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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Americans have been tolerating terrorists on our soil for years; we give robes and call them "Your Honor"

Terror attacks in Paris
(From Getty Images)
If you watched news coverage last night about terrorist attacks in Paris, you probably had the impression that the United States will not tolerate terrorists on its shores. In fact, you might have come away with the impression that America is on the verge of engaging in a holy war against terrorism. After all, 27 governors, all but one Republicans, have said they will not allow Syrian refugees to enter their states for fear that one refugee, or more, will turn out to be a terrorist.

But what is the truth? America has tolerated terrorists on our soil for years. In fact, we not only tolerate them, we elevate them--we let them wear robes, we give them immunity from almost all lawsuits, we give them lifetime appointments (in some instances), and we call them "Your Honor."

Yes, we are talking about American judges as terrorists, and regular readers of this blog know that we have presented mountains of evidence to show that some judges (one would be too many) use their exalted positions to terrorize certain parties that come before them. We've also shown that individuals in certain professions--lawyers, law-enforcement officials, corporate executives--all too often serve as enablers and accomplices for corrupt judges.

Terrorist networks in the United States might not always engage in violence, but there is no universally accepted definition of terrorism. Violence often is considered part of the equation, but not always--use of intimidation and threats can be enough. Some use the term "illegal use of force," which might not always entail violence.

We have used the term "financial terrorism" (see here and here) to describe terror tactics associated with U.S. judges and lawyers.

Greene County, Missouri, Sheriff Jim Arnott
(From KSPR)
But my wife, Carol, and I have experienced abuse over the past two years or so that matches almost any definition of terrorism--including the element of violence. Consider the following:

Roger Shuler apparently is the only journalist in U.S. history to be incarcerated because of a preliminary injunction that violates 200 years of First-Amendment law--Beginning in January 2013, I wrote a series of posts about Birmingham lawyer Rob Riley (son of former GOP governor Bob Riley) and a lobbyist named Liberty Duke. This apparently upset Alabama's ruling conservative elites, so Riley and Duke filed a defamation lawsuit against me and Carol (even though Carol had nothing to do with the posts, or the blog in general, at the time.) Riley and Duke asked Circuit Judge Claud Neilson to violate more than 200 years of First Amendment by issuing a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction. In short, Riley and Duke sought a "remedy" that is not available under the law, but Neilson granted their request--essentially finding that my reporting was false and defamatory, even though there had been no discovery, no trial, no jury.

To this day, there never has been a finding at trial that my reporting on Rob Riley and Liberty Duke was false or defamatory. But I still was arrested and spent five months in the Shelby County Jail because Riley and Duke (and probably others) wanted me punished in a way that the law does not allow. I planned to challenge Neilson's ruling on several fronts--first, by showing that Carol and I were unlawfully served during a traffic stop that violated the U.S. Fourth Amendment, and second, by showing that the remedies Riley and Duke sought were blatantly unconstitutional.

I filed a Motion to Quash Service and was waiting for a ruling on that when Deputy Chris Blevins entered our garage on October 23, 2013--without showing a warrant, stating he had a warrant, or stating his purpose for being there--and beat me up (knocking me to a concrete floor three times) and spraying mace in my face before hauling me to jail.

Was this violent? Without a doubt. Was it designed to intimidate and threaten for political reasons? Absolutely. Was it terrorism on American soil? No doubt in my mind.

Missouri deputies shatter Carol Shuler's arm as she was trying to retrieve our cat's litter box during an unlawful eviction--Cowherd Construction, of Springfield, Missouri, was seeking to evict us from an apartment late this summer (in violation of the terms in our lease). An eviction date was set for September 9, which is inside the 10-day window where, under Missouri law, a landlord cannot carry out (the legal term is "levy") an eviction. That was not the only problem owner Trent Cowherd faced--we also had filed a Notice of Appeal (clearly shown in court records), and that put an automatic stay on the eviction.

With the help of the Lowther Johnson and Shuler law firms (headed by my own brother, David), Cowherd moved forward anyway. Deputies burst through our door, pointing at least one assault rifle at me (along with multiple handguns) and immediately handcuffing Carol and me, even though we had been accused of no crime.

X-ray of Carol Shuler's arm before
trauma-surgery repair
(From Carol Shuler and Cox North
Medical Center)
In the chaos that followed, Carol was given permission to enter the apartment to retrieve items that we could put in our car. She was in the process of doing that--specifically, trying to get our cat's litter box--when at least three deputies surrounded her. One or more slammed her to the ground so hard that I still think she suffered a concussion. As Sheriff Jim Arnott stood watch a few feet away, a deputy yanked and twisted on Carol's arm so violently that her left arm was shattered--requiring trauma surgery and at least eight weeks of physical therapy--and her right arm was mostly purple from bruising.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Arnott claimed Carol had assaulted a police officer, ordered her handcuffed again, and transported to the Greene County Jail, where she apparently was facing a felony charge and bail of $100,000. When X-rays showed that Carol's arm was broken, someone in the sheriff's hierarchy apparently decided that the evidence didn't support an "assaulting a police officer claim." In fact, it supported an assault charge against the police officer in question. (We still don't know his name.)

Was this violent? Without a doubt. Was it designed to intimidate and threaten for political reasons? Absolutely. Was it terrorism on American soil? We invite you to take a look at the X-ray of Carol's arm, before repair via trauma surgery, and decide for yourselves.


Anonymous said...

Awesome post, LS. Glad you drew these parallels between terrorists from the Middle East and the judicial and law-enforcement thugs who have turned our justice system into a wreck.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a thought-provoking post.

Anonymous said...

Great piece, and you are right on target.

Anonymous said...

I would submit that Don Siegelman is a victim of judicial terrorism.

legalschnauzer said...

No question Siegelman is a victim of judicial terrorism. He's probably the country's best known victim. Many other victims aren't known at all.

Anonymous said...

Didn't a specially appointed judge win this prestigious award in your case Roger? Yes, in fact I believe the world knew about it. Yes, the world's opinion does matter Al I'm sorry. The whole thing was unconstitutional to start with, and I've seen multiple commentors and it looks almost like an effort to change the narrative put you back on your heels and attack your actions in response to anunlawful acts. I couldn't possibly know how I'd react when something illegal was being done to me and the authorities were supporting it. Would I maintain perfect composure? Absolutely not. I would freak out. I really applaud you for allowing the dissent in the comment section and addressing them on your many recent posts. I'd probably just delete them or not post them. Lol

You know your having an impact when you have this many haters out there. It's a good sign in my opinion. Personally, it's encouraging to folks that got screwed too like you seeing you persevere and keep on keeping on. It may be healthier to turn the other cheek, but it doesn't look like anyone will be held accountable and they will go on rape, pillage and consume their next victim. Most of us our so consumed with self preservation and our own selfishness, comfort, and serenity to keep up the fight. They quit then they miss something critical and they lose big time.


Anonymous said...

You posted your lease. They had the right to unilaterally end the lease, and ask you to leave for any reason, because your co-signer had a right to end her obligation and did.

Cowherd only had to let it go month-to-month if all remained bound: one obligated party said no, and ended the lease as the law allowed them to do.

You refused to acknowledge the change in circumstance ended their obligation to extend the lease even another month. And look where it got you. If you had timely paid your rent for August and looked for a new place to live (even if the lease *had* continued month to month, they had an absolute right to end your lease with 30 days notice. You could not have counted on them agreeing to let the place to you past the start of September in ANY CASE.

You aggravated the situation by failing to pay rent; if you had paid it you might have been able to negotiate a little more time, or asked your mother to reconsider; and trying to stay put when you should have been searching for a new place to reside did nothing but put off the inevitable and convince the landlord that eviction proceedings were immediately necessary.

Why didn't you understand, when the landlord posted notice on July the 2, that even if there were a technical point about the first of the month, that your lease was over and done as of Sept 1 and get yourself set up somewhere else? If there was a chance to work something out, you burned those bridges immediately. If you had said to the representative you first spoke with, and said" our lease required notice on the first and your notice is late, we intend to pay rent and stay another month" that would have been reasonable enough, and you might have been able to forestall forcible eviction, but you were on notice they had no intention of renewing past that month. You didn't even show clean hands to to the judge, however: you expected to stay AND not pay rent AND to remain at least another month (september).

Anonymous said...

Sue that Sheriff

Redeye said...

Welcome to our world.

legalschnauzer said...

You don't have a clue, @3:05. Cowherd was trying to terminate our lease because we had not qualified on our own, even though rent had been timely paid for 12 months. There is nothing in the lease that says a tenant has to re-qualify when a cosigner wants off the lease. That is a violation of the terms of the lease, and the Cowherd representative stated under oath that there was no such language in the lease. We had every right to challenge a breach of contract in trial court and to file a notice of appeal (staying the eviction), which is what we did.

Cowherd and its reps. unlawfully scheduled the eviction, they failed to abide by a stay, members of their crew stole large sums of our personal belongings, and Cowherd's failure to abide by the lease and the law led to my wife's broken arm. Those are facts, and Cowherd has not facts to counter them.

Get a transcript of the trial-court case. It's all in the record that Cowherd was violating the lease, their representative admitted it, and the judge made no finding that they weren't.

Here's an idea: Why don't you ask Trent Cowherd to give you a list of all the members of the crew (and their addresses and contact info) that cleaned out our apartment and bring them to the Springfield Police Department for questioning about theft.

Let me know the list of all crew members, and we will go from there. I'm looking forward Cowherd and his employess being held accountable for the thieves that they are.

Anonymous said...

the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Anonymous said...

Hey, @3:05, are you aware that tenants do have some rights? You probably are used to a one-sided system that favors landlords. But the Shulers had every right to challenge your effort to evict them. You can't evict someone without a court order, so any tenant does not have to just sit there and be bullied by an unethical landlord.

Lee Waites said...

I'm really trying to follow this thread but I think I'm missing some information. Could you provide a link to something you've already written which perhaps more fully explains the events in question. There are references to things in this piece that assume I have some idea of what took place. I don't at this time see how an eviction is politically motivated. But that might be because I don't know the whole story.
The situation wherein you spent 5 months in jail...I would like to read more about for sure. And there is more meat in there in regard to political motivation.
If you provide a couple of links I will certainly read up on this, and would certainly appreciate it.

legalschnauzer said...

Lee: Here are a few links that should answer some key questions for you. Feel free to let me know if you would like more links. Also, you can go to the search bar at the top of the blog, and it will call up everything I've written on certain topics:

* http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2015/04/judge-claud-neilson-earns-dubious-award.html (Re: unlawful of incarceration)

* http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2015/08/us-judge-william-m-ackers-own-words-and.html (Cheat job in federal employment case against UAB)

* http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2012/07/jerry-sandusky-case-unmasks-morally.html (Here is proof I was cheated out of my job at UAB because of reporting on Don Siegelman case)

* http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2014/09/reporting-accurately-about-corrupt_5.html (Reporting accurately about corrupt federal judge Mark Fuller cost me my job at UAB)

* http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2015/10/my-wifes-shattered-arm-is-latest-sign.html (Eviction and my wife's broken arm point to assault on Web-based journalism and coverage of Don Siegelman case)

* http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2015/04/i-am-one-of-only-three-journalists-in.html (I'm one of only three U.S. journalists in past 115 years to be jailed in a purely civil matter.)

* http://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2015/05/study-indicates-i-am-only-journalist-in.html (I am the only journalist in U.S. history to be jailed because of an unlawful preliminary injunction)