Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why can you be alive in fact and legally dead?

On Monday, 61-year-old Donald E. Miller, Jr.  tried unsuccessfully to convince an Ohio probate court judge that he was alive.

Image courtesy zoomzoom

Miller's wife, Robin, successfully opposed his request for a change in death ruling. She says she cannot afford to repay the $26,000 in death benefits she has already received.

Apparently, Miller had been declared "legally dead" in 1994 after skipping town so that his wife could receive Social Security benefits. The limit on changing a "legally dead" declaration is three years, and Miller is out of luck.

Now Miller cannot obtain a driver's license or reinstate his cancelled Social Security number. He may need to file in federal court to challenge his legally dead ruling.

Judge Allan Davis purportedly told Miller, "We've got the obvious here. A man sitting in the courtroom, he appears to be in good health. . . I don't know where that leaves you, but you're still deceased as far as the law is concerned."

In Judge Davis's words, what a "strange, strange situation."

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