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The memory of a beloved pet inspires one couple's fight against injustice.

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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Over the past few days, we have written about some of the more interesting articles to appear in the media on the Legal Schnauzer first amendment case. Another excellent article was a dairy written by a person who goes by the name, "Colorado is the Shiznit" on the widely-read, progressive political blog, Daily Kos. The creative and highly entertaining post was featured on the website on Nov. 15 and made their daily highly recommended list. 


    According to Wikipedia, Daily Kos is an American political blog that publishes news and opinions from a progressive point of view. It functions as a discussion forum and group blog for a variety of netroots activists whose efforts are primarily directed toward influencing and strengthening the Democratic Party. 

    Here is the link to the Daily Kos dairy written by Colorado is the Shiznit: 
    Former Kossack Arrested on Bullsh-t Charges.



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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Over the past several days, we have written about some of the more interesting articles to appear in the media on the Legal Schnauzer first amendment case. One such article appeared in ThinkProgress. The story was written by Nicole Flatow and was featured on the website Oct. 30--one week after Roger Shuler's severe beating and false arrest. 

    Per the ThinkProgress website, Nicole Flatow is the Deputy Editor of ThinkProgress Justice. Previously, she was Associate Director of Communications for the American Constitution Society. Nicole has also worked for several legal and general circulation newspapers, including The Daily Record and The New York Law Journal, and was a legal fellow at Bread for the City, where she represented low-income D.C. residents in housing and public benefits matters. She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and her B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Law from Binghamton University, where she was editor in chief of her campus newspaper. 

    The article was very good, however, there was one incorrect statement. And it has, unfortunately, been repeated in several articles about the first amendment case.

    "Riley sued Shuler and his wife, Carol Shuler, last yearfor alleged defamation." 
    The above statement is simply not true and gives the mistaken impression that this harassment lawsuit had been ongoing for some time and thus, had been given a chance to be properly litigated. Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, the bogus traffic stop where improper service was attempted took place on Sept 29, 2013. And then, Roger was beaten and unlawfully arrested inside our garage on Oct 23, 2013. That is far less than one month later. Hardly adequate time for any proper litigation of the facts and the law.

    Typically civil lawsuits are served and a person will have 30 days in which to respond and then the case proceeds from there in an orderly and legal fashion. In this case, Roger Shuler was assaulted and thrown in jail in a mere 3 weeks time. How about that for a railroad job and outrageous miscarriage of justice? 

    Here is the link to the ThinkProgress article by Ms. Flatow: 

    Alabama Blogger Arrested, Jailed for Writing About Former Governor's Son





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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Since Roger's brutal beating and unlawful arrest on Oct 23, we have been very grateful for the many people who wanted to help us and who've offered to lend their support in a variety of ways in our ongoing fight for justice. Quite a few of those kind individuals have chosen to support this fight by way of the Legal Schnauzer PayPal donation button, which can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the blog. 

    Fighting against the forces of evil and tyranny does not come cheaply, but the donations that have come to us via the blog's PayPal donation button have made that fight much more feasible. Hopefully, this will help enable the release of Roger Shuler from his unlawful incarceration and also defeat the powerful and obscenely corrupt thugs who orchestrated this entire travesty. Perhaps then, they will finally be held accountable for what they have done.

    To those of you who decide to click on the button and support us with your hard-earned funds, we say a hearty "thank you." And we say that on behalf of Murphy Abigail Shuler (1993-2004), the beloved schnauzer to whom our work is dedicated.

    Please know that our mission statement remains the same: "The memory of a beloved pet inspires one couple's fight against injustice."



    Murphy Abigail Shuler:
    the schnauzer who
    inspired a blog 

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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler has been the victim of a theft while being unlawfully incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail because of a lawsuit filed by Republican political figure Rob Riley.

    Shuler noticed funds missing from his inmate account about 10 days ago and filed a grievance with the Shelby County Jail. Shuler received a copy of his account which showed some $99 in unauthorized charges.

    "I had a meeting with a Sargent Thompson," Shuler said, "and he stated that it appeared that an inmate had stolen my PIN number and charged unauthorized phone calls to my account in exchange for food items. I received no further word from Sargent Thompson and I don't know if this case is going to be investigated as as the crime that it is." Shuler has been incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail since Oct. 23 after Riley filed a lawsuit seeking removal of posts about Riley's extramarital affair with lobbyist Liberty Duke. Some 230 years of first amendment law in the United States says that it's unlawful to restrict publication prior to a final judgement that the report is false and defamatory. There has been no such finding in the Riley lawsuit and in fact has not even been any discovery and yet Shuler has been in jail for almost two full months.

    "Because of Rob Riley's lawsuit, I've had to encounter all sorts of dangerous events," Shuler said. "Just last week I witnessed an inmate's suicide here in my unit. A man jumped some 27 feet from the top two stories above us and landed on concrete about 10 feet from where I was sitting. The sound of his skull cracking and blood pouring out of his head is something that I'll never forget and other inmates will not soon forget either. And had I been about 10 feet in another direction, he would've landed on me and crushed me to death. On top of that, an inmate in my block was found with a shank just last night which is an item that has been sharpened for the purposes of stabbing someone. And now I've been the victim of a theft. And all of this has been because of Rob Riley's fun and games lawsuit that he's filed that has absolutely no basis in law or fact. My wife has been without a husband now for almost two months. I've been wrongfully incarcerated and we're going to hold Rob Riley, Liberty Duke, their attorneys and Judge Claud Neilson accountable. They all should be held criminally and civilly accountable."

    Below is a copy of a brief that the ACLU has filed on Shuler's behalf stating that these injunctions, civil contempt findings, imprisonment and incarceration are all unlawful in his case.



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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. An administrator at the Shelby County Jail has indicated there will be no investigation of a theft against Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler. Shuler has noted at least $99 missing from his inmate account and reported it to jail officials, but has been told that it will not be investigated as a crime.

    Shuler received the following message from jail administrator Theresa Smith who oversees inmate accounts. Smith's message read as follows: "It is your responsibility to keep your PIN number secure. We are unable to credit phone time at this facility. Only NCIC can give credits and they will not do so for charges incurred from someone stealing your PIN number. I was informed by Sargent Thompson that your PIN number has already been reset to prevent future unauthorized usage."

    Shuler was dumbfounded by Smith's response. "Basically she's blaming me for theft and under that version of the law, no one ever would be held accountable for stealing. I'm going to seek further clarification from jail officials and move forward and quickly, but I'm not going to let this rest. I've had money stolen from me and I intend to have it prosecuted as a crime."

    Shuler said he is not certain that the theft was done by an inmate. "If the Shelby County Sheriff's Department is not going to investigate this kind of matter, it makes me think it's possible they're the ones responsible for the theft," Shuler said. "Inmates could possibly steal my PIN number, but people inside the Shelby County Sheriff's Office also have access to it. And the fact they aren't willing to investigate this makes me think they may be responsible. That raises huge questions, federal issues and all sorts of issues about corruption that the public needs to be aware of and I'm making them aware of it."


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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Shelby County Sheriff's officials investigated cases of inmate theft as recently as Oct. 28 according to an inmate statement. An inmate was on lockup from Oct. 15 to Oct. 28 according to a statement to Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler and said that he saw at least three inmates at that time in lockup for stealing PIN numbers.

    "I did not get to the jail until Oct. 23," Shuler said. "And this new information indicates the Shelby County Jail has changed it's policy probably since I've been here and perhaps just for me. This is extremely disturbing information and indicates that perhaps officials in the Shelby County Jail or Sheriff's Office are involved in stealing from me. I've had $99 stolen from my inmate account and I've had no indication that any investigation is going to be done on it."

    Shuler noted that the 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law applies to inmates and all citizens and he has not forfeited them since his arrest in the wake of a lawsuit by Republican political figure, Rob Riley. "If the Shelby County Sheriff's Office is not going to investigate this, we're going to have to take it to a higher authority. Any misconduct involving phone lines is usually a federal matter anyway," Shuler said. "I hope the public knows the kind of damages I'm suffering having been in this jail unlawfully now for two months. I've witnessed an inmate suicide. I've witnessed another inmate who was apprehended for having a shank which is an item designed to stab people. And now I've been the victim of a theft and the authorities are doing nothing about it."


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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Today marks two months that Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler has been housed in the Shelby County Jail because of a lawsuit filed by Republican political figure Rob Riley seeking removal of posts about his extramarital affair with lobbyist Liberty Duke.

    Shuler points to the case as one of the worst first amendment abuses in modern American history. "As Americans celebrate Christmas, I hope they will take a moment to realize their constitutional protections are rotting out from underneath them," Shuler said. "The prior restraint doctrine that grows from the first amendment and is supposed to protect my reporting in this case dates to 1780, and that predates the Lewis and Clark expedition. If our judiciary is so corrupt that it can't get simple constitutional law like this correct, then we are about to become more like Communist China that any of us care to admit."

    Shuler points blame for the case squarely at Riley and retired Marengo County Circuit Judge Claud Neilson who was specially appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court to hear the case. "The law is clear for some 230 years that there can be no restraint on publication without a final judgment that the reports are false and defamatory," Shuler said. "In this case there's been no discovery, I've not even been allowed to make an answer to the complaint and there's certainly been no jury or bench verdict on the matter. We have a Yale educated lawyer in Rob Riley who's seeking unlawful sanctions in this case and we have a veteran Alabama judge in Neilson who is granting them. That amounts to all kinds of civil and criminal actions on their part including false imprisonment, obstruction of justice, and deprivation of rights under color of law."

    Shuler said Americans should be particularly alarmed that the case amounts to state-sanctioned censorship. That issue was raised in a 1931 case styled Near v. Minnesota that Legal Schnauzer reported on just prior to Shuler's arrest. "The Near case clearly states that prior restraint involves a restriction on publication prior to a final court judgment that the reporting is false and defamatory. That's exactly what has happened here even though Near is the premium case on the subject in the 20th century. It's dumbfounding that I have been held in jail for two solid months over an issue contrary to law that is black-letter in nature and could not be more clear." Shuler added that the best known and recent prior restraint case was called the Dietz case out of Virginia. "In the Dietz case, a woman was unhappy with the work of a contractor in a remodeling job and she expressed her displeasure in an online forum. The contractor sought to have her comments removed from the forums, but a Virginia court found that violated the prior restraint doctrine and said that it could not be done. So even though that case is a 2011 case, it's very clear what the law is and that's exactly what Rob Riley has tried to do is force me to remove reporting without a finding that it's false and defamatory and it's clearly unlawful."

    Shuler said state-sanctioned censorship runs counter to most all the constitutional rights that Americans hold dear. "I hope that Americans during this holiday season will take time to ask do they really want the government censoring reporting in what's supposed to be a free press." Shuler said "That's why I've fought this case so hard because it goes at the basic notion of a free press and it tries to bring censorship into the state of Alabama."

    Here is a link to an ACLU article about the Dietz case: Prior Restraint Doctrine Protects Negative Yelp Review Against Preliminary Injunction

    Here is a link to a previous post on Legal Schnauzer about the Near v. Minnesota case: 
    Judge in Rob Riley's Lawsuit Violates 230 Years of U.S. Law


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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler has made the list of jailed journalists this Christmas. This list is compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists each December. According to the CPJ's article, "CPJ’s list is a snapshot of those incarcerated at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2013. It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year; accounts of those cases can be found at www.cpj.org. Journalists remain on CPJ’s list until the organization determines with reasonable certainty that they have been released or have died in custody."

    In a census that is normally about jailed journalists in oppressive countries such as Turkey, Iran, China and Vietnam, the unlawful detention of Roger Shuler in the United States is truly mindblowing and shows just have far we have sunk as a nation. Shuler has made the list as an American journalist having been imprisoned for speaking out about corruption in America and Alabama at the highest levels. All because he exercised his free speech rights in America against the Riley and Rove Dynasty in Alabama. This is worldwide news because it is very uncommon for an American to make this list. 


    According to a CPJ special report by Elana Beiser, "Turkey, Iran, and China accounted for more than half of all journalists imprisoned around the world in 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. In its annual census, CPJ identified 211 journalists jailed for their work, the second worst year on record after 2012, when 232 journalists were behind bars."


    Ms. Breiser writes about Legal Schnauzer Roger Shuler:
    "The single journalist behind bars in the Americas was in the United States. Roger Shuler, an independent blogger specializing in allegations of corruption and scandal in Republican circles in Alabama, was being held on contempt of court for refusing to comply with an injunction regarding content ruled defamatory. In recent years, journalist jailings in the Americas have become increasingly rare, with one Cuban documented in prison in 2012 and none throughout the region in 2011."
    Roger Shuler made a statement in response to being on the CPJ's 2013 list of jailed journalists around the world. It is as follows:
    "This recent report from the Committee to Protect Journalists is the most damning information yet about Alabama Republican political figure Rob Riley and corrupt Circuit Judge Claud Neilson who have ramrodded this case against me and it’s the reason I’m in jail and basically I’m in prison. This is really a high security prison here in Shelby County, Alabama, so we might as well not even call it a jail. But aside from that, this story outlines journalists who are incarcerated around the world and I’m told that there’s one of them in the United States and that’s me right here in Alabama and that should sicken and I repeat—sicken--everybody in this state and everybody who cares about any of the states in the United States that there’s a journalist in this country in prison for writing an article that’s a totally civil matter. And there’s law going back to 1780 that predates the Lewis and Clark expedition that says that this cannot be done. And the thing that dumbfounds me maybe most of all is that there have been no journalists even though my story has received quite a bit of coverage and I appreciate it and I also appreciate the calls and support from readers, but nobody has called apparently Rob Riley or Judge Neilson and grilled them about their unlawful actions. My understanding is that a reporter from Channel 42 had tried to contact them, but they would not take questions, they only issued statements which is typical because they can’t answer questions. I beg people to pay attention and make sure that these people are grilled. They’re taking public taxpayer dollars to abuse the courts and have me unlawfully in jail for two months. This an absolute disgrace. From what I understand the other journalists are in places like Iran, Syria and Libya and basically third world countries for the most part. And we’re here in Alabama with a journalist sitting in jail for two months and I’m about to miss Christmas with my family so Rob Riley can play little con games with our court system. And I appreciate the opportunity to speak to our readers. Obviously I’m not happy, but I am pleased that this committee has recognized what I’m going through and has brought attention to it."
    Here is the link to Ms. Beiser's article: Second Worst Year on Record for Jailed Journalists

    Per the CPJ website, "Elana Beiser is editorial director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. She previously worked as an editor for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal in New York, London, Brussels, Singapore, and Hong Kong."

    Here is a link to the CPJ list: CPJ 2013 Prison Census. Per the CPJ website, "The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide."







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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. So just what does Shelby County, Alabama, have in common with Turkey, Iran and China? Answer: It shares the dubious distinction of being a location cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists--an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide--in their 2013 Census of Jail Journalists. Here is a link to the CPJ list: CPJ 2013 Prison Census


    Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler was named on the list which is published by the CPJ each December. According to the CPJ's article, "CPJ’s list is a snapshot of those incarcerated at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2013. It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year; accounts of those cases can be found at www.cpj.org. Journalists remain on CPJ’s list until the organization determines with reasonable certainty that they have been released or have died in custody." 

    In a census that is normally about jailed journalists in oppressive countries such as Turkey, Iran and China, the unlawful detention of Roger Shuler in the United States is truly a disgrace and shows just have far we have sunk as a nation. Shuler has made the list as an American journalist having been imprisoned for speaking out about corruption in America and Alabama at the highest levels. This is making worldwide news in a variety of media venues because it is very uncommon for an American to make this list. 

    According to a CPJ special report by Elana Beiser, "Turkey, Iran, and China accounted for more than half of all journalists imprisoned around the world in 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found." Here is the link to Ms. Beiser's article: Second Worst Year on Record for Jailed Journalists.

    Ms. Beiser goes on to write about Roger Shuler:
    "The single journalist behind bars in the Americas was in the United States. Roger Shuler, an independent blogger specializing in allegations of corruption and scandal in Republican circles in Alabama, was being held on contempt of court for refusing to comply with an injunction regarding content ruled defamatory. In recent years, journalist jailings in the Americas have become increasingly rare, with one Cuban documented in prison in 2012 and none throughout the region in 2011."
    Alabama attorney and whistleblower in the Don Siegelman case Jill Simpson wrote an article on Dec. 23 for OpEd News about Roger Shuler making the CPJ list of jailed journalists.

    Ms. Simpson writes: 
    "Roger has been a key documenter of corruption in the United States since he took on the Don Siegelman story in 2007 and he has never let up.  Roger has recently vowed from his jail cell that he will not retract the statements he has made about Rob Riley, son of recent former Governor Bob Riley.  So what we are left with in America is a journalist indefinitely incarcerated by a specially appointed retired judge not duly elected to decide this case who was appointed by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore known famously as the "10 Commandments" judge who was removed from the bench due to his mixture of church and state but re-elected by popular vote."
    Ms. Simpson further writes:
    "What concerns me about Roger Shuler's case is how they are indefinitely holding him.  Clearly, if they want to punish Roger they should give him a sentence but instead it appears that in America these days we can now hold people for any amount of time if they do not do as the court wishes.  So Roger sits in a jail cell in Shelby County Alabama with no knowledge of when he is to get out.  Journalists all over the world are beginning to pick up his story as it appears this is the first time we have seen a journalist in the United States be treated like a Guantanamo Bay alleged terrorist.  It is very Kafka-esque because we have a specially appointed non-elected judge, a secret hearing and sealed records."
    Here is the link to Ms. Simpson's OpEd News article: Let Roger Shuler Go Before Christmas -- The Only Journalist Held Indefinitely in the U.S.





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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. As reported here in recent days, Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler made the list of jailed journalists compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists each December. Per the CPJ's article, "CPJ’s list is a snapshot of those incarcerated at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2013. It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year; accounts of those cases can be found at www.cpj.org. Journalists remain on CPJ’s list until the organization determines with reasonable certainty that they have been released or have died in custody." Here is a link to the CPJ list: CPJ 2013 Prison Census

    In a census that is normally about jailed journalists in oppressive countries such as Turkey, Iran and China, the unlawful detention of American journalist Roger Shuler in the U.S. is truly a disgrace to our country and shows just have far we have sunk as a nation. Imprisoned for speaking out about corruption in America and Alabama at the highest levels, Shuler is making worldwide news in a variety of media venues because it is so uncommon for an American to make this list. Per the CPJ, Shuler is the only journalist unlawfully jailed in the Americas on a list of 211 journalists from around the globe.

    In another important news development, Roger Shuler's first amendment case was cited in an article featured on the AlterNet website Dec. 25. The article was written by Nicole Flatow of ThinkProgress. Here is a link to the AlterNet article: 10 Most Appalling Failures of the American Justice System This Year.

    In her AlterNet article Ms. Flatow writes, "Every year, stories emerge that serve as a reminder that the American system of justice means injustice for too many, with some receiving little or no punishment for egregious offenses, while others receive harsh or faulty punishment for much less. Here are some of the worst injustices of 2013." 

    Flatow goes on to cite Roger Shuler's case as number one on her list:

    "1. An Alabama blogger is still sitting in a jail cell for exercising his First Amendment rights
    Blogger Roger Shuler drew the ire of the powers that be when he continued to write about the alleged extramarital affair of a prominent lawyer rumored to be running for Congress. The lawyer and son of former Alabama governor Bob Riley, Robert Riley, Jr., won a temporary restraining order that prohibited Shuler from writing anything about Riley’s alleged extramarital affair and other related stories. The order itself was almost certainly a violation of First Amendment law. But Alabama officials took the dispute a step further when they pursued him for a traffic stop and arrested him for contempt. In spite of advocacy from the ACLU and others, Shuler has now been in a jail cell for two months for his journalism."
    According to AlterNet website,"Nicole Flatow is the Deputy Editor of ThinkProgress Justice. Previously, she was Associate Director of Communications for the American Constitution Society. Nicole has also worked for several legal and general circulation newspapers, including The Daily Record and The New York Law Journal, and was a legal fellow at Bread for the City, where she represented low-income D.C. residents in housing and public benefits matters. She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, and her B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Law from Binghamton University, where she was editor in chief of her campus newspaper."




    AlterNet

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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. As reported here in recent days, Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler made the list of jailed journalists compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Per the CPJ's article, "CPJ’s list is a snapshot of those incarcerated at 12:01 a.m. on December 1, 2013. It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year; accounts of those cases can be found at www.cpj.org. Journalists remain on CPJ’s list until the organization determines with reasonable certainty that they have been released or have died in custody." Here is a link to the CPJ list: CPJ 2013 Prison Census

    In a census that is normally about jailed journalists in oppressive countries such as Turkey, Iran and China, the unlawful detention of American journalist Roger Shuler in the U.S. is truly a disgrace to our country and shows just have far we have sunk as a nation. Imprisoned for speaking out about corruption in America and Alabama at the highest levels, Shuler is making worldwide news in a variety of media venues because it is so uncommon for an American to make this list. Per the CPJ, Shuler is the only journalist unlawfully jailed in the Americas on a list of 211 journalists from around the globe.


    This disturbing news of a jailed U.S. journalist on the CPJ census received coverage at Al Jazeera America in an article published on their website Dec. 18. The article states:
    "Only one journalist was behind bars in the Americas as a direct result of their work. Roger Shuler, an independent blogger who writes about alleged Republican corruption in Alabama, was being held on contempt of court for refusing to comply with an injunction regarding content ruled defamatory, the CPJ said. In recent years, journalist jailings in the Americas have become increasingly rare, with one Cuban documented in prison in 2012 and none throughout the region in 2011."
    Here is the link to the Al Jazeera America article:  Turkey Again Jails Most Journalists, Annual Index Finds.

    Al Jazeera America



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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. The beating of a journalist in Ukraine recently made international news. Such thuggish tactics are not limited to the republics of the former Soviet Union and other developing countries. They can be found right here in Alabama.

    Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler was the victim of police brutality when he was unlawfully arrested because of a lawsuit filed by Republican political figure Rob Riley. Shuler was returning home from a visit to the North Shelby Library and a brief stop for dinner when a Shelby County police car almost crashed into him in his driveway at roughly 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 23. Deputy Chris Blevins apparently was trying to keep Shuler from entering his own garage and almost hit the Shuler vehicle and their house. Shuler had the garage door open and a free entry into the garage so he drove in and that's when the brutality started.

    Blevins entered the Shuler garage which is underneath their house even though the deputy did not show a search warrant or an arrest warrant of any kind. Blevins then proceeded to brutalize Shuler knocking him to the floor three times and spraying mace in his face and eventually pressed resisting arrest charges against Shuler even though there is no evidence that Shuler initiated contact with Blevins at all.

    "If a regular citizen had done to me what Chris Blevins did, the individual would be facing multiple counts of felony assault," Shuler said. "This is simple police brutality that I experienced and it's one of the most godawful experiences of my life. I've never been beaten like this. It left me with at least 10-12 cuts, abrasions and bruises on my arms, legs, torso and back. And according to Deputy Blevin's own incident report, he did not show a warrant. He claims he told me he had a warrant, but he didn't. That is a lie. He did not tell me that. And he initiated contact with me and I made no effort to turn away from him or to flee in any way. This is a scene right out of Hitler's Nazi Germany, but it happened right in our garage."

    According to Blevins incident report, he knocked Shuler to the ground three times onto a concrete floor, he sprayed mace on him, and all without showing a warrant to Shuler. "Why would an officer of the law not show a warrant if he had one?" Shuler said. "I strongly suspect Chris Blevins didn't even have a warrant. But even if he did, he didn't show it and had no grounds to come in my home. In addition to that, the court had no jurisdiction over me and still doesn't, because we never have been lawfully served because of a bogus traffic stop that Officer Mike DeHart conducted at the North Shelby County Library which we've reported on the blog. So essentially I'm sitting here in jail for over nine weeks now by orders of a court that has no jurisdiction on me and I'm also the victim of police brutality."

    "My case has received extensive national and international coverage. It's been reported by Al Jazeera, by al.com, by AlterNet, by many, many news sites on the internet, but very little has been written about the police brutality component of it--what happened during my arrest. I easily could have a concussion or a skull fracture from what was done to me and to say that I'm bitter and unhappy and enraged that this was allowed to happen in our country and nothing's been done about it would be an understatement. I strongly suggest that American citizens take notice of what has become a growing police state in our country, particularly here in the Deep South. Officers apparently think they don't have to have warrants or they don't have to show warrants. They just come inside your home and this form of police brutality was practiced on me," Shuler said.

    Matt Osborne of Osborne Ink wrote an article for his blog on Oct. 31 featuring extensive photos and video of the crime scene inside the garage where Shuler was assaulted, beaten, maced and unlawfully arrested by Shelby County sheriff deputies. Here is the link to Osborne's blog post: Exclusive Roger Shuler Arrest Scene Photos.




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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. An inmate committed suicide recently in the cell block where Legal Schnauzer author Roger Shuler has been unlawfully incarcerated since Oct. 23 at the Shelby County Jail. Steven Ray Dismuke climbed atop a two-story stack of cell units and jumped backwards off of them, landing on a concrete floor some 27 feet below. Dismuke died on Thursday, Dec. 12, at a Birmingham area hospital. The incident has been reported as an inmate death that is under investigation, but multiple inmates witnessed the event and it clearly was a suicide.

    Dismuke appeared to be in his mid to late forties and lived in Jakin, GA, across the state line from Dothan, AL. He was traveling from his home to the work site in Illinois when he was arrested in Shelby County about 10 days prior to his death.

    Dismuke was bleeding heavily from his ears and from a wound on the back of his head as jail personnel administered lifesaving measures and inmates were ushered into an outside recreation area. A physician in the inmate population was by Dismuke's side within seconds after he landed.

    "It was perhaps the most traumatic event I've ever experienced," Shuler said. "Steve landed just outside my cell unit off the ground floor, about 10 feet from where I was resting on my buck. I will never forget the sound of his skull hitting the concrete. It sounded like a gunshot or if a small bomb had been detonated."

    Shuler said many of the inmates had gotten to know Dismuke and found him to be soft-spoken and likable. "I spoke extensively with Steve about events leading to his arrest," Shuler said."Inmates know that I write a blog about justice issues and Steve sought me out to tell me about what had happened to him. He seemed to be in fairly good spirits, but he also had reason to be upset about how he had been treated by the deputies who arrested him."

    Dismuke reportedly worked for a company that helps restore power after storm outages.

    "Based on what Steve told me, Shelby County deputies took some dubious actions that lead to his arrest," Shuler said. "Also inmates told me that Steve had serious health issues that apparently that did not receive proper attention from jail personnel. My impression is this suicide definitely was avoidable and it's a real tragedy that Steve Dismuke is no longer with us."

    Shuler has been housed in the Shelby County Jail since Oct. 23 based on a lawsuit by Republican political figure Rob Riley who seeks to have posts removed about his extramarital affair with lobbyist Liberty Duke. Law dating some 230 years to the early days of the country say that such prior restraint on publication is unlawful, but Shuler has been held in civil contempt for failing to remove the items even though there's been no discovery in the case and no final judgment that the material is false and defamatory. Shuler has spent his birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas in jail and has been now incarcerated for more than two months.

    Here is the obituary for Steven Ray Dismuke: Steven Ray Dismuke Obituary


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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. A man who committed suicide in the Shelby County Jail recently was in the general inmate population even though he had been diagnosed with a serious mental health disorder.

    Steven Ray Dismuke of Jakin, GA, had told inmates that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, but he had been placed in the general population. Dismuke also said he was not taking his medication since he had been arrested some 10 days earlier by Shelby County deputies. "This event has been reported in the press as a death that is under investigation," said Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler. "But there is nothing mysterious about it. Steve Dismuke jumped to his death some 27 feet off a two-story cell unit and he had told inmates that he was bipolar and schizophrenic and was not on his medication. That's just one of several alarming circumstances surrounding this death." Shuler said Dismuke's death also raises issues about jail design, inmate surveillance and traffic stop procedures by Shelby County deputies. 

    Shuler has been housed in the Shelby County Jail since Oct. 23 based on a lawsuit by Republican political figure Rob Riley who seeks to have posts removed about his extramarital affair with lobbyist Liberty Duke. Law dating some 230 years to the early days of the country say that such prior restraint on publication is unlawful, but Shuler has been held in civil contempt for failing to remove the items even though there's been no discovery in the case and no final judgment that the material is false and defamatory. Shuler has spent his birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas in jail and has been now incarcerated for more than two months.

    Here is the obituary for Steven Ray Dismuke: Steven Ray Dismuke Obituary


    STEVEN RAY DISMUKE, SR.

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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler has been incarcerated for almost three months which is unlawful due to procedural defects.

    Alabama law holds that the opposing party in an injunction hearing must receive notice sufficient to allow for written responses and to take witness testimony. The Shulers were "served" via an unconstitutional traffic stop at the North Shelby County Library on Sept. 29 and an injunction hearing was the next day on Sept. 30. The notice of barely 24 hours violates Alabama law found in the Alabama Supreme Court case styled Southern Homes, AL v. Bermuda Lakes, LLC 57 So. 3d 100 (Ala., 2010).

     "The seeking of a preliminary injunction is a serious matter under Alabama law and the opposing party is entitled to present written material and call witnesses to oppose it," Roger Shuler said. "The Southern Homes, AL case does not specify the amount of time required, but it does require enough to time to give written responses and take witness testimony and that means it probably anticipates two to three weeks of notice maybe more. The fact that we barely got 24 hours notice is a clear violation of Alabama law. And Judge Claude Neilson went ahead with the hearing and has granted an injunction that is unlawful on that ground and other grounds also."

    We reported on this issue in a post dated Oct. 10 and included the following information about the Southern Homes, AL case:

    Southern Homes argues, among other things, that it received insufficient notice under Rule 65(a)(1), Ala. R. Civ. P., of the hearing on Bermuda's motion for a preliminary injunction, in violation of Southern Homes' due-process rights. We agree. . . . 
    In the present case, it is undisputed that Southern Homes had less than two hours' notice of the hearing on Bermuda's motion for a preliminary injunction and that Southern Homes' counsel participated in the hearing only by telephone. Southern Homes was not able to submit written arguments in opposition to the motion or to submit evidence to support its arguments. Also, under the circumstances, Southern Homes could not call any witnesses. . . .
    Southern Homes had to be given notice of a hearing in which it was given a fair opportunity to oppose the motion for the preliminary injunction and to prepare for such opposition. Southern Homes simply was not given such notice. Therefore, under these circumstances, we conclude that Southern Homes did not have a fair opportunity to oppose the motion for a preliminary injunction, and, thus, the circuit court exceeded its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction.

    "I've been incarcerated unlawfully for 11 weeks now and the procedural and legal errors in this case are momentous and numerous," Shuler said. "But one of the most glaring deficiencies was that we were given no opportunity to response to this preliminary injunction. Initially I challenged the unlawful service which was the right thing to do because that is the first order of business in any lawsuit. If service is not done correctly, the court has no jurisdiction and there is no case. My Motion to Quash Service motion should have been granted, but it was denied and I was incarcerated and arrested on Oct. 23 before I ever received the order on that. Had I not been arrested, I would have immediately challenged that order and also challenged the lack of notice which should have kept us from having to face an injunction in this case.

    What this means is that the preliminary injunction where we did not receive notice is unlawful, the permanent injunction therefore is unlawful, the contempt of court is unlawful and my incarceration therefore is not based in any law whatsoever. And it's just a gross violation of due process rights which is found in the fourteenth amendment of the U.S. Constitution."



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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. An Alabama deputy arrested Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler by entering the Shuler home without showing a warrant, documents reveal.

    Shuler has been incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail since Oct. 23 on civil contempt charges stemming from a lawsuit filed by Republican political figure Rob Riley. See links to previous LS blog posts on the lawsuit herehere, herehere and here. Shuler also faces the resisting arrest charge that is due to be heard at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 in Courtroom 8 by District Judge Ron Jackson. Public documents, however, show that Shuler did not resist arrest and, in fact, was a victim of police brutality, being thrown to a concrete floor three times by Deputy Chris Blevins.

    The narrative from Blevins incident report on the arrest begins as follows:

    "I had two arrest warrants for contempt of court on Roger Shuler in my vehicle. I observed  Mr. Shuler travelling towards his home at 5204 Logan Drive. Mr. Shuler pulled into his driveway and I drove in behind him."
    Blevins' narrative never says that the arrest warrants left his vehicle or that he showed them to Roger Shuler. Shuler states that he does not recall Blevins telling him that there was an arrest warrant for him or even saying that Blevins was there to arrest Shuler. But it's undisputed based on Blevins own words in his narrative that he did not show an arrest warrant to Shuler. 

    "How can I resist arrest when I was never shown lawful documentation that shows I was under arrest?" Shuler said. "Deputy Blevins is claiming this was a resisting arrest case, but the narrative actually shows it was a police brutality case. In his own words, he knocked me to a concrete floor three times and maced me in the face for no reason and without lawful grounds to even be inside my home. 

    Deputy Blevins followed me into our driveway, we were both in vehicles and tried to cut me off from getting in the garage, but couldn't do that so I pulled my car into our garage and got out to find Deputy Blevins walking into our garage without showing a warrant. He asked me to step outside and I told him to get out of my house, that he had no lawful grounds to be there. The next thing I know I was being assaulted. This incident had a regular citizen done it would have been a felony assault, but because a deputy does it, he seems to think he can get away with it and charge me with resisting arrest." Shuler noted that the narrative also shows that he was the victim of an unconstitutional traffic stop. In Blevins' own words, Shuler was travelling in a vehicle and Blevins also was in a vehicle so this was a traffic stop and there were no indication in the narrative that Shuler committed any traffic violation that gave Blevins grounds to stop him.

    "This is a classic sign of a police state that we have now here in Alabama and probably in other states too. There were no grounds to even stop me in my vehicle and certainly no grounds to come in my home and beat me up," Shuler said. "The coverage on this case has focused largely on the first amendment issues, but this is a fourth amendment issue, an unlawful seizure in my house that also goes to police brutality and should be deeply alarming to citizens not only in Alabama, but around the country. We'll be reporting more on this issue and particularly as we get up to my court date on Jan. 14."



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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. An Alabama deputy arrested Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler by entering the Shulers' home before even stating that he had an arrest warrant.

    Shuler has been incarcerated since Oct. 23 on civil contempt charges stemming from a lawsuit filed by Republican political figure Rob Riley. Shuler also faces a resisting arrest charge which is due to be heard at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 in Courtroom A before District Judge Ron Jackson at the Shelby County Courthouse. Public documents, however, show that it is case of excessive force and police brutality with no evidence of resisting arrest.

    Deputy Chris Blevins wrote a narrative in the incident report about the arrest and his own words raised multiple questions about the lawfulness of his actions. After describing how he observed Shuler traveling towards his home and then pulling into the driveway behind Shuler, Blevins writes the following:

    "I used my vehicle's air horn to get Mr. Shuler's attention and he stopped his vehicle in front of his garage. Mr. Shuler saw me getting out of my clearly marked patrol vehicle before he opened the door and drove inside. I walked to the rear of his vehicle and tapped his trunk with my hand. Mr. Shuler got out of his vehicle and began yelling for me to get out of his house."
    Based on Blevins' own words, he was inside the Shuler's house when he walked to the rear of their vehicle which was parked inside their garage. And at that point, Blevins had not even told Shuler that he had an arrest warrant. It's already established, as we reported in a post on Jan. 9, that Blevins never did show Shuler arrest warrants that the deputy alleges was in his vehicle.

    "Deputy Blevins' own narrative shows him being in our house without even stating that he had an arrest warrant," Shuler said."I do not recall him telling me he had an arrest warrant at all and he clearly never showed me one. So even by Blevins own words, he had no business being in our property and I had every right to tell him to leave my house. Mr. Blevins acted surprised that he was told to leave my house, but he never gave me any lawful indication that he had business and grounds to be there."

    "We also know from Chris Blevins' own words that he knocked me down to a concrete floor three times and maced me with no grounds for even being in my home. And all of this about his failure to either show or state about an arrest warrant makes me wonder if he even had arrest warrants and if he did, if they were properly documented and executed. I believe there are serious questions about this arrest from the get go. And once again, there are clear signs of excessive force and police brutality. I easily could have suffered a concussion or fractured skull or broken arm or any number of injuries in this case and because of an unlawful arrest, I've been incarcerated for almost three months."

    Following is a transcription of Deputy Blevins' narrative from the incident report. After that is a video about information in the incident report.







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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Multiple legal experts said Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler is the victim of unconstitutional actions by an Alabama judge in an article published yesterday in The New York Times.

    The article, reporter Campbell Robertson, appeared on page A14 of the Sunday, Jan. 12 issue of the nation's most prestigious newspaper. The article came after an almost three hour interview with Carol Shuler and an hour's worth of four separate interviews with Roger Shuler via telephone from the Shelby County Jail, where he has been incarcerated since Oct. 23 due to a lawsuit filed by Republican political figure Rob Riley.

    Shuler said the article is a major victory for his contention that there are no grounds for an order of civil contempt against him and resulting incarceration. Shuler noted that the article contains a number of glaring inaccuracies, but overall he said that he is pleased with the attention The New York Times has shined on the issue of terroristic threats against journalists and bloggers and those who support free speech. Following is one excerpt from the article that includes an expert's assertion that the actions of Alabama Circuit Judge Claud Neilson are unconstitutional:

    "...Mr. Shuler, 57, was arrested in late October on a contempt charge in connection with a defamation lawsuit filed by the son of a former governor. The circumstances surrounding that arrest, including a judge's order that many legal experts described as unconstitutional..."
    Robertson notes that Shuler is the only incarcerated journalist in the Western Hemisphere and points out that other countries that have imprisoned journalists in 2013 include China, Iran and Egypt. Alabama lawyer David Gespass voiced serious concerns about what has happened to Shuler in the Shuler case, "It seems to me that the judge's order was really way out of bounds." What about inaccuracies in the story and other issues it raises? We will address those in a series of upcoming posts.

    "This is a profoundly important issue and while I'm disturbed about some of the inaccurate reporting in it, I applaud Campbell Robertson and The New York Times for their effort to shine light on an issue that the public needs to know about. This an important part of the process to educate readers worldwide about exactly what is going on in Alabama courts. And we will be taking a much closer look at issues that are raised in the days ahead," Shuler said.

    The full article can be read at this link:  Blogger's Incarceration Raises First Amendment Questions.

    The New York Times - New York, NY

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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler was convicted yesterday of resisting arrest in a trial where the prosecution failed to produce any evidence of an arrest warrant.

    District Judge Ron Jackson made the guilty finding in a misdemeanor bench trial and issued a 90-day suspended sentence.

    During the discovery phase of the trial, Shuler requested copies of any arrest warrants in the case and related documents. The prosecution produced three documents none of which appeared to be an arrest warrant. When Shuler pressed Jackson on the issue, the judge admitted that the prosecution had produced no warrants.

    "Evidence in the trial shows I was arrested without a warrant," Shuler said. "It's either that or the prosecution withheld evidence. Either way it points to grave misconduct by either deputies, prosecutors, or both. It also points to the fact that my arrest and incarceration have been unlawful, grossly so, from the very get go.

    How can Judge Jackson find that I was guilty of resisting arrest when there was no evidence of an arrest warrant at all? Well that's just another chapter in the story of grotesque corruption in Shelby County courts. Yesterday's trial produced much more shocking evidence and we'll be discussing those in upcoming posts."


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    This is Carol, Roger's wife. An Alabama deputy shoved Legal Schnauzer publisher Roger Shuler to a concrete floor three times and maced him before ever stating that he was inside the Shuler's home to make an arrest.

    That was one of several stunning revelations during Shuler's resisting arrest trial in Shelby County Tuesday. Much of the evidence was produced by a stream from a video that was generated by a camera in the vehicle of Deputy Chris Blevins.

    "In the audio, you can hear Deputy Blevins assaulting me three times and spraying me with mace before he ever said that he was on the premises to conduct an arrest," Shuler said. "The evidence showed that I was defending myself with the only physical act that I did according to Blevins' own words was raising my arms in a defensive posture, and I was defending myself against a grotesque example of police brutality and excessive force. Evidence showed that Blevins likely had no warrant given that the prosecution could produce no warrant at the trial. The notion that a journalist or any other citizen could be arrested and beaten up in their own home without a warrant should be a cause of great concern for all citizens."

    Assistant District Attorney Tonya Willingham prosecuted the case and when forced to turn over copies of any warrants she said she did not have one. How can a resisting arrest case be prosecuted when there are no warrants in evidence? That's one of many disturbing questions raised by Tuesday's trial.

    Following are some other revelations from the case:

    • Blevins admitted that this was a traffic stop and that Shuler had committed no traffic violations that warranted him being stopped;
    • Blevins admitted that he made physical contact with Shuler before ever stating that he was on the premises to make an arrest;
    • Blevins never instructed Shuler to get in any sort of arrest position and never told Shuler to put his hands behind his back until after the three assaults and macing;
    • Blevins admitted that he has had citizen complaints about use of excessive force and police brutality;
    • Deputy Jason Valenti, who assisted in the arrest, can be heard on the video threatening to break Shuler's arms;
    • The incident in the report has a box that says "Warrant Signed?" and Blevins has inserted the word "No" as an answer.

    111

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