Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Failure to affix Missouri county seal points to our eviction being invalid -- and it means landlord, sheriff, and others might have engaged in federal crimes, which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison


Multiple forms in Greene County, Missouri, state that the county seal must be affixed to a document for an eviction order to be valid. The words are bolded in red, so they are hard to miss. Here they are:

The seal of the Greene County Circuit Court must be affixed for this execution to be valid.

We had at least three documents attached to our door in August/September 2015, when landlord Trent Cowherd launched eviction proceedings. None of them included the Greene County seal. (See here, here, and here.) That strongly suggests our eviction on Sept. 9, 2015, was conducted without a valid court order. It also might point to federal crimes, which can carry hefty prison sentences.

Since public documents indicate both Cowherd and his attorney, Craig Lowther, have almost 50 years of experience with tenant/landlord issues, it's hard to figure what excuse they would have for getting this wrong.

Why the requirement regarding the county seal? Our guess is that, without it, landlords and their lawyers routinely would evict tenants outside court authority. Such "self evictions" are unlawful in Missouri, Alabama, and probably all 50 states. And that is what Cowherd and Lowther apparently did in our case.

We have cited at least 10 grounds upon which our eviction was unlawful, but this might be the most blatant of all. It indicates Cowherd and Lowther are true rogues -- knowingly acting outside the law -- and causing serious damage. In our case, the unlawful eviction led to cops shattering Carol's left arm so severely that it required trauma surgery -- plus Cowherd's eviction crew, according to statements from a neighbor named Fred Jones, were seen stealing many of our personal belongings.

Is it a good idea to conduct an eviction outside the auspices of a court? No, it isn't. It's a blatant violation of civil law -- and, since it involved collaboration with the state (Green County Sheriff's Office), it could point to a federal crime under 18 U.S.C. 242 (Deprivation of rights under color of law).

If Cowherd and Lowther think Carol and I can be a legal pain in the neck, they might soon learn that we are a joyride when compared to FBI agents and federal prosecutors. That also likely would apply to Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott and his associates, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson and his associates, and anyone else involved with a conspiracy to trample our civil rights.

Consider this section from 18 U.S.C. 242:

. . . and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years,

Did bodily injury result in our case? I'd say the comminuted fracture of Carol's left arm constitutes a bodily injury. Were dangerous weapons used? I'd say the assault rifle that was pointed directly at my noggin' constitutes a dangerous weapon. How steep can the punishment be? A fine and up to 10 years in a federal big house. Ouch!

Do the a-holes who pulled off this little charade have some legal problems on their hands? I'd say the answer is yes. Those problems could grow to have enormous consequences, way beyond possible civil damages. And it could be caused, to a great degree, by a failure to pay heed to warnings in red on two documents -- as shown here and here. (The documents, with their red warnings, also are embedded at the end of this post.)

Why would the Missouri mafia resort to such tactics, conducting an eviction completely outside the authority of a court? In our view, it adds to evidence of an "Alabama Underground Railroad" that wanted Carol and me and our late kitty kat, Baxter, thrown on the streets -- pronto. Consider some of the legal niceties, involving lawful evictions, that the mafia boys and girls ignored:

* Missouri law requires rent be late by one month before initiating eviction proceedings. Ours was late by five days, and it wouldn't have been late at all if we had not been told we were going to be forced out whether we paid it or not;

* Missouri law requires that a judgment be final before the 10-day window for filing a notice of appeal can appeal. Our judgment never became final because a hearing on Oct. 1, 2015, became a moot point when we were evicted on Sept. 9 by virtue of an interlocutory (non-final) judgment.

* Missouri law requires that a judgment -- a non-default judgment, in any type of case -- does not become final for 30 days. That means our eviction could not lawfully have happened until sometime around mid November 2015.

* Missouri law holds that the timely filing of a Notice of Appeal puts a stay on execution of a judgment, such as an eviction. As it turns out, we actually filed our Notice of Appeal too early --  premature application, if you prefer. We paid required fees, and payment of bond also is required for a stay of execution. Bond is determined by the amount of the judgment, and anyone can check the docket in Trent Cowherd v. Roger Shuler and see there was no money judgment against us, so there could be no bond. In other words, our eviction was stayed, but the Missouri mafia wasn't about to let anything stop its thugs from their appointed rounds.

Our eviction was conducted so far outside the law it might as well have been held on Front Street in Dodge City -- with Matt Dillon, Doc Adams, Festus, and Miss Kitty gathered around to watch.

Why were the Missouri Mafia and the Alabama A-holes so determined to make sure we were terrorized -- our lives turned upside down -- in September 2015? Why did my own brothers -- David (the lawyer) and Paul -- add to the turmoil by seeking to have Carol and me declared disabled and incapacitated in Sept./Oct 2015?

We think we know the answer to those questions -- and it provides the likely reason Cowherd, Lowther, Arnott, Patterson, my brothers, and others were willing to act so far outside the law, to essentially bury us in abuse. A very important date was looming as this campaign of terror was launched. It was designed to truly make us disabled, to keep us from taking steps to assert our legal rights.

We will explain further in upcoming posts. For now, we encourage you to keep that time frame -- Sept/Oct 2015 -- in mind. It explains a lot, we think.


(To be continued)








26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does the seal have to use melted wax?

Anonymous said...

Spelling error. You said "the answer is yet". I think you mean yes.

Anonymous said...

Things are starting to get serious when you introduce orange jumpsuits into the picture.

legalschnauzer said...

@7:02 --

Thanks for the spelling alert. I've made the fix.

Anonymous said...

What exactly were these documents?

legalschnauzer said...

@8:22 --

They were various forms of a Missouri writ of execution, some with various signatures -- none of which was a judge, and none of which included a county seal. This is the document a landlord must have, authorized by a court and with the county seal, to carry out an eviction. A court judgment doesn't so much of anything. You must have this writ of execution, which is based on a final court judgment, which these jokers didn't have.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:22 --

Forgot to mention that you can click on links in the third paragraph to see the different versions of the writ of execution. Please let me know if you see one that includes a county seal or judge's signature.

Anonymous said...

If you could start an eviction if rent was only late by 1, 5, 15 days, etc., there be no point of late fees, right? I assume your rent included provisions for late fees?

legalschnauzer said...

@8:43 --

Yes, our lease included late fees, and yes, there would be no reason for those if a landlord could seek eviction when rent was late by less than one month. You can check out link to our lease below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1GXKJS567CoUDJ4WG14WmJ6em8/view?usp=sharing

legalschnauzer said...

@8:43 --

Until 2009, rent had to be late by six months before a landlord could start eviction proceedings. Then it was changed to one month, showing the strength of the landlord lobby in Missouri. Most tenants probably have no idea how badly the General Assembly shafted them in 2009. Here is the language from House Bill 481 which ushered in the change:

"(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)"

H.B. 481 (2009): http://house.mo.gov/content.aspx?info=/bills091/bilsum/truly/sHB481T.htm

Anonymous said...

What would be the statute of limitations on such alleged crimes?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:06 --

Five years. That's the general SOL for federal crimes.

Anonymous said...

If I'm the dude who broke Carol's arm or pointed an assault rifle at your head, the following language in the statute has me a bit unnerved:


" . . and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years."

Anonymous said...

Mr. Apologist is going to be upset with this post. It suggests cops and landlords can screw up, and Mr. A insists they can do no wrong. This will screw with Mr. A's world.

Anonymous said...

I was curious about Alabama law on when an eviction proceeding can begin. Per nolo.com, landlord has to give tenant 7 days to pay the rent. So, looks like Alabama is even worse than Missouri . . .


Alabama State Laws on Termination for Nonpayment of Rent

States set specific rules and procedures for ending a tenancy when a tenant has not paid the rent. Alabama landlords must give tenants at least seven days in which to pay the rent or move. If the tenant does neither, the landlord can file for eviction.

Anonymous said...

I was curious about Alabama law on when an eviction proceeding can begin. Per nolo.com, landlord has to give tenant 7 days to pay the rent. So, looks like Alabama is even worse than Missouri . . .


Alabama State Laws on Termination for Nonpayment of Rent

States set specific rules and procedures for ending a tenancy when a tenant has not paid the rent. Alabama landlords must give tenants at least seven days in which to pay the rent or move. If the tenant does neither, the landlord can file for eviction.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:49 --

Thanks for sharing. It's never a surprise to learn that Alabama is backwards on a particular issue. This is from Code of Alabama:

Section 35-9A-421
Noncompliance with rental agreement; failure to pay rent.
(a) Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement, an intentional misrepresentation of a material fact in a rental agreement or application, or a noncompliance with Section 35-9A-301 materially affecting health and safety, the landlord may deliver a written notice to terminate the lease to the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than seven days after receipt of the notice. An intentional misrepresentation of a material fact in a rental agreement or application may not be remedied or cured. If the breach is not remedied within the seven days after receipt of the notice to terminate the lease, the rental agreement shall terminate on the date provided in the notice to terminate the lease unless the tenant adequately remedies the breach before the date specified in the notice, in which case the rental agreement shall not terminate.

(b) If rent is unpaid when due, the landlord may deliver a written notice to terminate the lease to the tenant specifying the amount of rent and any late fees owed to remedy the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than seven days after receipt of the notice. If the breach is not remedied within the seven days, the rental agreement shall terminate. If a noncompliance of rental agreement occurs under both subsection (a) and this subsection, the seven-day notice period to terminate the lease for nonpayment of rent in this subsection shall govern.

(c) Except as provided in this chapter, a landlord may recover actual damages and reasonable attorney fees and obtain injunctive relief for noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement or Section 35-9A-301.

(d) Notwithstanding Section 35-9A-141, no breach of any of the terms or obligations of the lease may be cured by a tenant more than four times in any 12-month period except by the express written consent of the landlord. The following acts or omissions by a tenant or occupant shall constitute a noncurable default of the rental agreement, and in such cases the landlord may terminate the rental agreement upon a seven-day notice. The tenant shall have no right to remedy such a default unless the landlord consents. Such acts and omissions include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Possession or use of illegal drugs in the dwelling unit or in the common areas.

(2) Discharge of a firearm on the premises of the rental property, except in cases of self-defense, defense of a third party, or as permissible in Section 13A-3-23.

(3) Criminal assault of a tenant or guest on the premises of the rental property, except in cases of self-defense, defense of a third party, or as permissible in Section 13A-3-23.

Anonymous said...

The more red the state, the worse it is for renters -- at least that's how it appears to work. Missouri is a bad state to be a renter, Alabama is even worse.


https://www.thebalance.com/tenants-rights-in-alabama-2125169

Anonymous said...

Why does Mr. Apologist never include any citations to law in his comments? Kind of makes me think he doesn't know the law. Maybe he's too busy polishing his knee for the next round of pleasuring cops and landlords.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:53 --

You probably would need to ask Mr. A, but my guess is that he's not interested in the law because he knows it doesn't fit his agenda. He's into propaganda, not the law. And yes, polishing his knee pads probably consumes much of his time.

Anonymous said...

A missing seal can be a big fucking deal!

South Carolina:

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/south-carolina/articles/2017-11-21/1st-lawsuit-filed-over-missing-south-carolina-seal

https://www.fitsnews.com/2017/11/16/sc-state-house-the-great-seal-goes-missing/

legalschnauzer said...

@1:13 --

I think that's a different kind of seal, in a different context.

But thanks for your efforts to lighten the mood.

Anonymous said...

Here's an important story about missing seals:


http://www.dw.com/en/prague-zoo-gets-a-happy-ending-with-return-of-fugitive-seal/a-612894

Anonymous said...

This police brutality was directed from outside forces. There are clues..

legalschnauzer said...

@3:03 --

I agree. What are the clues of which you speak?

Thomas S. Bean said...

Why would idiots running a secret illegal classified COINTELPRO neutralization....ever bother following any law, when there is no rule or law that applies to uniform scumbag cops, feds, punk prosecutors, joker public defendors, or the head Marsupial jackass Judges?