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Monday, July 6, 2009

What if you were never born?

No, this is not a post about "It's a Wonderful Life". But I will tell you a story about a man who was told by the Town of Carver that he did not exist.

While in the Plymouth Probate and Family Court last Tuesday, June 30, 2009, waiting for the Judge to call my client's Motion for hearing, I was listening to the presentations made by other litigants in Court for hearing on that day.

One of these litigants was a quiet man. He was accompanied by his Wife, who did most of the talking for him. She explained to the Judge that her husband had requested a copy of his Birth Certificate from the Town of Carver only to discover that they had no such record. This was puzzling to her and her husband because he had grown up in Carver and lived much of his life there.

He had a binder of evidence including school records, an Affidavit of one of the women present at his birth, and even military records. This man, who the Town of Carver didn't think existed, had even served our country.

Although most of you are unlikely to encounter this type of existential dilemma, I thought I'd share with you the solution. If you are ever told that your birth record has been destroyed (and you were not recently visited by your guardian angel), then you should put together just such a binder and go to the Probate and Family Court in the County in which you were born. You will have to file a Complaint in Equity under M.G.L. Chapter 46 Section 4, and after providing notice to the clerk of said Town, you will be able to present to the Judge proof that you exist (other than your being there, of course).

This is, incidentally, the same process used for mothers who give birth to a child without a physician or hospital medical officer in attendance, if the clerk of their Town refuses to record the birth. Although, that situation is probably more likely, it's not quite as interesting as the man from Carver who was never born.

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