Man declared dead as he stood alive before judge

As an Ohio man stood before a judge trying to prove he was alive — yes, you heard that right — the judge simply said, “You’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned.” Wait, what?

"Donald Eugene Miller was trying to get back his Social Security number and his driver's license. … Well, in Ohio, there's a three-year limit for overturning a death. Why?" (Via HLN)

Why? Well as one commenter puts it: "The three year limitation is to have finality. ... This guy's ex-wife shouldn't have to live the rest of her days wondering if he'll turn up and she'll have to repay Social Security, heirs shouldn't have to spend their entire lives wondering if Uncle Thurston will ever return from the cruise." (Via The Straight Dope)

So back to Miller, who’s now 61. He was missing for way longer than three years — try nearly 20. He was officially declared dead in 1994, eight years after he disappeared from his home.

Miller said in court he left to avoid paying the $26,000 he owed in child support on his two kids. He lost his job and reportedly didn't know what to do. "My paycheck was being taken away from me and I had nothing left. It kind of went further than I ever expected it to. I just kind of took off, ended up in different places." (Via The Courier)

He reportedly worked odd jobs until he finally returned home in 2005. That’s when he learned of his own death.

Right now it doesn't look like Miller will be brought back from the dead — legally, anyway — but his ex-wife, Robin Miller, opposes his request anyway. Although she didn't testify in court, she says she can't afford to pay back the Social Security benefits. (Via RT)

Even the judge was taken aback when the “dead” man walked into his courtroom.

He told CNN: "In over 40 years, I've never come across a case like this. In the end though, because of the statute, it was a pretty open-and-shut case." (Via CNN)

Although it is possible Miller could take the ruling to federal court, his lawyer said Miller just doesn’t have the resources to do that. But he’s still hopeful he can reconnect with his family, even after all these years.

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