Squatter Hearing.

Jackie Cole

The other day we wrote about the case of a convicted repeat criminal who managed to win a default judgement of $400,000 against a woman and two others after losing her sister in October 2017.

It took a year for the family of the deceased to get the squatter and his friends out of the dead sister’s home, finally getting an eviction notice in October 2018. The squatters allegedly stole the dead woman’s furniture and possessions, including her car. They also did thousands upon thousands of dollars in damage to the home as they were evicted.

In October 2019, Wendy Clark’s sister Michelle went to her mailbox and received a notice of a default judgement to Jack Cole in a case he had filed against her and two others. The amount of the default judgement was $400,000.000.

“It’s a lot of stress I don’t need,” Michelle Clark, Wendy’s sister said.

Michelle is one of three defendants Cole is seeking more than $400,000 in damages.

His lawsuit asked the courts to award him for the following:

$20,000: Attorney Fees
$150,000: Loss of work
$45,000: Medical expenses
$200,000: Punitive damages

Cole’s lawsuit lists the following damages:
1- Defamation
2- “Injured Feelings”
3- Mental Anguish
4- Loss of Work
5- Loss of Social Standing
6- Loss of Reputation
7- Loss of Privacy
8- Medical issues

Cole is a long-time convicted felon and does not have legal counsel to represent him on this civil lawsuit, but that didn’t prevent him from winning his case.

A “default judgment” was granted against Michelle Clark, Wendy’s sister on March 20, 2020.

It is clear from the evidence that Cole and his co-conspirators lied and presented false documents to the court in order to obtain the judgement.

However, after Michelle Clark filed a motion to set aside the judgement, Judge G. David Miller, the same judge that ruled in Cole’s favor in granting the default judgement, agreed to stop any requirements for payment of the judgement.

The defendant’s (Michelle Clark) motion has raised some serious factual issues which require a hearing in court,” Judge Miller published in a written order obtained by News 5 Investigates.

Judge Miller will now hold a hearing on the matter and has requested the plaintiff (Jack Cole), the process server (Travis Rickard), and the notary public appear in court to answer some tough questions.

When is that hearing?

Try July.

Due to COVID-19, an in-person court appearance for Wednesday’s scheduled proceeding did not occur.

Instead, one of the parties being sued by the squatter appeared via a teleconference line.

The case lasted less than 3 minutes and did not involve any testimony.

The phone call instead coordinated a time to schedule a formal hearing to address major discrepancies reported on by News 5 Investigates.

Jack Cole, the plaintiff who filed the lawsuit, along with his alleged process server and notary public are all scheduled to appear before Judge G. David Miller on July 10, 2020.

Jack Cole and his co-conspirator will be easy to find as they are both sitting in jail.

The real damage is that because of the false documents, Michelle Clarke has to go to court, pay filing fees and retain a lawyer. In other words, this is costing her money that never should have been needed if Judge Miller had not simply rubber stamped the default judgement without looking at the underlying documents and seeing the inconsistencies and lies therein.

For Michelle Clarke, the penalty for being in the right is more time, money and angst. For Judge Miller, he continues to sit on the bench. For Jack Cole, he doesn’t have any money so Clarke can’t sue him or get the money she has expended in this case.

It will have taken two years and nine months for the family to get this criminal out of their lives. (Hopefully, because you never know with this low life. He’s got time to think of other ways to harass the family while the state provides two hots and a cot.)

Talk about justice delayed.

The only thing we can hope for is that while in court, a law enforcement official will be there to arrest Cole and his buddy on perjury, fraud, and whatever else they can think of. If Cole and his co-conspirators have earned time off for good behavior, hopefully a district attorney or parole board will wipe that off the books making them serve the entire length of their original sentences as well as any further time – hopefully copious time – added to the time they stay in prison.

We don’t think this can happen, but if Cole and his friend are making any money in prison from doing jobs there, we’d love to see that sent to Michelle Clark to cover her legal expenses. We know that prison jobs don’t pay much, but we suspect that Clarke getting a check every month from Cole’s garnished wages (even if that is only $25 a month) would be deeply satisfying.

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