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Woman Declared Dead In 2017 Launches Legal Bid To Prove She’s Alive

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Woman Declared Dead In 2017 Launches Legal Bid To Prove She’s Alive

A woman in France is involved in a bizarre legal battle as she's forced to try to prove she's alive after being declared dead in 2017.

The unusual case began after a court in Lyon declared Jeanne Pouchain, 58, dead despite there being no death certificate.

The ruling came at the end of a legal dispute with a former employee of the cleaning company Pouchain used to run - the employee was seeking compensation after she lost her job.

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The complaint ended up in France's highest court - the Court of Cassation - which deemed the case as outside of its domain, the Washington Post reports.

Credit: Newsflash
Credit: Newsflash

Following that, Pouchain and her lawyer Sylvain Cormier say a 'snowballing' of judicial errors ended with the Appeals Court of Lyon declaring that she is no longer among the living.

Newspaper France Bleu says the decision was made on the word of the disgruntled former employee, without checking for a death certificate.

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Pouchain says neither she nor her relatives even received a summons for the hearing.

In the end, the court ordered that Pouchain's husband and son pay the ex-worker 14,000 (£12,457).

As well as it being pretty weird to be declared dead while you're still alive and kicking, the ruling also presents a number of complications.

Credit: Newsflash
Credit: Newsflash
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With Pouchain 'being dead', it means her husband cannot access their joint back account and she has no bank account of her own, no identity papers and no health insurance.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Pouchain said: "I no longer exist.

"I don't do anything... I sit on the veranda and write."

The 58-year-old said she's too scared to leave her home in Saint Joseph in Loire and has had her car seized by authorities over the unpaid debt she contests, that lies at the heart of this whole weird saga.

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Speaking to French newspaper France Bleu she said: "I went to see a lawyer who told me that this would be sorted out very quickly.

"I went to my doctor to get a piece of paper saying that I was well and truly alive, but apparently, this document is not enough because it goes against a court ruling."

Cormier has now filed a motion to invalidate the 2017 decision due to a 'grave error' - as you can imagine, the lawyer also said he's never dealt with a such a 'crazy' case before.

Credit: Newsflash
Credit: Newsflash
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He admitted: "At first, I had a hard time believing my client."

The lawyer believes the case is taking so long as the judges are showing 'extreme reticence to repair their error'.

He explained: "When an error is so enormous, it's hard to admit."

Looking ahead, Pouchain remains hopeful that the matter will all be sorted in court, adding: "It's my last chance to recover my life."

Featured Image Credit: Newsflash

Topics: France, Weird

Claire Reid
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