Contracts with Hostage-Takers Probably Not Enforceable

All-around stand-up guy, Jesse Dimmick

Two years ago, fugitive murder suspect Jesse Dimmick kidnapped newlyweds Jared and Lindsay Rowley after bursting into their home on a Saturday morning.

Now, he’s suing them for $235,000.

Dimmick contends in the breach of contract suit that after he entered the couple’s home in September 2009, they reached a legally binding, oral contract that they would hide him for an unspecified amount of money.

“Later, the Rowleys reneged on said oral contract, resulting in my being shot in the back by authorities,” Dimmick wrote in a notarized legal document, which said he was filing the counterclaim in response to a suit the Rowleys filed against him in September.

Ironclad reasoning, right? Not exactly, wrote the Rowleys’ attorney in their motion to dimiss. Kevin Underhill summarizes:

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.

Read the pleadings here.

Via Lowering The Bar.

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