The case concerned a child born in 2007 as a result of a relationship between a Spanish man and a Serbian woman. The family lived in Spain.
On 1 July 2008, the mother took the child to Austria, then to Serbia and again to Austria. She had previously demanded the father to consent in writing to their travelling in Europe until 21 July, the date on which they were to return to Spain. They did not return. At the end of July, the mother applied for sole custody of the child in Austria, then, on 12 August, she informed the father that they would not come back to Spain.
On 2 December, the Austrian judge granted the mother sole custody of the child. On 30 June 2009, the father applied for the immediate return of the child to Spain. It was dismissed at first instance and on appeal. He lodged an appeal before the Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof).