David's role in our eviction has been apparent since I received the following email from him on 6/2/15 -- three months and one week before our eviction in Springfield, Missouri:
I hope you and Carol are doing well. Mom asked me to contact you regarding the lease on your duplex. She said she tried to talk to you about it when she recently stopped by to visit, but was unable to do so. She talked to the people at Cowherd Construction and they are willing to extend your lease without a co-signor in that the rent has always been paid in full and on time. The lady suggested that you meet Mom at their office on 6/29 and they would allow you to execute a new lease. This lease would be in your name and would be your responsibility. I do not know if they would require Carol to be on the lease. I would think that they would also want her to sign since she would be living there. I also do not know how they would handle the deposit and pet deposit since those were paid by Mom.
Mom will make the last rent payment on 6/29 which will cover the month of July. You have the option to renew and stay there or of course, you could vacate and pick some place else to live.
Again, I hope you guys are doing well. Mom just wanted me to e-mail this information to you to avoid any confusion.
David, it turns out, was the one in a state of confusion. Our lease required no provision that we execute a new lease in the event the co-signer wanted off the lease. And there was no reason to have such a provision because my mother's responsibility ended when the lease was up at 13 months -- with Carol and I set to take over payments on a month-to-month basis, per the lease. (Lease is embedded at the end of this post.)
The landlord, Cowherd Construction, never contacted us and said we had to sign a new lease. That all came from David, as if he concocted the whole charade, and Cowherd went along with it, in silence. The landlord also never made a demand for rent because our rent always had been timely paid -- and it would have been timely paid on a month-to-month basis by Carol and me. If we had been unable to pay, we would have moved out on our own, without the need for an eviction.
Again, that is in line with the lease and Missouri law. (Notice to vacate, with no mention of late rent, is embedded at the end of this post.) Failure to demand rent, in a rent-and-possession case, is one of about 12 grounds that made our eviction unlawful.
How ugly were David's motives? It's hard to say for sure, but an ex parte letter he wrote to the judge in our rent-and-possession case was flagrantly improper, prejudicial, and well . . . evil probably is not too strong a word. (Letter is embedded at the end of this post.) Consider these words from the letter:
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 Petitioner (Trent Cowherd) in the matter and assist in any way to help them regain possession of the rental property currently occupied by Mr. Shuler.
It's hard to get much lower than this. And as has become David's custom, he reveals that he and the truth have a distant, dysfunctional relationship, as I pointed out in a March 2017 post:
You will notice that this is the unvarnished David Shuler, with all the phony sweetness and light removed. He says our mother made a mistake by trying to help Carol and me, as if that's a decision for him to make. Has our mother (and our father, when he was living) provided financial assistance to David and his family when they encountered rocky waters? I strongly suspect the answer is yes. But to help Carol and me? What a dreadful thought.
David then falsely claims I had refused to pay the rent or vacate the property. David's letter was dated August 21, 2015, meaning Cowherd still was at least 10 days short of being able to initiate eviction proceedings, much less have a court date. David Shuler conveniently ignores this little matter of law.
The second paragraph is so crooked that is makes the mind swim. From one side of his mouth, David claims to be representing our mother. From the other side, he admits that he (and our mother) are working on behalf of Trent Cowherd, trying to make sure Cowherd regained property that he was not entitled to regain because he untimely filed his rent-and-possession case.
"Fraud on the court" is a legal term that is more complex than most lay folks realize. I don't claim to be an expert on the subject, but this probably comes pretty close to a "fraud on the court." David Shuler admits he was representing one person when his real interest was in assisting another -- and he even roped our elderly mother in on such a crooked act.
We recently discovered evidence that shows David Shuler can take dishonesty, deceit, and fraud to dizzying heights. The evidence involves the 911 call that David tried to lay at my feet, but actually was placed by an administrator at Burrell Behavioral Health, our health-care provider at the time.
Guess who encouraged Burrell to make the call and told some Whopper-sized lies in the process.
We will reveal that in an upcoming post, but here is a key point to remember: The 911 call is the excuse Greene County Sheriff's Office officials used for bringing 6-8 officers to an eviction, many of them heavily armed. It's apparently the reason Officer Scott Harrison -- upon bursting into our home with no court-approved eviction order -- pointed an assault rifle at my head. It's likely the reason the officer we call "Mr. Blue Shirt" brutalized Carol and broke her arm. Without the 911 call, he probably would not have even been on the scene.
So yes, David Shuler put our lives at risk, which raises this question: Was he intentionally trying to get us killed? Given what I've learned about his depraved sense of right and wrong, I would not put anything past him.
(To be continued)