The Alabama Supreme Court Buries a Bid for Backyard Burial

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on November 26, 2013

Sadly, there are some ordinances people may not agree with, but that’s the state of the ways of legal life, and for reasonable common sense when you think about it. Case in point: this is about an Alabama man by the name of James Davis with one wish from his now deceased wife: to bury her remains right in the front yard. We, naturally, can see that this is noble, notable and, without fail, understandable. The Alabama Supreme Court, though, really didn’t want to hear any of it, and for good reason. The laws don’t allow for that, as understandable as it may be.cemetery

Take, for instance, the prospect of a future homeowner living in the house, somehow finding out that there’s a grave in the front yard. It’s almost scary. For purposes of the possibility that others might come across that burial, the law is in place. That’s what cemeteries are for. It wasn’t a landslide with the Supreme Court, though, as two of the five justices wanted to actually grant Davis’ leave to appeal. Majority ruled, however.

The fact is this:the law prohibits the use of yards within city limits as burials. Davis’ lawyer, however, wanted to approach the case from the angle that the burial plot didn’t apply to that law, as it only applied to actual cemeteries. We can take this from a common sense standpoint, in that once there’s a burial, automatically, that ground can then be considered “cemetery” ground. The law, therefore, applies.

Thankfully, the city offered a “proper cemetery” with two possible plots established to settle the case. It’s not what Davis’ wife wanted, but it would have to do. Needless to say, Davis, with no further resources to pursue further appeal, sat on his haunches, stating that he “still ain’t got no justice.”

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