ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Criminal Suspect Sues Couple Alleging Breach of Contract to Hide Him from Police

Punch CardAccording to this story, brought to us from via the Charlotte School of Law's Jason Jones, Jason Dimmick held a Kansas couple hostage while fleeing from the police who sought to question him in connection with the beating death of a Colorado man.  The couple, Jared and Lindsay Rowley, fed Mr. Dimmick snacks and watched movies with him until he fell asleep.  Then they fled.  He was convicted of holding the couple hostage and sentenced to an eleven-year prison sentence.

And then the couple really pissed off Mr. Dimmick.  They sued him for invading their home and causing emotional distress.  They seek $75,000 in damages.  He has counterclaimed.  According to KMBC, this is his theory:

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. . . .

Mr. Dimmick seeks $235,000 in damages, largely arising from the fact that he was hospitalized after the police shot him while trying to arrest him.  

The Rowleys' attorney is seeking to have the counterclaim thrown out.  Given the facts, which of the following arguments would you lead with if you were the Rowleys' attorney:

A. The alleged oral contract is illegal and therefore void
B. Because the Rowleys knew that Mr. Dimmick was armed, the Rowleys were under duress and any alleged oral contract would be void
C. Contracts to aid and abet a criminal suspect who is seeking to avoid the police must be in writing in order to be enforceable 
D. Because the parties never agreed on a price term, there was no meeting of minds and any alleged oral agreement would be unenforceable
E. Under the parol evidence rule, any evidence of the alleged oral agreement cannot be presented to the trial court until Mr. Dimmick is paroled.

You'll have to read the whole story to find the answer.


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You gotta love "E"

Posted by: Bill Reynolds | Nov 30, 2011 11:51:10 AM

You really gotta love "all of the above" - thanks for posting this!

Posted by: Nancy | Dec 2, 2011 9:45:57 AM

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