Reporting Kurtis Ming
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — For 14 years, Henry Jackson has visited his mother’s grave, knowing one day he and his wife would be buried right next to her.
But Sacramento Memorial Lawn has had someone else buried there instead, he said, after they double sold his plot.
“It doesn’t make me feel too good,” he said.
After his mother died in 1998, Jackson paid more than $2,000 for the extra plot, his contract indicates.
“Family is very important to us, and we want to be together,” he said.
The cemetery offered him and his wife a different spot or a refund, but Jackson wants to rest next to his mom, he said.
“They need to make the customers whole,” said Russ Heimerich of the California Funeral and Cemetery Bureau.
Double selling plots happens from time time — often because of mixups in old paper records at older cemeteries — but it isn’t illegal unless it’s done on purpose.
“What we are concerned about is whether or not it was intentional double selling — in which case there was fraud involved — or if it was a records error,” Heimerich said.
The cemetery’s parent company Stonemor Partners admits “it was clerical error” — “done 8 or 9 years ago” before the company even bought the cemetery.
Jackson wanted Sacramento Memorial Lawn to move the person buried in his spot, he said.
After CBS13 got involved, however, Jackson said the cemetery agreed to move the old grave over to squeeze in another spot for him — a process which is legal if the family of the person buried there agrees to it or a court approves the move.
“Justice been done, and it makes me feel great,” Jackson said.
StoneMor Partners would not tell CBS13 whether the cemetery got permission or a court order to move the grave.