Man Fights to Keep Wife Buried in His Front Yard

James Davis of Alabama fulfilled his wife Patsy's wish of being buried outside their home, and now, he's in a fight with the City Council to keep her there:

"Good Lord, they've raised pigs in their yard, there's horses out the road here in a corral in the city limits, they've got other gravesites here all over the place," said Davis. "And there shouldn't have been a problem."

While state health officials say family burial plots aren't uncommon in Alabama, city officials worry about the precedent set by allowing a grave on a residential lot on one of the main streets through town. They say state law gives the city some control over where people bury their loved ones and have cited concerns about long-term care, appearance, property values and the complaints of some neighbors.

"We're not in the 1800s any longer," said city attorney Parker Edmiston. "We're not talking about a homestead, we're not talking about someone who is out in the country on 40 acres of land. Mr. Davis lives in downtown Stevenson."

The heart of the issue is what constitutes a cemetery, which the government can regulate, and a family burial plot, which is not uncommon in Alabama: Link (Photo: Jay Reeves/AP)


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