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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New court papers claim Sherron Collins should have been aware of lawsuit

A certified letter about a personal injury claim sent to KU basketball player Sherron Colins had an incomplete address on it, Collins' lawyers argued in court filings recently.

Sherron Collins lawsuit

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Kansas University basketball star Sherron Collins has not shown "excusable neglect" in seeking to set aside a civil lawsuit judgment against him, according to court papers filed by a woman who sued him.

In a motion filed this week in Douglas County District Court, Jessica Brown maintains that Collins, 21, showed "reckless indifference" by not responding to two letters her attorney sent to him in March about making a personal injury claim and then ignoring the filing of the lawsuit.

The civil lawsuit alleges Collins assaulted her in May 2007 in a Jayhawker Towers elevator.

The first letter was sent March 6, followed by a March 21 letter sent certified mail-return receipt requested. It was returned to Brown's attorney, Jim Whisler, marked unclaimed.

Brown's motion also states a court-appointed process server certified that she personally delivered a summons pertaining to the lawsuit to Collins on May 14 at his residence in Jayhawker Towers.

Brown's court filing calls "absurd" Collins' claims that he thought a previous attorney who represented him was handling the letters and legal petition for him. Collins did not give the name of the lawyer, nor did he produce any evidence that shows why he thought the lawyer knew about the matter, Brown's court document states.

Last month, Judge Jack Murphy signed a "judgment by default" in favor of Brown when Collins did not respond to the lawsuit in 20 days as required by law. A hearing was set for next Tuesday to determine damages sought by Brown in excess of $75,000.

But that Tuesday hearing was continued until Aug. 1 - after Collins' attorney, Chris Burger, filed a motion to set aside the judgment. Murphy will hear oral arguments from both sides about that motion.

Collins has not been charged with a crime, but the matter is under investigation by the Kansas University Public Safety Office, which is awaiting results of the testing of materials by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Collins has denied all of the allegations.

Comments

Clarence Haynes 11 years ago

The plaintiff's attorney needs to be handling this matter in the courts of law and not the press!

justanotherfan 11 years ago

The allegations made in these papers are more or less typical legal wranglings in a situation like this.Sherron missed his court date, so his attorney has to argue some sort of excusable neglect to get the default judgment thrown out and get Sherron his day in court.On the other hand, the plaintiff's attorneys will obviously argue that Sherron should have known what was going on (i.e. that the neglect was not excusable, but rather intentional). That is really all that these papers say. There aren't a whole lot of other facts to figure things out on. Bottom line is only Sherron and Ms. Brown know what really happened, and by the end of this, they may still be the only people that know what really happened.

kcphantom 11 years ago

March 6th - 2 days before a game in TexasMarch 21st - First two rounds in Omaha.Not to mention all kinds of school related stuff. I'm not surprised that he didn't have time to check his mail.Anyone know how long a certified letter is held before it is returned to sender?

caddie733 11 years ago

Funny how much leniency we will give someone when they are a National Champion. I'm not saying the plaintiff's attorney is right or wrong, but had Sherron taken care of his business, this matter would have been handled in a court of law and not the press. Also, kcphantom, those are some weak excuses for not checking mail. Everyone, everywhere is busy (even busier than Sherron) but are still able to check mail and attend to important matters. I'm not bashing on Sherron, but he should have taken care of this matter when he needed to. All of this negative attention on him is his own fault.

Craig Lang 11 years ago

I think we're also forgetting the fact that this kid is in college. I am not saying that he should be completely off the hook, but I remember being at that age ignoring letters I received from creditors, hoping that they would just go away (because I had no money to pay them. Most of them did.As a lawyer, I think everybody deserves their "day in court" and their chance to defend themselves, even if they were negligent in responding to the initial pleadings. Most states are very lenient about overturning default judgments, because the only person who had the opportunity to state his or her case is the plaintiff. I'm not making any judgment on the legitimacy of this woman's claims, but her case obviously looks better now because she is the only person to have presented any sort of evidence.

5DecadeHawk 11 years ago

DNA?You've GOT to be kidding!The charges involve exposing and rubbing up against someone in an elevator!How is any DNA evidence from that type of activity going to distinguish itself from DNA evidence that the two people just happened to share an elevator?Where did the DNA evidence come from? Who handled it? Can anyone prove that the evidence came from the elevator during the time the incident happened? Can they prove that the DNA did NOT come from a dirty sweatsock that got dropped in the elevator or hallway?Give me a break. That's hogwash. Making stuff up does everyone a disservice. In my opinion, that's what this is.

5DecadeHawk 11 years ago

When will the Lawrence Journal Inquirer stop meddling in this case?This story really contains no new information. It's looks like the fully expected response. There's NO NEWS HERE.Somebody is not telling the truth in this case. Maybe it is Brown? Maybe it is Sherron?I don't know. Neither does Mike Brown.LET THE COURTS DECIDE!!!!Constantly beating this drum is turning this newspaper into a tabloid.This headline is also biased. Why not this headline?"Jessica Brown files papers making claims that this newspaper cannot confirm. "Subheadling:"We will continue to humiliate both people involved and try to make money off this ugly situation by selling papers with pointless court arguments."What's the next headline?"Judge in court case goes to the bathroom"Next Subhead?"Listen to audio recording Mike Brown recorded from next restroom stall stall of Judge's flatulance."A responsible paper will allow this case to be RESOLVED and report the result. Trying to sensationalize worthless news is embarrasing. It portrays Lawrence inaccurately.Sadly the only thing the rest of us can do is AVOID LJW Advertisers!!! Tell businesses that advertise with the LJW that you will not support a business that supports a paper that acts irresponsibly.

Chris Weaver 11 years ago

i hope for sherron's sake, and for ms. brown's, that the claim put forth is absolutely false. collins not taking responsibility with respect to the court case is forgivable, if he can square things away. sexually assaulting another human being, is offensive, reprehensible, and punishable. kids make mistakes, but they must also be held accountable for said mistakes. like i said, i hope he didn't do it.

doug_lemoine 11 years ago

@5DecadeHawk: If you use your imagination, I bet you could conjure up a scenario in which that DNA (its origins, specifically) could be incriminating.

Chicago_JHawk 11 years ago

truefan - the letter was delivered by the "court appointed process server", not the alleged victim. If she had, you're right - the whole scenario would seem ridiculous.

5DecadeHawk 11 years ago

Hey Gary Bedore?No Anonymous posting?Just like LJW Reporters?Exhibit A:http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/apr/04/brandon_rush_has_court_date_child_support_case/NO BYLINE!!!Exhibit B:http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/apr/05/court_dates_set_brandon_rush/NO BYLINE!!!Exhibit C:http://www2.kusports.com/news/2008/apr/10/rush_story_contained_some_inaccuracies/The first 2 stories were inaccurate. WHO WROTE THEM??!!Did you write them anonymously Gary?Can we believe any denial you might write? How can we ever really know?This paper is losing even more credibility.Clean up your own house.How many psudonyms do you have on this site Gary?Can anyone trust your answer?EVERYONE'S integrity in the Lawrence Journal Inquirer is open to question because of the paper's past actions. Do you know the definition of the word 'hypocrite' ??

kc_wildfire 11 years ago

5DecadeHawk...I am going to go out on a limb and conclude that you believe Sherron is innocent.

5DecadeHawk 11 years ago

Ohioburg?Are you Gary Bedore in disguise?

stravinsky 11 years ago

First, uh oh. But not checking his mail isn't unlikely. There were times when I got so busy that I wouldn't think to check my mail for like 2 weeks, and I just had classes to deal with, not basketball or anything.Still hoping he's innocent.

Bob Zielinski 11 years ago

"Funny how much leniency we will give someone when they are a National Champion"even funnier is how people can disappear once the facts are in and they were completely in the wrong. it is also funny how people can champion the cause of the accuser with little consideration to the idea that the accused, once cleared, still has to live with the stain of a false accusation.

gregncw 11 years ago

BUYERS BEWARE:I ordered the championship DVD from the CBS store because it's advertised at the end of these web articles. Unfortunately, the DVD has been horribly edited, leaving out significant minutes of the semifinal game with UNC, at least 8 minutes in the first half alone, when KU was dominating UNC. THE CBS STORE DOES NOT SAY THIS IN THEIR AD COPY WHEN ORDERING!!!!

bmkjayhawk 11 years ago

Well while we're talking about negative things, anyone have any insight to the rumor that, within the next couple of weeks, Xavier Henry is set to commit to Memphis?Does anybody have any input about any of the 2009 players we're going after at all, for that matter?

klineisanazi 11 years ago

csjhawk: These quotes are from the plaintiff's motion that was filed in court, and which are part of the public record. The J-W is publishing quotes from that motion. These aren't quotes being made to the J-W by the plaintiff's attorney. This case is being tried in court, and being reported on by the local press. Nothing out of line at all.

Sparko 11 years ago

It seems to be about money. Only. This whole thing could never be substantiated or unsubstantiated. Waste of time.

cobweb 11 years ago

I'd love to believe Sherron but his behavior is about as convincing as OJ's. Also, if it's false and all about money, why not accuse someone who will actually have some, like Rush?

topekahawk 11 years ago

Collins' schedule and checking his mailbox has nothing to do with it. Note the story -- "Brown's motion also states that a court appointed process server certified that she personally delivered a summons pertaining to the lawsuit to Collins on May 14 at his residence in Jayhawker Towers." That's "personally delivered" the summons to Collins. Knock-knock, here's your summons Mr. Collins. Collins didn't take it seriously and now it has bitten him in the rear-end.

jaybate 11 years ago

With an August 1 date just to hear arguments about whether the default judgement should be overturned, does this mean the actual hearing, if the default judgement were overturned, would start some time around Late Night?And when will the KBI findings perk to a point where a criminal charge is either rejected or filed--the first game of the season?This could get ugly.And what's up in South Dallas these days with the grade changing investigation?Finally, are the twins academic problems related to NCAA standards for being given scholarships, or more basically for any admission to KU at all? Could they be rejected by the NCAA for scholarships, but still be allowed in as walk ons? I'm not saying that is what they would do--just wondering what failure to be cleared by the NCAA means specifically?

NH_JHawk 11 years ago

Seems to me that both Ms. Brown and Sherron have some explaining to do.Given the 10 second (or less) ride in that elevator, it seems rather unlikely there was even enough time for something like this to occur. Especially something that warrants the magnitude of a $75,000 civil suit. Not saying it didn't happen, but we're not talking much time here.On the other hand, Sherron's negligence for not responding to a summons is just plain dumb and immediately put him at an unnecessary disadvantage right out of the gate. Furthermore, it sounds mighty suspicious that Sherron ever had a previous attorney representing him and "handling" the summons. Sounds like a weak attempt at damage control to me.Either way, innocent or guilty, this has already left a stain in terms of PR for the KU Men's Basketball program.I agree with jaybate that this could get very ugly if this drags on into the 2008-2009 season.

yates33333 11 years ago

I laughed too. But some people do use their real names. Herbert J. Yates

Brandon Deines 11 years ago

A lot of people who post here are morons.

Gary Bedore 11 years ago

A lot of people who post here are morons.--No comment, but that made me laugh out loud. Such is the nature of anonymity. All posts should be signed with our real names and "moronism" would stop.

Rick Arnoldy 11 years ago

I'd like to nominate 5DecadeHawk for the "I have no life" award of the day.

5DecadeHawk 11 years ago

Doug:If you bothered to read my previous posts, I have clearly stated that I have NO IDEA who is telling the truth. I wasn't there during the incident. There is no way I could possibly know. My consistent stance is that this dispute should not be decided in the press! It's in court, let them decide it.I just call BS whenever I see BS. That KBI crack by Kieth smelled of BS.The Journal Inquirer's coverage smells of BS. By dwelling on this case incessantly they are slinging more fertilizer on a putrid situation hoping some sweet smelling money will grow for the Journal Inquirer.It's not Journalism, it's profiteering.Does the Journal Inquirer report with similar stories about the lame court paper filings of other cases? Many cases far more important than this one? NO! Sure they might report a few, but most of them they do not.Both parties in this case deserve the chance to state their case in front of the Judge. Neither needs to be taken advange of by the press before the truth is known. If/when someone is PROVEN to be at fault, THEN maybe it will be appropriate to publicly admonish them.Either the JW is taking advantage of a college kid just because he plays basketball, or they are taking advantage of a woman victim, or both. No matter which it is, the actions of the Journal Inquirer are disgusting. They should just let the case be decided and report the results, not this constant drumbeat.The editors and advertisers should be held accountable by the people that pay the bills, subscribers and customers of the advertisers.

truefan 11 years ago

I think it is hard to believe that although she claims psychological and phsyical damages that she would personally deliver anything to Sherron Collins. I would think she would have her lawyer or the police either do it for her or do it with her. There should be more proof of that or her claim is just as phony as his. It's like claiming workers comp by driving yourself to work and carrying your 60 lbs kid in with you...it doesn't add up.

KEITHMILES05 11 years ago

The next big bombshell which COULD happen is the evidence the KBI is running tests on. From all conclusions it is DNA. If there is a positive confirmation of DNA that will explode the conversations of this topic wide open. I am not so certain it will be conclusive pertaining to THIS case but believe me, if any positive DNA is found it will make for alot of fodder in the media.

Sparko 11 years ago

The only evidence which might have mattered in this case would have been Surveillance video. DNA evidence would matter unless the accuser was say, a JANITOR who would have access to all manner private areas and refuse. They were working hard to slide a summary judgement past a kid who was distracted by a national championship run. Hope it is overturned.Finally: Nice to see Bedore essentially validate a sock puppet attack on his readers with a smarmy comment. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Sometimes it is good to be able to speak without a police state intervening.

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