and DIS" cases.
I'm a long way from being an expert on this area of the law, but I've studied enough to know that Carol and I do not come close to meeting the definition of "incapacitated" or "disabled," there are no grounds for appointment of a guardian or conservator, and it appears that my brother, Paul, who is listed as petitioner, does not have standing to bring such a case. So why has he filed such a case in Greene County Probate Court?
This dubious train seems to be driven by my two brothers--Paul, a radiology tech at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, and David, a lawyer in Springfield (at Shuler Law Firm, focusing mainly on divorce and DUI defense cases). If no lawful grounds exist for bringing such a case, what gives? My best guess is that it's an effort to ensure we cannot seek justice against the Greene County Sheriff's Department, landlord Trent Cowherd, and Lowther Johnson law firm (representing Cowherd), and anyone else who might be liable for injuries we suffered in an unlawful eviction on September 9--including Carol's shattered arm, which required repair from a trauma surgeon, using all sorts of screws and titanium plates.
|Mercy Hospital, Springfield, Missouri|
They don't, and they apparently don't mind grossly abusing the legal process to seek whatever perverted outcome they are after.
What about Missouri law on "INP and DIS" cases? An online document titled "Guardians and Conservators Under Missouri Law" shines light. (It's in a PDF format to which it apparently is not possible to link, but a Google search of the document title should bring it right up.)
Here is the answer to one key question:
What Does it Mean to Be Incapacitated or Disabled?
As defined by Missouri law, “an incapacitated person is one who is unable by reason of any physical or mental condition to receive and evaluate information or to communicate decisions to such an extent that he [or she] lacks capacity to meet essential requirements for food, clothing, shelter, safety or other care such that serious physical injury, illness, or disease is likely to occur.” Similarly, a disabled person is one who is “unable by reason of any physical or mental condition to receive and evaluate information or to communicate decisions to such an extent that the person lacks ability to manage his [or her] financial resources.” Under certain circumstances, a conservator may be appointed by the court for a person who has disappeared or is detained against his or her will.
Neither Carol nor I come close to meeting that definition. We have food, clothing, shelter, and safety--we are in no position where serious physical injury, illness, or disease to likely to occur. Despite all we've been through, our overall health probably is as good, or better, than anyone on my side of the family. In terms of ethics, I might be the only one from our Missouri clan who has any left.
|David Shuler, of Shuler law firm|
He, at least to some extent, is responsible for her injuries, so it's little wonder that he wants to have her (and me) declared incapacitated so we possibly would be precluded from pursuing legal claims against him. Gee, do you see a little self interest here in my brother's actions.
Here is the answer to another central questions:
What is the Legal Effect of a Judicial Determination of Incapacity or Disability?
The answer depends upon whether the court has made a finding of total disability and incapacity or only partial disability and incapacity. If the court finds that a person is only partially disabled and partially incapacitated, the person is still presumed competent and loses only those rights specified in the order. A person who has disappeared or is being detained does not lose any rights. On the other hand, if the court finds a person totally incapacitated or totally disabled (or both), the person is presumed to be incompetent for all legal purposes. A person who has been determined by a court to be disabled is referred to as a “protectee” and a person who has been determined by a court to be incapacitated is referred to as a “ward.”
We could be declared incompetent and essentially lose all our rights and even our freedom, becoming wards of the state--all at the request of two brothers who know virtually nothing about us or the numerous court cheat jobs that have caused us to lose our home and many of our possessions.
And finally, we have this:
Who May Be Appointed Guardian or Conservator?\
If no suitable person has been nominated by the incapacitated or disabled person, the court will consider appointing, in order: the spouse, parents, adult children, adult brothers and sisters and other close adult relatives.
As you can see, the No. 1 person on the list to be declared a guardian or conservator is "spouse"--and that would be Carol. That's a slight problem for my devious brothers, so they are trying to have her declared incapacitated, too--which I would guess is against the law.
As for "adult brothers and sisters," they are well down the list. That probably means my brother Paul does not even have standing to bring such a case. The Paul J. Shuler I used to know would not try to pull such a low-down stunt. But apparently, that person doesn't exist anymore.
And I'm starting to wonder if my lawyer brother ever was worth a crap. Since joining the legal tribe, he certainly is proving to be quite the "bottom feeder."