The children were aged 2 and 3 months at the date of the alleged wrongful removal. The parents were married and the family lived in Indianapolis (USA). In 1989, with the agreement of the father, the mother took the children to France. However, they did not return and the mother commenced divorce proceedings in France.
On 13 July 1993 the Cour d’appel in Paris refused to order the return of the children, invoking Article 13(1)(b) and finding that they were now settled in their new environment. The father petitioned the Cour de cassation to challenge the legality of the latter decision.