Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Eviction proceedings in Missouri cannot begin until a tenant is one month behind on rent, so why did our landlord, Trent Cowherd, try to evict 25 days too early?

Trent Cowherd and his wife, Sharon
(From Facebook)
An eviction proceeding cannot begin, under Missouri law, until a tenant is behind on rent by at least one month. My wife, Carol, and I were behind on rent by five days when we were evicted in Greene County, Missouri -- and we would not have been behind at all if a representative for landlord Trent Cowherd had not told us that we were going to be booted out whether we paid rent or not, citing a provision that was not in the lease.

This makes at least four ways our eviction on September 9, 2015, was unlawful. That is particularly powerful when you consider Carol now faces criminal charges for "assault on a law enforcement officer" and trespass, related to the eviction -- when deputies from the Greene County Sheriff's Department had zero legal grounds to be on the rental property that day. In fact, we now know they needed at least another 25 days to be there.

On top of that, a deputy assaulted Carol during the eviction and shattered her arm, requiring trauma surgery. Carol's left arm is filled with plates and screws, and she has limited use of it, because of an eviction that Trent Cowherd had no lawful grounds to bring.

Court records show Trent Cowherd has been filing rent-and-possession cases since at least 1992, so he's been a landlord for roughly 25 years -- and he does not know the law on evictions? Craig F. Lowther, Cowherd's attorney, has been filing R and P cases since at least 1990, and he does not know the law? My lawyer-brother, David Shuler, was involved in our case (theoretically representing our mother, who was our cosigner), and he does not know the law?

This takes an already corrupt proceeding to a whole new level of crookedness. And Carol faces criminal charges because of it? I'd say Cowherd, Lowther, and David Shuler -- not to mention Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott and his minions -- face a level of liability that is off the charts.

The relevant law can be found at RSMo 535.120, which reads:

Whenever one month's rent or more is in arrear from a tenant, the landlord, if he has a subsisting right by law to reenter for the nonpayment of such rent, may bring an action to recover the possession of the demised premises.

A parenthetical phrase in the statute makes it a bit fuzzy for lay readers. But its meaning becomes crystal clear when you consider language from House Bill 481, which ushered in the new provision in 2009:

(30) Changes when an eviction proceeding can commence from when the rent is six months in arrearage to when it is one month in arrearage (Section 535.120)

How about that? The wait used to be six months to begin eviction proceedings, suggesting public policy in Missouri was to give tenants a solid chance to fix rent problems before they were kicked to the curb. Given that many tenants have children, this seemed to be a humane policy for the Show-Me State. But Missouri's thuggish landlords apparently want to wipe any trace of humanity from the law books.

Has the landlord lobby paid for scores of dinners, prostitutes, and golf outings to get its way? I think you can count on it.

What about the timeline in our eviction? Here it is:

* July 31, 2015 -- Our rent is paid through this date.

* Aug. 5, 2015 -- Records at case.net (Case No. 1531-AC04535) show Craig Lowther filed a rent-and-possession petition, on Trent Cowherd's behalf, on this date. An R and P petition is one of two ways to start an eviction proceeding in Missouri. The other is called an unlawful detainer.

* Sept. 1, 2015 -- The date, under Missouri law, that eviction proceedings could begin -- if we were one month behind on rent, which we wouldn't have been.

* Sept. 9, 2015 -- We are evicted, and Carol's arm is broken by a Greene County deputy, even though the eviction was not even close to being timely, under the law.

How many ways can an eviction be unlawful? Give us a few more days, and we'll probably have six ways to Sunday. For now, we have these:

(1) Breach of contract -- Cowherd was trying to boot us because my mother wanted out as cosigner, and they claimed we had to qualify on our own to continue on a month-to-month basis. Our lease, however, contained no such provision, so Cowherd was violating his own contract.

(2) Eviction was unlawfully scheduled -- The Sept. 9 date was inside the 10-day window, from the date judgment was entered, when execution cannot take place.

(3) Eviction ignored our timely filed notice of appeal -- A notice of appeal, with proper payment of fees, puts a stay on eviction, under Missouri law. We filed our notice on Sept. 8 and notified all lawyers for parties in the case on that same day. The eviction was stayed, as a matter of law, but it took place the next day anyway.

(4) Eviction was unlawful because rent was not late for one month -- Eviction proceedings could not have started until Sept. 1, the date we would have been behind on rent by one month (although we would have timely paid if we had not been told we were being booted out regardless). Cowherd started eviction proceedings on Aug. 5, 25 days too early.

The eviction that left Carol with a broken arm, broken so badly that it required trauma surgery, has emitted a foul odor for months. The stench just got a whole lot worse.

What kind of thugs run the Trent Cowherd company? Real bad ones, it seems.


Anonymous said...

Boy, these Missouri thugs can give Alabama thugs a run for their money.

Anonymous said...

I assume the landlord can charge late fees, but he can't start eviction proceedings until rent is one month behind?

legalschnauzer said...

Right, @8:10, that's what my research indicates. I don't claim to be an expert across the board on Missouri landlord law. Obviously, our former landlord isn't either.

Anonymous said...

Whew, doesn't take much brainpower to be a landlord in Missouri, does it?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Mr. Apologist will appear soon to provide an excuse . . . I mean, an explanation, for all of this.

legalschnauzer said...

Thanks for easing my mind, @8:23. There is no Missouri screw up too big for Mr. Apologist.

Anonymous said...

How could a landlord and his lawyer be this stupid?

Anonymous said...

Geez, no wonder they threw criminal charges at Carol. When you do something this far outside the law, you have to find some way to cover it up.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure about the law on this?

legalschnauzer said...

You tell me, @9:36. I've cited the full law, so that anyone can read it. Is there something you find unclear about it?

Anonymous said...

@9:36 --

Is that you, Mr. Apologist?

Anonymous said...

Aboard the Eliza Battle the crew were enjoying some of Dr. Foreman's wine, when John and Thomas entered, each carrying a magazine. In chorus they said "Look what we found under the General's bunk." Eliza responded ," Well Bob! You ready to explain these to a 5 and 8 year old." Bob seeing the May 1995 "Playboy" in John's hands but only the back of a August 1977 book with a scratch and sniff Jack Daniel advertisement in Thomas' hands said, " I'll take Thomas and you go first. Eliza began, "Well John, this lady had just taken her bath and when she got in bed ,she forgot to take off her bedroom slippers that look like boots. John replied," these boots are not slippers, these boots are made for walking." Bob upon seeing Thomas's book said, "Curse you Flint".
Sheldon asked Admiral Tyron what he thought Mike would do next. The Admiral responded that the Alabama Attorney General would begin his case by going all the way back to the land thieves and build a case based on events to the present. Dr. Foreman asked why Shuler kept being evicted. The Admiral responded that Shuler's post made people mad. The Stranger in the Shadows injected that what Shuler did not write got him evicted. Sheldon asked him to please explain. The Stranger said Shuler's communications were being monitored and if he would go back and review who he was communicating with at the time, he will discover what subject the eviction was meant to disrupt.

Anonymous said...

That odor coming from the Midwest is the smell of a certain landlord soiling himself.

Anonymous said...

So it's spelled Cowherd?


Was almost confuzzled.

Someone might have once said something like

Best stay way way way away from them Misseri Cowfucks when you see them!

Anonymous said...

Was the alleged basis for Cowherd's eviction action your alleged failure to pay rent?

Anonymous said...

You try to evict a tenant when they aren't behind on rent for the prescribed time, not even close? Then, when you evict anyway, a cop breaks one of the tenants' arm? Then, some genius decides to bring criminal charges against the tenant whose arm was broken?

What a train wreck. It's like Herman Munster is in charge of all this.

I would say Mr. Cowturd and his lawyer, Mr. Loathsome, have problems on their hands.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:55 --

Yes, as the post states, they filed a rent and possession case, which means they alleged rent was late and they were due to have possession of the property returned to them via eviction.

Slight problem: Rent wasn't late by the one month prescribed by Missouri law. It was late five days.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed to hear Missouri's thugs are competitive with Alabama's thugs. I always thought we had a special kind of thug here in the Heart of Dixie, one that was beyond compare.

legalschnauzer said...

I'm disappointed, too, @11:07. I always thought Alabama had a special kind of thug, the kind that could not be found anywhere else -- like a special state tree or state salamander.

Isn't there a song, "Thugs Fell on Alabama"? If not, there should be.

Anonymous said...

Didn't your Brilliant Lawyer Brother (BLB) write an ex parte letter to the judge, saying he was determined to make sure possession of the property was lawfully returned to Trent Cowturd?

Well, the property was not due to be returned to Trent Cowturd because you were not one month behind on rent, right? Should we just assume BLB had no clue what he was talking about when he wrote the letter? Is BLB just a dumb ass?

Why would anyone hire David Shuler, also known as BLB, to be their lawyer?

legalschnauzer said...

The answer to all of your questions, except the last one, is yes.

The answer to your last question is, "I have no idea why anyone would hire David Shuler as their lawyer. I'm his brother, and I sure as hell wouldn't hire him."

Anonymous said...

Trent Cowturd and his wife certainly aren't going to win any beauty contests. Maybe that's why they went into the landlord business.

legalschnauzer said...

For those who have forgotten, here are the contents of the letter David Shuler ("BLB") wrote to the judge in our eviction case:

Dear Judge Halford:
I am writing regarding the above referenced case. Roger Shuler is my brother who has been estranged from my family for approximately 25 years. Recently, a family friend helped him relocate to the Missouri area. Unfortunately, my 85 year old mother made the mistake of agreeing to co-sign a lease for Roger with Trent Cowherd Construction. She agreed to pay his moving expenses and his rent for thirteen months to help him get back on his feet. She never dreamed that Roger Shuler would then refuse to pay his rent and/or vacate the property.

My purpose in writing this letter is to let you know that I intend to appear on behalf of my mother. Gondolyn Shuler intends to cooperate with the Petititioner (Trent Cowherd) in the matter and assist in any way to help them regain possession of the rental property currently occupied by Mr. Shuler.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for re-posting that letter, LS. Man, my brain gets fried just reading it. So much stupidity in two paragraphs.

BLB says you refused to pay your rent or vacate the property. But your rent wasn't one month late, so you weren't due to vacate the property. Then he drags your elderly mother into it by saying she wants to assist in any way to help Trent Cowturd regain possession. But Trent Cowturd was not due to regain possession because your rent was not one month late.

Your mother actually listens to your potted plant of a brother? Does he have a radish in his cranium?

Anonymous said...

Might as well be blunt: Your brother is a despicable piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

The Show Me State? If you are a landlord in Missouri, I guess that means, "Show me how to pull my head out of my ass."

Anonymous said...

I appreciate comical comments as much as the next guy. But I hope people realize this isn't funny; it's very serious. Worst of all is this lawyer, Lowther, letting this case move forward when he knew no eviction case could be brought for another 25 days. If he didn't know that, he has no business being a lawyer.

The landlord should have know such simple law, too. And how the brother lawyer could write that letter to the judge . . . well, it makes me wonder about his fitness to practice law. Then, you have a sheriff, who is charged by law with overseeing evictions, and he is so clueless that he allows a deputy to break a tenant's arm -- and then he helps bring criminal charges against the victim of police brutality.

As you might guess, I've been in the legal field for almost 40 years, and I find this appalling. It's not a stretch to say people should go to prison for this. Certainly some bar cards should be forfeited.

One of the worst cases of legal abuse I've ever read about.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like BLB has the IQ of a BLT.

Anonymous said...

David Shuler sounds like the spoiled child who is overdue for a good spanking. Maybe revocation of his bar card will wake him up. Same for Mr. Loathsome.

legalschnauzer said...

Agreed, @12:27. I will be preparing bar complaints against both of them in next few days. Bar associations are notorious for protecting bad lawyers, at least in Alabama. I asked a knowledgeable person about the Missouri State Bar, and he said it is pretty bad, too. But regarding David's letter, he said the bar might do something about that. He said the letter itself is a problem, but the fact he put it in the record and did not serve other parties is an even bigger problem.

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.

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...

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...

If the rent was paid through July 31, why were you in the place August 1? If the rent wasn't paid, you should have been out. That would have been the honorable, honest thing for you to do. I've been a renter and a landlord. I've always kept my word and expected others to keep their word. This isn't about the owner or brother or judge. This is about you.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:15 --

If you are so honest and honorable, why don't you tell us who your are, your location, profession, etc. You've "always kept your word"? I doubt that, but ID yourself and let us decide if that's true.

Aside from that, you are an unreal dunderhead. A few points:

(1) Our rent was due by 5:30 p.m. on the first day of each month. We were in the place on Aug. 1 because our rent wasn't due yet. Idiot.

(2) We had a pending court case re: our tenancy. We weren't due to be out. Idiot.

(3) Eviction proceedings cannot begin until rent is late by one month. Late charges can be assessed, but eviction proceedings cannot begin. You clearly do not know the law -- and owner, brother, judge have no respect for the law. Idiot.

(4) Yes, this is about you -- you being an empty-headed moron. Idiot.

And here is a sure bet: You also are a pussy, too big a pussy to ID yourself. Of course, if I were as stupid as you are, I wouldn't ID myself either. But then, I wouldn't be leaving ignorant comments like this one, on subjects I know nothing about.

Why don't you take a javelin and jam it up your ass.

Anonymous said...

You do not have to be 30 days behind in rent to be evicted in Missouri. That statute applies to actions for rent and possession under RSMO 535 et seq. By failing to pay rent on time, you are in breach of your lease and can still be evicted pursuant to an unlawful detainer action under RSMO 524 et seq.

legalschnauzer said...

Nice try, Lowther. The landlord, Trent Cowherd, filed a rent and possession case. You should know since you filed it for him. Nice to see you admit that, in this case -- a rent and possession case -- requires rent be late by at least 30 days before eviction proceedings can begin.

So, we've established that it was a rent and possession case, as I've reported umpteen times, and eviction proceedings were started 25 days too early, meaning Cowherd had no lawful grounds to evict us and sheriff's deputies had no grounds to be at our apartment on 9/9/15. If you had checked the court record, you would have known all this, but I guess you are too lazy to do it. Any other weak arguments you want to come up with?

Anonymous said...

Why, if I were the lawyer who filed the case, would I have to check the court records to learn the specifics?

legalschnauzer said...

You want me to explain your incompetence and dishonesty? That's a job for you. Whoever you are, you're wrong on the facts and the law. No surprise there.

Anonymous said...

...he wrote, lacking a coherent response.

I made no statement at all regarding the facts of your case. I'm right on the law.

Anonymous said...

Also, no, ass: I'm challenging you to defend you allegation.

legalschnauzer said...

@4:33 --

My response was painfully coherent for you. It showed you are a fraud and a dumb ass.

You implied that ours was an unlawful detainer case, and it wasn't. Documents filed in the case were for rent and possessions. So, you were wrong on both the facts and the applicable law. You are wrong on unlawful detainer law, but worse yet, you are talking about law that was irrelevant to our case. Nice trick on your part: You are wrong and irrelevant. That's not easy to achieve.

legalschnauzer said...

@5:05 --

* "Also, no, ass." What does that mean? And whose ass are we talking about here?

* What allegation are we talking about here? (As you can see, your comment is a model of clarity.)

* If you want to "challenge" me, respond with your real name, contact info, address, etc. I will even be glad to talk with you via phone. Otherwise, I don't accept challenges from people who are too cowardly to ID themselves. I already know the excuse you will come up with -- the tired, old, "He's going to be a meanie to me if I reveal my identity." If you can't come up with something more clever than that, don't bother responding. I know you're a puss and a weanie already -- and you're also ignorant of the law. I don't blame you for keeping your ID under wraps.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, you're just wrong. I made no misstatement of fact, and I correctly described the law.

Anonymous said...

* "Also, no, ass." What does that mean?

You really need this explained?

Anonymous said...

"If you want to "challenge" me, respond with your real name, contact info, address, etc"

More fun to mock you anonymously.

Careful, I know Jeff Sessions. I might have him arrest your wife and steal your teeth again and stuff.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:14 --

By proving yourself to be a coward and a dunderhead, you are mocking me? Hah, funny. Don't you have anything better to do on a Friday night? Sounds like you need to get a life, bub.

Are you one of Jeff Sessions closeted gay lovers? If so, that must make you proud.

legalschnauzer said...

Memo to @8:05 and others who might be interested:

Here is the law that @8:05 simply cannot get right --

Unlawful Detainer Suit
This is the kind of eviction case used to evict a tenant for “holding over” – not vacating after their lease is over (after the landlord gave proper notice that the lease is ending), or for tenants who have breached the terms of their lease. If a landlord needs to evict for non-payment of rent, he should use the Rent and Possession Eviction Suit above. An Unlawful Detainer Suit proceeds the same way as the Rent and Possession suit, with a Summons issued to the tenant, and a court date.


As already noted, @8:05's "point" is irrelevant because landlord Cowherd filed a rent and possession claim in our case. It's plain as day in the court documents. But @8:05 has nothing better to do on a Friday night than to "mock" someone, when he's really proving himself to be both stupid, lazy, and pathetic, with no social life.

Anonymous said...

You might try relying on an actual lawyer for your legal advice.


Pay particular attention to the part about how not paying rent breaches a lease and is therefore grounds for an unlawful detainer action.

legalschnauzer said...

An "actual lawyer"? You mean there is such a thing. I see no reason to believe this Scott fellow knows any more about the law than you do. He makes no citation to law, and neither do you. Best I can tell, he's just another pro-landlord hack like Lowther.

Your point is irrelevant because Cowherd filed a rent-and-possession case, the docket shows that, and you admit that requires rent to be at least 30 days late before eviction proceedings can begin. I understand why you want to change the story in mid-stream, but "fake news" doesn't work here, and it doesn't work in a court with an honest judge.

The 30-day requirement is a problem for you because it means Cowherd had no grounds to evict us, Lowther screwed up big time, and cops had no grounds to be on the property that day.

That creates serious liability for Cowherd, Lowther, the cops, and anyone else involved. No wonder you are trying to spin things.

To that, I have a three-word response: "Eat shit, dumbass."

legalschnauzer said...

Memo to 11:31 --

Are you a deputy? You sound like one. I've yet to meet a law-enforcement officer who was as smart as a lowland gorilla (or a cockroach, for that matter) -- and I've yet to meet one that has any clue about the law. You fit that profile.

If you want to argue unlawful-detainer on your Friday night, go find someone who has been involved in such a case. You've got the wrong guy here; I've never been involed in such a case. Not sure why that's so hard for you to understand. I take that back -- if you are a deputy, then I know exactly why you can't understand it. You aren't smart enough.

Anonymous said...

You're a case case--your completely ridiculous personal attacks are somehow less ridiculous than your substantive responses.

Anonymous said...

. . . says the guy who admitted he was here only to "mock" someone by making himself look stupid, who can't offer a single citation to support his view of the law, who gets both the facts and law wrong . . . and then tries to claim some moral high ground.

As a confessed "mocker," you have the mindset of a third grader -- and that's an insult to third graders. Do you throw spit balls at people, too?

Most of us grow out of such behavior by 7th grade or so, but you are still doing it. What a phony, what a lowlife, what a fraud, what a dumb ass. You would be a perfect fit on any police force I'm aware of.

So glad your wife is pregnant. All the world needs is more crotch fruit from "sperm daddies" like you. Get a life, dipshit. How desperate must your wife have been to wind up with a scum like you.

Anonymous said...

". . . says the guy who admitted he was here only to "mock" someone by making himself look stupid,"

I wrote no such thing. If you weren't full of shit, you wouldn't have to make things up.

"who can't offer a single citation to support his view of the law, who gets both the facts and law wrong"

Again, I posted statutory reference itself, and I've made no statement at all regarding the facts of your case.

I'll just leave this here:

"Most of us grow out of such behavior by 7th grade or so, but you are still doing it."...

"All the world needs is more crotch fruit from 'sperm daddies' like you."

legalschnauzer said...

Good for you to leave it here, so you won't get your ass kicked any worse than it's already been kicked.

Hope your cum dumpling learns some manners, intelligence, and honesty from somewhere because it certainly won't come from you. Example:

"More fun to mock you anonymously."

Straight from your own comment, but you then claim you aren't here to mock someone.

You claim to have made a citation to law, but you clearly haven't. I don't think you even know what a citation is, what it means.

"If you weren't so full of shit, you wouldn't have to make things up."

How clever. Think I read that on a third-grade bathroom stall one time.

Here's an idea: Stay out of legal discussions where you don't belong, and you have no clue what you're talking about. Take that time and maybe drive a javelin up your ass. You might enjoy it.

Bottom line: You and your cop buddies, the ones you suck off in your spare time, had no grounds to be at our apartment, and all of you are going to pay for that mistake big time. Enjoy your nice quiet home life while you've got it because you might not have it much longer.

You came here and started this conversation, and now you've proven you can't handle it because I'm mean to yew. Well, try watching a bunch of cop thugs almost rip your wife's arm out of its socket. Then, watch them, like a bunch of cowards, try to make bogus statements of law and facts, try to spin things so they can get away with beating up a woman who had done nothing to them. See how much that is, see how much tolerance you have for such garbage for the lowest of the low.

You are the lowest of the low, and that's why I feel for your crotch fruit. He/she doesn't stand a chance with a lying worm for a father. And our country is rotting, with lying sacks of shit like you in positions to bully people, and then lie about it, like your buddy Debi Wade in her PC Statement. We'd be better off with Islamic terrorists over here. At least they sorta have a point. There is no point to your life. You are a cheating thug, who then lies to cover up his thuggish ways.

You can't manage yourself, then you gift us with your crotch fruit to raise -- because you sure as hell can't do it.

Worthless prick!