Wednesday, June 13, 2018

How can my wife, Carol, be guilty of assaulting a deputy who unlawfully was on our property and failed to follow county procedure for conducting an eviction?


My wife, Carol, has been found guilty of "assault on a law enforcement officer" during our unlawful September 2015 eviction in Springfield, Missouri. But on at least two grounds, deputies from the Greene County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) could not lawfully be on our rented property, much less throw us out of our home. The deputies' own words -- under oath, in court -- show their actions were unlawful. and they were not able to even follow the county's own procedures.

The first issue can be found on page 1 of the judgment in Carol's case. (The judgment is embedded at the end of this post.) In the second paragraph is the following language:

On August 27, 2015, an interlocutory judgment for possession was entered against the Shulers, with a future trial date established on the issue of damages.

(Note: This is false on multiple grounds: The interlocutory judgment was issued in court on August 27, but it was not entered with the court -- making it somewhat authoritative -- until August 31. This clearly is shown on the docket, and means the eviction (set for Sept. 9) was scheduled inside the 10-day window when no execution can take place. Second, the future proceeding was set mainly for our breach-of-contract counterclaim. That is not clear on the docket, but it was made clear in court. The interlocutory judgment issued no amount of money damages against us, so it's not clear why that issue would need to be addressed at a later date.)

Bottom line: The rent-and-possession matter produced an interlocutory (non-final) judgment, which cannot be the basis for execution, such as an eviction. Missouri law, per State ex rel Turner v. Sloan, 595 S.W.2d 778 (MO, 1980), holds: "An enforcement of judgment by execution supposes a judgment not merely interlocutory but become final.”

In other words, thug-cops could not lawfully be on our property, much less breaking into our home for an eviction, based on a non-final judgment. Because the judgment was interlocutory, that means the cops did not -- and could not -- have a court-authorized (signed and approved by a judge) writ of execution. In fact, the "writ of execution" the prosecution produced at trial had no judge's signature and provided no authorization for the eviction, which ended with cops breaking Carol's arm. The "writ" was signed only by attorney Craig Lowther, which suggests he and landlord Trent Cowherd conspired on an unlawful self-eviction -- with assistance from the GCSO and likely from my brother-lawyer David Shuler.

X-ray of Carol's arm, broken by a
Missouri cop who had no grounds to
be on our rented property.
The second issue is not so much a matter of state law, but rather of county procedure. And it appears Greene County does nothing to educate its sheriff's deputies about how an eviction is supposed to be conducted. How is it supposed to work? That's spelled out on the Civil Division Page of the GCSO Web site. From the site's page about eviction procedure:

The tenant should be served with, or the property posted with, a summons and petition notifying them that a lawsuit has been filed and will have the opportunity to be heard in court before any eviction. Upon the Landlord receiving a judgment for possession and filing for a Writ to Execute on the judgment for possession, the GCSO will schedule a date and time with the plaintiff/Landlord within five business days to stand by while the Landlord evicts the Tenant and regains possession of the property. The Landlord has the responsibility of scheduling for a locksmith and staff required for moving of property if needed.

Missouri State Statutes reference Landlord/Tenant Law RSMo. Chapters 441, 534 and 535.

In other words, under Greene County policy, it is the landlord's duty to evict -- with a deputy on hand usually for stand-by purposes. Carol should have been dealing with the landlord Trent Cowherd, or his representative, and not heavily armed cops who threw her and me in handcuffs (which is an arrest), with no grounds for doing so. We were minding our own business in our own home -- knowing we had filed a Notice of Appeal, which stayed the execution by operation of law.

In fact, the docket shows the Missouri Court of Appeals had received our Notice of Appeal, meaning it had jurisdiction over the case at that point -- and not the trial court, which had issued the interlocutory judgment.

The Greene County Sheriff's thugs did the following:

(1) They unlawfully acted on a non-final judgment, upon which any form of execution (including an eviction) cannot be based;

(2) They acted contrary to the county's own procedures, which call for a landlord to conduct an eviction, while a deputy (usually one, and he often does not even leave the car) is on hand to make sure a potentially volatile situation stays peaceful;

(3) They acted without a judge's signature, from a trial court that did not even have jurisdiction over the case at that point. The docket includes a letter from the Missouri Court of Appeals, stating it had received our Notice of Appeal, and that took matters out of the trial court's hands.

The GCSO, in essence, would have to improve to be a clown car.




31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your reporting on this, LS. I always thought it was the duty of the landlord to evict a tenant, with a deputy basically standing by to scratch his nuts and eat a donut. No reason for cops to be breaking into your home.

Anonymous said...

Clear Fourth Amendment violation, which means any evidence gathered must be suppressed.

Anonymous said...

The landlord didn't want to do the eviction because he didn't have a legit writ of execution, and he knew it. The cops didn't either, but at least they could terrorize you and Carol.

Anonymous said...

I clicked on the link you provided to the sheriff's office Web site, and right there in black and white is the procedure for an eviction -- which the cops didn't follow.

Why have the rules on the Web site if even the cops can't follow them?

Anonymous said...

But . . . but . . . you made a call to 911 and threatened to shoot any coppers who tried to evict you.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:27 --


Hah, yes! You must be talking about the threat I never made -- according to my own medical records -- and the 911 call I never placed -- according to audio in our possession.

Much more on that coming soon.

Anonymous said...

On p. 3 of the judgement, Officer Jeremy Lynn testifies:

"Lynn was made aware that calls had been made to the Sheriff's Office from Shuler's family members expressing concern for the safety of law enforcement officers . . . "

Isn't this hearsay? How was it allowed into the record?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:34 --

Yes, it's hearsay, probably double or triple hearsay -- both when an unknown person (not present for cross-exam in court) and when someone talked with my unnamed family members (not present for cross-exam in court). This is wildly prejudicial BS, and can only be allowed by a judge who is, as I've heard many times in the Ozarks "crooked as a dog's hind leg."

Anonymous said...

It's understandable that Judge Harmison allowed both sides to get away with some stuff, considering it was a bench trial involving a pro se litigant. But to let the the prosecution get away with wild hearsay, discovery violations, etc. and then find Carol guilty of an "offense" the "victim" admitted she did not commit . . . well, that's going way over the line.

Anonymous said...

How is anything you said on a 911 call -- or anything someone else claimed you said on a 911 call -- relevant to this criminal case, which involves Carol and to which you weren't a party?

The issue was: "Did Carol cause physical contact with Jeremy Lynn, and even Lynn admits she did not." So why are any statements you might have made, unless they involved that incident, relevant and allowed into testimony?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:47 --

Great point and great comment. You nailed it. It's amazing to see how many times my name is mentioned throughout the judgment, and I had nothing to do with the "encounter" involving Carol and Jeremy Lynn -- and I was not a party. My name should have come up during my testimony, and that's it.

Anonymous said...

Agree with @10:24. The landlord didn't conduct the eviction because he didn't have a valid court order. He couldn't have one, based on an interlocutory judgment. He knew you likely would have asked him to see the eviction order, and he couldn't have produced one.

The cops didn't have a court order either, but they had the assault rifles, pistols, and other weapons to terrorize you and Carol. Pathetic stuff, really.

The landlord, Cowherd, is a puss and a crook, and the cops are a bunch of frauds.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:21 --

I think your analysis is spot on. Sheriff Arnott and his thugs probably figured if they terrorized us enough, we would forget to ask about a court order. When an assault rifle is pointed at your head, you tend to forget about things like court orders. In reality, though, I did ask Arnott to see the court order, and he said it was in his vehicle, and he would show it to me later. Of course, they were too busy beating up Carol later, so I never saw a court order.

Whatever they had, I'm sure, was not signed by a judge, so it was invalid.

Anonymous said...

People in the Greene County legal community know Craig Lowther conducts business like this and gets away with it all the time. This kind of stuff has been going on with Lowther for years.

Anonymous said...

It's Law School 101 that you cannot execute on an interlocutory judgment; it must be final. Harmison knows this, so I'm not sure what he thinks he's doing by authoring this judgment that he knows is contrary to law.

I think he's acting foolishly. He's already got dubious ties to Eric Greitens, and calling attention to himself by finding Ms. Shuler guilty in this cockamamie case is unwise, in my view.

Anonymous said...

Somebody was pushing this to move in a hurry. A legitimate eviction often can take 90 days -- from time of r and p judgment to actual displacement of tenant. Somebody was not willing to wait for a legit eviction to take place.

Anonymous said...

Probably hasn't occurred to the landlord, Cowherd, but he could wind up in federal prison under 18 Sec. 242, deprivation of rights under color of law. Same thing for attorney Lowther. They both conspired with cops to break Carol's arm and deprive you and Carol of your civil rights. Working with the cops, makes Cowherd, Lowther and maybe others (your brother) state actors under the law. That's a crime, and folks can spend years in prison for it.


https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/242

Anonymous said...

The Sec. 242 problems could get serious if (and when) the Trump admin goes ka-boom, and it looks like that could happen pretty soon -- with Michael Cohen about to flip on the Trumpster.

Anonymous said...

I would say this is real bad news for the Trump Train. It could give us back a real DOJ, which means lots of messes could be cleaned up:


https://abcnews.go.com/US/trump-lawyer-michael-cohen-cooperate-attorneys-leave-case/story?id=55861988


Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant and former personal attorney, is likely to cooperate with federal investigators, as his lawyers are expected to leave the case, sources said.

To date, Cohen has been represented by Stephen Ryan and Todd Harrison of the Washington and New York firm, McDermott, Will & Emery LLP, but a source representing this matter has disclosed to ABC News that they are not expected to represent him going forward.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Cohen news is making Sean Hannity's a-hole tight. Would love to see that SOB go down.

Anonymous said...

So how did the June 11 "sentencing" go? Or did Harmison postpone it?

Anonymous said...

You don't think it's possible to assault someone who is on your property without permission?

Anonymous said...

If Trump goes down, I agree that all hell will break loose on bad actors around the country. Jeff Sessions, the worst of all bad actors, leads the DOJ, so he isn't going to accomplish anything. But once Trump and Sessions are gone, look out.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall that you ran an email where your brother, David, was working with Dep. Scott Harrison to concoct the 911 call story about you making a threat to law enforcement. That means David was working as a state actor, and Sec. 242 will apply to him. He's in big trouble, and could be looking at 10 years or more in a federal Big House. Maybe he and Harrison can get a cell together.

legalschnauzer said...

@4:19 --

One, you obviously don't understand the law. This was an alleged assault on an LEO, and the central question under the statute is "who caused [or initiated] physical contact," and Lynn admits twice that he did. Two, this law is about cops, not regular people, and cops cannot be on your property for an eviction without a judge-approved court order -- and they didn't have one. Three, Carol testified that Lynn grabbed her and she never touched him, and he agreed with that in his written statements, which were excluded at trial. He changed his tune on the stand, which goes to inconsistent statements and possible perjury. Fourth, Lynn admits he grabbed Carol after breaking into her home, and another cop admits it was an interlocutory judgment, where they had no grounds to be on the property. Carol didn't touch Lynn, but she had every right to use force against an unlawful intruder.

I could go on, but you are utterly clueless.

legalschnauzer said...

@2:08 --


Look it up at case.net. Not hard.

Anonymous said...

@4:19 . . .

So, you are admitting the cops were unlawfully on the property? Good for you.

legalschnauzer said...

@4:19 --

One key point I left out: The cops broke into our home without grounds for doing so, which means they conducted an unlawful search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment, and all evidence collected in such a procedure must be suppressed.

Again, these are cops, not regular people -- and you don't seem to get that.

Anonymous said...

@2:08 Here: Thanks for the tip, LS! Good work on the continuance. I'm still trying to wrap my head around Harmison's "judgement," and, as many folks above have pointed out, it's impossible because it's a fabrication, and not a very good one at that.

Anonymous said...

Well then you should do fine on appeal, right? If the law is clear on the matter?

legalschnauzer said...

@8:18 --

Perhaps you are a newbie here, but we have written dozens of posts showing how appellate courts routinely get cases wrong. We've cited the words of a leading expert on legal ethics (Monroe Freedman) who decried the absurd rulings issued by federal appellate courts, and we've shown how the Eleventh Circuit repeatedly ruled contrary to law to cheat former Alabama governor Don Siegelman and how the Fifth Circuit ruled contrary to law to cheat former Mississippi attorney Paul Minor. You are welcome to use the search box at the top left corner of the blog to find any or all of this.

The answer to your question is, no, we might not do "fine" on appeal, no matter how clear the law is. Appeals courts are every bit as corrupt and/or incompetent as trial courts -- both state and federal -- and we've shown that here over and over.


https://legalschnauzer.blogspot.com/2017/05/founder-of-legal-ethics-knew.html (Post re: Monroe Freedman, Hofstra Univ.)