GALVESTON - Texas City locals Philip Alder Jr. and Dianne Baxter have filed suit against La Marque resident Todd E. Lausen in an effort to obtain a title to real property in Texas City, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed June 13 in Galveston County District Court says the plaintiffs completely paid off past property taxes from 2005, but Lausen failed to initiate the transfer of said title.

Both parties originally executed a contract on May 25, 2011, which called for Lausen to sell the property to Alder and Baxter, who in turn were obligated to remit approximately $8,000 in delinquent taxes and associated fees.

Lausen was supposed to convey the title to the complainants upon full payment, the agreement states.

The suit insists that the plaintiffs "fulfilled all of their obligations under the contract in a timely manner", however, the respondent refused to fulfill his own obligations as of earlier this month.

According to the original petition, the complainants did not know that the title in question was not in their names despite their ability to fully pay until Lausen filed a petition in forcible detainer with the Galveston County Justice of the Peace Precinct 5.

The petition was junked when the defendant admitted to the court that he sold the property to the complainants but was seeking "late charges" in the amount of $7,000 that were never paid, the suit says.

Attorney Diana G. Bertini with The Law Office of Anne B. Darring Inc. in Texas City is representing the plaintiffs, and Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-1353

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