Archive for Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Colorado man sues Topeka-area couple he kidnapped

November 29, 2011, 10:10 a.m. Updated November 29, 2011, 4:08 p.m.


— Can there be no trust between a kidnapper and his hostages?

A man who held a Kansas couple hostage in their home while fleeing from authorities is suing them, claiming that they broke an oral contract made when he promised them money in exchange for hiding him from police. The couple has asked a judge to dismiss the suit.

Jesse Dimmick of suburban Denver is serving an 11-year sentence after bursting into Jared and Lindsay Rowley's Topeka-area home in September 2009. He was wanted for questioning in the beating death of a Colorado man and a chase had begun in in Geary County.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Dimmick filed a breach of contract suit in Shawnee County District Court, in response to a suit the Rowleys filed in September seeking $75,000 from him for intruding in their home and causing emotional stress.

Dimmick contends that he told the couple he was being chased by someone, most likely the police, who wanted to kill him.

"I, the defendant, asked the Rowleys to hide me because I feared for my life. I offered the Rowleys an unspecified amount of money which they agreed upon, therefore forging a legally binding oral contract," Dimmick said in his hand-written court documents. He wants $235,000, in part to pay for the hospital bills that resulted from him being shot by police when they arrested him.

Neighbors have said that the couple fed Dimmick snacks and watched movies with him until he fell asleep and they were able to escape their home unharmed.

Dimmick was convicted in May 2010 of four felonies, including two counts of kidnapping. He was sentenced to 10 years and 11 months on those charges. He was later sent to a jail in Brighton, Colo., where he is being held on eight charges, including murder, in connection of with the killing of Michael Curtis in September 2009. A preliminary hearing originally scheduled for Dec. 6 has been rescheduled for April 12. No plea has been entered in the case.

Robert E. Keeshan, an attorney for the Rowleys, filed a motion denying that there was a contract, but said if there was it would not have been binding anyway.

"In order for parties to form a binding contract, there must be a meeting of the minds on all essential terms, including and most specifically, an agreement on the price," he wrote.

Keeshan said the contract also would have been invalid because the couple agreed to let Dimmick in the home only because they knew he had a knife and suspected he might have a gun.


jesse499 6 years, 5 months ago

All I can say is this is the USA legal system remember the coffee lady.

KansasPerson 6 years, 5 months ago

If you are referring to the McDonalds hot coffee lawsuit, I think you'd better refresh (or introduce) your memory to the actual facts of that case.

An eight-day hospitalization? Third-degree burns over 6% of her body? Grafting and debridement? Do you even know how painful burn-wound debridement is?

McDonalds intends people to eat and drink their products "on the go" or they would not have a drive-through. Serving a beverage in a "ready-to-drink" container which is actually unfit to drink is wrong. Additionally, the company knew this before this lawsuit even came up, but they had refused to do anything about it.

parrothead8 6 years, 5 months ago

How do "the entire contents of the cup" spill into your lap just from removing the lid? I've removed lots of lids from lots of cups (including styrofoam), and I've never spilled the entire contents of my cup while doing so.

Look, I get that the coffee was probably too hot to drink, but nobody with any common sense puts hot coffee near their crotch.

ebyrdstarr 6 years, 5 months ago

So she's klutzier than you are. But did you know that at the time, McDonald's coffee was intentionally, knowingly kept at a temperature that would cause 2nd and 3rd degree burns in 2-3 seconds? Most people would not think they could get such severe burns from spilling hot coffee on themselves. Lowering the coffee by 20 degrees would still keep the coffee at a temperature where it would have to be sipped until it cooled off and greatly increase the contact time that would have to occur before severe burns could be caused. Thus giving the klutzes time to clean up their spills before suffering burns requiring years of treatment.

And the point is that McDonald's had very carefully done a cost-benefit analysis and decided it was cheaper to keep the coffee at this dangerous temperature (because they didn't have to throw out as much) and pay out the few people who would inevitably suffer serious injury. The verdict was the jury's way of telling McD's that their customers did not agree with that calculated corporate choice.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree.

But, why did keeping the coffee at hotter temperatures reduce the amount of it they'd have to throw out?

JayhawkFan1985 6 years, 5 months ago

Aren't contracts entered into for illegal purposes (hiding a fugitive) by definition unenforceable in court? This clown must be representing himself. If not, his attorney should be sanctioned. If he's representing himself, the couple should countersue for legal fees...

Evan Ridenour 6 years, 5 months ago

Yep, it would be a void contract. You can file a suit for whatever you want, I am sure this one will be dismissed rather quickly.

Matthew Del Vecchio 6 years, 5 months ago

This is just brilliant. Hilarious, thank you ljworld :)

bd 6 years, 5 months ago



Beth Bird 6 years, 5 months ago

And you wonder why we have budget/monetary issues in Kansas when we put up with crap like this......

hyperinflate 6 years, 5 months ago

You mean when we allow the courts to work as intended?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

Do you think this is an example of how the courts are supposed to work? And at substantial cost to all of us. I disagree with you if you believe this is the way the courts were intended to work. And from the looks of the comments here, your position is that of a small minority.

hyperinflate 6 years, 5 months ago

I believe this is the way that the courts were intended to work. That it, it is an avenue for redress of grievances, as is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States. The judge to whom this case is eventually assigned will consider the merits of the case and will discard it if he/she sees that it is baseless.

I can't imagine any other way that a legitimate court would work. Exactly who would you imagine should be able to determine who can or cannot sue? The Governor? The Legislature?

MarcoPogo 6 years, 5 months ago

Monty Hall should get to pick the lawsuits out of the audience.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

There are some lawsuits that are clearly frivolous. Judges can, if they choose, dismiss them. Sometimes, they are allowed to go forward. A different way of proceeding would be something similar to the way the British courts operate (or at least it's my understanding). The losing side in lawsuits pays for the expenses of the winning side. That would give pause to people who file all these lawsuits with no consequences should they fail on it's merits or if they are frivolous and get tossed.

bad_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes this is frivolous. Yes, judges can dismiss such suits and award sanctions where appropriate. This lawsuit should & will be quickly dismissed at a very insignificant cost to the system. It is merely an attempt at retaliation for the suit filed by the Rowley's.

Dimwit alleges he has hospital expenses of ~ $160,000 + the $75,000 sought by the Rowley's = the $235,000 he seeks as damages. While Dimwit either doesn't realize or care his alleged contract is inherently unenforceable, he can at least successfully add 160,000 and 75,000. For the same reason Dimwit likely couldn't satsify the Rowley's lawsuit should they prevail, he also couldn't satisfy sanctions ordered by the Judge or any expenses under the British system, i.e. he is the ultimate judgment proof debtor. So, British rule or not, it is highly unlikely anyone will ever see any money from Dimwit.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

He may not be totally judgement proof. If he works at the prison, say earning 35 cents a day, money that he can spend on various prison approved materials, those "wages" could be garnished. It's certainly not a lot of money, but future prison residents could decide whether or not they want to spend their earnings on frivolous lawsuits or would they rather buy a magazine and a candy bar (or whatever is allowed).

jaywalker 6 years, 5 months ago

Minister of Common Sense quashes this before it even makes the news. Let's appoint one now!

jonas_opines 6 years, 5 months ago

"quashes this before it even makes the news."

But then where would the lolz come from?

jaywalker 6 years, 5 months ago

True. I reckon something this ridiculous is good to be shared, if only for the gaping and the lolz!

hyperinflate 6 years, 5 months ago

There is a bit of slack in ANY system. You can try to drive this slack out of a system with the noble goal of saving money but likely it will cost more than it will save and will often have way-bad unintended consequences. Jhawkinsf talks about the British method of having the loser pay the winner's court costs. That sounds rather imperial to me. So if Charles Koch's son happens to run over your child with his SUV and you want to sue him for wrongful death, but your attorney is outspent 100 to 1 by the opposition and then happens to lose the case....should you be expected to pay? Is that any way to ensure equal protection under the law?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

In your hypothetical, justice wasn't served, was it. A very rich person got away with a wrongful death. Of course, if a very rich person spent a huge sum of money, trying to buy justice, then the poor person could hire an army of lawyers of their own. They would represent the person if they believed the case had merit, because no matter how much the rich person spent, the lawyers for the poor person could invest the same amount, knowing they would get paid if the case had merit and won. Rather being an imperial system, it levels the playing field. Each side can spend the same, knowing that the winning side would get paid.

hyperinflate 6 years, 5 months ago

If the only purpose that your proposal serves is to somehow prevent people from filing lawsuits that are properly handled and dismissed if necessary by a competent trial judge solely to save the rather marginal costs of filing court papers and having a judge consider them -- then you are clearly cut from the same cloth as Kris Kobach. Let's just move on down the road. There are MUCH more important reforms to consider.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

It's certainly not fair to compare me to Kris Kobach and then say let's move on. May I say your ideas sound as if they come from a developmentally disabled person and then say, "let's move on"? Good Bye.

jafs 6 years, 5 months ago

What you say doesn't really add up, somehow.

It's already true that those who think they have a good chance of winning can invest in a case, but the fact is that those who outspend their opponents often wear them down, and eventually make it impossible for those with less money to continue.

And, it's not the lawyers who invest the money, in most cases, it's the plaintiffs, who may not have the money to invest.

How much money do you think lawyers would invest in a case that they weren't sure would win, if they worked on a contingency basis? I'd say very few to none. And, that doesn't mean those cases don't have merit.

It just means that few people are willing to gamble in that fashion, especially if faced with paying for the other side's legal expenses if they lose.

Your idea might eliminate some frivolous lawsuits, but it would also result in a rather large reduction in non-frivolous ones, and work to the benefit of those with money, as hi pointed out.

jayhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

You'll note that my comment above specifically said it would give people "pause". Let them think, reflect. Is this a case that can be won on it's merits? If it is, then lawyers can pursue the case knowing that their expenses will be paid for by the losing side. If it's a loser of a case, then the lawyers will know that as well and will not go to court. Most litigation of this sort is done on a contingency basis, so it's the person most familiar with the workings of the court system, the lawyers, who will decide if it's worth going forward. The other side, with their lawyers apparently also being familiar with the workings of the courts, would have just the opposite incentive to wear the other side down. Wearing them down is just another word for accumulating billable hours. In the end, the courts will decide a winner and loser. But for the many cases where it is not black and white, it's most probable that an out of court settlement would be reached, saving time and expense. Lastly, your admission that this would eliminate some frivolous lawsuits, exactly my original point.

somedude20 6 years, 5 months ago

I am going to sue my right arm for alienation of affection

tunahelper 6 years, 5 months ago

I betcha Sam Brokeback would hire this idiot.!

Apolitical 6 years, 5 months ago

I think the term Brownback should be entered into the urban dictionary as someone who can't wipe their own rear end, much less run a government properly.

pace 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't think a goofy suit will embarrass or shame the man, he has murder, kidnapping and mayhem under his belt. A very nasty guy just being nasty. My guess this suit will be thrown out. I would hope that no one thinks a second about being sued when they are negotiating for their life. what it takes, to keep my kidnapper from knifing me or my spouse in the gut. I prefer the idea of being able to shoot the guy and not converse too much. It shows that a lot of bad ones truly blame the victim.

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