German Supreme Court: No exclusive “forum rei sitae” in dispute over membership in timesharing association

Plaintiff, an Austrian timesharing association, sued a German member for annual maintenance fees which were due according to the bylaws. Courts of first and second instance (AG Oranienburg/Brandenburgisches OLG) dismissed the claim because of lacking international jurisdiction of German courts.Upon further appeal of plaintiff, BGH held that membership in a timesharing association was not closely enough connected to the use of real estate property to constitute exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Member State in which the property is situated as provided by Art. 22 of the Brussels I Regulation (44/2001/EC): the member’s rights and obligations would go beyond the mere right to use of some real estate property. Membership in teh association therefore could not be compared with a tenancy contract. Supreme Court assigned the court of second instance with further proceedings and decision.Source: BGH press release re case VII ZR 119/08, available in German here>>.

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