Donald E. Miller Jr. is a member of the living dead. No he isn't a zombie, instead he is a man who has been declared dead by the court, despite begin very much alive and kicking.
In 1994, an Ohio court declared Miller Jr. dead after he went missing for several years. The man's wife needed to formalize his death in order to qualify her daughters for social security benefits.
On Monday, Miller appeared in court to argue that he was in fact, alive. A judge decided that despite appearing in court and breathing, he is still dead.
Miller fled from his family in 1986 and recently appeared on the front law of his former wife's home.
In 1986 the Ohio man fled from his family after dealing with alcoholism and unemployment. He told the court this week:
"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."
The 61-year-old man now wants the court to reactive his social security number so he can apply for a driver's license. However, Ohio state law does not allow a declaration of death to be reversed after three years have passed.
Judge Allan H. David, upholding Ohio State law, explains that Miller was declared legally dead in 1994, and therefore he is still dead, despite being alive.
Speaking directly to Donald Miller Jr. on Monday the judge proclaimed, "I don't know where that leaves you, but you're still deceased as far as the law is concerned."
Ms. Miller is fighting against bringing her ex-husband back to life. If he is declared living she would have to pay back years of social security benefit payments that were given to her on behalf of her daughters.
While Ms. Miller does not want her husband to be legally alive, a report in the New York Times claims that they are on amicable terms since his reappearance.
Do you think it is silly to declare someone legally dead when they are in court pleading on their own behalf?