Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Missouri "law thugs" left Carol with a bogus criminal conviction to "preclude" her federal civil claims, but they might have only shot themselves in the foot

Judge Jerry A. Harmison Jr.

Why did Missouri "law men" bring a bogus assault of a law enforcement officer charge against my wife, Carol, when even their own "victim" admits in an incident report (and under oath in court) that she committed no such offense? The answer can be summed up in one word: preclusion.

We will define preclusion more fully in a moment, but in essence, it means that a criminal conviction in one court can "preclude" a federal civil-rights claim in another court. The record shows that the whole "assault" charge was brought some 20 months ago in order to save Greene County and its corrupt sheriff's department from being held accountable for brutalizing Carol and breaking her arm during an unlawful eviction in September 2015.

But here is the enormous kicker (it's going to require several posts to explain and could induce a number of guffaws): The Missouri law thugs might have succeeded only in shooting themselves in the proverbial foot, while leaving Carol with no punishment and no judgment at all.

No kidding. (Please follow us for this post and followups over the next several days, into early next weeks, as we try to explain what appears to be a courtroom version of what happened when the Titanic  collided with an iceberg. The happy news is that it looks like Carol will not be one of the victims in this calamity -- other than having her reputation smeared and dealing with baseless criminal charges for 20 months. But for now, she seems to be snuggled in a rescue boat as some evil SOBs are about to slide into freezing water that might suck away their life forces -- or at least we can hope that's what happens to them.)

This all hits home now because yesterday Carol was sentenced for a "crime" that Judge Jerry Harmison's own judgment shows -- in multiple places -- she did not commit. Carol filed six post-judgment motions, showing that Harmison is a judicial buffoon who got just about everything in the case wrong. But like a lot of judges, Harmison is too arrogant, stupid, or crooked (maybe all three) to correct himself. So he dismissed Carol's motions out of hand, upheld her guilty verdict, and sentenced her to -- get this -- what amounts to a $10 fine. 

(They really think she assaulted a cop, but her punishment essentially is a $10 fine? We'll get back to that question in future posts.)

But here is the delicious part: In acting like a smug, corrupt smart-ass, Harmison might have let Carol off the hook entirely, while leaving the Greene County legal machinery with a significant mess to clean up -- and it could be costly. [A notation about Harmison's findings yesterday can be found at (State v. Carol Shuler, No. 1631-CR07731), and we will explain its implications in upcoming posts. For now, we will focus on preclusion -- while saying it appears Harmison screwed up big time, or in a rare show of integrity, he intentionally let Carol off the hook. I think that last possibility is extremely unlikely.)

Now, back to the preclusion issue? How stupid were the Missouri thugs to bring bogus criminal charges in order to impede Carol's efforts to achieve civil justice? The answer requires two words: very stupid (and that was before Harmison's antics of yesterday). That's because the law on preclusion -- we'll call it "The P Word" -- does not accomplish what the thugs thought it would. That means they wasted their time and ours, while significantly enhancing their potential liability in a federal civil-rights lawsuit that Carol and I will file shortly.

Preclusion essentially means that, under certain circumstances, an issue that has been raised and litigated in one forum cannot be re-litigated in another -- in a case involving the same parties. For example, an issue litigated in a state criminal proceeding might not be raised in a subsequent federal civil proceeding.

Prof. Sheldon H. Nahmod
"The P Word" is driven by two complex and confusing legal doctrines -- res judicata and collateral estoppel. Sheldon H. Nahmod, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology, explains the issue in a blog post titled "A Section 1983 Primer (6): Claim and Issue Preclusion." Many federal civil-rights claims are brought under 42 U.S. Code 1983. Prof. Nahmod explains preclusion and its possible impact on such claims:

This post addresses the important practical topic of claim preclusion (res judicata, which concerns claims that were or could have been raised), and issue preclusion (collateral estoppel, which concerns issues that were raised and adjudicated) in section 1983 cases. Preclusion concerns arise in section 1983 federal court litigation when there is a prior final state judicial or administrative proceeding that involved the same parties (or their privies) and implicated (or could have implicated) the same issues.

To what extent may those claims or issues be relitigated in a subsequent section 1983 federal court proceeding? As it turns out, the answer in each case depends, as a matter of federal law, on the forum state’s preclusion law.

That means we need to examine Missouri's preclusion law to determine its possible impact on our civil-rights claims that will be raised in Missouri federal court. For now, we learn two things:

(1) Missouri preclusion law involves qualifiers that "law man" thugs in Carol's case likely have not considered;

(2) When we go beneath the surface to research the relevant law in some detail, we find that Carol's federal claims will not be precluded at all. And that does not even include my civil-rights claims, which are significant -- even though I was not wrongfully arrested and brutalized the way Carol was.

Bottom line: Missouri thugs brought a bogus criminal charge against Carol in an effort to "preclude" her federal claims arising from excessive force and a severely broken arm that required trauma surgery. We've called the assault claim a "cover charge" because that's exactly what it is -- an effort to abuse the criminal-court process to cover up police misconduct and ensure no one is held accountable for the abuse heaped on Carol and me.

Unfortunately for the thugs, they are relying on law that does not work the way they think it does. Even more unfortunate for them, Judge Harmison appears to have messed up by mistakenly letting Carol off the hook altogether, perhaps enhancing the civil liability that Greene County is trying so hard to avoid. 

We've shown over and over on this blog that corrupt cops, lawyers, prosecutors, and judges aren't too smart. This is another example of a "justice system" that is infested with individuals who have little or no integrity and even fewer functioning brain cells. In this instance, it appears they've created a courtroom train wreck that could correctly be described as comical -- if it didn't involve such serious issues, if it had not caused Carol's reputation to be smeared for months. 

As an example, consider this question: In the highlighted section above (shaded in green), preclusion is described as being limited to final state judgments or administrative proceedings. But what if there is no final state judgment? Hmmm . . . 

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

As a lover of thrillers, I sense an intriguing plot twist is afoot.

Anonymous said...

You're saying a judge effed up? Gee, I didn't see that one coming.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused.

legalschnauzer said...

It is confusing and took me quite a while to figure it out last night. But I think you will find it intriguing because it's something that can happen to any number of people in certain states with certain laws.

Anonymous said...

So, the bad guys -- while trying to screw Carol -- ended up screwing themselves? Gee, that would be a shame.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:32 --

That kind of sums it up. It's so goofy that I'm still trying to figure a few things out. But yes, I think your summation is on target.

Anonymous said...

What kind of sentence/punishment was Carol possibly facing.

Anonymous said...

What kind of sentence or punishment was Carol facing?

Anonymous said...

So, Carol was placed on probation and fined $10?

legalschnauzer said...

@10:53 --

Yes, that's pretty much what happened. But there is much more to it than that, and it's so goofy, that I can't quite explain it all right now. But please hang in there with me. I think I will have a post ready tomorrow or Monday that explains this whole bizarre situation.

Anonymous said...

A $10 fine? What an effing joke. Hell, I get fined more than that for taking a break from mowing the lawn to take a leak.

Anonymous said...

The state auditor needs to investigate these bastards and throw em in the slammer for wasting taxpayer dollars on a case where they clearly know Carol did NOT assault an officer.

$10 fine. Sheesh.

legalschnauzer said...

The state auditor already is investigating Sheriff Jim Arnott for allegedly misusing public funds. Not sure if she has the authority to throw someone in the slammer on her own. Might need the attorney general's help for that. But Patterson (the prosecuting attorney) and his little twit buddy (Nicholas Bergeon) all need to be in the slammer, along with Arnott and Harmison.

legalschnauzer said...

The Missouri State Auditor is Nicole Galloway, a Democrat who probably is by far the most competent public official in the state.

I'm going to be getting touch with her, you can bet on that. Not sure how far her authority goes, but I'm going to find out.

Anonymous said...

Tell Carol I can raid my kid's piggy bank if she needs help paying that fine. He won't even notice that amount is gone.

legalschnauzer said...

Here is an article about whistle blowers sending info for Auditor Galloway concerning corruption in Greene County, MO. There are 22 whistle blowers so far, and I'm fixin' to join their number.

Shows that Missouri does have a responsive auditor, and it shows that Greene County is a disguating hellhole filled with right-wing kleptocrats, including everybody involved in Carol's case.

Anonymous said...

Would like to see how Harmison looks in an orange jump suit. Son of a bitch and effing thief. Just like his pal, Greitens.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, Harmison did not even acknowledge Carol's broken arm. Didn't care one bit. I'm sure he would react that way if one of his two precious daughters got beat up by a bunch of thug cops who had no lawful grounds to be on her property.

Harmison is a son of a bitch, and I hate his guts. He's a big pilot, flying his big-boy plane. Wouldn't it be a shame to watch his plane crash and learn he had burned like a Crispy Critter. Hell, maybe someone will pay Karl Rove to make Harmison's plane crash, especially since Rove seems to specialize in that sort of thing.

You can ask Mike Connell's family about that.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a job that needs to be assigned to whoever caused Michael Hastings' car to crash and burst into flames. Hastings had the goods on somebody. That deal was one of many clear signs that our country is going to hell.

Decent people need to stand up and fight back against the thugs. Someone should start by kicking Harmison's ass. Let him see how it feels to have his arm snapped in two. Then we need Trump and Sessions in prison.


legalschnauzer said...

Will never forget that video of the Michael Hastings crash:

Anonymous said...

I sometimes think you have gone off the tracks on some things, but no doubt you are right on this one. Clearly, this criminal case was driven by preclusion. That's the whole reason the Public Defender bailed out and prosecutors took jail off the table. That forced Carol into a bench trial, and the bad guys knew then that a corrupt judge was going to find Carol guilty, no matter what.

Absolutely, about preclusion, and these Midwestern hillbillies are so stupid they don't even know what preclusion is.

They might make it harder for you to get a lawyer because they will use the excuse to Carol's conviction to not take your case. But you're an unfrozen caveman lawyer, so you're probably better off doing it yourself anyway.

Be prepared for lawyers to turn you down because of the "conviction" thing -- even though that's nothing but a bullshit excuse. By law, it has nothing to do with Carol's case.

legalschnauzer said...

@3:34 --

Be careful about using the word "conviction" regarding Carol's case. Will explain in upcoming posts.

BTW, already had two Missouri lawyers use the "conviction" excuse. They didn't turn down the case because it never was offered to them. But kind of makes me think something is being coordinated between the Alabama and Missouri state bars, probably with my brother involved.

I've got evidence, of course, of Alabama State Bar interfering in one of our cases, and that's going to lead to a RICO lawsuit. Probably will have to do the same thing in Missouri.

Anonymous said...

This dirty deed also is about collusion. The Public Defender, Prosecutor, and Judge (almost certainly with sheriff and presiding judge involved) had to collude to pull off the "jail off the table" deal. That all was done to screw Carol with a corrupt judge -- to make sure a jury never heard this case.

Collusion, of this sort, involving Carol's civil rights almost certainly points to RICO violations. Hope you can find the right lawyer to take this on. You do OK as you're own lawyer in most cases -- in fact, you would do very well with honest judges. But it's tough to do a RICO case on your own. You might, however, finally get an honest judge because they know RICO cases are extremely serious matters.

Preclusion and collusion. Big words.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Schnauzer:

I know you take heat from trolls, know-nothings, and such, but one of the things you have done right, in my view, is to keep pressure on the corrupt bastards. If you had let your foot off the gas for any amount of time, this probably would have all gone away, and the crooked creeps would have won. And the public would be poorer for it.

Now, under pressure, it appears the SOBs might have made a game-changing mistake. I pray they have, and I pray justice is served for you and your wife. The two of you have my great support and empathy -- especially Carol. I still get sick to my stomach when I look at the X-rays of her arm, and it's a shame someone like Gloria Allred has not gotten involved in this case to bring it to public attention. Perhaps she would get involved if the right person contacted her.

My fervent prayers go out to both of you, and I look forward to learning details about recent events.

legalschnauzer said...

@4:53 --

Thank you for an awesome and uplifting comment. Truly made my day, my week, my month, my year. All the best to you, and thanks for caring about us.

Anonymous said...

Remember when Benjamin was told in "The Graduate" to remember one word: plastics.

Well, we now need to follow his lead and remember two words: preclusion and collusion.

Anonymous said...

Harmison's probably a pretty smart guy, and if you were to meet him at a party, you'd likely enjoy his company. Sad to see's he's such a sickening sell-out.

Anonymous said...

Did you know Harmison sells pickles on the side? No kidding. I wouldn't eat them if I were you, but they can be purchased at various grocery outlets around Springfield.

If the public finds out that he's a dung-filled, lying, cheating, bag of feces, it might help the pickle business go south.

Maybe you can buy a jar, rip the pickles to shreds in a review on your blog, and hope sales plummet. Hit the judge in the pocketbook, where it hurts.

I've tried his pickles, and I think they suck.

Anonymous said...

I had heard of Harmison's pickle enterprise. I think it's called Float Trip Pickles. Here's the interesting thing to me: My guess is that most people who make household decisions about buying pickles are women. And he just made a judicial ruling where he essentially found it's perfectly fine for cops to break into a woman's home, cause her stuff to be stolen, point assault weapons at her husband's head, and then break her arm and lie about it. On top of that, Harmison essentially ruled that is fine to bring false criminal charges against the woman, to make it harder for her to achieve civil justice.

In other words, Harmison is about as sexist and anti-woman as you can be. If more women knew that, based on his ruling in Carol's case, maybe they would walk right by Float Trip Pickles at the grocery store.