4th Civil Court of First Instance, City of Tijuana, State of Baja California interprets Art. 11 CISG
On 3 September 2010, the 4th Civil Court of First Instance, City of Tijuana, State of Baja California (Juez Quarto de lo Civil del Partido de Tijuana, Estado de Baja California) rendered a decision in the Metals case I. The decision's full text, originally written in Spanish, has now been translated into English by Galo Márquez Ruiz, LLM student at Queen Mary University of London. We are very grateful for his translation that can now be accessed via the case presentation about CISG-online 3851 (below).
The dispute underlying the decision arose from a contract for the sale of different types of metals. Usually, the Mexican buyers ordered those metals by telephone, fax or mail from the American seller and paid the price by check or electronic transfer after the goods were delivered to a company that was hired by the buyers. During the course of their dealings, the buyers failed to pay for several deliveries. Thus, the seller stopped delivery of the goods and initiated legal proceedings.
In its decision, the Civil Court of First Instance held that the CISG was applicable pursuant to Art. 1(1)(a) CISG. Furthermore, it emphasized that according to Art. 11 CISG a contract governed by the Convention does not have to be evidenced by writing, nor is it subject to any other requirement as to form. Consequently, it held that a signature of one of the parties or similar form requirements were not required in the present case. In fact, the Court concluded that the invoices provided by the seller were sufficient proof for the existence of a contract between the parties. As a result, the buyers became joint debtors of the seller when they received the goods pursuant to Arts. 30 and 53 CISG, according to the Court. The Court further held that the buyers received the goods at the moment they were delivered to the company they hired in accordance with Art. 31(a) CISG.
Ultimately, the Civil Court ordered the buyers to pay the outstanding sum under the contract in accordance with Arts. 61 and 62 CISG. In addition, the Court ordered the buyers to pay interest of 6% p.a. on the sum in arrears in accordance with Arts. 78 and 7(2) CISG in conjunction with Art. 362 of the Mexican Code of Commerce and to bear the costs of the proceedings.
Juez Quarto de lo Civil del Partido de Tijuana, Estado de Baja California (4th Civil Court of First Instance, City of Tijuana, State of Baja Califoria)
Mexico, 03 September 2010 – 1484/2009, CISG-online 3851