The child, a girl, was 8 at the time of the alleged wrongful removal. She had lived in Norway all of her life. The mother was single and had sole custody of the child.
On 22 August 1998 the girl was forcibly removed from the mother’s care and placed in a children’s home by the Norwegian social authorities. On 25 August this decision was judicially approved. On 8 September the mother removed her daughter from the children’s home and took her to Denmark.
On 13 October a Norwegian court decided that the child should be under the care of the social authorities, although the mother would be granted access. On 25 November the Central Authority of Norway made an application for the return of the child.
On 7 January 1999 a Danish county court ruled that the removal was wrongful, since it had breached the social authorities’ rights of custody. The court did not find that there were any reasons to refuse the return of the child. It further held that the fact the mother had filed an appeal against the Norwegian decision should not result in the postponement of the return order.
The mother appealed the return order.