Man who appeared in court is legally dead, judge says

Probate Law--Man who appeared in court is legally dead, judge says

By Debra Cassens Weiss 

An Ohio man who appeared in court on Monday is legally dead, a judge has ruled.

Donald Eugene Miller Jr. was declared dead in 1994, eight years after he disappeared from his home in Arcadia, the Courier reports.

On Monday, Judge Allan Davis of Hancock County said Miller is still legally dead because a death ruling cannot be changed after three years have passed. UPI and Yahoo News noted the story.

Miller, 61, told the court he was an alcoholic and he left town because he lost his job and he was unsure what to do. He wants to reverse the death ruling so he can get a driver?s license and reinstate his Social Security number.

Miller's former wife, Robin Miller, opposed Miller?s attempt to reverse the ruling. She has been receiving Social Security death benefits for her children and she says she can?t afford to repay the money.

Donald Miller?s lawyer, Francis Marley, said his client may be able to challenge the Social Security Administration in federal court, but he can?t afford to do it, the Courier says. "My client's here on a wing and a prayer today," Marley said.

Copyright 2013 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.