JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- This weekend Curtis Kelly will funeralize the patriarch of the family, 88-year-old Amos Kelly.
Amos Kelly had planned ahead. He bought a pre-need plan withRestlawn Memorial Park, which took him 60 months to pay for.
He made payments to Restlawn. It cost Amos Kelly$1310.80 for one casket and services.
"He took that money and trusted those people so that he wouldn't have to go through this and now they're acting like he never existed." said Curtis Kelly.
The pre-need plan was purchasednearly 18 years ago, but now that the family wants to use it, Restlawn will not honor it.
"I can tell you he was not pastoral. He said we're not going to do it and that's it," said Curtis Kelly. "It is just like it doesn't exist."
Since 2007, Restlawn Memorial Park has been operated by Southside Christian Charities, a non-profit. The chairman is Pastor Harold Rollinson.
"Staff has been instructed to refer all pre-need contract holders to the pre-need trustee,'" said Rollinson. "We're not licensed to handle pre-needs."
This is just one of the problemsfacing Southside Christian Charities. Court records show a foreclosure lawsuit has been filed against it.
Attorney Vincent Schindeler, who represents the plaintiffs,said Southside Christian Charities breached its contract and failed to pay a $600,000 mortgage.
Rollinson refused to comment on the foreclosure lawsuit.
The Kelly family was able to buy a casket to bury their father in Jacksonville's National Cemetery, but they wonder about others who have pre-need contracts with Restlawn.
"I just want people to be aware and investigate," said Curtis Kelly.
Rollinson said anyone with a pre-need contract should contact the Florida Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services to locatethe trustee.
"If consumers have an issue with a cemetery that is considered exempt, they should bring it to the cemetery first. If the issue is not resolved, contact the division to help resolve the issue," said Anna Alexopoulos, a spokesperson for the state agency.