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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

According to its own policies, Missouri sheriff in our eviction case was supposed to be on "stand by" to preserve the peace while landlord actually evicted


Trent Cowherd and his wife, Sharon
(From Facebook)
Deputies who caused my wife's broken arm during an unlawful eviction in September 2015, according to their department's policies, were supposed to "stand by" while the landlord evicted us and regained the property.

That's how it's supposed to work in a normal eviction. In our situation, landlord Trent Cowherd had no grounds to evict at all, under at least four provisions of Missouri law -- including the fact he violated state law by initiating eviction proceedings before rent was late at least one month.

Policies of the Greene County Sheriff's Office make it clear that deputies are to play a passive role in an eviction, providing a presence to help ensure a potentially flammable situation does not catch fire. In our situation, Cowherd, or his representative, had the duty to evict.

So why did more than a half dozen deputies barge into our apartment, with assault weapons and handguns drawn? They probably would claim ours was a special situation because I allegedly had called 911 and threatened to shoot anyone who attempted to unlawfully evict us. Except I never made any such call, and an investigation will prove that.

Did someone place such a fake call under my name? Did someone falsely tell law enforcement I had made such a call? If so, said person soon will have serious legal issues, including possible criminal sanctions. The issues might be particularly thorny when you consider that deputies broke my wife Carol's arm so severely that it required trauma surgery -- and she's facing bogus criminal charges in an effort to cover up police misconduct.

Aside from that, it's clear the deputies who evicted us violated their own policies. This is from the "Civil Division -- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) " section of the Greene County Sheriff's Department Web site:

The tenant should be served with, or the property posted with, a summons and petition notifying them that a lawsuit has been filed and will have the opportunity to be heard in court before any eviction. Upon the Landlord receiving a judgment for possession and filing for a Writ to Execute on the judgment for possession, the GCSO will schedule a date and time with the plaintiff/Landlord within five business days to stand by while the Landlord evicts the Tenant and regains possession of the property. The Landlord has the responsibility of scheduling for a locksmith and staff required for moving of property if needed. 
Missouri State Statutes reference Landlord/Tenant Law RSMo. Chapters 441, 534 and 535

A law firm that represents landlords in Missouri eviction cases states on its Web site that it's standard for only one deputy to be present, and he usually remains in his vehicle during the eviction. This is from the FAQ section of the firm's Web site:

Q. Do I need to be present at the eviction?
Yes. On the day of the eviction, you must be available to “greet” the Deputy Sheriff. The Deputy will usually pull up to the location of the eviction in a marked patrol car. Typically, the Deputy will not leave the car. It is up to you to go to the car and identify yourself as the landlord or landlord’s representative. You will then need to identify the entry door to the rental property and will sign a document authorizing the Deputy to use force to enter if necessary. Generally, you either need to have a key to the rental property so that the Deputy can enter or have a locksmith available to provide access.

Deputies hardly were on "stand-by" mode during our eviction. My wife, Carol, has the hardware in her arm to prove it.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are you sure the policy doesn't allow cops to act like a SWAT team whenever they feel like it?

Anonymous said...

How are Missouri cops supposed to feel manly if they aren't allowed to break out the SWAT team gear?

Anonymous said...

Hard to figure how this 911 story got started. That kind of thing can be confirmed, but it seems like these cops just fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

legalschnauzer said...

I have a pretty good idea how the notion I had threatened cops got started -- and who started it. It involves a serious misinterpretation of what was said, plus possible invasion of privacy, which can be a crime. Not sure exactly how the 911 business originated, but I know it's bogus. Plan to learn more about that shortly.

Anonymous said...

If cops thought you had criminally issued a threat, why didn't they investigate -- come talk to you at the time, or even arrest you if they had solid evidence?

You don't wait around to bring assault weapons to an eviction. You investigate the crime at that moment, right?

legalschnauzer said...

Great point, @10:19. That tells me cops knew no crime, or even any wrongdoing, was involved. They just concocted a story to give them an excuse to terrorize us. I assume they didn't count on Carol's arm getting broken in the process.

Anonymous said...

You have an idea who started the 911 business?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:26 --

Yes. I believe I know who started the content about the alleged 911 call. In the days leading up to the eviction date on 9/9/15 -- I think it was 10-15 days before that date -- a so-called friend arrived uninvited at our apartment and tried to convince us to move out prior to any eviction. I tried to explain to him that the landlord was breaching the lease, and we intended to fight it -- that there were no lawful grounds for an eviction, and we intended to stand up for our rights.

He became belligerent and unhinged and clearly had a vested interest in trying to get us out of the apartment, whether there was any legal basis for it or not. He started talking to Carol and me in loud, threatening tones and was about to stomp out -- I wish now I had let him leave; in fact, I wish now, I had never let him in. I tried to explain that it would be unwise for anyone to try to unlawfully evict us -- or to unlawfully evict anyone, for that matter. He twisted that into an alleged threat against cops, and he has admitted sharing his interpretation of things with somebody, probably my lawyer brother. Either the "friend" or my brother probably shared information with cops, and I think it even found its way to my health-care provider. How a 911 call entered the picture, I don't know. But I intend to find out.

Anonymous said...

I take it the "friend" is no longer a friend.

legalschnauzer said...

No, he's no longer a friend, and I'm not sure he ever was a real friend. This is someone I knew and liked many years ago in college, and he reappeared in our lives at the time of our foreclosure in Alabama. He came to Birmingham, without being asked, and played a huge role in convincing us to come to Missouri. I thought, at the time, he was acting in our best interests, but I have serious doubts about that now. Big question: Was he acting on someone's directions, to get us out of our home in Alabama?

Lesson learned: Just because someone was likable and (seemingly) trustworthy many years ago, does not mean they are going to still be likable and trustworthy some 35 years later. Agendas can develop and once-good people can turn into con artists. That's what I think has happened here, and it's why the 911 canard drew life.

BTW: This "friend" became enraged when I started blogging again after landing in Missouri. I'm talking about him becoming seriously unhinged, on multiple occasions. Why would he care? What business is it of his? He must have yelled and screamed at me (and sometimes Carol) on 5-6 occasions before I finally had it and told him to shove it.

On the day of Carol's surgery, he came to the hospital and wound up suggesting it was my fault (and Carol's) that her arm was broken. That was last straw for me. I cussed him out like I've never cussed anyone, and I have zero respect for him at this point.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you could find another way to illustrate these posts? The photo of Trent Cowturd and his nasty wife, with her gigantic arms, makes me lose my breakfast.

Anonymous said...

I see Mr. Apologist made a late-night attempt to excuse corrupt actions of Trent Cowturd and cops. What a puss. I guess he's afraid to come out in daylight.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, Mr. A crawled out from under his rock in the old Tom Snyder time slot. Here is his weak BS this time, and I will follow with my response, where I clearly was fed up with this scum bag:

Anonymous said...
Your lease was over...terminating at the end of July. they required no reason at all to refuse to go month to month. That only happens if both parties are amenable...they gave you thirty days notice to quit. They don't have to rent to you month to month after your lease terminates, they don't need a good reason, although they had one.., you are unqualified torment the property without a co signer.

You probably could have negotiated another month, but you whipped out the crazy and combative card right away and burned your bridges.

Also you didn't pay your July rent according to statements you have made.
March 8, 2017 at 12:55 AM

legalschnauzer said...

Here is my first response late last night to Mr. A-hole:

legalschnauzer said...
Mr. Apologist makes a late-night appearance. Not sure why I posted your nonsense garbage; I guess it's interesting to see how desperate you are to spin this. A point or two, and then I'm done with you:

(1) Don't know what "statements" you are referring to. But we had a 13-month lease which started in early July 2014, and our rent was paid through end of July 2015. That's fact.

(2) Cowherd filed a rent and possession claim, so they admitted that August rent was due. But they can't file such a claim, under Missouri law, until rent is one month late. They filed claim on Aug. 5, when rent was five days late. They violated state law, and it shows that almost every comment you've made on this matter is uninformed and wildly off target. That's fact.

You can't argue any of this, but you try anyway, which is pathetic. A suggestion: Go stick your head in the toilet.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is my second response to Mr. A-hole:

legalschnauzer said...
A final point or two, then I promise, I'm done with you:

All of this means:

(1) Cowherd had no grounds to seek eviction when he did.

(2) The lawyer, Lowther, screwed this up as badly as something can be screwed up.

(3) The cops had no grounds to be on our property, under about four provisions of Missouri law.

(4) Carol's arm was broken, and we both were terrorized with firearms, by cops who had no grounds to be there -- at the request of a landlord who had no grounds to seek eviction, much less to actually evict.

Take your spin and shove it up your ass, you sick bastard.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your are fed up with Mr. A.

legalschnauzer said...

2:31 --

I think that's a good way to put it. Try to put yourself in my shoes. I've witnessed my wife being brutalized, her arm shattered, by cops who had no grounds to be there -- who were brought by a landlord who had no grounds to seek eviction. I've had an assault rifle pointed at my head. Then, Mr. A. repeated comes up with nonsensical reasons to excuse this law-enforcement behavior. So yes, it's insulting -- to me, Carol, and readers.

I'd like to kick Mr. A's ass. Better yet, I'd like to see someone kick his ass on my behalf. He has zero empathy, which is a hallmark of the world-class sociopath.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you deleted it or not, but I once saw you dancing around the idea of taking violent action against tresspassers - I don't remember the exact wording - around the time of your eviction. It's why I think you probably did make a call that was reported to police if not made directly to the police.

Did you call the front desk or anyone else - family member, office staff - ANYONE? to whom you hinted or stated plainly that you owuld be in your rights to take violent action if anyone came to evict you? It's wouldn't have to be "day of" to have mattersd in the way your eviction was handled.

You often elide information you think is unfavorable to your position, even when it is relevant.

Anonymous said...

The grounds for eviction were that they told you to get out when the lease terminated (they don't have to renew, or go month to month) and you said you weren't going to. Also you didn't pay any rent for two months at least.

legalschnauzer said...

Well Mr. A-hole is back, making an appearance earlier than last night. Let's address @7:41 first.

A. I didn't say I wasn't going to get out. I said they were violating the lease, and we were going to challenge that in court, which we did.

B. We were paid through the end of July, and eviction proceedings started five days later, on Aug. 5, even though Missouri law says such proceedings can't begin until rent is at least one month late. This is all black-letter law and public record, which you can't dispute -- and that clearly is driving you nuts. Your notion that we didn't pay rent for two months is pure fantasy. Do you work for Donald Trump, with your "alternative facts" and all?

legalschnauzer said...

Let's look at @7:40 for a moment:

A. "Dancing around the idea of violent action against trespassers"? What on earth are you talking about? I haven't deleted anything, and I've never "danced around" with such an idea, so there is nothing to delete.

B. I didn't call anyone and make any such assertion. Not sure how that can be more plainly stated.

Have you soaked your head in a toilet yet? You should.

Anonymous said...

You were " violating the lease," by remaiing after courtesy notice to quit at the termination of your lease. You had no right to remain. They don't have to have a reason, but they had a good one not to renew...you are not qualified tenants. Even if you had been, they can still tell you they will not renew the lease or rent month to month. How many times do you have to be told that provision did not give you a right to remain? you were also free to move n at the termination of the lease, and it's still not clear how you formed the idea that the lease had t me gin anything about qualifying to renew. The law n that state is that they don't have ro renew, period.

Anonymous said...

You will never prevail on the unlawful eviction premise. There was no lease violation by the landlord, the eviction was made more difficult for yourself, by yourself, but it was ordered and executed in good fath. You lost your appeal already. And yes you did make statements to the effect that force might be employed to repel " intruders"... and its clear police were given info near the time of your eviction that justified making sure you dd not use force to stop these chatged with evicting you.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:07 --

A. It was scheduled unlawfully inside the 10-day window when execution can't take place, when it was stayed by an appeal (which you acknowledge), and 25 days too early (which you can't dispute). But that's "good faith" in A-hole world? Gotcha.

B. We didn't lose an appeal. We didn't pursue it when we were unlawfully forced to move while the case was under appeal. There was no point to the state appeal when our federal rights already had been severely violated. Again, you can't dispute this.

C. You have no idea what statements I've made, and no evidence of such. BTW, are you claiming it's unlawful to use force against intruders? Have you read Missouri's "Castle Doctrine" law? What force was I going to use on them, oh all-knowing one?

D. Police didn't claim they received info regarding alleged threat. They said I had called 911 and made a threat, and I did not. Clearly they knew I had made no such threat because they did not investigate matter or do anything about it.

I know facts cause you great pain and mental anguish, but you'll have to learn to live with that. You might also wonder about your obsession with a case that supposedly doesn't involve you.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:53 --

A. How many times do I have to be told? Who has told me? Who, with any credibility and knowledge, has told me?

B. Google "breach of contract and landlords and Missouri." Maybe you will learn something. Then again, you likely aren't capable of learning something.

BTW, who uses words like "elide." Sounds like lawyer talk to me. Is that you, Mr. Lowther? If so, no wonder you are obsessed with this case. It's because you screwed up big time, and you know it.

Hah, funny to think of you swinging in the wind, with your stained tighty whities. This case must be keeping you up at night. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Schnauzer:

Congrats on outing Craig Lowther. You've developed a nice little following in the Springfield legal community, and many of us are laughing our fannies off at Lowther. He is a piece of dung, who has screwed lawyers, clients, and opposing parties for years, and we are enjoying his comeuppance. He knows his whole firm might go down over this, and it could not happen to a nicer bunch. You have more Springfield lawyers than you know pulling for you. He's sweating, for sure. That's clear from his poorly disguised comments.

BTW, your brother seems like a nice guy on the exterior, but he long has been known as part of the "go along to get along" crowd. He has no spine and no moral center, so it's not surprising that he would stab you in the back. He's a divorce-law paper shuffler, that's all.

legalschnauzer said...

Memo to 10:38 --

I've read that document multiple times and can find no such provision. Where do you find it, on what page?

Anonymous said...

Page 8 and 9, specifically the first and third paragraph under "Expiration of Lease"

Also, after reading that document, They may have been using the state statute that is described in the Attorney General's document that reads "Authorize county courts to order the quick removal of tenants involved in drug-related criminal activity or
violence even when there is no arrest, and persons occupying the property without
the landlord’s permission. Prior written notice is not required."

Basically, they may have SWATted you to evict you.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatting

But I also wonder what other stories you may have been working on around that time that somebody might have wanted to stop or at least slow down.

legalschnauzer said...

@1:52 --

Under expiration of lease, 1st graph, there was no date when we had to move. The lease was to go month to month. Under 3rd graph, it was in writing that we could stay by the lease going month to month.

On p. 8, under "Landlord can end lease," none of those provisions apply. Our rent was paid, we hadn't damaged anything, no criminal activity was involved, we had violated the lease (the landlord was trying to violate the lease.

Not sure any of those points apply.

As to stories at the time, I had just broken Luv Guv/Mason story. Had written somewhere in there about John Merrill and various love birds. Sure I was working on things that have slipped my mind. Also, think I declined JMG's proposed $1 settlement on her bogus defamation claims. I'm sure she wanted to put that to bed, and I refused to put it to bed. Not sure of time frame on that, but think it was in that general range.

legalschnauzer said...

Just got another comment from Craig Lowther. The list just keeps on growing, and he is deeply worried, as he should be.

legalschnauzer said...

Just got four more comments from Craig Lowther, the Missouri lawyer responsible for our unlawful eviction and Carol's shattered arm. That makes about 30 comments he's sent in a little more than 24 hours. Is that normal behavior for a "professional," an attorney who probably charges $300 to $400 an hour for his "services," to behave this way?

I'm saving all of his comments for a possible post in the future. I've told him in writing that I'm not publishing more of his inane, misinformed comments for now, ones with him repeating the same bogus points over and over. Yet, he keeps sending. I think we are seeing an attorney melt down in real time.

I even have other Springfield lawyers contacting me, saying they recognize his writing style, and they know it's him. They also say they despise him because he's an arrogant prick who thinks he owns the SW Missouri judiciary.