A Romanian man is legally alive once again, two years after his family reported him dead after not hearing from him for decades, judicial sources said Wednesday.
Constantin Reliu, who had left to work in Turkey in the 1990s, was shocked to learn upon his return to Romania in January that his family had obtained a death certificate for him in 2016.
The 63-year-old cook succeeded on his second attempt to convince judges in the northeastern town of Barlad of his continued existence.
Despite appearing in court in nearby Vaslui in person in March, judges there rejected his plea.
Though they did not spell out the reasons for the ruling, Romanian media said the deadline for challenging a death certificate had expired.
Refusing to exist with only a “living dead” status, Reliu then turned to the court in Barlad, his birthplace.
Despite the new court ruling, he is not completely out of the woods, since anyone doubting the truth of his existence can appeal the court’s ruling within 30 days.
Since his return among the living, Reliu has had to rely on neighbours for support because without official proof of his existence, he has been unable to find work or receive state benefits.