Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: N° de pourvoi : 00-21651
    • Member State: France
    • Common Name:X / Société Sofinroute Sofinco Service
    • Decision type: Other
    • Decision date: 09/07/2003
    • Court: Cour de Cassation (Supreme court)
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff:
    • Defendant:
    • Keywords:
  • Directive Articles
    Doorstep Selling Directive, Article 1, 1.
  • Headnote
    1. Where a sale is concluded in a location not intended for the sale of the good(s) on offer, the seller’s name must be mentioned in the contract. This requirement applies to a vehicle rental agreement with the option to buy.
    2. Where the seller’s name is not mentioned, the contract is null and void pursuant to article L. 121-21 indent 2 of the Consumer Protection Act (Code de la consommation, CC).
  • Facts
    On 8 February 1994, Mrs X signed a vehicle rental agreement with the option to buy as proposed by the Sofinroute Sofinco Service Corporation. Having fallen into arrears with repayment of her rental charges, she was ordered to pay all outstanding monies via a payment injunction order served at the request of Sofinroute Sofinco Service on the grounds that she was in breach of the terms of her contract. Since she held that the contract she had concluded on 8 February 1994 was null and void on the grounds that it did not comply with the provisions in the Consumer Protection Act governing both consumer credit and doorstep selling, Mrs X opposed the payment injunction order.
  • Legal issue
    The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeal’s ruling, which ordered Mrs X to pay the outstanding rental charges to Sofinroute Sofinco Service. The Supreme Court’s ruling was made for the following reasons:
    The judges in the Court of First Instance found the contract to be null and void on the basis of articles L. 121-21ff CC. This finding was based on a statement given by a former employee of the Safiroute Corporation who sold the vehicle financed by Sofinroute Sofinco Service.
    In the Court of Appeal’s view, the judges in the Court of First Instance misinterpreted the statement. According to the statement, the transaction was concluded at a third party’s residence. The Court of Appeal therefore concluded that provisions concerning doorstep selling did not apply since the contract was not signed at Mrs X’s residence. As a result, there was no requirement to mention the seller’s name – with failure to do so rendering the contract null and void – since in reality, this requirement is not laid down in the Act of 10 January 1978 on the provision of credit to private individuals.
    This ruling was overturned as the Court of Appeal had clearly ascertained that the transaction was concluded in a location not intended for the sale of the good(s) on offer. As a result, the seller’s name had to be mentioned; failure to mention it rendered the contract null and void. Since the name did not appear on the contract, it had to be annulled.
  • Decision

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