Affirms SJ in favor of cemetery in action challenging disinterment of father’s remains to Indiana cemetery

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Four of the surviving children of Sherman Warren (“Sherman”) and Isabella Warren (“Isabella”), E. Lee Warren, Lilly Frayer, Ester Hensley, and Arlie Warren (“the Warren Plaintiffs”) brought an action challenging a 2005 disinterment of Sherman’s remains, naming as defendants their siblings Betty Jo Ball, Mae Wilson, Mary Collins, Martha Brewer, Lizzie Hartig, Mat Warren, and Julie Schoff, IOOF Cemetery, David C. Van Gilder, as guardian of Isabella, and the Indiana State Department of Health (collectively, “the Warren Defendants”). The Warren Plaintiffs state six issues for review, which we consolidate and restate as a single issue: whether summary judgment was properly granted to the Warren Defendants.

Conclusion (slip op. at 8):  We agree that the summary judgment record does not reveal any compelling reason to disinter the remains of two individuals, one of whom died over thirty-eight years ago.  Affirmed.

Key Analysis (slip op. at 7, 8):  It is well-established in the United States that disinterment and removal is within the province of equity . . . Sherman and Isabella are buried beside each other in a public cemetery. One particular location cannot be equally accessible to each of the eleven surviving children as they now live in diverse locations. However, there is no indication that any surviving child would be hampered in his or her efforts to visit the gravesites.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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