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LARA Shuts Down Barksdale Funeral Home in Detroit

License suspended for Occupational Code and Prepaid Funeral and Cemetery Sales Act violations; operating without a license

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280

January 17, 2018 – Due to multiple violations of Michigan’s Occupational Code and the Prepaid Funeral and Cemetery Sales Act, the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) has summarily suspended the mortuary science establishment license of Barksdale Funeral Home, Inc., located at 1120 East State Fair Street in Detroit, MI, and the individual mortuary science license of its manager Millie L. Stewart. A formal complaint, an order of summary suspension, and an order to cease and desist were issued by LARA’s Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau (CSCL) in conjunction with the Michigan Attorney General’s office. A separate formal complaint was issued against Barksdale’s prepaid funeral and cemetery sales registration.

An investigation by state inspectors and auditors found deplorable, unsanitary conditions and violations that included:

  • Unclean and unsanitary embalming room used as a storage area with inadequate ventilation system and ceiling tiles missing, stained, and sagging.
  • Preparation room also used as a storage area, included a blood-stained box used to transport a body, and floor, sink, and countertops were not clean and sanitary with ceiling tiles missing, stained, and sagging.
  • Improper storage of cremated remains in funeral home and its garages, four that lacked any form of identification.
  • Poor condition of cremated remains due to water damage or suspected rodent infestation.
  • A failure to deposit at least $2,036 in funds related to three prepaid funeral contracts with an authorized escrow agent or within 30 days of receipt, under the Prepaid Act.
  • Fraud, deceit, or dishonesty, incompetence, and gross negligence in practicing an occupation.

Providing funeral services and merchandise with an expired mortuary science establishment license.

“Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law especially when dealing with the death of a loved one,” said CSCL Director Julia Dale. “We will continue to aggressively hold every funeral home in Michigan to the highest standards of public health and safety when providing final arrangements.”

Engaging in or attempting to engage in the practice of an occupation regulated under the Occupational Code without a license is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by a criminal fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. A person who converts funds paid under a prepaid contract to his or her own use or benefit or who fails to escrow or trust funds according to the Prepaid Act is guilty of a felony punishable by a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both, for each violation. A person who violates any other provision of the Prepaid Act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, for each violation.

CSCL will allow Barksdale Funeral Home five business days after the mailing of the Order (through January 22, 2018), to complete services or refer families to another licensed funeral home before the license suspension becomes effective. 

Members of the public who are in the process of or have used the services of Barksdale Funeral Home and have questions or concerns regarding the operation of the home should contact CSCL at 517-241-7000.

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