Judge Rules Living Ohio Man Is Legally Dead

Had disappeared for years, but he's back

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An judge told an Ohio man this week that he is legally dead — even though he’s very much alive.

In 1994, Judge Allan Davis declared Donald Miller, now 61, dead, eight years after Miller had disappeared from his rental home. Miller’s ex-wife had asked for the death ruling so that Social Security benefits could be paid to the couple’s two children, CNN reports.

Miller went to court on Monday to reverse the decision. But despite acknowledging that Miller was indeed alive and standing in his courtroom, Davis did not reverse his ruling, on the grounds that the Miller’s request came after the three-year legal limit for challenging a death ruling.

“I don’t know where that leaves you, but you’re still deceased as far as the law is concerned,” the judge said.

Miller said he spent the years he was missing working odd jobs in Atlanta and Florida as he recovered from alcoholism. His ex-wife says he fled the state because he was afraid that he would face jail time due to unpaid child support.