A woman who was declared dead three years ago by a French judge is fighting to prove she is actually still alive.
The bizarre incident took place in the commune of Saint-Joseph, a small town of just under 2,000 people in the department of Loire in central France.
Jeanne Pouchain has been fighting since November 2017 to prove she is alive. She told French newspaper France Bleu she had no social security, no bank account and no valid identification.
In November 2017, a court in the city of Lyon ruled she was dead without checking for any certificates after the allegation was made by a former employee with whom she was locked in a legal battle.
The 58-year-old woman got a knock on her door one morning to find officials informing her husband and son they had to pay money to the disgruntled employee.
That is when she found out she had apparently been declared dead.
“I went to see a lawyer who told me that this would be sorted out very quickly,” Mrs Pouchain told France Bleu.
“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.”
The ruling had established she was dead based on information provided by the disgruntled employee, who has not been named, according to the newspaper.
The ‘dead’ woman’s lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, has filed a complaint with the court in Lyon, the first hearing took place on Monday.
The poor woman said the situation was “intolerable”, adding: “I feel like I have been in lockdown for three years.
“I have no identity papers, no social security, I cannot prove to the banks that I am alive, I am nothing.”
Mrs Pouchain reportedly rarely leaves her home now, spending most of the time on the veranda.
“You have been in lockdown for three months, I feel like I have been in lockdown for three years,” she said.
“I don’t fight, no one will fight for me.”
The case to have her declared alive is still ongoing.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.