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Montreal man returns from vacation, gets letter from Quebec government saying he's dead


After returning home from an extended vacation in Costa Rica, a Montreal man got the surprise of a lifetime in the mail — the Quebec government thinks he's dead.

In a 14-page letter from the Ministry of Justice, the government wrote that it is hoping to collect money from Nick Fatouros' estate for a speeding ticket. The problem is, Fatouros is very much alive.

"I was laughing. I said, 'Wow, that's news to me,'" he said in an interview at his home Thursday.

A letter stating Nick Fatouros is legally dead. (Submitted)

The 34-year-old says he contested a speeding ticket from 2022 and then left for an extended vacation in Central America.

"Completely forgot about it, came back and I got this letter," he said.

Fatouros said he was taken aback and is thankful his mother never saw it.

"If she would open this and I was off on my travels, God forbid, you know, she would say, what's going on?"

Fatourous says he tried to call the government to prove that he is actually alive but wasn't able to speak to anyone. "It's very hard to get through, very hard to get through," he said.

"Sometimes, it happens to have some mistakes like this, but it's really, really rare," said lawyer William Korbatly.

Korbatly says Fatouros needs to declare that he's alive — and quickly.

"It won't only affect this traffic ticket, it would affect all of his, you know, succession and everything," he said.

Fatouros says he just wants to prove that he is not a dead man walking.

"My next step is just to figure this out and tell them, look, maybe it was a mistake, a typo? Who knows?" he said. 

The justice ministry did not reply to CTV News' interview request by publication time on Thursday. Shortly after 6 p.m., a ministry spokesperson said in an email that the mix-up was a case of "human error."

"The Collector of Fines mistakenly used a letter template used to correspond with an estate rather than the one normally used to communicate with a defendant. We apologize for the situation," the email stated.

"An appropriate follow-up will be made with the citizen." Top Stories

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