Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Missouri landlord Trent Cowherd claims I allowed an "outlaw" (my wife) to live in rental until, but evidence shows Cowherd is a bully of comic proportions

Trent and Sharon Cowherd
Finding humor in a story that involves an unlawful eviction, the theft of many of your worldly goods, and thuggish cops shattering your wife's arm . . . well, it's difficult. But a newly discovered document from Missouri landlord Trent Cowherd and his rogue lawyer, Craig Lowther, does add comic relief to our mostly grim tale.

The humor can be found in Cowherd's Petition for a Rent-and-Possession (R and P) order that would remove us from rental property at 4070 S. Fort in Springfield, Missouri. Cowherd is not content to simply get his rental unit back, he has his undies bunched because he somehow is convinced that someone -- namely, my wife, Carol -- had been living unlawfully in the unit with yours truly.

Never mind that on the day I signed the Rental Agreement in Missouri, I told Cowherd's leasing agent that my spouse of 25 years was in Birmingham gathering our belongings and would be joining me to live at the rental unit in Springfield -- and the leasing agent said that would be A-OK. The agent filled out the document, based on what I told her, but she neglected to write down Carol's name as a tenant or lessee. Was that on purpose? Probably so. Was it at the direction of one or more members of my family? Given how they have dumped on Carol and me since we got married, the answer probably is yes. (The Petition and Rental Agreement are embedded at the end of this post.)

If anyone ever doubts that Trent Cowherd is a crooked, dishonest, lying bully, just consider these foreboding, tough-guy words from his Petition, prepared by "attorney" Craig Lowther:

7. Upon information and belief, there is a person or persons not lawfully occupying the above described premises as either a tenant or lessee.

8. Pursuant to RSMo. 441.760, [Cowherd] requests the court order any person not lawfully occupying the dwelling unit as either a tenant or lessee be immediately removed.

Wow, sounds like I was hiding an ISIS cell in that rental unit. The humor comes when you check out page 7 of our eight-page rental agreement. That page is titled "Rental House Pet Agreement," and they must have let me fill that out because it appears to be in my squiggly hand writing -- which was more squiggly than unusual, given that I had just spent five months in an Alabama jail and was going through a bogus foreclosure on our home of almost 25 years in Birmingham.

Craig Lowther
I filled out page 7 to inform the landlord that we had two cats -- Chloe (female) and Baxter (her brother). I put down their ages (11) and their weights (13 and 11 pounds, respectively). I listed their breed (Tonkinese) and their color (tan). For the record, I told the leasing agent that Chloe and Baxter were in Birmingham with their "mother," my wife, and all three would be joining me in Springfield to live at the rental unit. The agent didn't bat an eye, said that was fine.

It wasn't until almost one year later, when our 13-month lease was almost up, that I realized the woman had neglected to put Carol's name on the lease. Was that an accident? I doubt it, especially considering that we recently discovered the R and P Petition to learn that Cowherd was making a big deal about the presence of an "outlaw" at our unit.

Let's consider what Cowherd/Lowther wanted a court to believe: That I remembered Chloe and Baxter, our cats, were going to be living with me in Springfield, and I put down all kinds of specifics about them -- but I didn't remember that I had a wife, she had been my one and only wife for 25 years, and she was going to be living with me, too.

Now, I love our pets. This blog is named in honor of our first pet -- the original Legal Schnauzer, Murphy Abigail Shuler. And I loved our cats just as much as I loved our dog. But I'm going to remember our cats and not say a word about my wife? I don't think so.

This might not be the kind of humor that appears on SNL and goes viral on the Web. But it's pretty darned funny to me, almost like an old Henny Youngman routine. "Oh yes, my cats will be with me at all times. My wife? Gee, I forgot I even had one. Who is this wife person of whom you speak? Take my wife, please!"

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