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*PIL Case Law

Published on November 26th, 2016 | by Georgios Zacharodimos

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C‑294/15 – Reg. 2201/2003 – Action for annulment of marriage by a third party after the death of a spouse

Jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility — Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 — Article 1(1)(a) — Material scope — Action for annulment of marriage brought by a third party after the death of one of the spouses — Article 3(1) — Jurisdiction of the courts of the Member State of residence of the ‘applicant’ — Scope

Edyta Mikołajczyk

v

Marie Louise Czarnecka,

Stefan Czarnecki,

The following questions were referred to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

‘(1)      Do actions for annulment of a marriage following the death of one of the spouses fall within the scope of Regulation No 2201/2003?

(2)      In the event of an affirmative answer to Question 1, does the scope of that regulation extend to an action for annulment of marriage brought by a person other than one of the spouses?

(3)      In the event of an affirmative answer to Question 2, in actions for annulment of marriage brought by a person other than one of the spouses, may the jurisdiction of the court be based on the grounds set out in the fifth and sixth indents of Article 3(1)(a) of the regulation?’

The Court (Second Chamber) ruled:

1.      Article 1(1)(a) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, repealing Regulation (EC) No 1347/2000, must be interpreted as meaning that an action for annulment of marriage brought by a third party following the death of one of the spouses falls within the scope of Regulation No 2201/2003.

2.      The fifth and sixth indents of Article 3(1)(a) of Regulation No 2201/2003 must be interpreted as meaning that a person other than one of the spouses who brings an action for annulment of marriage may not rely on the grounds of jurisdiction set out in those provisions.

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