BUCHAREST (AFP) - In Romania, the birthplace of the world's most famous member of the living dead, Dracula, turning up in front of a judge may not be enough to prove you are alive.
Constantin Reliu, from the eastern town of Barlad, learnt this the hard way last week: a court rejected his request for the annulment of a death certificate which was issued in his name in 2016, according to a judgement seen on the court's website on Friday (March 16).
The reason for the court's decision has not been confirmed, but according to Romanian media it was due to the deadline for changes to the certificate having passed.
Reliu left the country in the early 1990s to work in Turkey and returned to Romania in January of this year. After his arrival, he found out he had been declared dead by his family, who had not heard from him in his absence, local media reports say.
Without any official proof that he is alive, Reliu, 63, can not enter employment or claim benefits. He has no contact with his family, who have moved abroad, and is currently surviving thanks to the kindness of neighbours.
He faces another legal process to prove with documentation that he has been alive since the certificate was issued.