You always hear urban legends (and some of them turn out to be real cases) about burglars who sue — and win against — homeowners for injuries sustained during the robbery. These are the kinds of cases that make you wonder how the justice system even functions, because you can literally sue for just about anything these days.
Oh, you fell through a skylight while you were attempting to burglarize a home and cut your arm? File a lawsuit! You tried to steal a television set from your neighbor and got bitten by his dog in the process? Time to litigate! So, what happens when you’re on the run and you decide to break into a couple’s home and hold them hostage?
Our latest pro se
criminal litigant decided to up the ante. He’s suing his former kidnapping victims for breach of contract….
Back in 2009, Jesse Dimmick was fleeing from the police in a stolen car on murder charges he faced in Colorado. He made it as far as Kansas (which is impressive!), but it was at that point, he decided it would be a good idea to find a place to hide. That place turned out to be the home of Jared and Lindsay Rowley, a newlywed couple.
Dimmick reportedly entered the Rowleys’ home brandishing a knife. The Rowleys were frightened, but were apparently able to gain Dimmick’s trust by offering him Cheetos and Dr. Pepper and watching a movie with him. You can’t complain about a cheap date.
The couple escaped after Dimmick fell asleep, and of course, they decided to sue him. They’re seeking more than $75,000 in their suit for trespass, negligent infliction of emotion distress, among other things. But here’s the kicker… Dimmick is countersuing.
What for? After the Rowleys contacted the police, an officer’s gun was accidentally discharged, and Dimmick was shot in the back. Dimmick blames the Rowleys. The Topeka Capital-Journal has more:
Dimmick filed a response Oct. 21 seeking to have the Rowleys’ claim dismissed and stating a counterclaim for breach of contract seeking $160,000 to cover hospital bills and $75,000 for pain and suffering.
Dimmick’s response said he was representing himself “without the aid of proffessional (sic) legal counsel.”
He wrote that after he entered the Rowleys’ home, “I told them that I was being pursuid (sic) by a person, or persons, who appeared to be police officers, who were trying to kill me.”
He added: “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.”
Maybe if Dimmick had consulted with a lawyer, or hell, even a law student, he would have known that you can’t contract for something that’s illegal, like, I dunno, harboring a fugitive?
And that’s really beside the point, because if a man came into your home and allegedly threatened you with a knife, wouldn’t you go along just about anything he said to escape with your life? Hello, that’s called duress.
Let’s put this in terms that Dimmick can understand: “pursuiding” this claim makes you a “proffessional” loser.
Dimmick sues couple he kidnapped [Topeka Capital-Journal]
Kan. Man Sues Couple He Took Hostage [KMBC]
Convicted Kidnapper Sues His Victims for Breach of Contract [ABA Journal]