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Any adult can decide to  disappear  without giving any news to his relatives. When should research be undertaken? What will be the steps to follow?

Do we have the right to disappear?

The adult can always decide to change domicile and break all contact with his family. Moreover, the address of an adult can only be given with his formal consent. This rule is consistent with the fundamental principle of  freedom  to come and go. Your lawyer from Nice is at your disposal to help you.

When to engage in research?

There are three cases in which a search can be initiated following the disappearance of an adult.
– First case: when the circumstances suggest that the disappearance is the result of a crime or offence.
– Second case: the disappearance is of a worrying or suspicious nature, given the circumstances, age or state of health of the disappeared person.
– Finally, third case: the person disappears for no apparent reason, to everyone’s surprise.

What steps to follow?

Relatives and family must make a declaration of disappearance to a police or gendarmerie service. Searches will be carried out at regional and then national level for one year and the person will be registered in the file of wanted persons for one year.

If the person is found?

If the person is found dead, the person who reported the disappearance is informed. The date and place of death are communicated to him. If the person is found alive, they are informed by report that, unless they object, their home address will be communicated to the declarant. The address must be communicated as soon as possible. If she objects, this refusal must be confirmed by a judicial police officer.

If the person is not found?

Beyond a period of 6 months from the searches carried out at national level, a “ vain search certificate ” may be issued by the service which received the declaration of disappearance. This document has no value in itself. It will nevertheless be useful in the context of certain procedures (divorce, inheritance, etc.). It can be appreciated by the courts as an element establishing the presumption of absence and does not prevent further research.

What status does the missing person take?

When the person has disappeared in worrying circumstances, the family can apply to the tribunal de grande instance to certify the death of the disappeared person. In this case, his estate will be opened and his marriage dissolved. If the person returns, he can request the annulment of this judgment.
If the person has disappeared under uncertain and/or curious conditions, the family can seize the guardianship judge to open a presumption of absence. The person will then be considered alive for a period of ten years and their property and heritage will be managed by an administrator (who may be a member of their family). If after ten years, the person has not reappeared, there may be a declaration of absence. This declaration will have all the effects of a declaration of death (open succession, dissolved marriage). If the person reappears, he can request the annulment of this judgment. She will have to prove her identity and re-establish her marital status, which will be that of a deceased person.
DAMY law firm , Nice, Disappearance of an adult, what to do? 2022 Update