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Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Man Buries Wife in Front Yard Despite City Council

James-Davis-wife-grave-Alabama-jpg

James Davis granted his dying wife’s wish by burying her in the front yard of their home where they had spent three decades together.  He is now at odds with the Stevenson, Alabama City Council.

Davis first obtained approval from the county’s Health Department and then pressed the City Council for a permit.  The City Council denied his request, reasoning that allowing it would set a troublesome precedent.  Davis’s response: ignore them and do it anyways.

The city sued a month later and a Circuit Court judge ordered Davis to move his wife’s remains to an approved cemetery.  Davis has warned of “an incident” if the city comes onto his property, but he has also suggested a compromise whereby he would remove his wife’s remains, have her cremated, and put the ashes back in her grave.  The city attorney acknowledges there is no law against that, but he would still insist on the removal of the coffin and vault.

See Campbell Robertson, Giving a Wife Her Front-Yard Grave, No Matter What, The New York Times, Oct. 22, 2013.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2013/10/man-buries-wife-in-front-yard-despite-city-council.html

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