Friday, March 16, 2018

Romanian court tells man he is not alive

In a case reminiscent of a Kafka novel, a Romanian court has ruled that a 63-year-old man is dead despite what would appear to be convincing evidence to the contrary: the man himself appearing alive and well in court.

Constantin Reliu asked the court in the town of Barlad to overturn a death certificate obtained by his wife after he had spent more than a decade in Turkey, during which time he was out of contact with his family. The court told him he was too late, and would have to remain officially deceased.

“I am officially dead, although I’m alive,” a bemused Reliu told local media outlets. “I have no income and because I am listed dead, I can’t do anything.”
Reliu left Romania for Turkey in 1992, apparently to seek employment. He last returned to the country in 1999, and appears to have cut off all contact with his family. After years of silence from her estranged husband, Reliu’s wife obtained a backdated death certificate for him.

The Romanian daily Adevarul said Reliu’s wife had argued in court that having heard nothing from her husband since 1999, she had assumed he had died in an earthquake while in Turkey. The paper said Reliu believes she sought the death certificate in order to annul the marriage and allow her to remarry.

Read the rest here.


lannes said...

This legalistic idiocy sounds more like something out of California than it does a Kafka tale.

David said...

This is a real life version of a story in Will Eisner’s brilliant “New York: Life in the Big City” ; in Eisner's story “Sanctum,” Pincus Pleatnik, a dry-cleaning presser who “understood that being unnoticed is a major skill in urban survival” is mistakenly reported dead in the obituaries and he loses everything when he can’t get anyone to believe he is really still alive , because after all it was printed in the New York Times , so it must be true . He’s dead.