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In re Estate of Eisaman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Hancock

March 26, 2018

IN RE: THE ESTATE OF: WILLIAM R. EISAMAN, JR. [LINDA L. BADGETT - APPELLANT]

          Appeal from Hancock County Common Pleas Court Probate Division Trial Court No. 20171004

          Howard A. Elliott and Jeff Whitman for Appellant

          Christie L. Ranzau for Appellee

          OPINION

          PRESTON, J.

         {¶1} Petitioner-appellant, Linda L. Badgett ("Linda"), appeals the October 11, 2017 judgment entry of the Hancock County Common Pleas Court, Probate Division, denying her petition to disinter the remains of her brother, William R. Eisaman, Jr. ("William"). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         {¶2} William died on December 15, 2016 and is survived by his wife, respondent-appellee, Charlene Eisaman ("Charlene"). (Doc. No. 3). On December 19, 2016, William was buried at Arcadia Cemetery in Arcadia, Ohio. (Id.).

         {¶3} On July 11, 2017, Linda sent a letter to Charlene's attorney informing Charlene that "the cemetery plot in Arcadia, Ohio, beside [William], is not available for [Charlene's] burial." (Doc. No. 54); (Respondent's Ex. A). The letter indicated that the deed to the family burial plot at Arcadia Cemetery was "being changed to read, 'The Badgett Family Trust' which excludes Charlene from being buried there." (Id.).

         {¶4} Charlene consulted with Coldren-Crates Funeral Home and her attorney to determine whether she could reinter William's remains in a different cemetery so that she could be buried beside him. (See Doc. No. 54). On August 9, 2017, William's remains were disinterred and reburied at a cemetery in Van Buren, Ohio. (Id.).

          {¶5} On August 30, 2017, Linda filed a petition with the trial court requesting that William's remains be disinterred from Van Buren and reinterred at Arcadia Cemetery. (Doc. No. 45). Charlene filed a memorandum in opposition to Linda's petition on September 25, 2017. (Doc No. 53).

         {¶6} Following a bench trial on October 3, 2017, the trial court issued its judgment on October 11, 2017 denying Linda's petition. (Doc. No. 54).

         {¶7} On November 1, 2017, Linda filed a notice of appeal. (Doc. No. 58). She raises one assignment of error.

         Assignment of Error

         The Hancock County Probate Court abused its discretion in failing to order the reinternment [sic] of the decedent where said decedent had previously been disinterred, contrary to the wishes of the decedent and the previously granted consent given by the widow to his original interment.

         {¶8} In her sole assignment of error, Linda argues that the trial court erred by denying her petition to disinter William's remains. In particular, Linda contends that because William specifically desired to be buried at Arcadia Cemetery and because Charlene originally consented to interring William at Arcadia Cemetery, the trial court abused its discretion by ...


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