Jasna Deti?ek v. Maurizio Sgueglia (C-403/09 PPU)

INCADAT legal file Hague parental abduction

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The proceedings related to a child born in September 1997 to a Slovenian mother and an Italian father, who were long-term residents in Italy. In divorce proceedings in Italy, on 25 July 2007, the father was granted provisional custody, but the child was ordered to be placed in care. On the same day, the mother removed the child to Slovenia. On 22 November 2007, the Italian order was declared enforceable in Slovenia and this was confirmed by the Supreme Court (Slovenia) on 2 October 2008. Enforcement proceedings, aimed at securing the return of the child, were then commenced.
Notwithstanding the latter proceedings, on 28 November 2008 the mother applied in Slovenia for a provisional and protective measure giving her custody of the child on the basis of Article 20 of the Brussels IIa Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003). This was granted on 9 December 2008 on the basis the child was settled, she wished to remain with the mother, and a return would cause her harm. Enforcement proceedings were suspended on 2 February 2009.
The father challenged the granting of the provisional measure. This was rejected. He then appealed to the Court of appeal in Maribor (Slovenia), which stayed the proceedings and made an application to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) under the urgent (PPU) mechanism as to whether Article 20 of the Brussels IIa Regulation had to be interpreted as allowing a court of a Member State to take a provisional measure in matters of parental responsibility granting custody of a child who was in the territory of that Member State to one parent, where a court of another Member State, which had jurisdiction, had already delivered a judgment provisionally giving custody to the other parent, and where that judgment had been declared enforceable in the territory of the former Member State.