On 20 April 2023, the Court will reply to the following questions from the Tribunal de première instance de Liège (Belgium), lodged on 7 May 2021, in case C-291/21 Starkinvest, on the European Account Preservation Order Regulation:
Does a judgment which has been served, ordering a party to make a penalty payment in the event of breach of a prohibitory order, constitute a decision requiring the debtor to pay the creditor’s claim within the meaning of Article 7(2) of Regulation (EU) No 655/2014 … establishing a European Account Preservation Order procedure?
Does a judgment ordering a party to make a penalty payment, although enforceable in the country of origin, fall within the meaning of ‘judgment’ in Article 4 of Regulation No 655/2014 … where there has been no final determination of the amount in accordance with Article 55 of [the Brussels I bis Regulation]?
A summary of the factual background can be read here. In his opinion delivered on 20 October 2022, AG Szpunar suggests the court to answer:
Article 7(2) of Regulation (EU) No 655/2014 … establishing a European Account Preservation Order procedure to facilitate cross-border debt recovery in civil and commercial matters must be interpreted as meaning that a judgment which has been served, ordering the debtor to make a penalty payment in the event of breach of a prohibitory order, does not constitute a ‘[judgment] requiring the debtor to pay [the] claim’ within the meaning of that provision, with the effect that the court hearing an application for a European Account Preservation Order sought by the creditor in order to secure payment of the claim relating to that penalty payment must verify the existence and amount of that claim.
The judgement corresponds to a chamber of five judges (S. Prechal, L. Arastey Sahún, N. Wahl, J. Passer, and F. Biltgen as reporting judge).
The decision on C-352/21 A1 et A2 (Assurance d’un bateau de plaisance) is scheduled one week later. The request from the Østre Landsret (High Court of Eastern Denmark) was lodged on 28 May 2021. In the main proceedings it is discussed whether a jurisdiction clause in an insurance contract, under which proceedings must be brought before the courts of the country of the insurance company’s domicile, can be enforced against the policyholder. The question relates to the Brussels I regulation, and reads:
“Must Article 15(5) of the Brussels I Regulation, in conjunction with Article 16(5) thereof, be interpreted as meaning that hull insurance for pleasure craft that are not used for commercial purposes falls within the exception laid down in Article 16(5) of that regulation, and is, therefore, an insurance contract which contains a choice of court agreement departing from the rule laid down in Article 11 of that regulation valid under Article 15(5) of that regulation?”
The deciding chamber is composed by judges T. von Danwitz, A. Kumin (reporting) and I. Ziemele.
On the same day, the Court will render its decision on case C-372/22 CM (Droit de visite d’un enfant ayant déménagé), on Regulation (EC) Nº 2201/2003. The request from the Tribunal d’arrondissement de Luxembourg (Luxembourg) was lodged on 9 June 2022. The national court asks:
- Does Article 9(1) of [the Brussels II bis Regulation] apply:
(a) to an application to modify rights of access as defined by Article 2(10) of that regulation, made by a person granted such rights by a judicial decision which, in the interests of the children, was not to take effect until a future time, but which became final and has the status of res judicata, delivered in the State in which the children were formerly habitually resident more than four months before the application is brought before the court on the basis of Article 9(1);
(b) so as to exclude, if it does so apply, the general rule of jurisdiction contained in Article 8 of that regulation, notwithstanding that recital 12 of that regulation states that ‘the grounds of jurisdiction in matters of parental responsibility established in the present Regulation are shaped in the light of the best interests of the child, in particular on the criterion of proximity[; t]his means that jurisdiction should lie in the first place with the Member State of the child’s habitual residence, except for certain cases of a change in the child’s residence …’?
- If question 1 is answered in the affirmative, does the jurisdiction which thus exists under Article 9(1) of [the Brussels II bis Regulation], which is expressed to be ‘by way of exception to Article 8’of that regulation, preclude the application of Article 15 of the same regulation, which is expressed to apply ‘by way of exception’and where it ‘is in the best interests of the child’?
In the case at hand, CM, the father, and DN, the mother, are the parents of two children born in France in 2009 and 2010. The family resided in the Paris region until 2015, when they moved to Luxembourg. By judgment of June 12, 2020, the Luxembourg District Court fixed the legal domicile and habitual residence of the children with their mother, in France, with deferred effect from August 31, 2020, and granted the father , still residing in Luxembourg, a right of access with regard to the children, according to certain terms and conditions, also with effect from August 31, 2020. The delayed effect of the change of legal domicile and habitual residence was motivated by the concern to allow children to complete their school year in Luxembourg and to affect as little as possible any plans already planned for the summer holidays.
The mother and children actually moved to France on 30 August 2020, in accordance with the judgment of 12 June 2020. On 14 October 2020, the father submitted a request to the Luxembourg District Court to modify the terms and conditions of the access rights. At that point in time, the mother had already lodged an application before the family affairs judge of the Nanterre Judicial Court (France). By judgment of 1 December 2020, the District Court of Luxembourg, in accordance with Article 19(2) of Regulation No 2201/2003, stayed the proceedings until the French court ruled on its international jurisdiction.
By judgment of 17 September 2021, the Nanterre Judicial Court (France) declared itself incompetent to rule on the mother’s claim, essentially on the ground that, in accordance with Article 9 of Regulation No 2201/2003, the father, on the one hand, had lodged its application before the Luxembourg District Court within three months following the legal removal of the children and, on the other hand, had in no way accepted the jurisdiction of the French courts.
By judgment of 3 March 2022, the Court of Appeal of Versailles (France) dismissed the appeal against that judgment lodged by the mother.
The decision corresponds to judges L.S. Rossi (reporting), J.C. Bonichot and S. Rodin.
As of today, no PIL decisions or opinions are to be published in May 2023, nor will any hearing take place. Early June AG Emiliou will deliver his opinion in C-90/22 Gjensidige, on the relationship between the Brussels I bis Regulation and the CMR Convention. On the 22 there will a hearing on C-339/22 BSH Hausgeräte, on exclusive international jurisdiction regarding patents.
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