LODI, Calif. – When a dump truck backed into Curtis Gokey's car, he decided to sue the city for damages. Only thing is, he was the one driving the dump truck. But that minor detail didn't stop Gokey, a Lodi city employee, from filing a $3,600 claim for the December accident, even after admitting the crash was his fault.
After the city denied that claim because Gokey was, in essence, suing himself, he and his wife, Rhonda, decided to file a new claim under her name.
City Attorney Steve Schwabauer said this one also lacks merit because Rhonda Gokey can't sue her own husband.
"You can sue your spouse for divorce, but you can't sue your spouse for negligence," Schwabauer said. "They're a married couple under California law. They're one entity. It's damage to community property."
But Rhonda Gokey insisted she has "the right to sue the city because a city's vehicle damaged my private vehicle."
In fact, her claim, currently pending at Lodi City Hall, is for an even larger amount — $4,800.
"I'm not as nice as my husband is," she said.