Archive for Friday, August 1, 2008

Judge sets aside default judgment in Collins civil case

KU basketball player Sherron Collins got a second chance Friday to respond to a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted in a campus elevator.

August 1, 2008


Kansas University basketball player Sherron Collins will get a second opportunity to defend himself in a civil suit filed against him in May.

A judge Friday afternoon set aside a default judgment he had previously issued.

The issue is whether it's excusable for Collins not to have answered the suit originally. He received the summons and the petition, but he assumed his attorney at the time also had received the documents and was handling the situation. Christopher Burger, Collins' present attorney, said Collins did have an attorney at the time but he has declined to name him.

Judge Jack Murphy questioned him about the previous attorney - and Burger assured the judge of that attorney's existence.

"The affidavit that Mr. Collins presented is minimal at best," Murphy said, but the judge gave Collins the benefit of the doubt and found the neglect excusable. Murphy said everyone deserves a day in court and both sides should present their cases.

"Nothing here was ignored by Mr. Collins. There were certainly better things that could have been done," Burger said. "There was not a conscious decision to do nothing" because he thought he had a lawyer.

An attorney for Jessica Brown, the plaintiff in the civil suit, said he was not surprised with the judge's ruling, despite arguing in the hearing that Collins "has not shown that he had any good reason for just blowing off the petition."

"It was a close call," said Brown's attorney, Jim Wisler. "We're prepared to go to trial, and that's what we're getting ready for now."

Collins' attorney said he intended to file his response on Monday; he has 20 days to do so. Collins did not attend the hearing. Brown, however, did.

Brown accused Collins of exposing himself and rubbing against her despite being repeatedly told to stop on May 18, 2007, in an elevator at Jayhawker Towers, where she worked.


Dani Davey 9 years, 8 months ago

srj, it would be not at all unusual for Mr. Wisler to have taken this case on a contingency basis. So Mrs. Brown wouldn't have to pay anything unless he gets her a judgment.

Bobo Fleming 9 years, 8 months ago

Maybe she will wait until the NCAA finals when Collins is out of town ( I hope ) to take her judgement.

Stephen Roberts 9 years, 8 months ago

Is it the same judge who issued the judgement in the first place? I do agree if I did this, my judgement wouldn't be set aside.

Steve Jacob 9 years, 8 months ago

I wonder how much extra Mrs. Brown had to pay her lawyer because of this?

nomorebobsplease 9 years, 8 months ago

"Judge Jack Murphy said "the affidavit that Mr. Collins presented is minimal at best," but gave Collins the benefit of the doubt and found the neglect excusable. "Sorry, but if he'd been some Joe Blow off the street, I bet the Judge would have let the original ruling stand. What a lame excuse "I thought my lawyer was handling". Sorry bub, but a 2 minute phone call would have cleared that right up. Oh, I forgot, you were too busy.......

Will Babbit 9 years, 8 months ago

@commuter - Yes, Judge Murphy heard it originally.And I would bet if you checked the records 9 out of 10 people would get the ruling set aside if they had an even semi-valid excuse. I have an extremely hard time believing Judge Murphy would give Collins special treatment, as I think anyone that met him (or has appeared in front of him) would agree with.

james bush 9 years, 8 months ago

Basketball heroes need sympathy off the court if they're to to be honored as they deserve at an institution of higher yearnings like KU! Afterall, the NBA needs them just as much as the country needs engineers and scientists..........not to mention the needs of the National Organization Of Women's need for the women of KU's Women's Studies program.At least basketball pays big salaries in college and the NBA!What we need is international competition .........KU vs Cambridge or Oxford........I guess Harvard or Yale are more appropriate anyway, because we all know the NBA needs KU.As I've said before: Ranting is a form of modern-primal relief!

TopJayhawk 9 years, 8 months ago

I think before we continue to rant, and indict people and institutions, maybe we should give both sides their day in court. All I am seeing here "Jimincountry" is a rant that just exposes your biases, and grudges. Everybody knows that sports and the universities' other programs are not realated fiscally. In fact good showings by athletic teams have proven over and over again to boost enrollement. Last yr's team in fact did produce an engineer, (in computers) But if you had any clue about the situation, you would know that.

Baille 9 years, 8 months ago

"Sorry, but if he'd been some Joe Blow off the street, I bet the Judge would have let the original ruling stand."That is just not true. It is a statement that does not reflect the reality of civil practice and reveals the poster's ignorance of judicial system.Opinions and...

Commenting has been disabled for this item.