Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 11/18/13: To Be Alive Yet Legally Dead

Recently an Ohio man learned that it is possible to be alive and yet legally dead at the same time. Donald Eugene Miller Jr. vanished from his home in Ohio in 1986 and was declared legally dead in 1994. A recovering alcoholic, in October 2013 he resurfaced and petitioned the probate court to reverse the ruling, but his appeal was denied. Ohio puts a three year limit on such appeals, leaving Miller in a legal limbo: he is unable to get a driver’s license or restate his Social Security number as he is still considered legally dead, and the probate court cannot reverse the ruling since his right of appeal lapsed in 1997.


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