Court to decide if men in wrong burial plots should be moved

AP News
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Posted: Aug 24, 2016 12:30 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island town is asking a court to decide whether the bodies of two men buried in the wrong plots should be exhumed and moved.

One family wants their loved one to stay where he is, while the other wants him put in the grave site they picked. The town of Tiverton filed a complaint for declaratory judgment Tuesday in Superior Court.

In October, 65-year-old Lewis Chadwick Jr. was placed in the wrong family plot at the town-operated Pocasset Hill Cemetery.

In March, 87-year-old Raymond Murray, who was supposed to be buried in that plot, died. He was buried in Chadwick's plot. His family wants him moved to the correct plot, but Chadwick's family opposes any move.

The complaint names the families as interested parties.

The court could order that the two men stay put and transfer the plot deeds or require exhumation so they can switch places. The head of the town cemetery commission has said that moving them would be "ridiculous."

Town Solicitor Anthony DeSisto said Wednesday that the families will have time to respond to the filing, then a hearing will be scheduled. He anticipates that the court will act by early October.

If the men are moved, it would be at the expense of the town.

The plots are about 10 yards apart. Each plot had room for four graves, and both men were the first to be buried in the plots.

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This story has been corrected to show the complaint was filed Tuesday, not Wednesday.