Source of the Case: Precedent No. 4 – Case No. 04/2010/QD-HDTP

Overview:

Kieu Thi Ty (“Ty”), Chu Van Tien (“Tien”) v. Le Van Ngu (“Ngu), where the dispute on purchase contract for common property of husband and wife (“Contract”) has been decided by the Supreme Peoples’ Court of Cassation (“Court”) on March 3, 2010 that a written purchase contract for common property of husband and wife needs not be signed by both of them for assent to be valid.

Material Facts

On April 26, 1996, Ty & Tien entered into the Contract with Ngu to purchase a parcel of land (“Land”) from him as well as his wife, Tran Thi Phan (“Phan”). Even though the Land was the common property of Ngu & Phan, Phan hadn’t signed any agreement with Ty & Tien regarding the Contract and even the later Supplementary Letter. Thereafter, based on this ground, Phan raised her argument against Ty & Tien that the Contract was voidable in order to claim back the Land, and the Court awarded Ty & Tien the decision.

Judicial Reasoning and Legal Application:

The Court held their interpretation on the term “common property of husband and wife” that was regulated by Law on Marriage and Family 1986, which states “husband and wife have equal rights and duties with regard to their common property. Purchase property of considerable value shall require general consent between husband and wife”. Accordingly, the written purchase contract of common property of husband and wife needs not be signed by both of them for assent to be valid, as long as the one without signature acknowledges the Contract as well as makes no objection against the Contract.

As found and determined by the Court, in facts, after transferring the Land to Ty & Tien, Phan divided the transferred amount of money to her children. Phan had also performed the Supplementary Letter by leasing the transferred Land for living during the whole time her new house are constructed. In conclusion, the Court decided that Phan had shown by her conduct that Phan agreed to enter into the Contract. In other words, the Contract was recognized through her acceptance as well as enforcement.

In an observation, in the capacity of Ngu’s wife, Phan expressly assented to the Contract, either her expression of interest or her agreement to meet with Ty & Tien to enforce the Contract. The transaction was sufficient to establish “qualified acceptance” necessary to manifest express assent.


DISCLAIMER

This LBN newsletter are NOT legal advice. Readers are advised to retain a qualified lawyer, should they wish to seek legal advice. VCI Legal are certainly among those and happy to be retained, yet VCI Legal is not to be hold responsible should any reader choose to interpret/apply the regulations after reading this LBN without engaging a qualified lawyer.