Book 4: Obligations & Contracts

Title II. – CONTRACTS

CHAPTER 2 > ESSENTIAL REQUISITES OF CONTRACTS

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 1318. There is no contract unless the following requisites concur:

(1) Consent of the contracting parties;

(2) Object certain which is the subject matter of the contract;

(3) Cause of the obligation which is established. (1261)

SECTION 1. – Consent

Art. 1319. Consent is manifested by the meeting of the offer and the acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the contract. The offer must be certain and the acceptance absolute. A qualified acceptance constitutes a counter-offer.

Acceptance made by letter or telegram does not bind the offerer except from the time it came to his knowledge. The contract, in such a case, is presumed to have been entered into in the place where the offer was made. (1262a)

Art. 1320. An acceptance may be express or implied. (n)

Art. 1321. The person making the offer may fix the time, place, and manner of acceptance, all of which must be complied with. (n)

Art. 1322. An offer made through an agent is accepted from the time acceptance is communicated to him. (n)

Art. 1323. An offer becomes ineffective upon the death, civil interdiction, insanity, or insolvency of either party before acceptance is conveyed. (n)

Art. 1324. When the offerer has allowed the offeree a certain period to accept, the offer may be withdrawn at any time before acceptance by communicating such withdrawal, except when the option is founded upon a consideration, as something paid or promised. (n)

Art. 1325. Unless it appears otherwise, business advertisements of things for sale are not definite offers, but mere invitations to make an offer. (n)

Art. 1326. Advertisements for bidders are simply invitations to make proposals, and the advertiser is not bound to accept the highest or lowest bidder, unless the contrary appears. (n)

Art. 1327. The following cannot give consent to a contract:

(1) Unemancipated minors;

(2) Insane or demented persons, and deaf-mutes who do not know how to write. (1263a)

Art. 1328. Contracts entered into during a lucid interval are valid. Contracts agreed to in a state of drunkenness or during a hypnotic spell are voidable. (n)

Art. 1329. The incapacity declared in Article 1327 is subject to the modifications determined by law, and is understood to be without prejudice to special disqualifications established in the laws. (1264)

Art. 1330. A contract where consent is given through mistake, violence, intimidation, undue influence, or fraud is voidable. (1265a)

Art. 1331. In order that mistake may invalidate consent, it should refer to the substance of the thing which is the object of the contract, or to those conditions which have principally moved one or both parties to enter into the contract.

Mistake as to the identity or qualifications of one of the parties will vitiate consent only when such identity or qualifications have been the principal cause of the contract.

A simple mistake of account shall give rise to its correction. (1266a)

Art. 1332. When one of the parties is unable to read, or if the contract is in a language not understood by him, and mistake or fraud is alleged, the person enforcing the contract must show that the terms thereof have been fully explained to the former. (n)

Art. 1333. There is no mistake if the party alleging it knew the doubt, contingency or risk affecting the object of the contract. (n)

Art. 1334. Mutual error as to the legal effect of an agreement when the real purpose of the parties is frustrated, may vitiate consent. (n)

Art. 1335. There is violence when in order to wrest consent, serious or irresistible force is employed.

There is intimidation when one of the contracting parties is compelled by a reasonable and well-grounded fear of an imminent and grave evil upon his person or property, or upon the person or property of his spouse, descendants or ascendants, to give his consent.

To determine the degree of intimidation, the age, sex and condition of the person shall be borne in mind.

A threat to enforce one’s claim through competent authority, if the claim is just or legal, does not vitiate consent. (1267a)

Art. 1336. Violence or intimidation shall annul the obligation, although it may have been employed by a third person who did not take part in the contract. (1268)

Art. 1337. There is undue influence when a person takes improper advantage of his power over the will of another, depriving the latter of a reasonable freedom of choice. The following circumstances shall be considered: the confidential, family, spiritual and other relations between the parties, or the fact that the person alleged to have been unduly influenced was suffering from mental weakness, or was ignorant or in financial distress. (n)

Art. 1338. There is fraud when, through insidious words or machinations of one of the contracting parties, the other is induced to enter into a contract which, without them, he would not have agreed to. (1269)

Art. 1339. Failure to disclose facts, when there is a duty to reveal them, as when the parties are bound by confidential relations, constitutes fraud. (n)

Art. 1340. The usual exaggerations in trade, when the other party had an opportunity to know the facts, are not in themselves fraudulent. (n)

Art. 1341. A mere expression of an opinion does not signify fraud, unless made by an expert and the other party has relied on the former’s special knowledge. (n)

Art. 1342. Misrepresentation by a third person does not vitiate consent, unless such misrepresentation has created substantial mistake and the same is mutual. (n)

Art. 1343. Misrepresentation made in good faith is not fraudulent but may constitute error. (n)

Art. 1344. In order that fraud may make a contract voidable, it should be serious and should not have been employed by both contracting parties.

Incidental fraud only obliges the person employing it to pay damages. (1270)

Art. 1345. Simulation of a contract may be absolute or relative. The former takes place when the parties do not intend to be bound at all; the latter, when the parties conceal their true agreement. (n)

Art. 1346. An absolutely simulated or fictitious contract is void. A relative simulation, when it does not prejudice a third person and is not intended for any purpose contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy binds the parties to their real agreement. (n)

SECTION 2. – Object of Contracts

Art. 1347. All things which are not outside the commerce of men, including future things, may be the object of a contract. All rights which are not intransmissible may also be the object of contracts.

No contract may be entered into upon future inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by law.

All services which are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy may likewise be the object of a contract. (1271a)

Art. 1348. Impossible things or services cannot be the object of contracts. (1272)

Art. 1349. The object of every contract must be determinate as to its kind. The fact that the quantity is not determinate shall not be an obstacle to the existence of the contract, provided it is possible to determine the same, without the need of a new contract between the parties. (1273)

SECTION 3. – Cause of Contracts

Art. 1350. In onerous contracts the cause is understood to be, for each contracting party, the prestation or promise of a thing or service by the other; in remuneratory ones, the service or benefit which is remunerated; and in contracts of pure beneficence, the mere liberality of the benefactor. (1274)

Art. 1351. The particular motives of the parties in entering into a contract are different from the cause thereof. (n)

Art. 1352. Contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause, produce no effect whatever. The cause is unlawful if it is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. (1275a)

Art. 1353. The statement of a false cause in contracts shall render them void, if it should not be proved that they were founded upon another cause which is true and lawful. (1276)

Art. 1354. Although the cause is not stated in the contract, it is presumed that it exists and is lawful, unless the debtor proves the contrary. (1277)

Art. 1355. Except in cases specified by law, lesion or inadequacy of cause shall not invalidate a contract, unless there has been fraud, mistake or undue influence. (n)

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