A judge granted a default judgment Thursday against Crestlawn Cemetery in Scott County and ordered its owner to fulfill all outstanding obligations to consumers or provide refunds.
Scott County Circuit Judge Paul F. Isaacs also ordered cemetery owner Dale Shackelford to properly register the cemetery and to pay civil penalties to the state attorney general’s office.
The default judgment was granted to the Office of Consumer Protection in the attorney general’s office.
In late May, the attorney general’s office brought a civil lawsuit against Crestlawn Cemetery LLC and Shackelford. The lawsuit, filed in Scott Circuit Court, alleged that Shackelford took payments from numerous customers for burial monuments that were never installed and failed to respond to requests for refunds.
The suit claims that Shackelford abandoned his responsibilities to maintain the cemetery. In addition, state law requires anyone operating a cemetery business to register with the attorney general’s office and to file annual reports with the office. Shackelford failed to do both, the lawsuit said.
Shackelford failed to respond to the lawsuit, prompting the attorney general’s office to file a motion for default judgment in July.
Shackelford also didn’t reply to the motion for default judgment or appear in court Thursday, when the judge ruled in the attorney general’s favor. The state will now monitor compliance with the court order and take appropriate steps if the defendants fail to comply.
A Scott County grand jury might consider criminal charges against Shackelford later this year.