Friday, July 1, 2022

Court dismisses Schloss Marienburg lawsuit

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A civil court in Hamburg today rejected a request for the return of Schloss Marienburg to a Salzburg firm, EAH BetriebsgmbH, which acquired the claim to the Hanover properties after Prince Ernst August of Hanover, 68, had given up his lawsuit in 2020.

EAH BetriebsgmbH was founded in 2020 and the initials, EAH, are not a coincidence.

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Between 2004 and 2007, Prince Ernst August of Hanover, 68, the head of the former ruling family, gave the castle and other properties to his eldest son, Prince Ernst August. This was largely done for financial and inheritance purposes.

A few years later, Ernst August senior decided he wanted his properties back.  He also wanted the return of Schloss Calenberg and Herrenhausen, the latter of which is located in Hanover. 

The younger Prince Ernst August, who was trying to clean up the financial mess created by his father, refused to return the properties.  In 2019. he also made the decision to sell Schloss Marienburg because he did not the funds to cover the costs of much-needed repairs. 

The younger Prince Ernst August's decision set in motion more than a family quarrel.   He wanted to sell the Schloss to Lower Saxony for one euro.  This deal fell through, and the castle and its inventory, including artwork, were put into a foundation.

The judge in this ruling said that the younger Prince Ernst August was protecting the family assets as the "renovation burden" for Marienburg would cost at least 24 million Euros.  The younger Prince Ernst August recently spoke to the Hannover Allgemeine Zeitung.

"That's not true. A sustainable renovation is not possible with my means. As far as I'm concerned, the limit of financial viability has been reached." 

In March 2022, Prince Ernst August senior withdrew his lawsuit so the ruling today affected only EAH BetriebsgmbH, the Salzburg firm that the elder Prince Ernst August had sold his claim to his properties.

The court ruled that the firm had no claim to the Schloss Marienburg and other family possessions. Prince Ernst August did not have the legal right to assign his claims to the Salzburg company.

The judge also ruled against a "second argument against the claimant," whose lawyers argued that the elder Prince wanted his inheritance restored because of his son's "gross ingratitude"   because he never visited his father's bedside.     In an earlier ruling, judges had already decided that the "accusation was too general."  The family quarrel also meant that the senior [Prince "could hardly expect any more visits."   

After the verdict was announced,  Prince Ernst August, Jr. said: “The dismissal of the lawsuit by the district court in Hanover comes as no surprise to me. I was convinced from the start that the proceedings would show that the lawsuit had no legal basis and was hopeless. And that's how it happened."

He added the foundation is “legally secure”  and it can continue to concentrate with all its strength on ensuring the long-term preservation of Marienburg as a central cultural monument in Lower Saxony, which remains open to everyone.”

EAH BetriebsgmbH can appeal the decision.

1 comment:

Christina O. said...

Thank you for explaining the lawsuit and parties involved so clearly.

On another note, it would be satisfying if father and son made amends in their relationship.