We recently posted about the myriad legal complications, both civil and criminal, that Shelby County authorities could face from their efforts to unlawfully seize and auction my house.
But that isn't stopping the jack booted thugs from pushing forward. We had a message on our home phone the other night from Deputy Bubba Caldell, informing us that our house was about to be sold and asking if we had "worked things out" with our criminally inclined neighbor (Mike McGarity) and his ethically challenged lawyer (Bill Swatek).
I wanted to say, "Work out what, Dude?"
There is nothing to work out. The "judgment" against me of $1,525 was obtained by methods that run contrary to this document we call the U.S. Constitution. Legally speaking, the judgment is worth no more than a used hot-dog wrapper--probably less. Under the law, Mike McGarity is not entitled to one dime from me, and his corrupt lawyer knows it. But Bill Swatek and his judicial cronies are uncomfortable with the painful truths I'm writing on this blog, so they are trying to use their bogus judgment to shut me up.
Here's a lesson I learned as a child: If you don't want the snake to bite you, don't poke it with a stick.
Bill Swatek and his gang evidently never learned that lesson. Also, they misidentified their prey. They thought I was a cute little bunny rabbit that they could abuse relentlessly without getting hurt. Well, I like to think I'm a fairly warm and fuzzy guy most of the time. But like many of you, I can turn into a rattlesnake if I'm poked often enough and hard enough. And I can turn into a rattlesnake real quick if you poke at the people and things that matter most to me--my wife, my pets, my home.
Here's the thing I've learned about bullies: They never think you are going to punch them back. That's stupid, I know, but if they were smart, they wouldn't be bullies.
Bill Swatek and his judicial buddies never dreamed I would suspect I was being cheated. And they didn't suspect I would go to my local law library and conduct the research necessary to prove I was being cheated. Then they never dreamed I would be able to figure out that my own lawyers were cheating me and covering up for the corrupt judges. They never dreamed I'd have the cojones to fire my lawyers and represent myself.
And most of all, I'm sure it never occurred to them that I would use the power of a blog to expose them to the world--and that my blog would attract the attention of folks like Scott Horton at Harper's, Larisa Alexandrovna at Raw Story, and Rep. Steve Cohen in the U.S. Congress.
So Swatek & Co. want to shut me up. And they are using their usual tactics--they lie and cheat.
How? I've noted the two documents I've received from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office threatening to seize my property. The first, a writ of execution, listed both of our cars and our house as property to be seized to satisfy a "judgment." The second, a notice of levy, said our house would be sold at auction to satisfy the judgment.
But here's the thing: According to Rule 69 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure (ARCP), both of these documents must be accompanied by what is called a "Notice of Right to Claim Exemptions."
This is ARCP form 92, which evidently is not available on the Web, so I can't show it to you. But I've read it, and it's a brief, to-the-point document. In its 4-5 paragraphs, it advises recipients three times to contact a lawyer if they have questions about their rights to claim certain property exempt from execution.
Let me repeat: This document that they had to send me tells people three times to contact a lawyer.
I think I'm beginning to figure out why they didn't include this document. If I had contacted a lawyer, one with at least three brain cells, he or she would have told me, "Are these people nuts? They can't auction off your house to satisfy a debt of $1,525!"
But I've got news for Swatek & Company. I didn't need a lawyer to tell me that; I figured it out myself. And I will spell out the applicable law for Legal Schnauzer readers.
So what do we learn from this?
* The evidence is mounting that these threats to seize my house are actually about shutting down this blog. Even a lawyer as bad as Bill Swatek knows he can't legally have my house seized to satisfy a debt of $1,525--even if the debt was legitimate, which it isn't.
* Am I home free? Of course not. Just because the law says Shelby County officials cannot sell my house, doesn't mean they won't do it--or try to do it. Heck, under the law, the lawsuit against me had to be dismissed (summary judgment) in summer of 2001. But from summer 2001 to summer 2004, corrupt judges Mike Joiner and Dan Reeves let it move forward, repeatedly violating the law and committing federal crimes in the process.
This is an arrogant bunch, particularly when they know they are protected by the corrupt Bush Justice Department. But with the Bush Reign of Error thankfully winding down, will Alabama's corrupt GOP judges be quite so arrogant?
We're about to find out.