Galveston man accuses probate judge of negligence

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 21, 2009, 2:33am


GALVESTON - A Galveston man has accused a probate judge of not responding to his requests to junk a claim on a building he is trying to repair, recent court documents say.

Jack Alexander Demack's lawsuit against Galveston County Probate Court Judge Gladys Burwell says the judge ignored his motions for a hearing on the merits of an estate claim on the Demack & Co. Building in Galveston made by the estate of Mildred Demack.

"Such claim was disputed by the plaintiff who filed several motions to dispose of this meritless claim by the estate," the original petition says.

Jack A. Demack alleges the judge is delaying any ruling because of a personal relationship she has with the estate's attorney, the suit says.

The suit was filed Dec. 10 in Galveston County Court No. 3.

According to a three-page document, Jack A. Demack has been contesting a 50 percent ownership interest claim on the building in question by the executor of the estate of Mildred Demack for three years.

The plaintiff filed the first motion along with an emergency motion notifying the court of the need for immediate repairs on Nov. 26, 2006, but no relief was granted, the suit says.

It adds Jack A. Demack filed a motion to dismiss the estate claim on Nov. 1, 2007, and a complaint-style motion on Aug. 21, 2008, to no avail.

The plaintiff complains that the court's delay kept him from working on the building since he could not get funding because of the existing litigation over the title of the property.

"The subject building has now over the past three years sustained severe damage and has continued to deteriorate while the defendant has refused to conduct any hearing on the merits of the estate claim," the suit says.

The plaintiff alleges Judge Burwell committed gross negligence.

Consequently, he seeks $300,000 in damages.

Jack A. Demack is representing himself in the case.

Galveston County Court No. 3 Roy Quintanilla is presiding over the litigation.

Cause No. 61,973

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