It seems that the City of Lake Alfred, Florida may have sold a grave plot to two different parties. Someone got buried in the grave – and the other party is suing, claiming the grave is theirs. The oddest thing mentioned in an article about it was the claim that one party’s deed was “too old.” There also seems to be a dispute as to whether the original purchaser of the plot actually bought two graves, and not four, as claimed.
Which brings up the reason I’m writing this blog. This kind of thing happens all the time. Only it’s usually done because of an error on the part of the grounds folks who just happen to open the wrong grave.
About a decade ago, my brother and I decided that it was time to purchase graves at the Orting (Washington) City Cemetery. Our parents were growing old – and we knew it would not be long before graves were needed. So we went to the city and bought graves for our family. Time went by, and our father passed away. Dad was buried in the Orting Cemetery, and we even had a graveside service, with a pretty-good crowd of people attending. What we didn’t know was that Dad was being buried a full row off of where the graves were to be. So – a week or so later, Dad got moved.
My brother-in-law, Ralph Hubbard, passed away in the 1990s after a long battle with multiple myloma. My sister purchased plots near their home in Clark County, Washington, and Ralph was buried there. A while later, my nephew noted that someone was buried in the space purchased and reserved for his mother. After a bit of a fuss on the part of our family, the newly buried was moved to another location.
So – what I’m saying is that folks being buried in the wrong place in the local cemetery is common. Having to file suit to get the situation dealt with seems a bit much. Following is an excerpt from the Lake Alfred article that prompted my memories – and writing this blog.
LAKE ALFRED | A lawsuit over ownership of a burial plot at the city’s Oak Grove Cemetery seeks a court order forcing the exhumation of the body of a woman buried there and more than $15,000 in damages for the Lake Alfred woman who claims it was illegally taken from her.
In dispute is whether the plot now occupied by June Whatley Braddy, the mother of Winter Haven News Chief Managing Editor Joe Braddy, is indeed her “final” resting place…
Lawyers representing Hope C. Martin filed the lawsuit Dec. 29, 2008, in the Circuit Court in Bartow…
The suit claims her late husband, James W. Martin, purchased four plots at the city-owned Oak Grove in March 1956 for the burial of the couple’s daughter, Judy Martin, and as the future burial site for the couple and their son, Billy Martin. James Martin was buried there in 1993.
Joe Braddy purchased the plot intended for Billy Martin on Oct. 30, 2007, and later buried his mother there, the lawsuit claims.
Read the full article from the January 5, 2009 edition of The Ledger.