An unnamed woman is struggling to figure out the identity of the father of her unborn child in a very peculiar case. You may be asking yourself why is her situation so difficult?
The father of her child is a male escort from a German hotel.
She is now in a legal battle trying to discover her full name. All she has to go by is “Michael” and is looking to sue for child support payments for their child.
The hotel has three other “Michaels” checked in at the time and is being uncooperative when it comes to releasing their identities.
A court in Munich ruled that the hotels do NOT have to tell her their names, as “each of the four Michaels had a right to control their own data and protect their own marriage and family.”
The court also ruled that the name she is looking for may very well not even be the real name of the male escort that she used and her limited information is not worth the risk of exposing the private information of other men unnecessarily.
The hotel where they spent three nights in 2010, in the city of Halle, does not have to tell her the man’s name, a court in Munich ruled. The man’s right to privacy outweighed the woman’s claim for child support payments from him, the ruling said.
She knew him as “Michael” but three other Michaels were also at the hotel. Each of the four Michaels had a right to “control their own data and protect their own marriage and family”, the ruling said. The case was heard at the Munich District Court because the hotel chain is based in the Bavarian city. Halle is in eastern Germany. The woman – not named in the case – said she had got pregnant after staying with “Michael” in a room on the second floor. She now has a seven-year-old son called Joel.
The court decided that her lack of detail about the man raised the risk of personal data “simply being released at random”. “Nor is it certain that the Christian name is indeed the name of the man in question,” the court said.
German privacy laws are among the strictest in Europe. It is partly a legacy of history – under the Nazis, then later under the communist East German regime, there was intrusive mass surveillance, with grievous human rights abuses. The Munich Appeal Court backed the verdict and decided not to review the case, a court spokeswoman told the BBC. The case is now closed, in terms of German civil law, she added.