Dunn Vows To Try Again
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit between Sindicat “Sid” Dunn and “Handy” Andy Miner, but Dunn promises to file the suit again.
Last Friday, District Judge Jeff Dotson dismissed the lawsuit, which had been filed in small claims court, for lack of proper venue. Dotson noted he was dismissing the case without prejudice, meaning Dunn can refile the suit.
Both men exchanged insults outside the courtroom Friday. The judge warned them both not to try that while in court.
“I’m not going to let you disrespect each other,” Dotson said. “Do not let this go awry in the courtroom or the hallway.”
Dotson said the case was a libel or slander case. He said the district court cannot hear a libel or slander case, which have to be heard either in circuit or federal court.
“This court lacks proper jurisdiction to hear this case as it is plead,” the judge said. Addressing Dunn, he said, “You can disagree with me, but I’m going to win the argument.”
Dotson ruled to refund Dunn’s filing fee.
“It’s up to you how you proceed with it,” said the judge, who provided Dunn with a copy of the statute.
Dunn filed the suit on May 25. He was asking for $2,500 in damages. In the complaint, he charged Miner with “continually” discrediting his character, saying Miner has called him a drug dealer. Dunn, who serves on the Burgin City Council and was one of the principal organizers of the recent Juneteenth Festival, said Miner has followed him, posting videos of Dunn on Facebook and distributing pictures of Dunn to the media and members of the Harrodsburg City Commission.
Dunn, whose family owns Dunn’s Barbecue in Harrodsburg, said Facebook had removed at least one of Miner’s posts at Dunn’s request. In his complaint, he said Miner “is enjoying bashing my character.”
“I’m an elected official, a father, local volunteer and community supporter plus I run our family business of 40 years,” Dunn wrote in the complaint. “Last thing I need is someone discrediting all the hard work I’ve put in myself.”
Miner has become a controversial character in the four years he’s lived in Harrodsburg. He founded the “I Love Broadway” Neighborhood Watch program in 2019. But the city commission declined to offer their blessings, saying they were worried about the possible legal ramifications of some of the tactics used by Miner, who has led a one-man gentrification campaign on Broadway, the oldest street in Kentucky.
Miner has outfitted his property with surveillance cameras and has posted pictures online-as well as distributed them to elected officials, reporters and law enforcement officers-of what he calls drug dealers.
Several of Miner’s neighbors have appeared before the city commission to complain, saying Miner has trespassed on private property.
In May, Miner was arrested and charged with intentionally dropping screws under the tires of two vehicles. Miner was identified from surveillance footage obtained from nearby utility poles, according to the complaint warrant.
Miner denies he had anything to do with the incident, saying he has been the victim of a conspiracy.
“The drug dealers don’t like me,” Miner said.
Last week, Miner announced he was leaving Harrodsburg for West Virginia, although the “I Love Broadway” Neighborhood Watch would continue.
Miner went before the city commission to offer advice on how to improve Harrodsburg.
“I don’t need your advice, Andy,” said Mayor Art Freeman, who called Miner’s decision to move the “right thing” to do.
Dunn said Miner’s allegations have harmed his career as a radio announcer. He said some clients had demurred from being associated with him because of Miner’s allegations. On Friday, Dunn said he would refile the case.
Miner called the lawsuit trivial and defended the pictures he’d taken.
“I’m 50 years old, I know what a drug deal looks like,” Miner said.
He insisted he was leaving Harrodsburg, saying he’d received offers on two of the properties he owns, although he said one was too low.
The criminal case against Miner continues. He is scheduled to return to court on Thursday, July 15.