Yep, you’re officially dead, no going back now

What does this guy do now? Talk about being off the grid.

You’re still dead, Ohio court tells man.

Donald Miller, 61, testified Monday that he disappeared in 1986 after losing his job, leaving behind a wife, two children and thousands of dollars of unpaid child support, according to James Hammer, the attorney for Miller’s ex-wife, Robin Miller. He was declared legally dead eight years later.

Donald Miller said he returned to Ohio “around 2005” with no knowledge of his legal death, and that he had hoped to re-establish his Social Security number.

A legal statute in Ohio prevents changes to death rulings once three years have passed, Hammer told CNN, and Judge Allan Davis ruled accordingly in Hancock County Probate Court.

Sometimes you just can’t anticipate all the “what ifs” when you write laws. This is one of those cases.

Tip: @P_Trussell on Twitter

  5 comments for “Yep, you’re officially dead, no going back now

  1. drwfishesman
    October 9, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    I guess his evidence wasn’t compelling enough.

  2. October 9, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    It appears he was a bit of a scumbag, but because of being declared dead, he got away with it. But they had good evidence that he had murdered someone back then, I bet they’d do whatever legal stuff it would take to make him undead so they could arrest and try him for the crime. In such a case, would he be the first “legal zombie,” or have there been others?

  3. October 9, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    I meant to write “But IF they had good evidence…” But you knew that.

  4. neko
    October 9, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    SSN is federal. I think the state has overstepped here, possibly. Sure, states generally issue death certificates and death in absentia. Sure, the SSA uses that as a trigger and accepts it as proof of status, normally. Because States generally act sensibly.

    But in this case, it borders on fraud, or it’s fraud-like, to say he’s still dead. He won’t stay dead, if this is him. The IRS will want to speak with him, too.

    The SSA will want to stop payments to the wife, they aren’t going to pretend this guy is still dead because Ohio plays a three monkeys game. I don’t even understand why they would want to.

    Did they have a history of dead people showing up again too quickly the law was meant to address?

  5. cj
    October 10, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    I see a million pounds coming my way when I finally manage to communicate with the dead! Actually Sylvia should hire this guy! Great story, and in fact a friend of mine who was released from a terminal care hospice after going in to remission (and is still with us 14 years on) had a similar issue, in that several authorities demanded proof she was the lady in question…

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