Target: Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
Goal: Allow James Davis to keep his wife buried in the front yard of his Alabama home
Before Patsy Ruth Davis died in 2009, she asked her husband if he would bury her outside their home in Alabama. Her husband, James Davis, honored her wishes and obtained written permission from the county health department for a residential burial. Despite the fact that the burial does not pose any health or safety threats, the Civil Court rejected the proposition and continues to fight for the removal of the late Mrs. Davis’ remains more than three years after her death.
While it is in the Civil Court’s control to push for stricter regulations regarding future residential burials, their attempts to disrespect the Davis family by vying for the removal of this grave is preposterous. Davis built his house over thirty years ago and deserves the liberty to do what he wishes with his own land. There was nothing wrong or irresponsible about honoring his wife’s wish to be close to home after death, and today he wrongly endures protest from the court. Officials protest because they believe a family plot requires approval, even though state health officials claim that residential burials are not a concern for health when conducted properly.
The main objection, according to the court, is concern about appearance and neighborhood complaints, and of course long-term care and property values. All of these specified reasons are vain. Each individual has control over his or her residence, from the cleanliness of the porch to the upkeep of the lawn. Officials are only at liberty to intervene when safety and health becomes an issue, and in this case, the health department has already given its seal of approval. There is reason enough to believe that the underlying cause for such outrageous disapproval is that the court simply can’t have control over everything and everyone. James Davis is a symbol of non-conformity, and officials just don’t like it.
In addition, the close proximity of the grave to Davis’ house allows for him to properly care for and maintain it, as he frequently tends to the colorful flowers and greenery that shelter every inch of the plot. To deny him the joy of keeping his wife’s remains near would be cruel and unnecessary. Urge the Civil Court to abandon this case and leave the Davis family in peace.
Dear Alabama Court of Civil Appeals,
For many years you have harassed the bereaved Davis family for burying their loved one, Patsy Ruth Davis, in the front yard of their home. This is cruel and perplexing, as there are no explicit laws that restrict families from residential burials if health conditions are met. If you oppose the burial simply because of neighbor complaints or the appearance of the home, then your objection is vain and unfounded. For three years, you have wrongly taken issue with a man who honored his wife’s last wishes, and you are playing the villain by prosecuting him when your reasons for doing so are unsubstantiated.
The Davis family has met health requirements and are not infringing on anyone else’s rights by keeping their loved ones buried at home. You are infringing on James Davis’ right to private property. I urge you to leave this family alone and cease your baseless complaints about residential burials.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Jay Reeves