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*PIL Case Law

Published on January 25th, 2018 | by Olga Papadopoulou

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CJEU C-498/16, Reg.44/2001 – Art.(15) & (16) – Definition of ‘consumer’ – Assignment between consumers of claims against the same trader or professional

C-498/16,

Maximilian Schrems  V. Facebook Ireland Limited,

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Third Chamber), 25 January 2018 (*)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Area of freedom, security and justice — Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 — Articles 15 and 16 — Jurisdiction in respect of consumer contracts — Definition of ‘consumer’ — Assignment between consumers of claims against the same trader or professional)

In those circumstances, the Oberster Gerichtshof (Supreme Court) decided to stay the proceedings and to refer the following questions to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

‘(1)      Is Article 15 of Regulation … No 44/2001 … to be interpreted as meaning that a “consumer” within the meaning of that provision loses that status if, after the comparatively long use of a private Facebook account, he publishes books in connection with the enforcement of his claims, on occasion also delivers lectures for remuneration, operates websites, collects donations for the enforcement of his claims and has assigned to him the claims of numerous consumers on the assurance that he will remit to them any proceeds awarded, after the deduction of legal costs?

(2)      Is Article 16 of Regulation … No 44/2001 to be interpreted as meaning that a consumer in a Member State can also invoke at the same time as his own claims arising from a consumer supply at the claimant’s place of jurisdiction the claims of others consumers on the same subject who are domiciled

(a)      in the same Member State,

(b)      in another Member State, or

(c)      in a non-member State,

if the claims assigned to him arise from consumer supplies involving the same defendant in the same legal context and if the assignment is not part of a professional or trade activity of the applicant, but rather serves to ensure the joint enforcement of claims?’

On those grounds, the Court (Third Chamber) hereby rules:

  1. Article 15 of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters must be interpreted as meaning that the activities of publishing books, lecturing, operating websites, fundraising and being assigned the claims of numerous consumers for the purpose of their enforcement do not entail the loss of a private Facebook account user’s status as a ‘consumer’ within the meaning of that article.
  2. Article 16(1) of Regulation No 44/2001 must be interpreted as meaning that it does not apply to the proceedings brought by a consumer for the purpose of asserting, in the courts of the place where he is domiciled, not only his own claims, but also claims assigned by other consumers domiciled in the same Member State, in other Member States or in non-member countries.

More information, here…





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