'Out of the ordinary' circumstances prompt defamation defendant to seek fourth continuance

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Aug. 26, 2013, 1:57pm

GALVESTON - A former chief of the Kemah Volunteer Fire Department being sued for defamation by an ex-mayor seeks another extension of the trial setting. 

For the fourth time in three months, Larry Suniga requests that Galveston County 10th District Court Judge Kerry L. Neves rule in favor of his motion for continuance in the more than a year-old legal battle between him and Matthew D. Wiggins Jr.

Wiggins sued Suniga and six other people separately in February 2012 over what he asserts are false statements made “to intentionally harm his reputation, decrease respect, regard or confidence.”

Each of the suits asserts that the defendants’ actions “induced disparaging, hostile and disagreeable opinions or feelings against the plaintiff” and their motives were political in nature, insisting they caused his reputation to suffer.

Suniga and Wiggins were originally scheduled to face off before a jury on May 20, then it was reset to May 28, then July 8, and most recently, to Aug. 19.

Suniga's latest motion, filed Aug. 22, explains that an Oct. 14 start to the trial is necessary as his counsel currently has matters in Harris and Jefferson Counties to tend to.

The four-page document says "the grounds for this one are out of the ordinary."

Case No. 12-CV-192

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