Kidnapper sues victims who escaped for breach of contract

Jesse Dimmick is suing Jared and Lindsay Rowley, whom he was convicted of kidnapping, for breach of contract. Dimmick argues that because the two won his trust when he invaded their house at knifepoint (while fleeing a murder charge which led to him driving over a police spike-strip in front of their house), and then left once he fell asleep, they violated their contract to remain his hostages. The couple lulled Dimmick with a clever strategy of watching Robin Williams's Patch Adams with him while eating Cheetos and drinking Dr Pepper.

You see, Dimmick alleges that, after breaking into the Rowleys' home with a knife and gun, they all then sat down and hashed out a deal under which they would hide him from police (the police who were right outside) for an unspecified amount of money. "Later," he complained, "the Rowleys reneged on said oral contract, resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities." Ergo, breach of contract.

Um, no, wrote the Rowleys' attorney in a motion to dismiss earlier this month. He had multiple arguments, all very good ones, as to why a contract claim would not fly here. First, there was no agreement. Second, if there was an agreement, there was no meeting of the minds on the amount of money (Dimmick admitted the "offer" was for "an unspecified amount"), and so no binding contract. Third, agreements made at knifepoint are, you may be surprised to learn, not enforceable as they are made "under duress." Finally, a contract to do something illegal (e.g. hide a fugitive) is also not enforceable.

Man Sues Couple He Kidnapped


    1. My guess would be the judge got a chuckle out of it and wanted to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to hopefully get some more chuckles later.

  1. How did he find a lawyer who would agree to something so obviously destined to fail? Did he hold the lawyer at knifepoint too?

    1. The article says that he’s representing himself, which calls to mind the old lawyer’s line about “a man who represents himself has a fool for a client”.

    2. “Mr. Dimmick is representing himself.” I was 99.9999% sure that would be true, but I was gratified to see that was the last sentence.

    3. Never heard of novelty lawyers? It’s a shrewd practise of “law” in which any case, no matter how stupid is represented. Of course those cases can’t be held, or won. But the publicity for the lawyer is real.

  2. It is about to get immediately dismissed, as “the Rowley’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss earlier this month.”  And Dimmick did not find a lawyer to file this case, he is representing himself (per the article).

    Dimmick has probably been incarcerated since his arrest and certainly since his conviction and sentencing.  Some prisoners work out, some read books, some find religion, and some sue anybody and everybody they can think of.  Whatever gets you through the night.

  3. Convicted criminals who bring these sorts of frivolous cases out of stupidity or simply so they can continue to torment their victims should automatically have the length of their original sentence doubled.

      1. Scientology kidnaps people and holds them against their will?  Why, that sounds like something a cult would do!  And since they have tax-free status as a church they can’t be a cult. 

        Oh well.  Must just be some reporter making up a story for their deadline.  [/sarcasm]

  4. As has already been repeatedly noted, the article contains the following key sentence:

    Mr. Dimmick is representing himself.

    He’s got nothing better to do with his time than think up legal cases to bring – and in this case, he was already involved in a legal tussle with his victims, because they were suing him for damages. It’s funny, and it’ll get tossed in a hot minute, but it’s probably a better use of his time than watching Patch Adams.

  5. Would it be possible for someone here to rewrite this story as a string of facebook updates and tweets? I believe it is the only way to truly grasp the moment by moment drama.

  6. Further proof that you can sue absolutely anyone over absolutely anything. (Even if it gets laughed out of court in the first five minutes)

  7. My verdict:
    Dismissed with prejudice, plaintiff is fined $60,000.00 plus court costs plus defendant’s legal costs, Plaintiff is hereby ordered to perform 2000 hours of community service.

  8. I like the way the article shows the cover of ‘Patch Adams’, as though endorsing it for emergency use in  home invasion hostage situations.

    It could be kept in a glass case beside the DVD player.

    “Heeey there, crazy knife wielding murderer guy who just broke into our house, lets all take it easy now. Why don’t we just chill and watch this movie I have here  (*sound of glass breaking*) Oh wow, ‘Patch Adams’! Honey, grab some Cheetos… (*sound of glass breaking from kitchen*).”

  9. I don’t know. Suing someone you have horribly wronged for an absurd reason? Sounds to me like this gentleman would have an excellent career arguing foreclosure law on the behalf of US Bank.

  10. Can they afford to litigate though? Maybe they should just settle. He’s only demanding a Patch Adams Blu-Ray and a big gulp of DP…

  11. The kidnap victims should be requesting attorney fees and sanctions because this is a frivolous claim.  A plaintiff acting pro se has to follow the Rules of Professional conduct and a lawyer cannot file a frivolous law suit.

    1. Any legal expertise I have comes from watching Judge Judy but as far as I can tell from the article the kidnapper is the defendant and the two victims are the plaintiffs. He is counter suing with a claim which will presumably cause nothing other than amusement.

    2. Hope they filed for damages in addition to the criminal trial. It would be funny. If I were a lawyer I’d honestly have represented the couple for free, just for the chance to write that utterly hilarious motion for dismissal. 

  12. Wow, their attorney was probably just bored and laughing his head off.  Either #3 or #4 is quite enough to toss this psycho’s motion.

    I just have to wonder what sort of damages he was seeking? 

  13. Judges tend to give pro se plaintiffs a little extra leeway. It doesn’t sound like the case has gotten to a preliminary hearing, though. It probably won’t last past that.

  14. What really sucks is that the couple will have to pay an attorney to deal with it, even though it is completely ridiculous.   When it’s dismissed, will they be reimbursed for fees?

  15. “The couple lulled Dimmick with a clever strategy of watching Robin Williams’s Patch Adams with him while eating Cheetos and drinking Dr Pepper.”

    A shared trauma can bring people together. 

  16. I think this guy is actually being paid by the editors of a new Yiddish dictionary who are trying to improve the definition of “chutzpah”.

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