Legal Issues

by Timothy Geigner


Filed Under:
dennis toeppen

Companies:
suburban express



Suburban Express Wants Round 4: Re-Files Lawsuits It Had Previously Dropped

from the keep-digging,-sir dept

Dennis Toeppen is at it again. The owner of Suburban Express, Midwestern bussing company that works the university circuit, is best known for filing ridiculous lawsuits against its own customers and online critics, and for running away whenever any serious media attention is paid to its actions, only to re-file those same suits later. Toeppen himself is also known to be someone who harasses those same online critics personally and also occasionally does his best stalker impression for them.

Now, according to Champaign-native Kionae, Toeppen is back at it again, choosing to re-re-file those same lawsuits a third time.

Toeppen was arrested in Champaign County last month after a former customer complained that Toeppen had posted rude comments regarding him and another customer on Reddit. He appeared in Lake County Court Aug. 8 for his arraignment, pleading not guilty. Shortly after his arrest, Suburban Express re-filed five of its 126 tort or contract damage lawsuits on July 17 in Cook County. These lawsuits were originally filed in Ford County and dismissed by Judge Steve Pacey in July 2013.
Jeremy Leval, the Redditor who got this whole saga started after being sued and harrassed by Toeppen simply for sticking up for a foreign exchange student who a bus driver was mocking, is of course among those Toeppen is re-re-filing against. One begins to get the impression that Toeppen and Suburban Express are masochistic, getting some kind of perverse joy out of getting blasted in the media and online. I'm at a loss as to what other forces could be at work here. Though, judging by some of the other customers' stories from those being attacked legally by Suburban Express, the simple answer may be that Toeppen is simply a jerk.
A case has also been re-filed against Manfred Kubler, junior in LAS, and his mother, Laurie Casas, for delaying a bus on Jan. 13, 2013. Kubler said he needed to retrieve a backpack, which contained an EpiPen, from his mother’s car after he had boarded his bus. After retrieving the bag, Toeppen asked Kubler to board another bus at the stop after he had sat down. He complied, but after learning that the second bus arrived in Champaign an hour later than the first bus, Kubler was concerned he would not be able to retrieve his luggage, which he said contained his nebulizer and other important medicines, on arrival. He said the first bus began to roll earlier than its planned departure time, but the driver stopped as Kubler walked toward it, inviting him to re-board. Following an altercation between Toeppen, Casas and Kubler after re-boarding, Kubler said Toeppen retrieved his luggage from the first bus’ undercarriage, hitting his mother with the door, and called the police on the two of them.
Delightful. What's insane about all of this is that the re-re-filings come the day after Toeppen was arrested for harassment, indicating that it will take more than the justice system to slow down his brand of insanity. I imagine being sanctioned out of existence by some anti-SLAPP legislation that has actual teeth might do the job far better, reminding us again what a shame it is that the US doesn't have such a thing. In the meantime, it might seem reasonable for whichever judge picks up these cases to lay a little lumber to Mr. Toeppen and his clear abuse of the legal system. That and pushing stories about his underhanded behavior up the search engine rankings, as well.


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  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 3:06pm

    What's insane about all of this is that the re-re-filings come the day after Toeppen was arrested for harassment, indicating that it will take more than the justice system to slow down his brand of insanity.

    I'm thinking the arrest actually triggered the re-filing, just with a quick cut-and-paste with a different date and county. This is Toeppen lashing out in a blind rage at being called on his behavior.

    Or it's just further proof that the entire world has gone mad. It's getting hard to tell.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Sep 2014 @ 3:09pm

    This is one way to get that attention spread. Some people aren't fit for society and need special places to house them. Mr. Toeppen sounds like he might be a candidate for such room and board while enlarging his education at a very slow rate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MDT, 5 Sep 2014 @ 3:17pm

    RE: SorryKB

    Of course it was the arrest. That's kind of the point, he just got out of court after being arraigned on harassment charges, and he goes out and does it again.

    If I were the prosecutor in this case, I'd bring it to the judges attention at trial that this occured.

    If I were the defendants in the cases he refiled, I'd seek a restraining order against him for harassment, and present his arrest as evidence of instability.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    M. Alan Thomas II (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 3:34pm

    What's the legal standard for dismissals and refilings here? How often can he do this before it's automatically considered with prejudice or a ruling on the merits?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patrick, 5 Sep 2014 @ 3:39pm

    This guy fits the Dunning-Kruger model.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 5:13pm

    At some point you'd think the judge would slap him down on all this as being vexatious litigation, given it's pretty clear he's doing this to 'get back' at critics.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 5 Sep 2014 @ 6:32pm

    Why?

    Why would anyone use Suburban Express after this?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 5 Sep 2014 @ 7:16pm

      Re: Why?

      Ignorance, where they simply don't know better, which makes spreading these stories all the more important, so people can become informed about the petty, lawsuit happy moron before using the service and finding themselves on the receiving end of a threat from him.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2014 @ 7:28am

        Re: Re: Why?

        Yep.

        The guy targets his “service” to college students. So each incoming freshman class always introduces new blood that doesn’t know any better. And the folks that do know better graduate and move on with their lives a few years later.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 8 Sep 2014 @ 4:09pm

    Suburban Express Haters

    For a diversion check out the Suburban Express haters page, where Toeppen helpfully devotes pages to individuals on his hit list. Bizarre.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 8 Sep 2014 @ 7:37pm

    Someone needs to stand somewhere obvious...

    With a sign that just reads: "Google Suburban Express Lawsuits"

    There is no defamatory statement, there's not even really any statements of facts, either. Just a suggestion of a Google search that todays more tech-savvy incoming Freshmen may take to heart.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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