AG Kokott delivered yesterday (31 January 2019) its opinion in case C‑25/18 (Brian Andrew Kerr v Pavlo Postnov, Natalia Postnova), which is about Brussels I bis.
Context: “1. Which national court has international jurisdiction under the Brussels Ia Regulation (2) where an association of property owners has brought an action seeking to enforce payment of contributions for the maintenance of a property, but the defaulting property owners are domiciled in another Member State? This question arises in the present case in connection with a payment obligation arising from resolutions made by an association of property owners which does not have legal personality under national law.
2. The referring court is uncertain in this context whether, rather than the general jurisdiction of the domicile of the defendant, the special jurisdiction of the place of performance of the obligation in question can be applied in so far as the claims for payment in question constitute ‘matters relating to a contract’ within the meaning of Article 7(1)(a) of the Brussels Ia Regulation. The referring court would also like to know whether the Rome I Regulation (3) is applicable to resolutions made by an association of property owners like that in the present proceedings and by which conflict-of-law rules claims arising from such resolutions are to be assessed substantively”.
Opinion: “1. Notwithstanding exclusive jurisdiction under the first alternative in the first subparagraph of Article 24(1) in conjunction with the first alternative in the first sentence of Article 8(4) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 (Brussels Ia), proceedings concerning claims arising from decisions which are taken by the majority of the members of an association of property owners without legal personality, but which bind all members, including those who did not cast a vote, are to be regarded as matters relating to a contract within the meaning of Article 7(1)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 (Brussels Ia).
2. Article 7(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 (Brussels Ia) is to be interpreted as meaning that
– the performance of a management task by the organs of an association of owners, within which decisions regarding expenditure for building maintenance are taken, is not to be classified as ‘services’ within the meaning of the second indent of point (b);
– the place of performance of a payment obligation arising from such decisions is to be determined on the basis of the law applicable to the legal relationship in question under the conflict-of-law rules of the forum State in accordance with point (a)”.