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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My family in Missouri is trying to have my wife and me declared incapacitated in the wake of assault by Missouri deputies that left her with a broken arm


Cowherd Construction in
Springfield, Missouri
My family in Missouri--specifically my two brothers--are trying to have my wife, Carol, and me declared incapacitated and disabled, an apparent first step toward taking away many of our rights that could end with physical commitment.

Documents have been filed in Greene County Probate Court, asking that a guardian or conservator (or both) be appointed for us. This area of the law is new to me, and I'm still researching it, but my understanding is that this can lead to the loss of many rights--the right to manage your financial affairs, the right to manage your own health care, the right to vote, the right to file a lawsuit . . . well, you get the idea.

Evidence suggests that last item--the right to file a lawsuit--is the real reason these cases have been filed. They were filed on September 29 and 30, roughly 20 days after Missouri sheriff's deputies conducted an unlawful eviction that left Carol with a broken left arm (which required repair from a trauma surgeon) and a badly bruised right arm. This blatant example of police brutality took place as Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott stood and watched, pointing a finger and claiming Carol had assaulted a police officer--when, in fact, all she had done was try to enter our apartment (as she had been given permission to do) to retrieve our cat's litter box.

By the way, Carol had a followup visit yesterday with her surgeon, and her recovery seems to be going well. We will have more details in a few days, hopefully with copies of X-rays that show the extensive damage to her arm and reflect the brutality that was involved in the assault. (A personal message from Carol's Facebook page about her recovery is at the end of this post.)

Who has reason to be worried about the events of September 9, 2015? The eviction had been schedule inside the 10-day window during which, under Missouri law, no execution (such as an eviction) can be levied. Court documents indicate the Lowther Johnson law firm of Springfield, Missouri, representing landlord Trent Cowherd and Cowherd Construction, unlawfully scheduled the eviction. That means both the firm and landlord stand to be liable for Carol's injuries--and other damages we suffered--so they have reason for concern.

Not only was the eviction unlawfully scheduled, I timely filed a notice of appeal on September 8, which put an automatic stay on execution. Attorneys in the case--Gregory Lulich, of Lowther Johnson, and my brother, David Shuler of the Shuler law firm, who was representing our mother, Gondylyn ("Gondy") Shuler because Cowherd had included her as a defendant, with no grounds for doing so--were timely served with our Notice of Appeal and had every reason to know that execution was stayed. That Lulich and David Shuler, and their law firms, allowed a stayed eviction to take place means they stand to be liable for Carol's injuries--and other damages we've suffered--so they have reason for concern.

Finally, Sheriff Arnott and his deputies brutalized and seriously injured a 55-year-old woman who posed no threat to them--on a day, and under conditions, where law enforcement had no grounds to be on the property. In an environment of growing concern about police misconduct, which ironically started in August 2014 with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Arnott and his crew have reason to be concerned.

Are Carol and I really incapacitated and disabled--and do we really need a guardian or conservator? Of course not--and while we have been the victims of 15 years worth of court-related abuse, and we both have been diagnosed with PTSD after my unlawful incarceration and (likely) wrongful foreclosure on our home of 25 years--the notion that we can't handle our affairs is preposterous. We have, however, refused to stay quiet about the abuses we've suffered--and similar abuses heaped on other litigants in Alabama and elsewhere--and my determination to continue such reporting on this blog likely is the reason someone wants to legally have me declared a "nut job." I've already been kidnapped and thrown in jail for five months in Alabama, and this appears to be a slightly different version of the same tactic. In fact, I would not be surprised if the idea originated in Alabama, with someone serving as "liaison" for conservative legal and political forces that want to do us harm in both that state and Missouri.

So what is going on with this effort to more or less turn us into wards of the state? I'm still trying to figure that out. But readers can check out the basics by going to this link, clicking on "litigant name search," and keying in either my name (Roger Alan Shuler) or my wife's name (Carol Tovich Shuler). The style on my case, for example, is "1531-PR00897 - ROGER ALAN SHULER INP and DIS." The style and docket entries on Carol's case are pretty much identical. "INP and DIS" apparently stand for incapacitated and disabled.

David Shuler of Shuler Law Firm
Curiously, the petitioner in both cases is listed as my brother Paul James Shuler, who works as a radiology technician at Mercy Hospital in Springfield. Last I heard, he now does imaging mostly in the hospital's Cardiac Cath Lab. What does Paul know about Carol and me, and our situation? What does he know about the long line of legal cheat jobs that have cost us just about everything we owned? The answer, best I can tell, is almost nothing.

That makes me think my other brother, lawyer David Shuler, is driving this slippery train--probably in an effort to protect his cronies in the legal, law-enforcement, and landlord communities. David has a company called Old Ivy Properties, which mainly seems to deal with rental units, so he's tied in with landlords. For good measure, he started another company less than a month ago, called G Shuler Properties, and I'm not sure what that's about. Our mother's name is Gondy, so does the "G" stand for her name? That would be my guess. Why, at age 86, does she suddenly need something called "G Shuler Properties"? I have no idea.

I'm still learning the law on all of this "INP and DIS" stuff, but it certainly is emitting a foul odor--the kind I grew to recognize quickly while living in Alabama. In fact, I'm learning that odors coming from Missouri courtrooms can be every bit as rank as the ones that come from the "halls of justice" in the Heart of Dixie. One big difference? In Missouri, I seem to have two brothers who are right in the thick of the sleaze.

Following is a message from my wife, Carol Tovich Shuler, about her recovery from the brutality heaped upon her by Missouri deputies. A special thank you to Dr. Brian Buck, and his trauma team at Cox Medical Center South in Springfield. Dr. Buck and his team also are affiliated with the University of Missouri in Columbia. They have provided Carol with top-notch care, and we deeply appreciate it.


From Carol Tovich Shuler:

Had a follow-up appt with my ortho trauma surgeon today. He was pleased with the results thus far, but I have a long way to go. They removed the stitches from ~8-10" long incision & took additional xrays. It was the first ones I've seen. It was rather horrifying seeing all the hardware in my arm...all the titanium plates, screws & pins. And my elbow looks like a jigsaw puzzle, it is in so many pieces. My arm was truly shattered by these maniac cops. Today they put me in a post-op compression sleeve to help with swelling & the healing process. However, I can't help but worry my arm will never be the same again. And that these freaks responsible will never be held accountable for all the trauma, loss & civil rights violations inflicted upon me & my family

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the damnedest thing I've read in a while. Your brothers sound like sorry excuses for human beings.

Anonymous said...

Your brothers need a good spanking! What a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

What a shining example of brotherly love. You must be deeply touched.

Anonymous said...

Your brothers make Uday and Qusay Hussein sound charming by comparison.

legalschnauzer said...

I do feel deeply touched, @10:22. My bosom is overwhelmed with gratitude. Seriously, I used to think I had two wonderful brothers. But right now, my trust level with both of them is sub-zero. In fact, it's embarrassing to share a last name with two individuals who would seek to use the court system is such an abusive fashion.

Anonymous said...

Family relations can be the pits, can't they?

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, they can. Mine used to be great, or so I thought, but they have gradually deteriorated over the past 23 years or so, which roughly dovetails with the time when my youngest brother became a lawyer. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

Has your brother, who works at Mercy Hospital, shown any interest in Carol's injuries, which were so severe that they required trauma surgery? Surely an employee of Mercy Hospital would show concern toward his sister-in-law, who was severely injured by Missouri deputies.

legalschnauzer said...

No, my brother Paul has not shown the slightest interest in Carol's injuries. In fact, he's not communicated with either of us (no phone calls, no e-mails, no visits) since we moved into our apartment here in July 2014--and yet, he presumes to know something about our affairs.

In his defense, no one else in my family has expressed any concern about Carol's injuries, either. I guess her arm could be twisted completely off by a Missouri deputy--and from looking at the X-rays, that's about what happened--and they wouldn't care.

I like to think I have some integrity, but I have no idea where it came from. It certainly did n't come from my family, it appears.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to learn that my family isn't the only dysfunctional one out there.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it possible that you really are crazy?

legalschnauzer said...

Hah, good one, @2:19. Have you posed the same question about yourself? If so, please let me know the answer. If not, maybe you should start there before asking the question of me.

Robby Scott Hill said...

It's difficult to get someone declared incapacitated or disabled even when the family and doctors are for it. Historically, probate judges were reluctant to take away your rights because they stand for election in Alabama and many other states. However, in this new reality of their being covertly appointed by rigged ES&S voting machines and overtly chosen by the Conservative Christian God, Supply Side Jesus Christ, who hates same sex marriage and would like to help the poor, but who has shareholders to think about, you could find yourself in a sticky situation. If I were you, I'd get the hell out of Missouri and walk into the nearest Canadian or UK Consulate as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Roger. Why don't you ask the followers of your blog for a yes or no vote on whether they believe you to be crazy?

Anonymous said...

What kind of law does your brother practice?

legalschnauzer said...

Divorce, mostly, @3:00. I think he's done some DUI and criminal defense work, too. I know he handled a criminal-defense case a few years ago, and his client got nailed with something like five life sentences--for some kind of sex offense that he apparently did not commit. The client's name was Scott J. Wells, and he filed a legal-malpractice case that dragged on for about four years. It was set to go to trial when Wells' lawyer, curiously, bailed out on him at the last minute. Naturally, Wells couldn't do much at that point, so my brother got off the hook. The documents in that case file are extremely damning about my brother's abilities as a lawyer--at least in the area of criminal defense. We will be taking a look at those documents and other issues related to the Scott J. Wells case. It paints a very ugly picture.

Anonymous said...

So your brother makes a nice living by, essentially, helping to break up families and defend drunk drivers. That must make him feel very proud.

Robby Scott Hill said...

If you & Carol are still able to speak for yourselves and make decisions, which you clearly are, Probate courts are reluctant to overturn estate planning documents executed by you like a durable power of attorney or power of attorney for healthcare. Go to US Legal Forms & execute documents such as these in favor of someone you can trust before your hearing and you may be able to head off an unpleasant experience.

legalschnauzer said...

Are you serious @2:44? I have several thousand site visits a day, most by people who have never met me or talked to me. And I'm supposed to take it seriously what they think about my mental health? People can vote all they want, but it probably would be best if they created their own site. I'm not interested in running with such a sophomoric idea here.

I will do this: If you tell us your name and life story and send us your medical and financial records, I would be happy to let readers vote on whether or not you are crazy. Deal?

From parts unknown said...

You telling that your brother is an attorney speaks volumes in itself. I have been involved with a number of attorneys over the past few years. I've yet to find one that had a heart. They are worthless. Attorneys are destroying our country. Your brother, as a divorce attorney, is in the business of destroying families. He thrives on it. He repulses me.

Anonymous said...

2:44 here. Roger, your answer to my suggestion is proof enough for me to believe that you are indeed not quite mentally right. I vote yes.

Anonymous said...

@3:20 - Attorneys don't break up families, that is the decision of at least one person within the family. Attorneys do profit from it, but they don't cause the break up. Defending those accused of a crime is what defense attorneys are supposed to do. The state has an attorney and the defendant needs someone looking out for him. Why wouldn't he be proud to earn a living doing whatever he wants? It's better than living off the government.

@2:19 - Most crazy people don't know they are crazy. So it's never a good idea to ask a crazy person if they might be crazy, because you will only get hostility back. Of course with Roger, there is always a little hostility toward anyone that disagrees with him, so it's hard to say.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you weren't such an ass to other people this kind of stuff wouldn't happen to you. Karma is a bitch.

Anonymous said...

LS....most whistleblowers are marginalized and are treated as nut jobs .... the true criminals here are in the Alabama judicial system. Thanks for your continued good work on exposing these issues. Good luck to you and your wife.

Anonymous said...

If I was one of the cop I would have broke your arms two

legalschnauzer said...

So you support police brutality, @12:00? What a classy guy. You might want to try working on your spelling and grammar ("I would have broke your arms, two"). It's possible you will come across less like a fool that way. Then again, you might be beyond help.

legalschnauzer said...

Hey, @10:00, it's always interesting to be charged with being "vitriolic and unhinged" from someone who seems all too familiar with those terms. Try reading your own prose. Here's a suggestion that might make your comments more interesting: The "I only read this blog for the entertainment . . . blah, blah" is tired and old, and I doubt that anyone believes it. You might try using a little creativity. Out of morbid curiosity, what problems were you forced to confront as an adult? What profession were you in and where did you live at the time? How did you resolve the issues, and who or what helped you?

legalschnauzer said...

Who have I been an ass to, @6:08? Care to provide any specifics?

legalschnauzer said...

So, @3:54, you aren't going to send us your life story and medical records and financial records so we can determine if you are crazy? You want me to wear that shoe, but you aren't willing to wear it yourself. In some circles, I think we call folks like you a hypocrite. I would be happy to be proven wrong if you care to share your personal info with us.

Anonymous said...

How does your brother at Mercy Hospital have standing to bring such a claim? He's not even remotely your next of kin.

legalschnauzer said...

You make an interesting point, @1:36. I'm still researching the law on this, but I don't think my brother Paul J. Shuler has standing to bring this. My next of kin is my wife, Carol, and it seems someone is trying to get around that little issue by trying to have her committed (or whatever it is they are trying to pull), too. Either Paul is clueless or he's intentionally abusing the legal process, perhaps with my lawyer brother David pulling the strings? Either way, it's a dangerous thing to abuse the legal process, to file claims for which you don't have standing and for which you (probably) have zero facts or law to support your case. Someone who works at Mercy Hospital should be at least a little familiar with standing and "next of kin" issues. That my brother seems to be ignorant of such issues--or is intentionally ignoring them--is alarming. And it's just the latest sign of the disrespect with which my family has treated Carol and me for a long time.

Anonymous said...

Your brothers appear to be practitioners of that ancient art--kicking a man while he's down. And if you also can kick his wife while she's down (and has a broken arm), it must be all the better.

Claire said...

I live in Springfield, and this story popped up on my Google alert, and it makes me sick. First, I think Sheriff Jim Arnott and his deputies are a bunch of thugs. I have friends who have had encounters with them. If Shuler Law Firm was the only place in town to go for legal services, I still wouldn't go there. And if Mercy Hospital hires people like your brother, Paul, I will never set foot in there again.

I'm so sorry for what you and your wife have experienced here. Springfield is a wonderful place, in many ways, but there are some nasty, backward-thinking people here (as there are in most places), and you've had the misfortune to run into some--and to be related to others. Hope things turn out OK for you. I'm going to be following this story and sharing with my friends. We should be better than this!

Steve said...

As you know, Roger. I have followed your blog for years. You are definitely not crazy, but your situation is Kafkaesque. I am astonished that your own family are prepared to betray you. I do think you should get as far away from Alabama and Missouri as you can.

e.a.f. said...

Have you thought of applying for political asylum in another country? I am not kidding.

of course it could be about the WILL. In some families other family members will go to all sorts of extremes to get another family member cut out of a family will.

There is the small matter of they want to shut you up. Your vocal opposition might not be in their or their friends best interests.

Why they are doing this is beyond me, but I can say one thing, your brothers must be crazy if they think this would pass some sort of legal test. there is nothing to indicate either you or Carole are anything but very sane. It would of course tie you up and take away your attention from your blog, which might be the goal.

When you consider the number of drug addicted, mentally ill people who walk the streets of American with no health care, no home, subject to abuse and the several thousand in cook country jail and they aren't considered "mentally ill" or whatever term, then they are going to have a very difficult time getting you "reclassified".

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks, e.a.f. I'm pretty sure I've already been cut out of any will, so that's fine. My main concern is that they seem to be involved in the kind of abusive use of the justice system that Carol and I already have encountered for about 15 years in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like they are trying to protect their mother. If she paid the rent for Roger to live free for a year and Roger decided he wouldn't leave, I'm sure they believe Roger will cost her more money that she doesn't have. It is obvious that Roger and Carol are a danger to themselves, because they create a problem and blame everybody else for the outcome. I have no doubt the deputies told Carol and Roger they could gather their belongings, but not that they could return inside the apartment. There is no reason to let a tenant you are evicting back in the apartment to gather items, they had their opportunity to remove the items themselves before the eviction day. The landlord's crew would empty the apartment and place the items at the curb and the former tenants could retrieve their belongings there. Roger and Carol misunderstood the distinction and Carol attempted to push her way into the apartment.

legalschnauzer said...

Always interesting to hear the conclusions of someone who has no idea what he's talking about, @4:46. My mother is not involved in the action, and there is nothing in court documents that says she is. My mother paid the rent for the one-year term of the lease, and her obligation was over then, so whether we left or not had no impact on her. And we weren't living free--we were paying utilities and everything, except rent, and we were going to pay rent on a month-to-month basis (per the lease, which I've posted online) until the landlord tried to force us out under provisions that violate the lease. The landlord's rep admitted the grounds under which they were trying to evict us were not contained in the lease.

Your fifth sentence makes no sense. You say deputies told us we could gather our belongings but we could not return inside the apartment. Well, where do you think our belongings were? They were in the apartment, and we were told that we (first Carol, then Roger) could go in and retrieve them.

We didn't remove the items before the eviction day because the eviction was unlawfully scheduled inside the 10-day window when, under Missouri law, such an action cannot take place. On top of that, we had filed an appeal and notified attorneys for all parties that an automatic stay at that point was on the eviction. In other words, we were the only ones involved who actually were trying to follow the law.


As for the landlord's crew, we could have retrieved our items at the curb if crew members had not stolen a bunch of them, per a neighbor who (unlike you) was present and saw much of what happened. Trent Cowherd apparently makes it a practice to hire common criminals.

I (unlike you) was present and saw the entire assault on Carol, and she never tried to "push her way into the apartment." She was trying to go in an open front door as she was told she could do.

Nice to see that you have a vivid imagination, but you are out of touch with reality, and you apparently have zero knowledge of the facts or law here. Better luck next time.

nationof gandhis said...

Considering your brothers legal knowledge of the situation Before the eviction and it's traumatic results amount to willful neglect of profession and family. His lack of defense proves his lack of competency as a family mber and legal rep. He should be disbarred.

legalschnauzer said...

Memo to @4:12--

Perhaps you are Ricardo Montalban (although he's dead), but you seem permanently ensconced on "Fantasy Island." Until you prove that you have some actual knowledge of the relevant facts and law, you're comments are going to be deleted and new ones will not see the light of day. I'm not interested in running comments from someone who is completely out of touch with reality. Maybe you should try another blog. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

You are an excellent writer. There has got to be a reason all of these things happen to you (tossed in jail, evicted, family trying to have you committed, etc.). Those events don't happen to most people very often. I appreciate your work on mostly sleaze bags.

I have an honest question, though. When you think about all of these experiences, have you ever thought, "why me?"

legalschnauzer said...

I've asked "Why me?" about Mike McGarity, the criminal neighbor who started all of this. Why did such a thug, likely a sociopath based on his longstanding criminal record, have to move in next door to Carol and me? What are the odds of that? But I don't ask "Why me?" about the rest of it because I know why that's happened. I've stood up to a broken justice system and the corrupt powers who drive it, and that makes you a target. American history is filled with examples of powerful elites trying to shut down those who would stand up to them.

Anonymous said...

Gold star journalism