French Woman Struggles to Prove She is “Alive” in Bizarre Legal Twist

The attacker is facing five years in prison

DESPITE being alive and well, a French woman has struggled to prove she is “alive” to authorities in a bizarre legal debacle that has lasted three years.

Jeanne Pouchain, a 58-year old from just outside Lyon, has been struggling for three years to prove she is not dead due to a complex and frustrating legal debacle.

The bizarre case began in 2004, when a French court ordered Pouchain ordered her to pay damages to an employee when her company lost a major contract. As the case was against her firm, not Pouchain herself, the order was not legally binding and was thrown out of court again in 2009.

In 2016, the former employee complained to the court that Pouchain had not been responding to their letters and reported her dead. The following year Pouchain was legally declared deceased by French authorities, causing the cancellation of her ID card, driving license, health insurance and bank account.

Pouchain’s lawyer has recently attempted to have their client legally resurrected, accusing the former employee of inventing her death to force payment from her husband and son. The employee’s legal team has argued that Pouchain was complicit in reports of her death so that she could avoid paying the sums owed to their client.

“It’s a crazy story. I couldn’t believe it. I never thought that a judge would declare someone dead without a certificate.” Pouchain’s lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, told AFP, “But the plaintiff claimed Mrs. Pouchain was dead, without providing any proof and everyone believed her. Nobody checked”. The bizarre legal dispute is ongoing.


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Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...

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