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Widow takes fight to bury husband in backyard to state Supreme Court

A Connecticut woman's fight to keep the remains of her deceased husband in her backyard has taken her all the way to the state Supreme Court, Fox Connecticut reports. 

Elise Piquet buried her husband, Doll, on her 8-acre property when he died in 2004 at the age of 84.

Piquet has said she made the plans for the private home burial because all the cemeteries in Chester, where the couple lived, were full. The burial was performed by a licensed funeral director, and Piquet made plans to be buried alongside her husband on her property when the time came.

However, in 2005 the town's zoning enforcement office informed Piquet private burials are not addressed in the town's zoning regulations and therefore not allowed. They told Piquet she needed a permit to bury her husband on her property.

Piquet took the case to local courts, asking them for the right to leave her husband's remains on the property. The local courts ruled in favor of the town, so Piquet took her case all the way to the state Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, John Bennet, attorney for the town of Chester, argued Piquet needed a zoning permit to have a burial on private property, but she didn't get one. He said Piquet should have attempted to resolve the issue through the zoning board of appeals before bringing it to the legal system.

"The unequivocal part of this is that there's a violation," said Bennet, according to Fox Connecticut. 

Piquet says she assumed she had the legal right to be buried on her property. She said the house, which was built in the 1700s, has other people buried around it as well.

"I just thought it was a matter of historical precedent and that I could just do it," she told Fox Connecticut. "I didn't mean to break any rules, but I didn't know there were any."

She described her legal battle as being akin to "facing Mount Everest."

Click here for more on this story from Fox Connecticut.