Friday, August 1, 2008

Judge sets aside default judgment in Collins civil case

KU basketball player Sherron Collins got a second chance Friday to respond to a lawsuit filed by a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted in a campus elevator.


Kansas University basketball player Sherron Collins will get a second opportunity to defend himself in a civil suit filed against him in May.

A judge Friday afternoon set aside a default judgment he had previously issued.

The issue is whether it's excusable for Collins not to have answered the suit originally. He received the summons and the petition, but he assumed his attorney at the time also had received the documents and was handling the situation. Christopher Burger, Collins' present attorney, said Collins did have an attorney at the time but he has declined to name him.

Judge Jack Murphy questioned him about the previous attorney - and Burger assured the judge of that attorney's existence.

"The affidavit that Mr. Collins presented is minimal at best," Murphy said, but the judge gave Collins the benefit of the doubt and found the neglect excusable. Murphy said everyone deserves a day in court and both sides should present their cases.

"Nothing here was ignored by Mr. Collins. There were certainly better things that could have been done," Burger said. "There was not a conscious decision to do nothing" because he thought he had a lawyer.

An attorney for Jessica Brown, the plaintiff in the civil suit, said he was not surprised with the judge's ruling, despite arguing in the hearing that Collins "has not shown that he had any good reason for just blowing off the petition."

"It was a close call," said Brown's attorney, Jim Wisler. "We're prepared to go to trial, and that's what we're getting ready for now."

Collins' attorney said he intended to file his response on Monday; he has 20 days to do so. Collins did not attend the hearing. Brown, however, did.

Brown accused Collins of exposing himself and rubbing against her despite being repeatedly told to stop on May 18, 2007, in an elevator at Jayhawker Towers, where she worked.


soapboxstew 11 years, 4 months ago

This is step 2 toward Collins clearing his name.-Step 1 was when the DA said that there wasn't enough evidence to pursue Criminal Charges.-Step 2 is here, where the default judgment is set aside.-Step 3 will be when Collins does have his day in court, maintains his innocence, provides a character witness by the name of 'Bill Self', is found innocent of all charges, and receives a hand written apology from Keegan.Shame on all of those that threw him under the bus when this "story" first broke. I've said all along that she has more motivation to make this up than he has to commit the crime. If Collins is found innocent in the Civil Suit then he can counter-sue her, and he would be well within his right. Because that judgment would mean that she made the whole thing up. And if she did make it all up, KU fans have the RIGHT to paste her on this blog site (a fan site). She will have earned all of the bad things people said about her.If a money grubbing ho isn't a woman that tells lies to get money, then I don't know what is.

imnotpaulpierce 11 years, 4 months ago

Who hasn't been drunk and rubbed their junk on other people? I mean, c'mon...

JJHawq 11 years, 4 months ago

My guess (pure guess) is something of some sort happened - probably between hours of 2am and 6am with alocohol involved.

yates33333 11 years, 4 months ago

Actorman, though addicted to vulgarity in a way he seems to believe is polite, makes the crucial call. This is a she said, he said case. I don't see how a judge or jury, which ever, can consider him proven guilty. Afterall, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Her attorney has no case. No witnesses, no physical evidence, only her word as proof. If witnesses or physical evidence existed the district attorney would have prosecuted him.

canuckhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

I'm glad this will go to trial, or at least end some other way. The conspiracy theorist inside me was starting to think that Collins may have let it purposefully go to a default judgment so that he could claim to be innocent but be found guilty by default and, therefore, not have to defend his actions in court. I know it's crazy, I'm still not sure he didn't, hoping his appeal would be denied...anyway, I totally buy that he expected his attorney to handle the court date. These guys have lots of people making sure things get done so they can concentrate on hoops, and I'm sure it transfers into all areas of life.I'm glad it will be dealt with properly, with both sides representing their case.Here wishing for true justice, who ever she ends up vindicating.

meremy 11 years, 4 months ago

yates3333 is wrong about the burden of proof in this case, there is no presumption of innocence, there is no innocent unless proven guilty, there is no guilty or innocence at all because this is a CIVIL matter. I don't know if she'll be awarded a judgement, and neither do any of you, but just because the DA couldn't meet the burden of proof for a criminal charge, doesn't mean the plaintiff can't meet the lesser burden of proof in the civil case.

kansaspike 11 years, 4 months ago

So Collins is off the hook for the $75,000?? (assuming he's found innocent)

actorman 11 years, 4 months ago

"Because that judgment would mean that she made the whole thing up."No, you freaking moron, it wouldn't prove a thing. The only thing it would show is that she couldn't PROVE her case. I'm not saying that Sherron is guilty, and in fact I believe he is not guilty. But the sad thing is that we will never know FOR SURE; only two people know what really happened.But I apologize, because this whole mess does actually prove one thing: that soapboxstew is a judgmental pr**k.

Winterhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

I think it is now time for the jesus dude to write in on this and denounce you junk rubbin' freaks! I just want Sherron to pass the ball when he drives the lane and gets it swatted back in his face. He makes me a nervous wreck. He did make that huge three right in San Antonio to set up Super Mario, so I will always love him no matter what.

63Jayhawk 11 years, 4 months ago

imnotpaulpierce--I'll stand up. I have never come close to doing what you describe and I have little respect for those who have!

truefan 11 years, 4 months ago

I defended Collins before because I was angry with the writers assuming his guilt, but I will defend her as well. I would love Collins to be completely innocent, but we have to wait for the trial. Just because the $75,000.00 was set aside doesn't mean he is innocent and it certainly does not mean that she is a "money grubbing ho," soapboxstew. Lets just wait for the trial and you can make all of the judgments you want when it's all over.

JNHawks 11 years, 4 months ago

He is going to have a hell of a time playing on the road this year, our rivalries are going to let him have it

KEITHMILES05 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey soapbox.........step down and stop yelling.For KU fans to crucify this lady anytime would be in bad taste. We as fans need to leave that part alone and allow Collins to defend himself.Stop acting like you are going to tar and lynch her.However, since you are so adamant what happens IF Collins is found guilty? Should fans talk crap about him and crucify him?Food for thought.

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

Question: Could this court process continue into the regular season?

jaybate 11 years, 4 months ago

Would some one with knowledge of civil cases regarding assault allegations indicate how long this trial might go on and if there are appellate processses in civil suits?

Bob Zielinski 11 years, 4 months ago

so many erroneous comments on here so far. first of all, "collins needs to dish instead of getting the ball swatted back in his face" and then you follow it up by saying you will always love him for making that three? i would have to say collins did a hell of alot more than make one three and his driving to the hoop may not always work out but he sparks the team and he is going to be and has been the engine which drives the team.secondly, collins can not be found "guilty" since this is a civil matter. he can be held liable for damages but not found guilty or be convicted. collins is also faced by the more lenient guidelines which are in play in civil court. a defendant must only be proven to be at fault but not by the more strict criminal guidelines of "beyond a preponderance of the evidence". let's just get collins name cleared and work on improving a young team throughout this season while the doofuses who post too much and think too seldom are looking for stones to throw in either direction.

Joe Ross 11 years, 4 months ago

bobsarobot...technically (since you are making technical distinctions), any decision against Collins in a civil matter would have to rest on a finding by a judge that he is guilty of something. Consider monetary judgements awarded as a case-in-point. A judge may find that a defendant is guilty of gross negligance and on that basis the award was given.Heres how to dismiss the semantics. Guilty in a civil matter is not synonymous with guilty in a criminal matter. It sounds entirely duplicitous but that's how the system works.

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