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Judge to Man: You're Still Legally Dead

Ohio man skipped town more than 20 years ago
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2013 4:54 PM CDT
Updated Oct 13, 2013 10:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Donald Miller remains legally dead, even though he showed up in court and tried to persuade a judge otherwise. As you can guess, there's a long story here: The Ohio man admits to leaving his hometown more than 20 years ago, a jobless alcoholic, and finding work in Atlanta and Florida. Returning to Ohio in 2005, he found himself declared dead. And yesterday a judge said the 61-year-old can't legally be brought back to life—dead is dead, and Miller will have to go on without a Social Security number or driver's license, the Courier reports.

"My client's here on a wing and a prayer today," said Miller's lawyer. But the legal limit for reversing legally dead status is three years. And his ex says he skipped out on $26,000 in overdue child support—which is why she sought the death ruling, to get Social Security death benefits for their two kids. Now she opposes bringing him back to legal life because she can't afford to repay the Social Security benefits. "I don't know where that leaves you," the judge said, "but you're still deceased as far as the law is concerned." Click for the full story. (Read more Ohio stories.)

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