Dutch court rejects man's request to be 20 years younger - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Dutch court rejects man's request to be 20 years younger

Posted: Updated:

By MIKE CORDER
Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - Dutch motivational speaker Emile Ratelband may feel like a 49-year-old but according to Dutch law he is still 69.

A Dutch court on Monday rejected Ratelband's request to shave 20 years off his age in a case that drew worldwide attention.

"Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly," Arnhem court said in a press statement . "But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications."

Ratelband went to court last month, arguing that he didn't feel 69 and saying his request was consistent with other forms of personal transformation which are gaining acceptance in the Netherlands and around the world, such as the ability to change one's name or gender.

The court rejected that argument, saying that unlike in the case of a name or gender, Dutch law assigns rights and obligations based on age "such as the right to vote and the duty to attend school. If Mr. Ratelband's request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless."

Ratelband, perhaps unsurprisingly given his background as self-described advocate of positive thinking, was undeterred by the court's rejection and vowed to appeal.

"This is great!" he said. "The rejection of (the) court is great ... because they give all kinds of angles where we can connect when we go in appeal."

He said he was the first of "thousands of people who want to change their age."

The court said it acknowledged "a trend in society for people to feel fit and healthy for longer, but did not regard that as a valid argument for amending a person's date of birth."

Ratelband also insisted his case did have parallels with requests for name and gender changes.

"I say it's comparable because it has to do with my feeling, with respect about who I think ... I am, my identity," he said.

The court said Ratelband failed to convince the judges that he suffers from age discrimination, adding that "there are other alternatives available for challenging age discrimination, rather than amending a person's date of birth."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Cost of governor's race topped $64M, shy of state record

    Cost of governor's race topped $64M, shy of state record

    Monday, December 10 2018 1:27 PM EST2018-12-10 18:27:13 GMT

    Spending in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race topped $64 million, as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf thumped Republican Scott Wagner to win a second term.

    More >>

    Spending in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race topped $64 million, as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf thumped Republican Scott Wagner to win a second term.

    More >>
  • Community groups collecting donations for family of children killed in Youngstown fire

    Community groups collecting donations for family of children killed in Youngstown fire

    Tuesday, December 11 2018 12:02 AM EST2018-12-11 05:02:11 GMT

    After a late night deadly fire on Sunday claimed the lives of five children, the Youngstown community is rallying to support the family.  

    More >>

    After a late night deadly fire on Sunday claimed the lives of five children, the Youngstown community is rallying to support the family.  

    More >>
  • YFD: Working smoke detectors in house where fire killed 5 children

    YFD: Working smoke detectors in house where fire killed 5 children

    Monday, December 10 2018 11:51 PM EST2018-12-11 04:51:28 GMT

    About 11:30 last night Sunday night all that lined Parkcliffe Avenue were firetrucks, now lining the curb - stuffed animals, balloons and candles. The makeshift memorial is for the five children killed in a house fire in Youngstown.  The mother of those five children 26-year-old America Negron Acevedo jumped from a window and second floor roof to escape the smoke and flames.  She begged firefighters to save her babies.  Her mother tells 21 News she did everything she ...

    More >>

    About 11:30 last night Sunday night all that lined Parkcliffe Avenue were firetrucks, now lining the curb - stuffed animals, balloons and candles. The makeshift memorial is for the five children killed in a house fire in Youngstown.  The mother of those five children 26-year-old America Negron Acevedo jumped from a window and second floor roof to escape the smoke and flames.  She begged firefighters to save her babies.  Her mother tells 21 News she did everything she ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms