German hotel avoids liability in case of baby conceived during short stay | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 02.05.2017
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German hotel avoids liability in case of baby conceived during short stay

A German woman has failed in her legal bid to force a hotel to name the man she spent three nights with, seven years ago. She gave birth to a son nine months later and believes the lover is the father.

A court in Munich has ruled that the hotel in eastern Germany was under no obligation to divulge the identity of a man who may have impregnated a German woman during a three-night love affair.

The woman stayed in the hotel room in Halle with her companion in June 2010. She asked judges to force the hotel to fully name her lover who she knew only as Michael. The hotel had earlier refused to identify the man who was billed for the room or to supply his address.

Four men named Michael

The case was further complicated by the fact that four men stayed at the hotel during the period in question who had the first name of Michael.

The only other information the woman knew was that the room they stayed in was on the second floor, according to a court statement.

The woman, who has not been named, wanted to claim child support from the man, who she believes is the father of her son - Joel - who was born in March 2011.

Hotel acted correctly

The court ruled that the hotel was correct in refusing to divulge the man's personal details under Germany's Federal Data Protection Act.

Since the woman could not describe the man in detail, it was impossible for the hotel to identify just one man, the court ruled.

Judges said the man has the right to control his own personal data, along with the right to protect his family and marriage, according to the statement.  Those rights took precedence over her right to child maintenance payments, the court added.

The four men named Michael also have the right to keep their sexual relations secret, the court said.

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