Browse Tag

Supreme Court

Start the Week: Marriott Complies with Court Order

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, today we take a look at a case from the Court of First Instance of Marbella which, unlike many other cases we have been following, has been completed in record time. We have to ask the question why has this case only taken 10 months to go through the courts with the sentence issued and payment made to the court.

This case involved German clients who purchased two contracts with Marriott at Son Antem, with deposits taken within the statutory cooling-off period, along with a floating weeks system and contracts with a duration of more than 50 years.

The Court of First Instance Number 8 of Marbella declared both contracts null and void plus awarded the clients 49,084€ for the purchase. The court also in accordance with the Supreme Court rulings on the taking of illegal deposits ordered a further 32,124€ which is double the amount taken in illegal deposits.

In total the court has awarded 81,208€ plus the clients have also been awarded legal interest and the return of their legal fees.

In just two months of the judgement, Marriott has already voluntarily deposited the full amount with the court, making this one of the speediest cases we have seen for a long time. When we take into account the time to translate the documents, prepare the case, submit it to the court then the 8 months for the case to be heard once filed, we have a case that has probably taken just around 12 months from start to finish.

So why has this case with Marriott been so quick?

One part of the answer can be found in our articles published 2018 and again in March 2021, in these articles, we reported that Marriott, which is a public company, has to make a full report to shareholders and the Securities Exchange Commission. In these reports (which can be found on the links to the previous articles), Marriott admitted they are losing in the courts and especially the Spanish Courts.

Marriott also announced that it had set aside litigation expenses of $16.3 million in respect of cases in the US and Spain. We have so far not seen anything like this from any other timeshare company, let alone admitting they are losing.

This aside, there are also the tactics that are being employed by other timeshare resorts of causing delays with late filings at court, constant appeals, and arguments over minor points of the case. The main culprits using these methods are our old friends at Anfi and we have to say that even Club la Costa has used similar methods in the past.

What we have seen with these delaying tactics are the courts becoming very frustrated with the timeshare resorts, in many cases the High Court has increased the payment awarded, adding the legal fees where they had not been granted by the lower courts. These can be considered to be punishment by the courts and they are well within their rights to do so.

It should also be considered how much it must cost in legal fees to their own lawyers, to constantly appeal, counterappeal, and file representations as to why the case should not be heard.

Obviously, Marriott, having to report their finances to shareholders and the Securities Exchange Commission, having to justify any expenditure, and reduction in profits to shareholders is a major factor in what Marriott appears to be playing ball. All we can say is this is good news for Marriott members with cases at court.

This case was brought on behalf of the clients by Canarian Legal Alliance, with the Lawyers Aroa Farray and Christine Ihmann with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client.

Links to past articles

https://insidetimeshare.com/marriott-admit-losing-in-spanish-courts/

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-marriott-and-the-spanish-courts/

Translations

Danish

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Dutch

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Finnish

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German

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Norwegian

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Swedish

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Marriott Lose Case and Deposit Huge Payment with the Court

Following on from yesterday’s article on the constant appeals to the High Court by Anfi and their attempt to either avoid or delay court-ordered payments, we today bring you the news of one company that is doing the right thing. Once again the timeshare company involved is Marriott Vacation Club. As we have published on several occasions, Marriott does appear to be acting in a much more responsible manner compared to Anfi, Club la Costa and Diamond.

At the Court of First Instance, Number 4 of Marbella, a German client of Canarian Legal Alliance has won his case against MVCI Holidays SL and MVCI Europe Limited.

The client’s contract which contained several infractions of Spanish Timeshare Law which have also been confirmed by 130 rulings from Spain’s Supreme Court was declared illegal and therefore null and void.

The main infractions were:

  • The contract was in perpetuity, when the law enacted on 5 January 1999 clearly states that contracts after this date must not exceed 50 years in duration;
  • Points and floating weeks are illegal as they contain nothing of substance, just the right of use subject to availability;
  • Taking of any payment within the statutory cooling-off period, even by a third party.

In her judgment, the presiding Judge Maria Jesus Lopez Navarro has not only declared the contract null and void but also ordered Marriott to repay the client 108,895€ The Judge also ordered that 33,448€ be added to the payment in respect of illegally taken payments with the statutory cooling-off period, this is double the amount taken as confirmed by law and the Supreme Court. The judge also ordered the payment of legal interest.

Anticipating the right of Marriott to lodge an appeal with the High Court against the sentence, the CLA Lawyers immediately applied to the court for a “provisional execution of sentence order”. This order forces the company to deposit the required funds with the court, thereby securing payment for the client 100%, pending confirmation of sentence by the High Court.

In this case, Marriott complied immediately by lodging this money with the court, a move we have seen in virtually all Marriott cases.

There are several reasons for Marriott’s stance, first, this reduces the amount of money they have to pay in increased legal interest which the court applies to the awarded amount. By depositing the awarded amount to the court immediately, stops any further accumulation of further interest payments.

It also saves any further increase in the awarded amount as the High Court does have the ability to increase this especially if they find that the appeal was frivolous and designed to delay or avoid payment.

The other reason is one we have mentioned before, Marriott is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, as a result, they have a legal obligation to report everything to their shareholders in their annual reports. In the last two reports we have published, Marriott did inform shareholders of the increase in litigation costs and the fact they had been losing in the Spanish courts.

Below is a link to our last article on this subject from 30 March 2021, this article also includes links to both reports to shareholders and the Securities Exchange Commission.

https://insidetimeshare.com/the-tuesday-slot-marriott-and-the-spanish-courts/

The case itself was prepared and presented by the CLA Lawyers  Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez and Christine Ihmann, with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client throughout the process.

Information has just been received of a massive victory for Canarian Legal Alliance and one of their Danish clients.

The High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas has confirmed the sentence of the Court of First Instance Number 2 of SBT against yet another appeal by Anfi.

Once again this court has dismissed the Anfi appeal and confirmed a massive award of 251,401€, this also included the payment of 38,925€ which is double the amount taken illegally as a deposit. Added to this will be legal interest and legal costs.

The illegal contract was also confirmed to be null and void in accordance with the original sentence.

The client’s case was prepared and conducted by CLA Lawyer Adrián Diaz Saavedra Morales with Claims Consultant Caroline Castro assisting the client.

It is quite clear the Courts of First Instance and the High Courts especially are following the law and rulings of the Supreme Court to the letter, it is just mind-boggling that these timeshare companies still believe the law is wrong and continue to appeal at every turn.

If you would like further information on this subject and whether you have a valid and viable case, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Translations

Danish

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=da&u=https://insidetimeshare.com/marriott-lose-case-and-deposit-huge-payment-with-the-court/

Dutch

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=nl&u=https://insidetimeshare.com/marriott-lose-case-and-deposit-huge-payment-with-the-court/

Finnish

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German

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Norwegian

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=no&u=https://insidetimeshare.com/marriott-lose-case-and-deposit-huge-payment-with-the-court/

Swedish

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=en&tl=sv&u=https://insidetimeshare.com/marriott-lose-case-and-deposit-huge-payment-with-the-court/


The Tuesday Slot: Anfi and More Woes from the High Court

At the end of last week, the news was received of further appeals to the High Court of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, by Anfi were once again rejected, yesterday yet another appeal was dismissed by the same court. In all cases, Anfi lost the initial case at the Court of First Instance of San Bartelóme de Tirajana. In one case not only did Anfi appeal, but the lawyers for the client also appealed as the Court of First Instance failed to recognise or make reference to the payment in double of any payments made during the statutory cooling-off period.

In our first case, Norwegian clients being represented by Lawyers from Canarian Legal Alliance won their case at the Court of First Instance, where the judge declared the contract null and void. The court also demanded that Anfi repay the client 42,429€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

Once again Anfi decided that they did not agree with the decision regardless that on every occasion they have lost the appeal, but launched it anyway.

The lawyers of CLA on behalf of the client also launched their own appeal regarding the failure of the court to award double the deposit taken during the cooling-off period. This point is a matter of law and has been confirmed on numerous occasions by the Supreme Court.

The Judge of the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas rejected and dismissed the Anfi appeal but did accept the appeal by CLA on behalf of their client. The Court recognised that the illegally taken deposit should have been refunded in double.

They increased the award by 16,420€ which brought the total amount to 58,849€, added to this will be the legal interest and legal costs.

The following day another Anfi appeal was rejected and dismissed by the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas.

The original trial involving another Norwegian client originally won their case at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of SBT. The judge, in this case, declared the contract illegal and therefore null and void, they also demanded that Anfi repay 57,813€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

In this ruling, the judge did recognise the point on the illegal taking of deposits, doubling up the amount taken illegally.

But as we have come to expect Anfi once again launched an appeal, once again they lost.

The High Court confirmed the sentence without hesitation and ordered the repayment of the said amount and confirming the contract was null and void.

Yesterday it was yet another Norwegian client of CLA who had their case concluded by the High Court.

The original ruling from the Court of First Instance declared the contract null and void with Anfi being ordered to repay the client 88,000€ plus legal interest and legal costs. In this case, the Court of First Instance recognised the illegality of the taking of any payment within the statutory cooling-off period. This doubling of the deposits taken amounted to 37,000€ more than the client originally paid.

But once again Anfi did not agree with the ruling and once again launched their appeal to the High Court.

As we have seen in all cases being heard on appeal, the High Court, this time Court Number 3 of Las Palmas, rejected and dismissed the appeal and confirmed 100% the original sentence of the Court of First Instance.

All these cases were prepared and conducted on behalf of the clients by CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Caroline Castro assisting the client during the procedures.

As we have been seeing over and over again, Anfi appeals every case, the reason, your guess is as good as mine.

What we do know is that Anfi along with other timeshare resorts and the industry trade body the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) still believe that the law is wrong, that the Supreme Court has misinterpreted the law. This is rather incredulous considering the time it has taken for the law to be verified and the 130 rulings made by the Supreme Court, all confirming the law and the sentences of the lower courts.

We also know that Anfi is employing some very underhand tactics by using this appeals process to delay payments. It is a fact that has been published not just here on Inside Timeshare but also in the Spanish press, that Anfi is moving funds from various bank accounts to give the impression they have no money.

This point is also being investigated by the Provincial Prosecutors Office with the assistance of lawyers from CLA, who have provided much of the evidence of these accounts.

It is also a fact that these appeals not only confirm the payments ordered but also cost Anfi a great deal of money. There are the legal costs of launching an appeal, our information is that it costs around 3000€ just to file the appeal with the court, add to this the cost of their legal representation, plus the accumulation of interest on the awarded sums, it does not take a mathematician to work out how much this is costing Anfi.

No doubt we shall be seeing many more of these cases on our pages over the course of the next year, as it seems like Anfi are not about to change their tactics.

If you would like further information on your legal rights and whether or not you have a valid and viable case, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.