Jim Davis says the ongoing fight with the city of Stevenson is breaking his heart. He says Friday's ruling just drove the knife in deeper. "She asked to be here because this is where we raised our kids and raised our family. She loves these people around here. Some of them don't love her so much it looks like," says Davis.
Friday, Circuit Judge Jenifer Holt ordered Davis to remove his late wife Patsy's remains from the couple's front yard. Davis had buried her in the front yard of their home following her death in April of 2009. Davis says he plans to appeal.
"If it goes higher, shoot! It won't take no time for them to rule in my favor," says Davis.
The city argued that no perpetual care for the cemetery had been established and that the grave would have a negative impact on surrounding property values. However, Davis says many of the homes nearby are falling apart and the yards are littered with junk. He says the city never even considered his request.
Davis argues, "I was told that I had all these steps to do and I followed all these steps. The only one that snagged up on me was the city. It was always no, no, no.
Court documents show the Jackson County Health Department approved the establishment of a cemetery on his property from a sanitary standpoint. There is also no city ordinance on the books that prohibits the establishment of one on private property.
Davis says he's spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars fighting with the city of Stevenson to keep his wife remains here at their home of more than 30 years. He says it'll be over his dead body that they move her.
"Not in my lifetime. This is my property. This is my piece of the United States. I don't own no more of this world, just this. As long as I own this she's here. I won't. I won't," says Davis.