Alabama man must dig up wife's remains from front yard after losing 4-year court battle

"They can't stop me from cremating her and putting her back, and that's where she'll go," James Davis said back in October.
By Evan Bleier  |  Nov. 14, 2013 at 12:53 PM
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Nov. 14 (UPI) -- An Alabama man has lost a four-year court battle about his wife’s remains and he will now be forced to dig her up out of his front yard so that she can be cremated and placed in an urn.

James Davis buried his wife, Patsy, in the front yard of their Stevenson home in 2009 in honor of her dying wish. Unfortunately for Davis, the city council objected to him using his property as a gravesite.

The issue went all the way to the Alabama State Supreme Court and, in October, Davis' appeal to keep Patsy’s body in his yard was denied.

After an appearance at Jackson County Courthouse on Wednesday, it was decided that Davis would remove his wife’s remains, along with a casket and a vault, on Friday. After Patsy is cremated, Davis will keep the urn containing her ashes in his home and he plans to leave her tombstone in the front yard.

"The court's order is going to be enforced. I believe the court has set a framework to make sure that her order is enforced to the tee," said Stevenson City Attorney Parker Edmiston.

Davis briefly attempted to convert his home into a church in an effort to keep his wife’s body in the front yard because he thought that churches have special protections under the law.

At the time, he indicated that even if he was forced to remove Patty’s body, she’d make it back to the front yard one way or another.

"Forever more, that is my gravesite. People passing by won't know she's not there. And she won't be because I'm going to cremate her. They can't stop me from cremating her and putting her back, and that's where she'll go," he said.


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