An Ohio man has been told that he is dead by a court, despite the fact that he is still very much alive and kicking.
In 1994, Judge Allan H. Davis declared Donald E. Miller Jr. dead after he was reported missing in 1986. His then wife was forced to make the formal declaration so that her daughters could qualify for social benefits.
But almost twenty years later, Miller, now 61, reappeared on his former wife’s lawn. ‘I said, “Oh, my gosh!” Mrs Miller – who married another man with the same surname Miller – was quoted by The New York Times as saying. ‘It was civil the whole time. We were both very nice.’
In court, Donald explained that he fled Ohio in 1986 because he was battling alcoholism and unemployment.
‘My paycheck was being taken away from me and I had nothing left,’ Miller told the court. ‘It kind of went further than I ever expected it to. I just kind of took off, ended up in different places.’
Miller wants his social security number reactivated and also to apply for a driver’s license … but unfortunately, it is just not possible to do that in the eyes of Ohio law, which does not allow for a death declaration to be reversed after 3 years.
So judge Davis declared Miller dead again and this time, Miller was there to witness it.
‘I don’t know where that leaves you, but you’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned … Every time you think you’ve seen everything, something like this comes along,’ Davis said in court.