A gravely ill Hungarian man who left the country in the early 1980s applied for a passport in the United States only to find out he was officially declared dead 32 years ago by a local town court, news portal Origo writes.
The man left Hungary in 1980 and settled down in Florida, but never applied for US citizenship. His family – back in the central Hungarian town of Cegléd – never heard from him again, so five years after his disappearance, the legal period after which a missing person can be declared dead, they asked the local court to do so. As was the custom at the time, the court placed an appeal on the notice board of the local council, calling on the missing man or anyone with knowledge as to his whereabouts.
After the 30-day deadline had passed and no one responded to the notice, the man was officially declared dead so his relatives could proceed dividing up his inheritance. But recently the man applied for a Hungarian passport in Florida, where the Hungarian consulate informed him that he cannot have one because he is dead.
Given his condition, the court that originally declared him dead began an emergency procedure to anul the previous ruling so he can receive a passport.
This is the second such case this year. In March, a Hungarian woman who had lived in the Hague since 1998 received the same reply from the Hungarian consulate there when applying for a passport.