The child, a girl, was 15 months old at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. She had lived in Spain since birth. The parents were married and both had joint rights of custody. On 26 June 1988 the mother brought the child to Austria without the consent of the father.
On 29 December 1989 return proceedings were initiated by the father.
On 30 January 1990 the District Court of Spittal an der Drau refused the return of the child on the basis that the child had become settled in her new environment (Article 12(2)) and a return would place the child in an intolerable situation (Article 13(1)(b)).
On 15 March 1990 the Appellate Court (Landesgericht Klagenfurt) confirmed this decision. The father appealed to the Supreme Court.