Frenchwoman Jeanne Pouchain is facing an unusual problem. She’s officially dead! She has been striving for three years to establish that she is alive. The 58-year-old woman says she lives in perpetual fear, not daring to leave her house in the village of Saint Joseph, in the Loire region. Authorities confiscated her car over an unpaid debt she contests and which is at the center of her troubles.
She fears the family furniture will be seized next. Pouchain’s dead status has stopped her and her husband, who is her legal receiver along with her son, from using their joint bank account. Being pronounced dead has stripped her of other vital amenities.
Pouchain’s status as deceased is the result of a 2017 Lyon court judgment that considered her dead even though no death certificate was produced. The decision came at the conclusion of a legal conflict with an employee of Pouchain’s former cleaning company, who was demanding compensation after losing her job 20 years ago. According to Pouchain and her attorney, the judicial errors ended with the Appeals Court of Lyon pronouncing that Pouchain was not among the living. The legal confusion is all the stranger because, Pouchain contended, neither she nor her relatives got a summons for the hearing. Cormier, her attorney, registered an unusual motion last Monday to revoke the 2017 decision by the Lyon appeals court due to a “grave error” by the judges. He said he has never before dealt with such a “crazy” case.