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Receiver sorting through 358 grave ownership claims at Hawkins cemetery

Robert E. Moore Jr. • Jul 23, 2015 at 4:22 PM

ROGERSVILLE - On Dec. 2, 2014 Julie Mix McPeak, who is commissioner of the Department of Commerce and Insurance, became receiver for the Hawkins County Memorial Gardens cemetery and appointed Receivership Management Inc. as special deputy receiver for the cemetery.

The following is the most recent report filed by Robert E. Moore, CEO for Receivership Management Inc., covering activities through the end of May, 2015.

On Feb. 3 former Hawkins County Memorial Gardens owner Vickie Ringley was indicted on two counts of theft over $60,000, two counts of money laundering, one count of forgery, and seven counts of failure to follow cemetery regulations.

Court records link 370 victims linked the two theft charges. Ringley remain incarcerated on a $200,000 bond, and she has a trial date set in October in Hawkins County Criminal Court.

The receiver and special deputy receiver continue to cooperate with the district attorney for the Third Judicial District.

The special deputy receiver has received 358 grave space ownership claims and he is currently working through those.

Of the estimated 128 potentially double sold lots, 12 have been resolved as recording errors.

The special deputy has been given notice of the judgment lien that was issued against Vickie Ringley and the Hawkins County Memorial Gardens on Feb. 25, 2014 by the Hawkins County General Sessions Court.

The judgment lien is in the amount of $3,898. A certified copy has been submitted by the daughter of the plaintiff, John B. Huff Sr.

This, and other merchandise and service claims will be addressed in a proposal to be submitted to the court once the proof of burial right and plot ownership process is concluded.

Since taking possession, 21 burials have occurred as of May 31, 2015, and the procedure granting approval continues to work well.

An interment log is being maintained by the special deputy receiver. Mr. Moore maintains open lines of communication with all funeral homes in the area.

A claim on the theft coverage has been filed with Auto Owners Insurance. They are continuing to investigate the claim and have issued a reservation of rights letter.

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