The child, a girl, was nine months old at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. She was taken by her mother from North Carolina in the United States to Germany on 15 November 1993. The father petitioned for her return under the Convention.
The Family Court (Familiengericht) of Schwelm refused to order her return. The father appealed and on 18 January 1995 the Higher Regional Court (OLG) of Hamm reversed the lower court’s order and directed that the child be sent back to the United States. The mother, on her own behalf and on behalf of her daughter, presented an application to the Federal Constitutional Court.
On 17 March 1995 the Federal Constitutional Court stayed the return order to give consideration to the constitutional claims. The Federal Constitutional Court requested submissions on the issues from several German governmental agencies, academic institutes and non-governmental organisations.