The first applicant, Ms Croon had a child who's biological father was the second applicant, Mr Zerrouk, while she was still officially married with another man, Mr M’Hallem-Driss, with whom she was not cohabiting for several years already. Mr M’Hallem-Driss was registered as the child's father under the law. Ms Kroon and Mr Zerrouk requested the registrar of births to allow Ms Kroon to make a statement that Mr M’Hallem-Driss was not the child's father and thus make it possible for Mr Zerrouk to recognise the child as his. The national law at that time did not allow such statement be made by the mother, therefore nor the registry, nor the national courts in subsequent proceedings allowed it to be made.
The applicants argued that the fact that Ms Kroon couldn't enter in the register of births a statement that Mr M’Hallem-Driss was not the child's father, and with the result that Mr Zerrouk was not able to recognise him as his child, violated their right to private and family life.
The Court noted that between the child and Mr Zerrouk existed a bond amounting to family life, which had not been contested by any parties or national institutions. Further the Court stated that "respect" for "family life" requires that biological and social reality prevail over a legal presumption which, as in the present case, flies in the face of both established fact and the wishes of those concerned.
Since the state had failed to ensure the possibility of Mr Zerrouk to be legally recognized as the child's father, the state had not fulfilled its positive obligation to allow complete legal family ties to be formed between Mr Zerrouk and his child as expeditiously as possible. Therefore, the Court found a violation of the applicant’s right to private and family life protected under Article 8 of the Convention.