Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dead Man Seeks Resurrection

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Donald Eugene Miller, Jr, has been legally dead since 1994, eight years after he walked out on his family and disappeared.  At the time of his disappearance in 1986, Mr. Miller was divorced and obligated by court order to pay $50 a week for the support of his two children - $50 total.  During the ensuing years Mr. Miller did not use his social security number and had no contact with his family

Robin Brooks Miller, the ex-wife, went to court in 1994 asking Judge Allan Davis to rule that her husband was dead so that she could draw his social security death benefits for her children.  Judge Davis banged his gavel and Donald Miller was dead in the eyes of the law.  The two youngsters were fourteen and sixteen at the time of the court hearing.  They were only able to draw those benefits until they reached the age of eighteen.

Fast forward to the present:  The kids are adults now and no longer pose a threat to their father’s income – so dad comes home – only to find that he has been legally dead for almost twenty years.  Now he is back in front of the same judge, Allan Davis, asking for a legal resurrection so that he can apply for social security benefits for himself (he is currently sixty-one) and a driver’s license.   But Judge Davis wasn’t having it.    He turned down the request, noting that there was only a three-year period in which to challenge a declaration of death.  Miller hadn’t challenged the ruling within that time frame, so he would remain dead on paper.

Robin, the ex, said that she feels sorry for Donald, but she opposes bringing him back to legal life because then she would be obligated to reimburse Social Security for the death benefits that her children received back in the day.

So a breathing human being sitting in a court of law has no more legal substance than a Shakespearean ghost.  Physical body notwithstanding, Donald Eugene Miller, Jr, surrendered a significant portion of his humanity the day he walked out on his children.  He may have to be satisfied with sitting on life’s sidelines, cheering on the home team but not really getting to play.

And someday when the courts relent, as they probably will, and return Mr. Miller’s personhood, he needs to be the one reimbursing Social Security for the money that agency spent in helping to take care of his children.   Just saying . . .

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

When you live by the sword, you tend to die by the sword. For the moment Justice, not Mercy, is being served by the state court. I have no doubt that the Social Security Administration will resurrect Mr. Miller, perhaps when his ex wife gets sued by them for the repayment of those Social Security benefits. She'll then turn around and sue the former spouse by joining him to the action and alleging fraud on his part. A court could easily find this pretender to Lazarus to be liable for 100% of the funds misspent on his children. Then, his benefits get dunned until he's really dead and gone.