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Civil Code

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CIVIL CODE

MISE A JOUR LEGIFR ANCE 21 February 2004

Dernier texte modificateur : ordonnance n° 2004-164 du 20 Feb. 2004

Translated by Georges Rouhette, Professor of Law, with the assistance of Anne Berton, Research
Assistant in English.

CIVIL CODE

PRELIMINARY TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION, OPERATION AND APPLICATION OF
STATUTES IN GENERAL

Art. 1

Statutes become in force throughout the French territory by virtue of their being
promulgated by the President of the Republic [Constitution of 4 Oct. 1958, art. 10].

They shall be enforced in every part of the Republic from the moment their promulgation
can be known.

The promulgation made by the Pres ident of the Republic shall be deemed known in the
département where the Government is sitting one day after the day of promulgation; and in all
the other départements, after the expiry of the same period, increased by one day per ten
myriameters (about twenty ancien t leagues) between the city where the promulgation is made
and the chief town of each département 1.

1 Shall continue in force until 31 May 2004

Art. 1 (Ord. n° 2004-164 of 20 Fe b. 20041).- Statutes and, when they are published in the
Journal Officiel de la République Française, administrative acts shall come into force on the date
specified in them or, in the absence thereof, on the day after their publication. However, the
commencement of those of their provisions whos e enforcement requires implementing measures
shall be postponed to the date of commencement of said measures.

In case of emergency, statutes whose decr ee of promulgation so prescribes and administrative
acts as to which the Government so orders by a sp ecial provision shall come into force as soon as
they are published.

The provisions of this Article shal l not apply to acts of individual application.

1 Shall come into force on 1 June 2004

Art. 2

Legislation provides only for the future; it has no retrospective operation.

Art. 3

Statutes relating to public poli cy and safety are binding on all those living on the
territory.

Immovables are governed by French law even when owned by aliens.

Statutes relating to the status and capacity of persons govern French persons, even those
residing in foreign countries.

Art. 4

A judge who refuses to give judgment on the pretext of legislation being silent, obscure
or insufficient, may be prosecuted for be ing guilty of a denial of justice.

Art. 5

Judges are forbidden to decide cases submitted to them by way of general and regulatory
provisions .

Art. 6

Statutes relating to public poli cy and morals may not be derogated from by private
agreements .

BOOK ONE OF PERSONS

TITLE ONE OF CIVIL RIGHTS

CHAPTER I – OF ENJOYMENT OF CIVIL RIGHTS

Art. 7

(Act of 26 June 1889)

The exercise of civil rights is unrelated to the exercise of political rights which are
acquired and kept in accordance with c onstitutional and electoral statutes.

Art. 8

(Act of 26 June 1889)

Every French person enjoys civil rights.

Art. 9

(Act n° 70-643 of 17 July 1970)

Everyone has the right to respect for his private life.

Without prejudice to compensa tion for injury suffered, the court may prescribe any
measures, such as sequestration, seizure and others , appropriate to prevent or put an end to an
invasion of personal privacy; in case of emer gency those measures may be provided for by
interim order.

Art. 9-1

(Act n° 93-2 of 4 Jan. 1993)

Everyone has the right to respect of the presumption of innocence.

(Act n° 2000-516 of 15 June 2000) Where, before any sentence, a person is publicly
shown as being guilty of facts under inquiries or preliminary i nvestigation, the court, even by
interim order and without prejudice to compen sation for injury suffered, may prescribe any
measures, such as the insertion of a rectification or the circulation of a communiqué, in order to
put an end to the infringement of the presumption of innocence, at the expenses of the natural or
juridical person liable for that infringement.

Art. 10

(Act n° 72-626 of 5 July 1972)

Everyone is bound to collaborate with the court so that truth may come out.

He who, without legitimate reas on, eludes that obligation when it has been legally
prescribed to him, may be compelled to comply with it, if need be on pain of periodic penalty
payment or of a civil fine, without prejudice to damages.

Art. 11

An alien enjoys in France the same civil rights as those that are or will be granted to
French persons by the treaties of the nation to which that alien belongs.

Art. 12 and 13 [repealed]

Art. 14

An alien, even if not residing in France, may be cited before French courts for the
performance of obligations contracted by him in France with a French person; he may be called
before the courts of France for obligations contracted by him in a foreign country towards
French persons.

Art. 15

French persons may be called before a court of France for obligations contracted by them
in a foreign country, even with an alien.

CHAPTER II – THE OF RESPECT OF THE HUMAN BODY

(Act n° 94-653 of 29 July 1994)

Art. 16

Legislation ensures the primacy of the person, prohibits any infringement of the latter’s
dignity and safeguards the respect of th e human being from the outset of life.

Art. 16-1

Everyone has the right to respect for his body.

The human body is inviolable.

The human body, its elements and its products may not form the subject of a patrimonial
right.

Art. 16-2

The court may prescribe any meas ures appropriate to prevent or put an end to an
unlawful invasion of the human body or to unlawful dealings relating to its elements or products.

Art. 16-3

There shall be no invasion of the integrity of the human body except in case of “medical”
(Act n° 99-641 of 27 July 1999) necessity for the person.

The consent of the person concer ned must be obtained previously except when his state
necessitates a therapeutic in tervention to which he is not able to assent.

Art. 16-4

Nobody may invade the integrity of mankind.

Any eugenic practice which aims at organizing the selection of persons is forbidden.

Without prejudice to researches aiming at preventing and treating genetic diseases, there
may be no alteration of the genetic characters wi th a view to changing the descent of a person.

Art. 16-5

Agreements that have the effect of bestowing a patrimonial value to the human body, its
elements or products are void.

Art. 16-6

No remuneration may be grante d to a person who consents to an experimentation on
himself, to the taking of elements off his body or to the collection of products thereof.

Art. 16-7

All agreements relating to procre ation or gestation on account of a third party are void.

Art. 16-8

No information enabling the identi fication of both the person that donates an element or a
product of his body and the person that receive s it may be disclosed. The donor may not be
acquainted with the identity of th e receiver and the receiver may not be acquainted with that of
the donor.

In case of therapeutic necessit y, only the physicians of the donor and receiver may have
access to the information enabling the iden tification of the two persons concerned.

Art. 16-9

The provisions in this chapter are mandatory.

CHAPTER III – OF THE GENETIC STUDY OF THE PARTICULARS OF A PERSON AND
OF THE IDENTIFICATION OF A PERSON OWING TO HIS GENETIC PRINTS

(Act n° 94-653 of 29 July 1994)

Art. 16-10

A genetic study of the particul ars of a person may be undertaken only for medical
purposes or in the interest of scientific research .

The consent of the person must be obtained before the carrying out of the study.

Art. 16-11

The identification of a person owing to his genetic prints may only be searched for within
the framework of inquiries or investigations pending judicial proceedings or for medical
purposes or in the interest of scientific research .

In civil matters, that identif ication may be sought only in implementation of proof
proceedings directed by the court seized of an action aiming either at establishing or at
contesting a parental bond, or fo r getting or discontinuing subsid ies. The consent of the person
must be obtained previously and expressly.

Where the identification is made for medical purposes or in the interest of scientific
research, the consent of the pers on must be obtained previously.

Art. 16-12

Only persons whom have been authorized in such a way as prescribed by a decree in
Conseil d’État are entitled to undertake identifica tions owing to genetic prints. In the framework
of judicial proceedings, those persons must beside s be registered in a list of judicial experts.

Art. 16-13

(Act n° 2002-303 of 4 March 2002).- No one may be discriminated against on the basis of his
genetic features.

TITLE ONE bis

OF FRENCH NATIONALITY

(Act n° 93-33 of 22 July 1993)

CHAPTER I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 17

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

French nationality is granted, ac quired or lost according to the provisions laid down in
this Title, subject to any trea ties and other international commitments of France which may
apply.

Art. 17-1

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

New statutes related to the granting of nationality by birth shall apply to persons who are
minors at the time of their entry into force, with out prejudice to the vested rights of third parties
and without their being allowed to challenge the validity of transactions previously concluded
on ground of nationality.

The provisions of the preceding pa ragraph shall apply for purposes of interpretation to
the statutes related to nationality by birth that have come into force after the promulgation of
Title I of this Code.

Art. 17-2

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Acquisition and loss of French natio nality are governed by the law that is in force at the
time of the act or fact to which le gislation attributes those effects.

The provisions of the preceding pa ragraph shall govern for purposes of interpretation the
commencement of the Nationality Acts that were in force before 19 October 1945.

Art. 17-3

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

Applications in view to acquiring, losing French nationality or being reinstated in that
nationality, as well as declaratio ns of nationality, may, in the way provided for by law, be made
without authorization fr om the age of sixteen.

A minor under sixteen must be represented by the person or persons who exercise
parental authority over him.

(Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995) A minor between sixteen and eighteen who is prevented
from expressing his intention by an impairing of his mental or bodily faculties must be likewise
represented. The impediment shall be establis hed by the judge of guardianships of his own
motion, on application of a member of the family of the minor or of the Government procurator’s
office, upon presentation of a certificate issued by a specialist selected on a list drawn out by the
Government procurator.

(Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995) Where the minor mentioned in the preceding paragraph is
placed under guardianship, he is represented by the gua rdian authorized to this end by the family
council .

Art. 17-4

(Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003).- Falling with in the terms of this Title, the phrase “in
France” means the metropolitan territory, overseas départements and territories as well as New
Caledonia and the French Southern and Antartic Lands.

Art. 17-5

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

In this Title, majority and minority shall be understood according to the meaning they
have in French law.

Art. 17-6

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

In order to determine the Fren ch territory at any time, account shall be taken of
modifications resulting from enactments of the French Government under the Constitution and
statutes, as well as under internatio nal treaties previously concluded.

Art. 17-7

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

In the absence of conventional stipulations, the effects upon French nationality of
annexations and cessions of territories are governed by the following provisions.

Art. 17-8

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Nationals of the ceding State do miciled in the annexed territories on the day of the
transfer of sovereignty acquire French nationality, unless they actually establish their domiciles
outside those territories. Under the same reservation, French na tionals domiciled in the ceded
territories on the day of the transfer of sovereignty lose that nationality.

Art. 17-9

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The effects upon French nationali ty of the accession to independence of former overseas
départements or territories of the Republic are determined in Chapter VII of this Title.

Art. 17-10

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The provisions of Article 17-8 sh all apply for purposes of interpretation to changes of
nationality following upon annexations and cessi ons of territories resulting from treaties
concluded before 19 October 1945.

However, aliens who had their domiciles in territories retroceded by France under the
Treaty of Paris of 30 May 1814 and who transferred their domiciles in France later than this
Treaty, were not allowed to acquire French na tionality on this ground unless they complied with
the provisions of the Act of 14 October 1814. French persons who were born outside the
retroceded territories and have kept their domiciles on those terr itories have not lost French
nationality under the terms of the aforementioned Treaty.

Art. 17-11

(Ord. n° 45-2441 of 19 Oct. 1945)

Provided that there is no infringement of the interpretation given to former agreements, a
change of nationality may not, in any case, follo w from an international convention, unless the
convention so provides expressly.

Art. 17-12 (Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Where, under the terms of an intern ational convention, a change of nationality is subject
to the performing of an act of op tion, that act shall be determined as to its form by the law of the
contracting country in which it is performed.

CHAPTER II – OF FRENCH NATIONALITY BY BIRTH

Section I – Of French Persons by Parentage

Art. 18

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Is French a child, legitimate or illegitimate, of whom at least one parent is French.

Art. 18-1

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

If however only one of the parents is French, the child who was not born in France has
the power to repudiate the status of French w ithin six months preceding and twelve months
following his majority.

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973) That pow er is lost if the alien or stateless parent acquires
French nationality during the minority of the child.

Section II – Of French Pe rsons by Birth in France

Art. 19

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Is French a child born in France of unknown parents.

He shall however be deemed to have never been French if, during his minority, his
parentage is established as regard s an alien and if, under the nationa l law of his parent, he has the
nationality of the latter.

Art. 19-1

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Is French:

1° A child born in France of stateless parents;

2° A child born in France of alie n parents and to whom the transmission of the nationality
of either parent is not by any means allowed by foreign Nati onality Acts.(Act n° 2003-1119 of
26 Nov. 2003).

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998) He shall however be deemed to have never been
French if, during his minority, the foreign nationali ty acquired or possessed by one of his parents
happens to pass to him.

Art. 19-2

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Shall be presumed born in France a child whose record of birth was drawn up in
accordance with Articl e 58 of this Code.

Art. 19-3

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Is French a child, legitimate or illegitimate, born in France where one at least of his
parents was himself born there.

Art. 19-4

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Where however only one parent was born in France, a child who is French under the
terms of Article 19-3 has the power to repudiate this status within six months preceding and
twelve months following his majority.

That power is lost where one of the parents acquires French nationality during the
minority of the child.

Section III – Common Provisions

Art. 20

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

A child who is French under this Chapter shall be deemed to have been French as from
his birth, even where the statut ory requirements for the granting of French nationality were
fulfilled only at a later date.

(Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1976) The nationality of a child who was the subject of a
plenary adoption is determined according to the distinctions set out in Articles 18 and 18-1, 19-1,
19-3 and 19-4 above.

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973) The esta blishing of the status of French later than birth may
not however affect the validity of transactions previously concluded by the party concerned nor
the rights previously acquired by third parties on the ground of the apparent nationality of the
child.

Art. 20-1

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The parentage of a child has eff ect on his nationality only where it is established during
his minority.

Art. 20-2

(Act n° 93-993 of 22 July 1993)

A French person who has the power to repudiate French nationality where this Title so
provides may exercise that power by way of a d eclaration uttered in accordance with Articles 26
and following.

He may divest himself of th at power from the age of sixteen in the same way.

Art. 20-3

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

In the circumstances referred to in the preceding Article, nobody may repudiate French
nationality unless he proves that he has by birth the nationality of a foreign country.

Art. 20-4

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

A French person who enlists in French forces loses the power to repudiate.

Art. 20-5

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The provisions of Articles 19-3 and 19-4 shall not apply to children born in France of
diplomatic agents or of regular consuls of foreign nationalities.

(Act n° 93-993 of 22 July 1993) Those children have however the power to acquire
voluntarily French nationality as provided for “in Article 21-11 below.” ( Act n° 98-170 of 16
March 1998)

CHAPTER III – OF THE ACQUISIT ION OF FRENCH NATIONALITY

Section I – Of the Modes of Acquiring French Nationality

§ 1 – Of the Acquisition of French Nationality by Reason of Parentage

Art. 21

(Act n° 73-4 of, 9 Jan. 1973)

As of right, ordinary adoption has no effect on the nationality of an adopted child.

§ 2 – Of the Acquisition of French Nationality by Reason of Marriage

Art. 21-1

(Act n° 73-4 of, 9 Jan. 1973)

As of right, marriage has no effect on nationality.

Art. 21-2

(Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003)

An alien or stateless person who marries and whos e spouse is of French nationality may, after a
period of two years from the marriage, acquire French nationality by way of declaration provided
that, at the time of the declar ation, the community of living both affective and physical has not
come to an end and the French spouse has kept his or her nationality. The foreign spouse must
also prove a sufficient knowledge of the French language, according to his or her condition.

The duration of the commun ity of living shall be raised to three years where the alien, at the
time of the declaration, does not prove that he ha s resided in France uninterruptedly for at least
one year from the marriage.

The declaration shall be made as provi ded for in Articles 26 and following. Notwithstanding
the provisions of Article 26-1, it sh all be registered by the Minister in charge of naturalisations.

Art. 21-3

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Subject to the provisions of Articles 21-4 and 26-3, the party concerned acquires French
nationality at the date when the declaration is uttered.

Art. 21-4

(Act n° 93-993 of 22 July 1993)

By a decree in Conseil d’État, th e Government may, on grounds of indignity or lack of
assimilation other than linguistic (Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003), oppose the acquisition of
French nationality by the foreign spouse within a period of one year after the date of the
acknowledgement of receipt provided for in Arti cle 26, paragraph 2, or, where the registration
was refused, after the day when the judgment whic h admits the lawfulness of the declaration has
entered into force.

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973) If there is an opposition by the Government, the party
concerned shall be deemed to have never acquired French nationality.

However, the validity of trans actions concluded between the declaration and the decree
that challenges it may not be objected to on the ground that the maker was not allowed to acquire
French nationality.

Art. 21-5

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Where a marriage is declared to be void by a judgment of a French court, or of a foreign
court whose authority is acknowledg ed in France, the declaration laid down in Article 21-2 may
not lapse with regard to the spouse who married in good faith.

Art. 21-6

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The annulment of a marriage may not have any effect on the nationality of the children
born thereof .

§ 3 – Of the Acquisition of French Nationality by Reason of Birth and Residence in France

Art. 21-7

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

Every child born in France of foreign parents acquires French nationality on his coming
of age where, at that time, he has his reside nce in France and has had his usual residence in
France for a continuous or discontin uous period of at least five years, from the age of eleven.

The tribunaux d’instance, local au thorities, public bodies and services and especially
educational establishments are ob liged to inform the public, and in particular those persons to
whom paragraph 1 applies, of the provisions in force in matters of nationality. The requirements
as to that information shall be pres cribed by a decree in Conseil d’État.

Art. 21-8

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

The party concerned has the power to declare, in the way laid down in Article 26 and
subject to his proving that he has th e nationality of a foreign State, that he disclaims the status of
French within six months before or twelve months after his majority .

In this event, he sh all be deemed to have never been French.

Art. 21-9

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

Any person who fulfils the require ments laid down in Article 21-7 in order to acquire
French nationality loses the power to discla im it where he enlists in French forces.

Any minor born in France of fore ign parents who is regularly recruited as a volunteer
acquires French nationality at the date of his recruitment.

Art. 21-10

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

The provisions of Articles 21-7 to 21-9 may not apply to children born in France of
diplomatic agents and of regular consuls of fore ign nationality. Those children have however the
power to acquire voluntarily French nationality as provide d for in Article 21-11 below.

Art. 21-11

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

A minor child born in France of foreign parents may from the age of sixteen claim
French nationality by declarati on, in the way laid down in Artic les 26 and following where, at
the time of his declaration, he has in France hi s residence and has had his usual residence in
France for a continuous or discontin uous period of at least five years, from the age of eleven.

Under the same terms, French nationality may be claimed, on behalf of the minor child
born in France of foreign parents, from the age of thirteen and with his personal consent, in
which event the requirement of usual residence in France should be fulfilled from the age of
eight.

§ 4 – Of the Acquisition of French Nati onality by Declaration of Nationality

Art. 21-12

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

A child who was the subject of an ordinary adoption by a per
son of French nationality
may, up to his majority, declare, in the way pr ovided for in Articles 26 and following, that he
claims the status of French, if he reside s in France at the time of his declaration.

“However, the obligation of resi ding is dispensed with where the child was adopted by a
person of French nationality who does not have his usual residence in France” (Act n° 98-170,
16 March 1998).

May, in the sa me way, claim French nationality:

1° A child, who, for at least five years, has been sheltered and brought up by a person of
French nationality or who, for at least three years, has been entrusted to the Children’s aid service
(Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003).;

2° A child sheltered in France a nd brought up in conditions that allowed him to receive,
during five years at least, a French education “from either a public body, or a private body
offering the features determined by a decree in Conseil d’État” (Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993).

Art. 21-13

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

May claim French nationality “by declaration uttered as provided for in Articles 26 and
following” (Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993), pers ons who have enjoyed in a constant way the
apparent status of French for the ten years prior to the declaration.

Where the validity of the transactions concluded before the declaration was made
conditional on the entitlement of French nationalit y, that validity may not be objected to on the
sole ground that the declaran t had not that nationality.

Art. 21-14

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

Persons who have lost French na tionality under Article 23-6 or against whom was raised
the peremptory exception laid down by Article 30 -3 may claim French nationality by declaration
uttered as provided for in Articles 26 and following.

They must have kept or acquire d patent cultural, professional, economic or family bonds
with France, or actually performed military servi ces in a unit of the French army or fought in
French or allied armies in time of war.

The surviving spouses of the pe rsons who actually performed military services in a unit
of the French army or fought in French or allied armies in time of war may likewise benefit from
the provisions of this Article, paragraph 1.

§ 5 – Of the Acquisition of French Nationa lity by a Decision of the Government

Art. 21-14-1

(Act n° 99-1141 of 29 Dec. 1999)

French nationality may be c onferred by decree, on a proposal from the Minister of
Defence, to an alien recruited in French armies who was wounded on duty during or on the
occasion of an operational action an d who makes a request herefor.

Where the party concerned is dead, the same procedure is open to his minor children
who, at the day of the death, fulf illed the requirement of residence laid down in Article 22-1,
subject to the conditions la id down in paragraph 1.

Art. 21-15

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

“Except in the circumstances referred to in Article 21-14-1” (Act n° 99-1141 of 29 Dec.
1999), the acquisition of French nationality by a decision of the Government results from a
naturalisation granted by decree at the request of the alien.

Art. 21-16

(Ord. n° 45-2441 of 19 Oct. 1945)

Nobody may be naturalised unless he has his residence in France at the time of the
signature of the decree of naturalisation.

Art. 21-17

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

Subject to the exceptions la id down in Articles 21-18, 21-19 and 21-20, naturalisation
may be granted only to an alien who proves an usua l residence in France for five years before the
submission of the request.

Art. 21-18

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The probationary period referred to in Article 21-17 shall be reduced to two years:

1° As regards the alien who has successfully completed two years of university education
in view of getting a diploma conferred by a French university or establishment of higher
education;

2° As regards the alien who gave or can give significant services to France owing to his
competences and talents.

Art. 21-19

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

May be naturalised wit hout the requirement of a probationary period:

“1° A minor child who remained an alien although one of his parents acquired French
nationality;

2° The spouse and child of ag e of a person who acquires or acquired French nationality”
(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993);

3° [repealed]

4° An alien who actually performed military services in a unit of the French army or who,
in time of war, enlisted voluntarily in French or allied armies;

5° A national or former nationa l of territories and States on which France exercised
sovereignty, or a protectorate, a mandate or a trusteeship;

6° An alien who gave exceptional services to France or one whose naturalisation is of
exceptional interest for France. In this event, the decree of naturalisation may be granted only
after taking Conseil d’État’s opinion and on the basis of a reasoned report from the competent
Minister;

7° (Act 98-170 of 16 March 1998) An alien who obtained the status of refugee in
accordance with the Act n° 52-893 of 25 July 1952 establishing a French Office for the
protection of refugees and stateless persons.

Art. 21-20

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

May be naturalised without an y requirement as to a probationary period a person who
belongs to the French cultural and linguistic unit, where he is a national of territories or States

whose official language or one of the official languages is French, either if French is his mother
tongue or if he proves school attenda nce of at least five years at an institution teaching in French.

Art. 21-21

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

French nationality may be confe rred by naturalisation on a proposal from the Minister of
Foreign Affairs to any French-speaking alien wh o makes the request thereof and who contributes
by his eminent deeds to the influence of France and to the prosperity of its international
economic relations.

Art. 21-22

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

With the excep tion of a minor who may avail himsel f of the privilege of Article 21-19,
paragraph 2 (1°), nobody may be naturalised unless he has reached the age of eighteen.

Art. 21-23

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Nobody may be naturalised where he is not of good character or has incurred one of the
sentences referred to in Ar ticle 21-27 of this Code.

However, sentences delivered abro ad may be overlooked; in this event the decree that
pronounces naturalisation may be enacted only after assent of the Conseil d’État.

Art. 21-24

(Ord. n° 45-2441 of 19 Oct. 1945)

Nobody may be naturalised unless he proves his assimilation into the French community,
and specially owing to a sufficient knowledge of the French language, according to his condition
and of the rights and duties conferred by Fren ch nationality” (Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov.
2003).

Art. 21-24-1

(Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003)

The requirement of knowledge of the French lan guage shall not apply to political refugees and
stateless persons who have resided in France regu larly and usually for at least fifteen years and
who are over seventy.

Art. 21-25

(Ord. n° 45-2441 of 19 Oct. 1945)

The way of carrying out the check ing of assimilation and state of health of an alien
awaiting his naturalisation shall be pr escribed by decree in Conseil d’État.

Art. 21-25-1

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

The reply of the Government to a request for acquisition of French nationality by
naturalisation must be made at the latest w ithin eighteen months after the date when the

acknowledgement of receipt that establishes the delivery of all the documents needed for the
completion of a comprehensive file is issued to the applicant.

That period may be extende d only once for three months by a reasoned decision.

§ 6 – Provisions Common to some M odes of Acquiring French Nationality

Art. 21-26

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Is equivalent to a residence in France where that residence is a requirement for the
acquiring of French nationality:

1° The residing abroad of an a lien who exercises a private or public professional activity
on behalf of the French state or of a body whos e activity is of special interest for French
economy or culture;

2° A residing in those countri es in customs union with France which are named by a
decree;

3° (Act 98-170 of 16 March 1998) A presence outside France, in time of peace as in time
of war, in a regular unit of the French army or for the duties laid down in Book II of the Code of
National Service;

4° (Act 98-170 of 16 March 1998) A residing outside France as a volunteer for national
service.

The equivalence as to residence which benefits one spouse shall be extended to the other
where they actually live together.

Art. 21-27

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993; Act 98-170 of 16 March 1998) )

Nobody may acquire French nationality or be reinstated in that nationality where he has
been sentenced either for ordinary or serious offences that constitute a damage to the

fundamental interests of the nation or an act of terrorism or, whatever the offence concerned may
be, to a penalty of six months’ impr isonment or more without suspension.

(Act n° 93-1417 of 30 Dec. 1993) It shall be likewise for the person who has been subject
either to an exclusion order not expressly revoked or repealed or to a banishment of the French
territory not fully enforced.

(Act 93-1027 of 24 August 1993) It shall be likewise for the person whose residence in
France is irregular with respect to the statutes and conventions concerning the residence of aliens
in France .

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998) The provisions of this Article shall not apply to a
minor child who may acquire French nationa lity under Articles 21-7, 21-11, 21-12 and 22-1,nor
to a condemned person who has benefited from a rehabilitation by operation of law or by a
judicial rehabilitation in accordan ce with Article 133-12 of the Pena l Code, or the entry of whose
sentence has been excluded from the certificate n° 2 of the police record, in accordance with
Articles 775-1 and 775-2 of the Code of Crim inal Procedure” (Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov.
2003).

Section II – Of the Effects of Acquiring French Nationality

Art. 22

(Act n° 83-1046 of 8 Dec. 1983)

A person who has acquired French na tionality enjoys all the rights and is bound to all the
duties attached to the st atus of French, from the day of that acquisition.

Art. 22-1

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998; Act n° 99-1141 of 29 Dec. 1999)

A minor child, legitimate, illegitim ate or who has been the subject of a plenary adoption,
one of the parents of whom acquires French nation ality, becomes French as of right where he has
the same usual residence as that parent, or resi des in turn with that parent in the event of
separation or divorce.

The provisions of this Article shall not apply to the child of a person who acquires
French nationality by a decision of the French go vernment or by declaration of nationality unless
his name is mentioned in the decree or the declaration.

Art. 22-2

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The provisions of the preceding Article shall not apply to a married child.

Art. 22-3

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

However, a child who is French under Article 22-1 and who was not born in France has
the power to repudiate that status within six months preceding and twelve months following his
coming of age.

He must exercise that power by declaration uttered as provided for in Articles 26 and
following.

He may divest himself of that power fr om the age of sixteen in the same way.

CHAPTER IV – OF LOSS AND FORFEITURE Of, AND OF REINSTATEMENT IN FRENCH
NATIONALITY

Section I – Of Loss of French Nationality

Art. 23

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

An adult of French nationality residing usually abroad, who acquires voluntarily a foreign
nationality, loses French nationality only where he so declares expressly, in the way provided for
in Articles 26 and following of this Title.

Art. 23-1

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The declaration in view to losing French nationality may be subscribed from the filing of
the request for acquiring the forei gn nationality and, at the latest, within a period of one year
after the date of that acquiring.

Art. 23-2

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

French persons who are under the age of thirty-five years may not subscribe the
declaration provided for in Arti cles 23 and 23-1 above unless they have complied with the duties
under Book II of the Code of National Service.

Art. 23-3

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

Loses French nationality a French person who exercises the power to repudiate that status
in the circumstances referred to in Articles 18-1, 19-4 and 22-3.

Art. 23-4

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Loses French nationality a French person, even being a minor, who, having a foreign
nationality, is, on his request, authorized by the Fr ench Government to lose the status of French.

That authorization shall be granted by decree.

Art. 23-5

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

In the event of a marriage wi th an alien, the French spouse may repudiate French
nationality in accordance with Articles 26 and following, if he or she has acquired the foreign
nationality of her or his spous e and the usual residence of th e couple is established abroad.

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998) However, French persons who are under the age of
thirty-five may not exercise that power of repudi ation unless they have complied with the duties
under Book II of the Code of National Service.

Art. 23-6

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The loss of French nationality may be recorded by judgment where the party concerned,
French by parentage, has not the apparent status thereof and never had his usual residence in
France, if the ancestors from whom he held Fr ench nationality have not had themselves the
apparent status of French or resi dence in France for half a century.

The judgment shall determine the date when French nationality was lost. It may decide
that that nationality was lost by the predecessors of the party concerned and that the latter never
was French.

Art. 23-7

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

A French person who actually behaves as a national of a foreign country may, where he
has the nationality of that count ry, be declared to have lost French nationality by decree with
assent of the Conseil d’Etat.

Art. 23-8

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Loses French nationality a Fren ch person who, filling an employment in a foreign army
or public service or in an inte rnational organization of which Fr ance is not a member, or more
generally providing his assistance to it, did not relinquish his employment or stop his assistance
notwithstanding the order of the Government.

The party concerned shall be declar ed, by decree in Conseil d’État, to have lost French
nationality unless, within the period prescribed by the order and which may not be shorter than
fifteen days or longer than two months, he stops his occupation.

Where the opinion of the Conse il d’État is adverse, the measure provided for in the
preceding paragraph may be adopted only by a decree in Council of Ministers.

Art. 23-9

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Loss of French nationality takes effect:

1° Where Article 23 so provides fr om the date of acquisition of the foreign nationality;

2° Where Articles 23-3 and 23-5 so provide from the date of the declaration;

3° Where Articles 23-4, 23-7 a nd 23-8 so provide from the date of the decree;

4° Where Article 23-6 so provides from the day named in the judgment.

Section II – Of Reinstatement in French Nationality

Art. 24

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Reinstatement in French nationality of persons who prove to have had the status of
French shall result from a decree or a declaration in accordance with the distinctions provided for
in the Articles below.

Art. 24-1

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Reinstatement by decree may be obt ained at any age and without any requirement as to a
probationary period. As to other issues, it shall be subject to the requirements and rules of
naturalisation.

Art. 24-2

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Persons who “have lost French nationality” (Act. n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998) by reason
of a marriage with an alien or acquisition of a foreign nationality by an individual decision may,
subject to the provisions “of Artic le 21-27” (Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993), be reinstated by a
declaration subscribed in France or abroad as provided for in Articles 26 and following.

They must have kept or acquire d patent bonds with France, especially of cultural,
professional, economic or family nature.

Art. 24-3

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

Reinstatement by decree or declaration is effective with regard to children under
eighteen, subject to the condi tions under Articles 22-1 and 22-2 of this Title.

Section III – Of Forfeiture of French Nationality

Art. 25

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

An individual who acquired the stat us of French may be declared by decree adopted after
assent of the Conseil d’État to have forfeited French nationality, “save where forfeiture has the
effect of making him stateless” (Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998):

1° Where he is sentenced for an act characterized as “ordinary or serious offence which
constitutes an injury to the f undamental interests of the Nation” (Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)
“or for an ordinary or serious offence which cons titutes an act of terrorism” (Act n° 96-647 of 22
July 1996);

2° Where he is sentenced for an act characterized as “ordinary or serious offence
provided for and punished by Chapter II of Title I II of Book IV of the Penal Code” (Act n° 93-
933 of 22 July 1993);

3° Where he is sentenced for ev ading the duties under the Code of National Service;

4° Where he committed acts incompatible with the status of French and detrimental to
the interests of France for the benefit of a foreign State;

5 ° [repealed].

Art. 25-1

(Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003)

Forfeiture shall be incurred only where the facts of which the person concerned is accused and
which are referred to in Article 25 occurred before the acquiring of French nationality or within
ten years from the date of that acquiring. Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 197
3

It may be pronounced only within ten years after the perpetration of those facts.

CHAPTER V – OF ACTS RELATED TO ACQUISITION OR LOSS OF FRENCH
NATIONALITY

Section I – Of Declarat ions of Nationality

Art. 26

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993; Act 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

Declarations of nationality shall be rece ived by the juge d’instance or by consuls in the
form prescribed by decree in Conseil d’État.

An acknowledgment of receipt must be issued after the filing of the documents necessary
for proving their admissibility.

Art. 26-1

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

A declaration of nationality must , on pain of nullity, be registered either by the juge
d’instance as regards declarations subscribed in France, or by the Minister of Justice as regards
declarations subscribed abroad.

Art. 26-2

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

The seats and territorial jurisdiction of the tribunaux d’instance which are empowered to
receive and register declarations of French nationality shall be established by decree.

Art. 26-3

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1933; Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

The Minister or the judge shall re fuse to register declarations which do not comply with
the statutory requirements.

His reasoned decision shall be notif ied to the declarant, who may challenge it before the
tribunal de grande instance w ithin six months. The claim may be brought personally by a minor
from the age of sixteen.

The decision of refusal to register must be taken within six months at the latest after the
date when the acknowledgment of receipt whic h establishes the filing of all the documents
necessary for proving the admissi bility of the declaration is issued to the declarant.

The period shall be extended to one year as regards declarations subscribed under Article
21-2.

Art. 26-4

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993; Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

Within one year following the date when it wa s made, registration may be challenged by the
Government procurator’s office*, where th e statutory requirements are not met.

In the absence of a refusal to re gister within the statutory period, a copy of the declaration shall
be given to the declarant beari ng the mention of the registration.

The registration may still be opposed by the Government procurator’s office in the event
of lie or fraud within two y ears after their being detected. The stopping of the community of

living between spouses within twelve months after registration of the declaration under Article
21-2 shall constitute a presumption of fraud.

Art. 26-5

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

Subject to the provisions of Artic le 23-9, paragraph 2 (1°), declarations of nationality,
from the moment that they have been registered , take effect as from the date when they are
subscribed.

Section II – Of Admi nistrative Decisions

Art. 27

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

A decision declaring inadmissible, or adjourning or refusing a request for naturalisation
or reinstatement by decree, as well as an authoriza tion to lose French nationality must set out its
reasons.

Art. 27-1

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

A decree deciding naturalisati on or reinstatement, authorization to lose French
nationality, loss or forfeiture of that nationa lity shall be adopted and published in forms
prescribed by decree. It may not have any retrospective operation.

Art. 27-2

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

A decree deciding naturalisation or reinstatement may be withdrawn with assent of the
Conseil d’État within one year after its publication in the Journal Officiel where the person
making the request does not comply with the st atutory requirements; where the decision was
obtained by lie or fraud, the decr ee may be withdrawn within two years the detection of fraud.

Art. 27-3

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

A decree deciding loss on one of the grounds provided for in Articles 23-7 and 23-8 or
forfeiture of French nationality shall be adopt ed after the person concerned has been heard or
summoned to bring forward his comments.

Section III – Of Mentions on th e Registers of Civil Registry

Art. 28

(Act n° 78-731 of 12 July 1978)

A mention of administrative ac ts and declarations causing acquisition or loss of French
nationality or reinstatement therein shall be made in the margin of the record of birth.

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998) A mention of a first issue of a certificate of French
nationality and of adjudicatory decisions of a court relating to that nationality shall likewise be
made.

Art. 28-1

(Act n° 98-170 of 16 March 1998)

Mentions relating to nationality provided for in the preceding Article shall be made on
copies of records of birth or instrume nts drawn up as substitutes for them.

Those mentions shall also be made on certificates of birth or on a livret de famille at the
request of the parties concerne d. However, the mentions of loss, disclaimer, forfeiture of,
opposition to the acquisition of French nationality, w ithdrawal of the decree of naturalisation or
reinstatement, or of the judicial decision which has established the alien status, shall be made as
of right on certificates of birth and on a livret de famille where a person who previously acquired
or was judicially adjudged that nationality, or obtained a certificate of French nationality, has
requested their being men tioned on those documents.

CHAPTER VI – OF DISPUTES IN MATTERS OF NATIONALITY

Section I – Of the Jurisdiction of Judi cial Courts and the Proceedings therein

Art. 29

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The civil courts of general jurisdiction sh all exercise exclusive jurisdiction over disputes
relating to French or foreign nationality of natural persons.

Issues of nationality shall be prel iminary before any other administrative or judicial court
except criminal courts with a criminal jury.

Art. 29-1

(Act 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

The seats and territorial jurisdiction of the tribunaux de grande instance which are
empowered to try controversies re lating to French or foreign nationality of natural persons are
established by decree.

Art. 29-2

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The procedure to be followed in matters of nationality and in particular the
communication to the Government procurator’s office of summons, pleadings and methods of
review, is established by the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 29-3

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Everyone is entitled to bring an action for the determination of his having or not the
status of French.

The Government procurator’s offi ce is likewise entitled with respect to any person. It
shall be a necessary defendant in all declaratory actions on nationality. It must be joined to the
action whenever an issue of nati onality is raised as an interlocutory matter before a court
empowered to try it.

Art. 29-4

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The Government procurator’s o ffice shall have to sue where it is requested by a public
service or a third party who raised the plea of national status before a court which stayed
judgment under Article 29. The third party pl aintiff shall be joined to the action.

Art. 29-5

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Judgments handed down in matters of French nationality by a court of general
jurisdiction have effect even against persons who were not parties nor represented .

However, a party concerned is competent to attack them by means of a third party
application for rehearing provided that he joins the Government procurator’s office to the action.

Section II – Of the Proof of Nati onality before Judicial Courts

Art. 30

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The burden of proof in matters of French nationality lies on the person whose nationality
is in dispute.

However, this burden lies on hi m who challenges the status of French of a person who
holds a certificate of French nationality issu ed as provided for in Articles 31 and following.

Art. 30-1

(Ord. n° 45-2441 of 19 Oct. 1945)

Where French nationality is gr anted or acquired in another way than declaration,
naturalisation, reinstatement or annexation of territories, proof of it may be made only by
establishing the existence of all the statutory requirements.

Art. 30-2

(Act n° 61-1408 of 22 Dec. 1961)

However, where French nationality may flow only from parentage, it shall be deemed
established, saving proof to the contrary, if th e person concerned and the parent who was likely
to transmit it to him have in a constant way enjoyed the apparent status of French.

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993) French nationality of persons born in Mayotte, of age on
1 January 1994, shall be alternatively deemed estab lished if those persons have in a constant way
enjoyed the apparent status of French.

Art. 30-3

(Act n° 61-1408 of 22 Dec. 1961)

Where a person usually resides or resided in a foreign country, in which the ancestors
from whom he holds nationality by parentage have settled for more than half a century, that
person shall not be allowed to prove that he has French nationality by parentage if himself or the
parent who was likely to transmit it to him have not enjoyed the apparent status of French.

In that event, the court shall have to record the loss of French nationality under Article
23-6.

Art. 30-4

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Apart from loss or forfeiture of French nationality, proof of the alien status of a person
may only be established by evidencing that th e party concerned does not fulfil any of the
statutory requirements for ha ving the status of French.

Section III – Of Certificates of French Nationality

Art. 31

(Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995)

The chief clerk of a tribunal d’instance shall alone have the capacity to issue a certificate
of French nationality to a person who esta blishes that he has that nationality.

Art. 31-1

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

The seats and territorial jurisdic tion of the tribunaux d’instance which are empowered to
issue certificates of nationalit y shall be established by decree.

Art. 31-2

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

A certificate of na tionality shall point out with reference to Chapters II, III, IV and VII of
this Title the statutory provision under which the party concerned ha s the status of French as well
as the documents which allowed its being drawn up. It shall prevail until evidence contrary to it.

(Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995) Fo r the issuing of a certificate of nationality, the chief
clerk of a tribunal d’instance may, failing other elem ents, presume that the records of civil status
drawn up abroad and presented to him produce the e ffects that French law would have attributed
to them.

Art. 31-3

(Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995)

Where the chief clerk of a tribunal d’instance refuses to issue a certificate of nationality,
the party concerned may refer the matter to the Minister of Justice who shall decide whether
there is a case for the performance of that issuing.

CHAPTER VII – OF THE EFFECTS ON FREN CH NATIONALITY OF TRANSFERS OF
SOVEREIGNTY RELATING TO CERTAIN TERRITORIES

Art. 32

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

French persons natives of the te rritory of the French Republic, as it was constituted on
the 28 July 1960, and who were domiciled on the day of its accession to independence on the
territory of a State that had prev iously the status of an overseas territory of the French Republic,
have kept French nationality.

It shall be the same as to the spouses, widows and widowers and descendants of the said
persons.

Art. 32-1

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

French persons of civil status of general law who were domiciled in Algeria on the date
of the official announcement of the results of the poll for self- determination keep French
nationality whatever their situation with respect to Algerian nationality may be.

Art. 32-2

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

The French nationality of persons of civil status of general law who were born in Algeria
before the 22 July 1962 shall be deemed estab lished, on the terms of Article 30-2, where those
persons have enjoyed in a constant way the apparent status of French.

Art. 32-3

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Every French person who, at the date of its independence, was domiciled on the territory
of a State that had previously the status of overseas département or territory of the Republic
keeps his nationality as of right where no other na tionality was granted to him by the law of that
State.

Likewise, the children of pers ons who benefit from the provisions of the preceding
paragraph, minors under eighteen at the date of the accession to independence of the territory
where their parents were domiciled, k eep French nationality as of right.

Art. 32-4

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

Former members of the Parliament of the Republic, of the Assembly of the French Union
and of the Economic Council who have lost French nationality and acquired a foreign nationality
under a general provision may be reinstated in French nationality by a mere declaration where
they have established their domiciles in France.

The same power is granted to their spouse, widower or widow and their children.

Art. 32-5

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

The declaration of reinstatement provided for in the preceding article may be subscribed
by the parties concerned, in accordance with Article 26 and following, from the moment they

have reached the age of eighteen; it may not be made through an agen t. It has effect with regard
to minor children on the terms of Articles 22-1 and 22-2.

CHAPTER VIII – SPECIAL PROVISIONS REGARDING OVERSEAS TERRITORIES

Art. 33

(Act n° 73-42 of 9 Jan. 1973)

For the implementation of this Code [Title] in overseas territories:

1° The words “tribunal de gra nde instance” shall each time be replaced by the words
“tribunal de première instance”;

2° [repealed].

Art. 33-1

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

Notwithstanding Article 26, the declaration shall be received by the president of the
tribunal de première instance or by the judge in charge of the section on detachment.

Art. 33-2

(Act n° 93-933 of 22 July 1993)

Notwithstanding Article 31, the pr esident of the tribunal de première instance or the
judge in charge of the section on detachment ha s alone the capacity to issue a certificate of
French nationality to a person who esta blishes that he has that nationality.

TITLE II

OF RECORDS OF CIVIL STATUS

CHAPTER I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 34

(Act of 22 Oct. 1922)

Records of civil status shall state the year, day and time when they were received, the
first names and name of the officer of civil st atus, the first names, names, occupations and
domiciles of all persons named therein.

The dates and places of birth:

a) Of the father and moth er in the records of birth and of acknowledgement;

b) Of the ch ild in the records of acknowledgement;

c) Of the spous es in the records of marriage; and

d) Of the deceased in the records of death,

shall be indicated when known. Otherwise the age of those persons shall be designated by their
number of years as must be, in all cases, the ag es of the declarants. As to the witnesses, only
their status of adult shall be indicated.

Art. 35

Officers of civil status may insert nothing in the records they receive, by way of a note or
of whatever wording, beyond what must be declared by the declarants.

Art. 36

Where the parties concerned are not obliged to appear in person, they may be represented
by an agent with a special and authentic power.

Art. 37

(Act of 7 Dec. 1897)

Witnesses appeari ng in connection with records of civil status shall be at least of eighteen
years of age, relatives or not, w ithout distinction of sex; they shall be selected by the parties
concerned.

[repealed]

Art. 38

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 august 1958)

The officer of ci vil status shall read the records to the appearing parties or their agents,
and to the witnesses; he shall invite them to ta ke direct cognisance of them before signing them.

It shall be mentioned on the r ecords that these formalities have been complied with.

Art. 39

Those records shall be signed by the officer of civil status, the appearing parties and
witnesses; or mention shall be made of the cau se preventing the appearing parties or witnesses
from signing.

Art. 40 to 45 [repealed]

Art. 46

Where no registers have existed or where they have been lost, proof of them may be
received by documents as well as by witnesses; a nd in that event, marriages, births and deaths
may be proved by books and papers emanating fr om deceased fathers and mothers as well as by
witnesses.

Art. 47

(Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003)

Faith must be given to records of civil status of French persons and aliens made in a foreign
country and drawn up in the forms in use in th at country, unless other records or documents
possessed, external data or elements drawn from the record itself establish that the record is
irregular, forged or that the facts decl ared therein do not square with truth.

In case of doubt, the service before which a request for the drawing up, registration or issuing
of a record or of a document is brought, shall delay the request and give notice to the person
concerned that he may, within two months, refe r the matter to the Government procurator in
Nantes in order that the authenti city of the record be checked.

Where he considers groundless the request for checking made to him, the Government
procurator shall give notice of it to the pers on concerned and the service within one month.

Where he shares the doubts of the service, the Government proc urator in Nantes shall initiate
any useful investigation, especi ally by referring the matter to th e proper consular authorities,
within a period which may not exceed six months , renewable one month for the requirements of
the inquiry. He shall inform the person concerne d and the service as soon as possible of the
results of the inquiry.

Upon presentation of the re sults of the investigations carried out, the Government procurator
may refer the matter to the tribunal de grande inst ance in Nantes in order that it give judgment
about the validity of the reco rd after having ordered, where appropriate, any examination
proceedings it deems advisable.

Art. 48

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

A record of civil status of French persons in a foreign State is valid where it was
received, in accordance with French law, by diplomatic or consular agents.

(Act of 8 June 1893) A duplicate of the registers of civil status held by these agents shall
be sent at the end of each year to the Ministry of Foreign Affair s which shall keep them and may
deliver certificates from them.

Art. 49

(Act of 17 Aug. 1897; Act of 10 March 1932)

Whenever the mention of a record re lating to civil status must be made in the margin of a
record already drawn up or registered, it sha ll be made by the officer of his own motion.

The officer of civil status who ha s drawn up or registered the record that occasions the
mention shall effect that mention within three da ys on the registers he keeps and, if the duplicate
of the register on which the mention is to be eff ected is at the court registrar’s office, he shall
send a notice to the Government pr ocurator of his arrondissement.

Where the record in the margin of which the mention is to be effected was drawn up or
registered in another co mmune, the notice shall be sent, within three days, to the officer of civil
status of that commune and th e latter shall notify at once the Government procurator of his
arrondissement if the duplicat e of the register is at the court registrar’s office.

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) Where th e record in the margin of which a mention is to be
effected was drawn up or registered abroad, the of ficer of civil status who drew up or registered
the record that occasions the men tion shall give notice of it, within three days, to the Minister of
Foreign Affairs.

Art. 50

(Act n° 46-2154 of 7 Oct. 1946; Act n° 56-780 of 4 Aug. 1956)

An infringement of the preceding Articles on the part of the officials therein named shall
be prosecuted before the tribunal de grande instance and punished with a fine of 20 to 200 francs
(3 to 30 €).

Art. 51

A custodian of registers shall be civilly liable for the alterations that occur in them,
subject to his remedy, if there is occasion, against the authors of those alterations.

Art. 52

An alteration, a forgery in record s of civil status, an inscription of those records on a
loose leaf and otherwise than on the registers designed for that purpose, shall give rise to
damages to the parties, without prejudice to penalties provided for in the Penal Code.

Art. 53

The Government procurator at the tr ibunal de grande instance shall verify the state of the
registers when they are deposited at the court registrar’s office; he shall draw up a memorandum
of verification, denounce minor and ordinary offen ces committed by officers of civil status and
call for their being sentenced to fines.

Art. 54

Whenever a tribunal de grande instance has jurisdiction over records of civil status, the
parties concerned may attack the judgment.

CHAPTER II – OF RECORDS OF BIRTH

Section I – Of Decl arations of Birth

(Act n° 93-22, 8 Jan. 1993)

Art. 55

(Act of 20 Nov. 1919)

Declarations of birth shall be made within three days of the delivery, to the local officer
of civil status.

Where a birth has not been declared within the statutory period, the officer of civil status
may only record it in his registers under a judgm ent rendered by the court of the arrondissement
in which the child was born, and a summary mention shall be made in the margin at the date of
the birth. Where the place of bi rth is unknown, the court having juri sdiction shall be the one of
the residence of the applicant.

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) In fore ign countries, declarations to diplomatic or consular
agents must be made within fifteen days of the delivery. That period may however be extended
by decree in some consular districts.

Art. 56

The birth of a child shall be decl ared by the father, or, in absence of the father, by the
doctors of medicine or surgery, midwives, hea lth officials or other persons present at the
delivery; and, where the mother has given birt h outside her domicile, by the person at whose
place she has given birth.

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924) Records of birth shall be drawn up at once.

Art. 57

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924)

A record of birth shall indicate the day, the time and the place of birth, the sex of the child [“the
first names given to him, the family name followed if there is occasion by the mention of the
joint declaration of his parents as regards the choice made,” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 2002,
Act n° 2003-516 of 18 June 20031] and, the first name s, names, ages, occupations and domiciles
of the father and mother, and if there is occasion, those of the app licant. If the father and mother
of an illegitimate child, or one of them, are not indicated to the officer of civil status, nothing
may be mentioned on the regi sters on this subject.

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) The first name s of the child shall be chosen by his father and
mother. “A woman who asked to keep her identity secret at the time of the delivery may make
known the first names she desires to be given to the child. Otherwise, or where his parents are
unknown, the officer of civil status chooses three first names the last of which shall take the
place of a patronymic [replaced by “family name ” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021] to the
child ” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996). The officer of civil status shall write down at once the
chosen first names on the record of birth. Any fi rst name entered on the record of birth may be
chosen as the usual first name.

Where these first names or one of them, al one or combined with the other first names or the
name, appear to him to be contrary to the welfare of the child or to the rights of third parties to
the protection of their patronymics [replaced by “family names” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March
20021)], the officer of civil status shall give notice thereof to the Government procurator*
without delay. The latter may refer the matter to the family causes judge*.

Where the judge considers th at the first name is not consonant with the welfare of the child or
interferes with the right s of third parties to the protecti on of their patronymics [replaced by
“family names” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20 011], he shall order its removal from the
registers of civil status. Where appropriate, he shall give the child another first name which he
himself fixes in the absence of a new choice by th e parents that be consonant with the interests
aforesaid. A mention of the judgment shall be entered in the margin of the records of civil status
of the child.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 57-1

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

Where the officer of civil status of the place of birth of an illegitimate child enters a
mention of the acknowledgement of that child in th e margin of his record of birth, he shall give
notice to the other parent by a registered letter with request for advice of delivery.

If that parent cannot be informe d, the officer of civil status shall give notice to the
Government procurator who shall ha ve all the necessary steps taken.

Art. 58

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

A person who may have found a new-born child is required to make declaration of it to
the officer of civil status of the place of discove ry. Where he does not consent to take charge of
the child, he shall hand him, with the clothing and other effects found with him, to the officer of
civil status.

A detailed memorandum shall be drawn up which, besides the indications provided for
by Article 34 of this Code, shal l state the date, time, place and circumstances of the discovery,
the apparent age and the sex of the child, any peculiarities which may contribute to his
identification as well as the authority or person to whom he is entrusted. That memorandum shall
be entered as of its date on the registers of civil status.

Following and separately from this memorandum, the officer of civil status shall draw up
a record that shall take the pl ace of a record of birth. Beside s the indications provided for by
Article 34, that record shall state the sex of the ch ild as well as the first names and name that are
given to him; it shall fix a date of birth that may tally with his apparent age and designate as
place of birth the commune where the child was discovered.

Similar records shall be draw n up, on declaration of the Children’s aid services, for
children placed under thei r guardianship and deprived of a kn own record of birth or for whom
the secret as to birth has been claimed.

Copies and certificates of the me morandum of discovery or of the interim record of birth
shall be issued on the terms and in accordance w ith the distinctions under Article 57 of this
Code.

Where the record of birth of the child is found or th e birth is judicially declared, the
memorandum of discovery and the interim record of birth shall be nullified at the request of the
Government procurator or of the parties concerned.

Art. 59

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924)

In case of birth during a sea voyage , a record shall be drawn up within three days of the
delivery, upon declaration of the father if he is on board.

(Act of 8 June 1893) Where the birth takes place during a break in port, a record shall be
drawn up under the same terms if there is an impo ssibility to communicate with the shore or, if
in a foreign country, there is no Fr ench diplomatic or consular agent vested with the functions of
an officer of civil status.

That record shall be drawn up, to wit: on vessels of the State, by the officer of the Navy
commissariat or, in his absence, by the captain or one who fulfils his functions; and on other
ships by the captain, master or skippe r, or one who fulfils his functions.

Mention shall be made of the circumstances among the ones above provided in which the
record was drawn up.

The record shall be entered at the end of the list of the crew.

Section II – Of Changes of First Names and Name

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Art. 60

A person who establishes a lawful interest may apply for a change of his first name. The
application is brought before the family causes judge on request of the party concerned or, where
the latter is a person under a disa bility, on request of his statutory representative. An adjunction
or suppression of first name s may be likewise decided.

Where the child is ove r thirteen his personal consent is required.

Art. 61

A person who establishes a lawf ul interest may apply for a change of his name.

The application for a change of name may be made for the purpose of preventing the
extinguishment of the name borne by an ancestor or a collateral of the applicant up to the fourth
degree.

The change of name shall be authorized by decree.

Art. 61-1

A person concerned may challenge before the Conseil d’État the decree establishing a
change of name within two months afte r its publication in the Journal Officiel.

A decree establishing a change of name takes effect, where there is no challenge, at the
end of the period within which the challenge is admissible or, where there is a challenge, after its
dismissal.

Art. 61-2

A change of name extends as of right to the children of the beneficiary where they are
under thirteen.

Art. 61-3

A change of name of a child over thirteen requires his personal consent where this change
does not result from the establis hing or modifying a parental bond..

However, the establishing or m odifying a parental bond implies the change of adult
children’s patronymic [replaced by “family name” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)] only
subject to their consent.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 61-4

Mentions of the judgments of changes of first na mes and name shall be entered in the margin of
the records of civil status of the party concerned and, where appr opriate, of those of his or her
spouse and his or her children.

The provisions of Articles 100 a nd 101 shall apply to modifications of first names and
name.

Section III – Of Record of Acknowledgement of an Illegitimate Child

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Art. 62

A record of acknowledgement of an illegitimate child shall indicate the first names,
name, date of birth or, failing which, age, plac e of birth and domicile of the maker of the
acknowledgement

It shall indicate the date and pl ace of birth, the sex and first names of the child or, failing
which, all appropriate informati on concerning the birth, subject to the provisions of Article 341-
1.

A record of acknowledgement shall be entered at its date on the registers of civil status.

Only the mentions provided for in the first paragraph may be entered in the margin of the
record of birth, if there is one.

In the circumstances referred to in Article 59, the declaration of acknowledgement may
be received by the instrumentary officers name d in that Article and in the forms therein
indicated.

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002) When a record of acknowledgement is established,
Articles 371-1 and 371-2 must be read to his or her maker.

Art. 62-1

(Act n° 2002-93 of 22 Jan. 2002)

Where the registration of a pa ternal acknowledgement proves impossible because of
secret as to her identity put forward by the mother, the father may give notice of it to the
Government procurator. The latter shall undert ake the search of the date and place of
establishment of the child’s record of birth.

CHAPTER III – OF RE CORDS OF MARRIAGE

Art. 63

(Act of 8 April 1927)

Before the celebration of a marriage, an officer of civil status shall give public notice of
it by way of a bill stuck up on the door of the town hall. That notice shall state the first names,
names, occupations, domiciles and residences of the future spouses, as well as the place where
the marriage is to be celebrated.

Irrespective of the application of the provisions of Article 170, an officer of civil status may
proceed to the public notice provided for in para graph 1, or, in case of an exemption from public
notice, to the celebration of the marriage, only after:

– the handing over by each of the future s pouses of a medical certificate dating from less than
two months, that attests that the person concerne d was examined for purposes of marriage, to the
exclusion of any other indication;

– hearing the future spous es jointly, except in case of impos sibility or where it appears, upon
examination of the file, that said hearing is not necessary with respect to Article 146. If he deems
it necessary, the officer of civil status may also re quire to have a separate talk with one or the
other of the future spouses.

An officer of civil status wh o does not comply with the prescriptions of the preceding
paragraphs shall be prosecuted before the tri bunal de grande instance and punished by a fine
“from 20 to 200 francs” (3 to 30 €) (Act n° 56-780 of 4 Aug. 1956).

Art. 64

(Act of 8 April 1927)

The bill provided for in the preced ing Article shall remain stuck up at the door of the
town hall for ten days.

The marriage may not be celebrated before the tenth day after and exclusive of that of
notice.

Where the bill-sticking is interrupt ed before the expiration of that period, a mention of it
shall be made on the bill that has ceased to be stuck up at the door of the town hall.

Art. 65

(Act of 21 June 1907)

Where the marriage has not been celebrated within one year after the expiry of the period
of notice, it may no longer be celebrated until a new public notice has been given in the form
provided above.

Art 66

Instruments of formal objection to the marriage must be signed on the original and a copy
by the opposing parties or their agents with specia l and authentic powers; they must be served,
with a copy of the power, on the pe rsons or at the domiciles of the parties and on the officer of
civil status, who shall stamp the original.

Art. 67

(Act of 8 April 1927)

The officer of civil status sha ll make, without delay, a summary mention of the formal
objections in the register of marri ages; he shall also make, in the margin of the entry of those
formal objections, a mention of judgments or inst ruments of withdrawals of which office copies
have been delivered to him.

Art. 68

(Act. n° 46-2154 of 7 Oct. 1946)

In the event of a formal objec tion, the officer of civil status may not celebrate the
marriage before a withdrawal has been delivered to him, on pain of fine of 30 francs (4,5 €) and
subject to all damages.

Art. 69

(Act of 9 Aug. 1919)

Where public notice has been given in several communes, the officer of civil status of
each commune shall forward without delay to the one who is to celebrate the marriage a
certificate stating that th ere is no formal objection.

Art. 70

(Act of 2 Feb. 1933)

The office copy of the record of bi rth delivered by each one of the future spouses to the
officer of civil status who is to celebrate th eir marriage shall comply with Article 57, last
paragraph, of the Civil Code with, if there is occasion, indication of the married status of his
father and mother or, where the future spouse is a minor, indication of the acknowledgement of
which he or she was the subject.

(Act of 11 July 1929) That instrume nt must not have been issued more than three months
before where it was issued in France, and more th an six months before where it was issued in a
colony or a consulate.

Art. 71

(Act of 11 July 1929)

A future spouse who would be unable to obtain that instrument may replace it by
producing an affidavit issued by the judge of the tr ibunal d’instance of the place of his birth or of
his domicile.

An affidavit shall contain a declar ation made by three witnesses, of either sex, relatives
or not, of the first names, name, occupation and domi cile of the future spouse and of those of his
father and mother, when known; th e place and, as far as possible, the period of his birth and the

causes that prevent the intrument from being produced. The witnesses shall sign the affidavit
with the judge of the tribunal d’ instance; and if any of them cannot or does not know how to sign,
mention shall be made of it.

Art. 72

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Neither an affidavit nor a refusal to issue it may be subject to review.

Art. 73

(Act of 9 Aug. 1919)

An authentic instrument of co nsent of the father and mother, or grandfathers and
grandmothers or, failing them, of the family council shall contain the first names, names,
occupation and domiciles of the future spouses a nd of all those who concurred in the instrument,
as well as their degree of consanguinity.

(Act of 28 Feb. 1922) Except in th e case provided for in Article 159 of the Civil Code,
that instrument of consent shall be drawn up either by a notaire or by the officer of civil status of
the domicile or residence of the ascendant and, ab road, by French diplomatic or consular agents.
Where it is drawn up by an officer of civil status , it must be legalized only when it is to be
produced before foreign authorities, save as ot herwise provided in international conventions.

Art. 74

(Act of 21 June 1907)

A marriage must be celebrated in the commune where one of the spouses has his or her
domicile or residence establishe d by a continuous habitation of at least one month at the date of
the public notice provided for by law.

Art. 75

(Act n° 66-359 of 9 June 1966)

On the day specified by the parties, after the period of public notice, the officer of civil
status, at the town hall, in the pr esence of two witnesses at least or four at the most, relative or
not of the parties, shall read Articles 212, 213 (paragraphs 1 and 2), 214 (paragraph 1) and 315
(paragraph 1) of this Code to the future spouses . “Article 371-1 must also be read” (Act n° 2002-
305 of 4 March 2002).

(Act of 9 Aug. 1919) Howeve r, in case of serious impediment, the Government
procurator of the place of marriage may require the o fficer of civil status to betake himself to the
domicile or residence of one of the parties to celebrate the marriage. In case of imminent danger
of death of one of the future spouses, the officer of civil status may betake himself there before
any requirement or authorization of the Government procurator, to whom he shall then notify as
soon as possible of the necessity of th at celebration outside the town hall.

Mention shall be ma de of this in the record of marriage.

The officer of civil status sha ll ask the future spouses and, if they are minors, their
ascendants present at the celebration and authoriz ing the marriage, to declare whether an ante-
nuptial agreement has been made and, in the affirma tive, the date of that contract and the name
and place of residence of the notaire who received it.

(Act of 2 Feb. 1933) Where the documents produced by one of the future spouses do not
accord with one another as to the first names or the spelling of the names, he shall ask the one
whom they concern and, if the latter is a minor, his closest ascendants present at the celebration,
to declare that the variance results from an omission or a mistake.

He shall receive from each party, one after the other, the declaration that they wish to
take each other as husband and wife; he shall pro nounce, in the name of the law, that they are
united by marriage, and he shall dr aw up a record of it at once.

Art. 76

(Act of 4 Feb. 1928)

A record of marriage shall state:

1° The first names, names, o ccupations, ages, dates and places of birth, domiciles and
residences of the spouses;

2° The first names, names, occupations and domiciles of the fathers and mothers;

3° The consent of the fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers and that of the
family council where, they are required;

4° The first names and name of the previous spouse of each spouse;

5° [repealed]

6° The declaration of the contracti ng parties that they take each other for spouse, and the
pronouncement of their being united by the officer of civil status;

7° The first names, names, occ upations, domiciles of the witnesses and their capacity as
adults;

8° (Act of 10 July 1850) Th e declaration, made upon the question prescribed by the
preceding Article, that an ante-nuptial agreemen t was made or not and, as far as possible, the
date of the agreement if any, as well as the name and place of residence of the notaire who
received it; the whole on pain agains t the officer of civil status of the fine specified in Article 50;

Where the declaration was omitted or erroneous, the correction of the record, as to the
omission or mistake, may be requested by the G overnment procurator, without prejudice to the
rights of the parties c oncerned, under Article 99.

9° (Act n° 97-987 of 28 Oct. 1997) If there is occasion, the declaration that an instrument
of choice of the applicable law was made in accordance with The Hague Convention of 14
March 1978 on the law applicable to matrimonial regimes, as well as the date and place of
signature of that instrument a nd, where appropriate, the name and capacity of the person who
drew it.

(Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959) In the margin of the record of birth of each spouse,
mention shall be made of the celebration of the marriage and of the name of the spouse.

CHAPTER IV – OF RECORDS OF DEATH

Art. 77 [repealed]

Art. 78

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924)

A record of death must be drawn up by the officer of civil status of the commune where
the death took place, upon the declaration of a relative of the deceased or of a person possessing
the most reliable and complete information that is possible as to the civil status of the deceased.

Art. 79

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924)

A record of death shall state:

1° The day, time and place of the death;

2° The first names, name, da te and place of birth, occupation and domicile of the
deceased person;

3° The first names, names, professions and domiciles of his father and mother;

4° The first names and name of the other spouse, where the deceased person was married,
widowed or divorced;

5° The first names, name, age, o ccupation and domicile of the declarant and, if there is
occasion, his degree of consanguinity to the deceased person.

All of which in so far as may be known.

(Ord. of 29 March 1945) Mention of the death must be made in the margin of the record
of birth of the deceased person.

Art. 79-1

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Where a child is dead before his birth was declared to the civil registry, the officer of
civil status shall draw up a record of birth a nd a record of death upon exhibition of a medical
certificate stating that the child was born alive and viable and sp ecifying the days and times of
his birth and death.

In the absence of the medical certificate provided for in the preceding paragraph, the
officer of civil status shall draw up a record of a lifeless child. That record shall be entered at its
date in the registers of death and shall state the day, time, and place of the delivery, the first

names and names, dates and places of birth, occupations and domiciles of the father and mother
and, if there is occasion, those of the declarant. The record drawn up shall be without prejudice
to knowing whether the child has lived or not; any party concerned may refer the matter to the
judgment of the tribunal de grande instance.

Art. 80

(Act of 20 Nov. 1919)

Where the death occurred else where than in the commune where the deceased was
domiciled, the officer of civil stat us shall, within the shortest possible time, send to the officer of
civil status of the deceased’s last domicile, an office copy of that record which shall be
immediately entered in the registers. “This pr ovision shall not apply to cities divided into
arrondissements, when the death occurred in an arrondissement other than the one where the
deceased was domiciled” (Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958).

“In case of death in hospitals or health units, naval or civil hospitals or other public
bodies” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) , the directors, managers or heads of those hospitals or
bodies shall give notice of it to the officer of civil status or to the person who fulfils his duties,
within twenty-four hours.

The latter shall call there to ascerta in the death and draw up a record of it, in accordance
with the preceding Article, upon the declarations made to him and according to the information
obtained by him.

There shall be kept in said hospitals, units and bodies, a register in which those
declarations and information shall be entered.

Art. 81

Where there are marks or indications of violent death, or other circumstances which give
rise to suspicion thereof, the burial may not take place until a police officer has, with the
assistance of a doctor in medicine or surger y, drawn up a memorandum of the condition of the
corpse and of the circumstances relating to it, as well as of the information he could collect as to
the first names, name, age, occupation, place of birth and domicile of the deceased person.

Art. 82

The police officer shall forward at once, to the officer of civil status of the place where
the person died, all the information stated in his memorandum, according to which the record of
death shall be drawn up.

The officer of civil status shall se nd an office copy of it to the officer of the domicile of
the deceased person, if it is known: that office copy shall be entered in the registers.

Art. 83 [repealed by implication by Act n° 81-9 08 of 9 Oct. 1981, which has abolished the death
penalty]

Art. 84

In case of death in a prison or cen tre of confinement or detention, a notice of it shall be
given at once by the keepers or warders to the o fficer of civil status who shall betake himself
thereto as provided for in Article 80 a nd shall draw up the record of death.

Art. 85

In all cases of violent death or death in prisons and centres of confinement [repealed by
implication], those circumstances shall not be men tioned in the registers and the records of death
shall simply be drawn up in the form prescribed by Article 79.

Art. 86

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924)

In case of death during a sea v oyage and under the circumstances provided for in Article
59, a record must be drawn up within twenty-f our hours by the instrumentary officers named in
that Article and in the forms therein indicated.

[repealed]

[repealed]

Art. 87

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

Where the body of a deceased person is found and can be identified, a record of death
shall be drawn up by the officer of civil status of the presumed place of death, whatever the time
elapsed between the death and the discovery of the body may be.

` Where the deceased cannot be iden tified, the record of death shall include the most
complete description of him; in the event of late r identification, the record shall be rectified in
the way provided for in Article 99 of this Code.

Art. 88

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

May be judicially declared, on a pplication of the Government procurator or the parties
concerned, the death of a French person who has disappeared in or outside France, in
circumstances likely to imperil his li fe, where his body could not be found.

On the same terms, may be judici ally declared the death of an alien or stateless person
who disappeared either on a terr itory under the authority of France or aboard a French ship or
aircraft, or even abroad where he had hi s domicile or usual residence in France.

The procedure of judicial declar ation of death shall likewise apply where the death is
certain but the body could not be found.

Art. 89

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

The application must be lodged at the tribunal de grande instance of the place of death or
disappearance where it occurred on a territory under the authority of France, otherwise at the
court of the domicile or last residence of the deceased or disappeared person or, failing which, at
the court of the port of regi stry of the aircraft or the ship that carried him. In default of any other,
the tribunal de grande instance of Paris shall have jurisdiction.

Where several persons disappeared in the course of the same event, a joint application
may be lodged at the court of th e place of the disappearance, at th at of the port of registry or,
failing them, at the tribunal de grande instance of Paris.

Art. 90

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

Where it is not made by the Gove rnment procurator, the application must be forwarded
through the latter to the court. The case shall be investigated and adjudged in chambers. The
assistance of a counsel is not required and a ll proceedings as well as the office copies and
certificates thereof, shall be exempt of stamp duties and registered gratis.

Where the court is of opinion th at the death is not adequately proved, it may order any
step in view to further information and request in particular an administrative enquiry on the
circumstances of the disappearance.

Where the death is declared, its date shall be fixed by taking into account the
presumptions drawn from the circumstances of the case and, failing them, on the day of the
disappearance. That date may never be undetermined.

Art. 91

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

The operative part of a declarator y judgment of death must be recorded on the registers of
civil status of the actual or presumed place of death and, where appropriate, on those of the last
domicile of the deceased.

Mention of the recording shall be ma de in the margin of the registers at the date of the
death. In case of a joint judgment , individual certificates shall be forwarded to the officers of
civil status of the last domiciles of the persons who have disappeared, for purpose of their being
entered.

Declaratory judgments of deat h shall take the place of records of death and are
enforceable against third parties who may only have them rectified in accordance with Article 99
of this Code.

Art. 92

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

Where the person whose death was judicially declared reappears after a declaratory
judgment, the Government procurator or any part y concerned may apply for the annulment of the
judgment in the forms provided for in Articles 89 and following.

(Act n° 77-1447 of 28 Dec. 1977) The provisions of Articles 130, 131 and 132 shall
apply where required.

Mention of the annulment of the d eclaratory judgment shall be made in the margin of its
recording.

CHAPTER V – OF RECORDS OF CIVIL STATUS CONCERNING SOLDIERS AND
MARINERS IN SOME SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

Art. 93

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

Records of civil status concerning so ldiers and mariners of the State shall be drawn up as
specified in the preceding Chapters.

However, outside France and in case of war, expedition, operation for the keeping of
order and pacification or quarter ing of French troops in foreign territories, for occupation or
under intergovernmental agreements, those record s may be received likewise by military officers
of civil status, named by an order of the Minist er of the Armed Forces. Those officers of civil
status are also competent with regard to non-military persons where the provisions of the
preceding Chapters cannot be applied.

In metropolitan France, the officers of civil status referred to above may receive records
concerning soldiers and non-military persons in th e parts of the territory where, by reason of
mobilization or siege, the municipal civ il registry is no longer regularly ensured.

Declarations of birth in the armed forces shall be made within ten days following the
delivery.

Records of death may be drawn up in the armed forces notwithstanding Article 77 above
[deleted] although the officer of ci vil status could not betake himself to the deceased person and,
notwithstanding Article 78, they may be drawn up only on the atte station of two declarants.

Art 94 [deleted]

Art. 95

(Act n° 57-1232 of 28 Nov. 1957)

Where Article 93, paragraphs 2 and 3, so provides, records of civil status shall be drawn
up on a special register, the keepi ng and preservation of which shall be regulated by a joint order
of the Minister of National Defence and Armed Forces and the Minister of Ex-Servicemen and
Victims of War.

Art. 96

(Act n° 57-1232 of 28 Nov. 1957)

Where a marriage is celebrated in one of the cases pr ovided for in Article 93, paragraphs
2 and 3, public notice shall be given, to the extent that circumstances so permit, at the place of
the last domicile of the future hus band; they shall also be made in the unit to which the party
concerned belongs, in the way provided for in an order of the Minister of National Defence and
Armed Forces .

Art. 97

(Act n° 57-1232 of 28 Nov. 1957)

Records of death received by milita ry authorities in all cases provided for in Article 93
above, or by civilian authorities as regards members of the armed forces, civilians participating
in their action, in duty covered by orders, or persons employed in the armies’ train, may be

subject to administrative rectification in the way provided for in a decree, within periods and in
territories where the military authority is entitl ed, by said Article 93, to receive those records
should the occasion arise.

CHAPTER VI – OF THE CIVIL STATUS OF PERSONS BORN ABROAD WHO ACQUIRE
OR RECOVER FRENCH NATIONALITY

(Act n° 78-731 of 12 July 1978)

Art. 98

A record taking the place of a r ecord of birth shall be drawn up for any person born
abroad who acquires or recovers French national ity unless the record drawn up at his birth was
already entered on a register kept by a French authority.

That record sh all state the name, first names and sex of the part y concerned and indicate
the place and date of his birth, his parentage, his residence at the date of his acquiring French
nationality.

Art. 98-1

A record taking the place of a r ecord of marriage shall likewise be drawn up where the
person who acquires or recovers French national ity got previously married abroad, unless the
celebration of the marriage was alre ady taken note of by a record entered on a register kept by a
French authority.

The record shall state:

– the date and place of the celebration;

– indication of the performing authority;

– the names, first names, da tes and places of birth of each one of the spouses;

– the parentage of the spouses; and

– if there is occasion, the name, capacity and residence of the authority who received the
ante-nuptial agreement.

Art. 98-2

One and the same record may be drawn up containing the statements as to birth and
marriage, unless birth and marriage were already taken note of by records entered on a register
kept by a French authority.

It shall be used as bot h a record of birth and a record of marriage.

Art. 98-3

The records referred to in Articles 98 to 98-2 shall state besides:

– the date on which they were drawn up;

– the name and si gnature of the officer of civil status;

– the mentions entered in the ma rgin of the record of which they take the place;

– indication of instruments an d judgments relating to the nationality of the person.

Mention shall be made later in the margin:

– of the indications require d for each category of record by the law in force.

Art. 98-4

The persons for whom records we re drawn up under Articles 98 to 98-2 lose the power of
requiring the entry of their record of birth or marriage received by a foreign authority.

In the case of conflict between the statements in a fo reign record of civil status or a
record of French consular civil status and t hose in a record drawn up under said Articles, the
latter shall prevail until a judgment of rectification.

CHAPTER VII – OF THE RECTIFICATION OF RECORDS OF CIVIL STATUS

Art. 99

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958; D. n° 81-500 of 12 May 1981)

A rectification of records of civil status shall be ordered by the president of the court.

The rectification of judgments wh ich are declaratory of or supply for records of civil
status shall be ordered by the president of the court.

The application for rectific ation may be lodged by any party concerned or by the
Government procurator ; the la tter shall act of his own motion where the mistake or omission
bears on an essential indication of the record or of the judgment which takes its place.

The Government procurator who has territorial jurisdiction may undertake administrative
rectification of merely clerical mistakes and omissions in th e record of civil status: for this
purpose he shall give all necessa ry instructions directly to the depositaries of registers.

Art. 99-1

(Act n° 78-731 of 12 July 1978)

Persons entitled to perform the duties of an officer of civil status in order to draw up the
records referred to in Articles 98 to 98-2 may undertake administrative rectification of merely
clerical mistakes and omissions contained in those records “or in the mentions inserted in the
margins, save those that are entered after the making of the records” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan.
1993).

Art. 100 (0rd. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

A judicial or administrative rectif ication of a record or judgment relating to civil status
has effect vis-à-vis any party.

Art. 101 (0rd. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958; D. n° 81-500 of 12 May
1981)

An office copy of the record may be issued only with the rectifications ordered, on pain
of the fine prescribed by Article 50 of the Ci vil Code and subject to all damages against the
depositaries of registers.

TITRE III

OF DOMICILE

Art. 102

(Ord. n° 58-923 of 7 Oct. 1958)

The domicile of a French person, as to the exercise of his civil rights, is at the place
where he has his main establishment.

Boatmen and other persons living on a boat of inland navigation registered in France,
who do not have the domicile provided for by th e preceding paragraph or a statutory domicile,
must elect a domicile in one of the communes the names of which appear on a list established by
an order of the Minister of Justi ce, the Minister of the Interior a nd the Minister of Public Works,
Transport and Tourism. However, wage-earning boatmen and persons living on board with them
may domicile themselves in another commune pr ovided that the concern that operates the boat
has its headquarters or an establishment there; in th is event, the domicile is fixed in the offices of
the concern; failing an election by them, those boa tmen and persons have their domiciles at the
headquarters of the concern which operates the bo at and, where those headquarters are abroad, at
the chartering office in Paris.

[deleted]

Art. 103

A change of domicile takes place in consequence of an actual residence in another place,
in addition to the intention to fix one’s main establishment there.

Art. 104

Proof of that intention shall result from an express declaration made both to the
municipality of the place whic h one leaves and to that of the place where the domicile is
transferred.

Art. 105

Failing an express declaratio n, proof of intention shall depend on circumstances.

Art. 106

A citizen called to a temporar y or revocable public office keeps the domicile he had
previously, unless he has manifested an intention to the contrary.

Art. 107

Acceptance of an office conferred for life involves an immediate transfer of the domicile
of the officer to the place where he is to fulfil his duties.

Art. 108

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

A husband and a wife may have di stinct domiciles without conflicting thereby with the
rules concerning the community of living.

A notice served upon one spouse, even judicially separated, in matters of status and
capacity of persons, must also be served upon his or her spouse, under pain of invalidity.

Art. 108-1

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

Separate residence of the spouses, during proceedings for divorce or judicial separation,
involves as of right separate domiciles.

Art. 108-2

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

A minor when not emancipate d is domiciled at his father and mother’s home.

Where the father and mother have separate domiciles, he is domiciled at the home of the
parent with whom he resides.

Art. 108-3

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

An adult in guardiansh ip shall be domiciled at his guardian’s home.

Art. 109

Adults who usually serve or work at someone else’s place, have the same domicile as the
person they serve or at whose place they work where they live in the same house .

Art. 110 [deleted]

Art. 111

Where an instrument contains, on the part of the parties or of one of them, an election of
domicile for the implementation of that instrume nt in a place other than that of the actual
domicile; the services of notices, complaints and proceedings related to that instrument may be
done at the elected domicile “and, subject to the provisions of Article 48 of the new Code of
Civil Procedure, before the judge of th at domicile” (D. n° 75-1122 of 5 Dec. 1975).

TITLE IV

OF ABSENTEES

(Act n° 77-1447 of 28 Dec. 1977)

CHAPTER I – OF PRESUMPTION OF ABSENCE

Art. 112

Where a person has ceased to app ear at the place of his domicile or residence and has not
been heard from, the judge of guardianships may, on the application of the parties concerned or
of the Government procurat or, establish that there is presumption of absence.

Art. 113

The judge may designate one or several relations by blood or marriage or, where
appropriate, any other persons to represent the pe rson presumed absentee in the exercise of his
rights or in any act which would be his concern, as well as to administer all or part of his
property ; the representation of the presumed absentee and the administration of his property
shall then be subject to the rules which appl y to statutory administration under judicial
supervision such as it is pr ovided for minors and, in addition, under the following amendments.

Art. 114

Without prejudice to specific jurisdiction conferred upon other courts, for the same
purposes, the judge shall fix, where appropriate, acco rding to the extent of the property, the sums
that should be allocated yearly to the mainte nance of the family or the household expenses.

He shall determine how to provide for the settling of children.

He shall also specify how the expe nses of administration as well as, if necessary, the fees
that may be granted to the person responsible fo r the representation of the presumed absentee
and the administration of hi s property should be settled.

Art. 115

The judge may, at any time and ev en of his own motion, put an end to the task of the
person thus designed; he may also replace him .

Art. 116

Where a presumed absentee is called to a partition, Article 838, paragraph 1, of the Civil
Code shall apply.

However, the judge of guardia nships may authorize a partition, even partial, and
designate a notaire to unde rtake it, in the presence of the repr esentative of the presumed absentee
or of his substitute designated as provided for in Article 115, where the original representative is
himself concerned in the partiti on. The statement of liquidation is subject to the approval of the
tribunal de grande instance .

Art. 117

The Government procurator’s offi ce shall be specially responsible for watching over the
interests of presumed absentees; it shall be heard on all claims which concern them; it may of its
own motion request the implementation or amendmen t of the measures provided for in this Title.

Art. 118

Where a presumed absentee reappears or is heard from, on his application, the judge shall
put an end to the measures taken for representi ng him and administering his property; he shall
then recover the property managed or acquired on his behalf during the period of absence.

Art. 119

Rights acquired without fraud on th e basis of the presumption of absence, may not be
called in question again where the death of the ab sentee is established or judicially declared,
whatever the date fixe d for the death may be.

Art. 120

The preceding provisions concerni ng the representation of presumed absentees and the
administration of their property shall also apply to persons who, because of remoteness, are not,
against their wish, in a positi on to express their intention.

Art. 121

These same provisions shall not apply to presumed absentees or to persons named in
Article 120 where they left a power of attorney adequate for the purpose of representing them or
administering their property.

It shall be the same where a s pouse may provide sufficiently for the interests concerned
through application of the matrimonial regime and particularly as a result of an order obtained
under Articles 217 and 219, 1426 and 1429.

CHAPTER II – OF DECLARATION OF ABSENCE

Art. 122

When ten years have elapsed si nce the judgment that established the presumption of
absence, either in the manner prescribed in Article 112, or on the occasion of one of the judicial

proceedings provided for in Articles 217 and 219, 1426 and 1429, absence may be declared by
the tribunal de grande instance, on the application of any person concerned or of the Government
procurator’s office.

It shall be the same where, fail ing that establishment, the person will have ceased to
appear at the place of his domicile or residence, without having been heard from for more than
twenty years.

Art. 123

Extracts of the application seek ing declaration of absence, after being stamped by the
Government procurator’s office, shall be pub lished in two newspapers circulating in the
département or, where appropriate, in the country of the domicile or last residence of the person
who remains unheard froim.

The court to which the applicati on is referred may in addition order any other measure
giving notice thereof in any place where it deems it proper.

Those measures must be carried out by the party who lodges the application.

Art. 124

As soon as the extracts have b een published, the application must be forwarded, via the
Government procurator, to the court which shall decide according to the exhibits and documents
filed and in consideratio n of the conditions of the disappearan ce as well as of the circumstances
that can explain the lack of news.

The court may order any complement ary measure of investigation and prescribe, if there
is occasion, that an examinati on of witnesses be made adve rsarily with the Government
procurator, where the latter is not an applic ant, in any place which it deems proper, and
particularly in the arrondissement of the domicile, or those of the last residences, where they are
different.

Art. 125

An originating motion may be l odged as early as the year preceding the expiry of the
period provided for in Article 122, paragraphs 1 and 2. A declarat ory judgment of absence shall
be handed down at least one year after the publication of the extracts of that petition. It shall
establish that the person presumed absentee has no t reappeared during the periods referred to in
Article 122.

Art. 126

A motion seeking declaration of absence shall be deemed void where the absentee
reappears or the date of his death happens to be declared, before the handing down of the
judgment.

Art. 127

Where a declaratory judgment of absence is handed down, extracts thereof shall be
published in accordance with the detailed rule s provided for in Article 123, within the period
fixed by the court. The judgment shall be deemed void where it is not published within that
period.

Where the judgment becomes res judi cata, its operative part shall be recorded on request
of the Government procurator on th e registers of death of the place of domicile of the absentee or
of his last residence. Mention of that recording shall be made in th e margin of the registers at the
date of the judgment declaring th e absence; it shall also be made in the margin of the record of
birth of the person declared absentee.

Following registration, the judgment is enforceable vis-à-vis third parties who may only
obtain rectification in acc ordance with Article 99.

Art. 128

A declaratory judgment of absen ce involves, from the recording, all the effects that an
established death of the ab sentee would have had .

The measures taken for the admini stration of the property of the absentee in accordance
with Chapter I of this Title come to an end, save as otherwise decided by the court or, failing
which, by the judge who ordered them.

The spouse of the absentee may marry again.

Art. 129

Where an absentee reappears or his existence is proved after the declaratory judgment of
absence, annulment of that judgment may be sought, on application of the Government
procurator or of any party concerned.

However, where a party concerne d wishes to be represented, he may do so only through a
counsel regularly ent itled to practise.

The operative part of the ju dgment of annulment shall be published forthwith in
accordance with the detailed rules provided for in Article 123. Mention of the judgment shall be
made, from the time of its publi cation, in the margin of the decl aratory judgment of absence and
on any register which refers to it.

Art. 130

An absentee whose existence is j udicially established recovers his property and that he
should have received during his absence in the co ndition in which it may be, the proceeds of that
which has been transferred or the property acqui red by way of investment out of the capital or
incomes fallen due to him.

Art. 131

A party concerned who has induced a declaration of absence by fraud is liable to restore
to the absentee whose existence has been judici ally established the incomes of the property
which he would have enjoyed and to remit him the legal interests from the day of receipt,
without prejudice, where appropria te, to complementary damages.

Where fraud falls on the spouse of the person declared absentee, the latter is entitled to
contest the liquidation of the matr imonial regime to which the declaratory judgment of absence
has put an end.

Art. 132

Marriage of an absentee rema ins dissolved, even where a declaratory judgment of
absence is annulled.

Art. 133 to 143 [repealed]

TITRE IV

OF MARRIAGE

CHAPTER I – OF THE QUALIFICATIONS AND CONDITIONS REQUIRED FOR
CONTRACTING A MARRIAGE

Art. 144

A male, until the completion of ei ghteen years, a female until the completion of fifteen
years, may not contract marriage.

Art. 145

(Act n° 70-1266 of 23 Dec. 1970)

Nevertheless, the Government procurator of the place where a marriage is to be
celebrated may grant dispensations as to age for serious reasons.

Art. 146

There is no marriage where there is no consent.

Art. 146-1

(Act n° 93-1027 of 24 Aug. 1993)

The marriage of a French person, even where contracted in a foreign country, requires his
being present.

Art. 147

No one may contract a seco nd marriage before the dissolution of the first.

Art. 148

(Act of 17 July 1927)

Minors may not contract marriage without the consent of their father and mother; in case
of disagreement between the father and mother, that division implies consent.

[repealed]

[repealed]

Art. 149

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924)

Where one of the two is dead or is unable to express his or her intention, the consent of
the other suffices.

It is not necessary to produce the re cords of death of the father or mother of one of the
future spouses where the spouse or the father a nd mother of the deceased certify the death under
oath.

Where the present residence of th e father or mother is unknown, and where he or she has
not been heard from for one year, the marriage ma y be celebrated if the child and the parent who
consents make declaration of this under oath.

All of which shall be mentioned on the record of marriage.

A false oath taken in the cases specified in this Article and the following Articles of this
Chapter shall be punished by the penalties enac ted by Article 363 [ Article 434-13] of the Penal
Code.

Art. 150

(Act of 17 July 1927)

Where the father and mother ar e dead or are unable to express their intention, the
grandfathers and grandmothers take their place; where there is disagreement between a
grandfather and a grandmother in the same linea ge, or where there is disagreement between the
two lineages, that division implies consent.

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924) Where the present residence of the father and mother is unknown
and where they have not been heard from for one year, the marriage may be celebrated if the
grandfathers and grandmothers, t ogether with the child himself, make declaration of this under
oath. It shall be likewise where, if one or severa l grandfathers or grandmothers give their consent
to the marriage, the present residence of the ot her grandfathers or grandmothers is unknown and
they have not been heard from for one year.

Art. 151

(Act of 2 Feb. 1933)

The production of an office copy, redu ced to the operative part, of the judgment that declared the
absence or ordered an examination of witnesses as to the absence of the father and mother,
grandfathers or grandmothers of one of the future spouses, is equivalent to the production of
their records of death in the cases specifie d in Articles 149, 150, 158 and 159 of this Code.

Art. 152 [repealed]

Art. 153 [repealed by implication]

Art. 154

(Act of 2 Feb. 1933)

The disagreement between the father and mother, between the grandfather and
grandmother of the same lineage, or between ance stors of the two lineages may be established by
a notaire, requested by the future spouse and acti ng without the intervention of a second notaire
or of witnesses, who will give notice of the planned union to the one or those of the father,
mother or ancestors whose consent has not yet been gained .

The instrument containing the no tice shall state the first names, names, occupations,
domiciles and residences of the future spouses, of their fathers and mothers or, where
appropriate, of their grandparents, as well as the place where the marriage is to be celebrated .

It shall also state a declaration th at this notice is given for purpose of gaining the consent
not yet granted and that, failing which, the celebr ation of the marriage shall be proceeded with.

Art. 155

(Act of 4 Feb. 1934)

The disagreement of the ascendant s may also be established, either by a letter bearing an
authenticated signature and addre ssed to the officer of civil status who is to celebrate the
marriage, or by an instrument drawn up in th e form provided for by Article 73, paragraph 2.

The instruments listed in this Article and the preceding Article shall be stamped and
registered gratis.

Art. 156

(Act of 21 June 1907)

An officer of civil status who celebrates marriages contracted by sons or daughters who
have not reached the full age of eighteen years, without the consent of the fathers and mothers,
that of the grandfathers or gra ndmothers and that of the family council, when it is required, being
mentioned in the record of marriage, shall be sent enced to the fine specified in Article 192 of the

Civil Code, at the suit of the parties concerned or of the Govern ment procurator of the tribunal
de grande instance of the arrondisseme nt where the marriage was celebrated.

Art. 157

(Act of 4 Feb. 1934)

An officer of civil status who ha s not required proof of the notice prescribed by Article
154 shall be sentenced to the fine prov ided for in the preceding Article.

Art. 158

(Act of 10 March 1913)

An illegitimate child lawfully ac knowledged who has not reached the full age of eighteen
may not contract a marriage without having gained consent of the one of his father and mother
who acknowledged him, or of the tw o if he was acknowledged by both.

(Act of 17 July 1927) In case of disagreement between the father and mother, that
division implies consent.

(Act of 7 Feb. 1924) Where one of them is dead or unable to express his intention, the
consent of the other suffices.

[repealed]

Art. 159

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

Where there are no father, or moth er, or grandfathers, or grandmothers, or where all are
unable to express their intenti on, minors under eighteen years may not contract marriage without
the consent of the family council.

An illegitimate child who was not acknowledged, and one who, after being so, lost his
father and mother or whose father and mother cannot express their intention, may marry before
the age of eighteen years only after gain ing the consent of the family council.

Art. 160

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

Where the present residence of those of the ascendants of a minor under eighteen of
whom the death is not established is unknown a nd where the ascendants have not been heard
from for one year, the minor shall make a decl aration of it under oath before the judge of
guardianships of his residence, with the assistance of his clerk, in his chambers, and the judge of
guardianships shall place it on record.

The judge of guardianships shall gi ve notice of that oath to the family council which shall
rule on the application for author ization to marry. However, the minor may give the oath directly
in the presence of the members of the family council.

Art. 161

In direct lineage, marriage is prohibited between all ascendants and descendants,
legitimate or illegitimate, and the rela tives by marriage in the same lineage.

Art. 162

(Act of 1 July 1914)

In collateral lineage, marriage is prohibited between legitimate or illegitimate brother and
sister. [repealed]

Art. 163

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Marriage is further prohibited between uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, whether the
relationship be legitimate or illegitimate.

Art. 164

(Act of 10 March 1938)

Nevertheless, the President of the Republic may for serious reasons remove the
prohibitions entered:

1° in Article 161 as to marriages between relatives by marriage in direct lineage where
the person who created the relationship is dead;

2° [repealed]

3° in Article 163 as to ma rriages between uncle and niece, aunt and nephew.

CHAPTER II – OF THE FORMALITIES RELATING TO THE CELEBRATION OF
MARRIAGE

Art. 165

(Act of 21 June 1907)

Marriage shall be celebrated publicly before the offi cer of civil status of the commune
where one of the spouses has his domicile or his residence at the date of the public notice
provided for by Article 63 and, in the event of di spensation of public notice, at the date of the
dispensation provided for by Article 169 below.

Art. 166

(Ord. n° 58-779 of 23 Aug. 1958)

The public notice required by Article 63 shall be made at the town hall of the place of
celebration and at that of the place where each one of the future spouses has his domicile or, in
the absence of domic ile, his residence.

Art. 167 and 168 [repealed]

Art. 169

(Act of 8 April 1927)

The Government procurator of the arrondissement in which the marriage is to be
celebrated may, for serious reasons, dispense with public notice and with any period or only with
the bill-sticking of the notice.

(Ord. n° 45-2720 of 2 Nov. 1945) He may also, in exceptional cases, dispense the future
spouses, or one of them only, with the handing ov er of the medical certificate required by Article
63, paragraph 2.

The medical certificate may not be demanded to any of the future spouses in case of
imminent danger of death of one of them, as pr ovided for in Article 75, paragraph 3, of this
Code.

Art. 170

(Act of 21 June 1907)

A marriage contracted in a fo reign country between French persons and between a
French person and an alien is valid where it is ce lebrated in the forms in use in that country,
provided it was preceded by the public notice prescrib ed by Article 63, in the Title Of Records of

Civil Status, and the French person did not commit a breach of the provisions contained in the
preceding Chapter.

(Act of 29 Nov. 1901) It shall be likewis e as regards a marriage co ntracted in a foreign
country between a Frenchman and an alien (Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003), where it was
celebrated by diplomatic agents or by consuls of France, in accordance with French legislation.

Nevertheless, diplomatic agents or consuls may only proceed to the celebration of the
marriage between a Frenchman and an alien woman in the countries designated by decrees of the
President of the Republic.(Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003)Except in case of impossibility or
where it appears, upon examination of the file, that said hearing is not necessary with respect to
Article 146, diplomatic or consular agents shall, for the implementation of paragraphs 1 and 2 of
this Article, proceed to hearing jointly th e future spouses or spouses, according to the
circumstances, either at the time of the request for public notice under Article 63, or at the time
of the issuing of the certificate of marriage, or in case of a request for registration of the marriage
by a French national. Diplomatic or consular agents may, if necessary, require to have a talk with
either one of the spouses or future spouses. Th ey may also demand that the spouses or future
spouses be present on the occasion of each one of the above mentioned formalities.

Art. 170-1

(Act n° 93-1027 of 24 Aug. 1993)

Where there is serious circumst antial evidence giving rise to the presumption that a
marriage celebrated abroad incurs annulment under Articles 184, [deleted, Act n° 2003-1119 of
26 Nov. 2003] or 191, the diplomatic or consular agen t in charge of the registration of the record
shall immediately inform the Government pr ocurator’s office and defer the registration.

The Government procurator sha ll rule upon the registration. Where he claims annulment
of the marriage, he shall order that the registra tion be limited to the only purpose of referring the
matter to the court; until the judgement of the latt er, an office copy of the registered record may
be issued only to judicial aut horities or with the authorization of the Government procurator

Where the Government procurator did not come to a decision within a period of six
months after the reference, the diplomatic or consular agent shall register the record..

Art. 171

(Act n° 59-1583 of 31 Dec. 1959)

The President of the Republic may, for grave reasons, authorize the celebration of the
marriage where one of the future spouses is dead after the completion of the official formalities
indicating unequivocally his or her consent.

In this case, th e effects of the marriage date back to the day preceding that of the death
of the spouse.

However, this marriage may not invol ve any right of intestate succession to the benefit of
the survivor and no matrimonial regime is cons idered to have existed between the spouses

CHAPTER III – OF FORMAL OBJECTIONS TO MARRIAGE

Art. 172

The right to interpose an objecti on to the celebration of a marriage belongs to the person
united by marriage with one of the two contracting parties.

Art. 173

(Act of 9 Aug. 1919)

The father, the mother and, in the absence of the father and the mother, the grandfathers
and grandmothers may interpose an objection to the marriage of their children and descendants,
even of full age.

After a judicial withdrawal of an objection to a marriage interposed by an ascendant, no
new objection interposed by an ascendant is admissible and may delay the celebration.

Art. 174

In the absence of any ascendant, th e brother or sister, the uncle or aunt, a cousin-german,
of full age, may interpose an objecti on only in the following two instances :

1° (Act of 2 Feb. 1933) Where the consent of the family council, required by Article 159,
was not gained;

2° Where the objection is based upon the state of insanity of the future spouse; that
objection, the withdrawal of which may be unconditionally decided by the court, may be
accepted only on condition for the objecting party to induce a guardianship of adults and gain a
decision thereupon within th e period fixed by judgment.

Art. 175

In the two cases provided for by the preceding Article, the guardian or curator may not,
during the continuance of the guardianship or curatorship, inter pose an objection, unless he is so
authorized by the family council, which he may convene.

Art. 175-1

(Act n° 93-1027 of 24 Aug. 1993)

The Government procurator may interpose an objection in the cases in which he might
apply for annulment of a marriage.

Art. 175-2

(Act n° 2003-1119 of 26 Nov. 2003)

Where there is serious circumstantial evidence giving rise, possibly after holding the hearings
provided for in Article 63, to the presumption that the contemplated marriage may be annulled
under Article 146, the officer of civil status may refer the matter to the Government procurator.
He shall inform of it the persons concerned.

The Government procurator shall, within fi fteen days after the matter has been brought before
him, either let the marriage proceed, or interpose an objection to it, or decide that the celebration

must be stayed, pending the inquiry he initiates. He shall make his reasoned decision known to
the officer of civil status and to the persons concerned.

The duration of the stay decided by th e Government procurator may not exceed one month
renewable once by a specially reasoned decision.

After expiry of the stay, the Government procurator shall make known to the officer of civil
status by a reasoned decision whethe r he allows the celebration of the marriage or objects to it.

Either of the future spouses, even minor, may challenge the decision to stay or its renewal
before the president of the tri bunal de grande instance who shall give judgment within ten days.
The judgment of the president of the tribunal de grande instance may be referred to the court of
appeal* which shall decide within the same period.

Art. 176

(Act of 8 April 1927)

An instrument of objection shall st ate the capacity in which the party objecting is entitled
to do so; it shall contain an election of domic ile at the place where the marriage is to be
celebrated ; it shall also contai n the reasons of the objection a nd reproduce the text of law on
which the objection is based; the whole on pa in of nullity and of disqualification of the
ministerial officer who ha s signed the instrument containing the objection.

(Act of 15 March 1933) After one full year, the instrument of opposition ceases to be
effective. It may be renewed, except in the case referred to in Article 173, paragraph 2, above.

Art. 177

(Act of 15 March 1933)

The tribunal de grande instance shall decide within ten days on an application for
withdrawal filed by the future spouses, even minors.

Art. 178

(Act of 15 March 1933)

If there is an appeal it shall be disposed of within ten days, and, where the judgment
under appeal has granted the withdrawal of the obj ection, the court shall decide even of its own
motion.

Art. 179

Where an objection is set aside, the parties objecting may be ordered to pay damages,
with the exception however of the ascendants.

(Act of 20 June 1896) An applica tion for retrial does not lie against a default judgment
which sets aside an objection to marriage.

CHAPTER IV – OF APPLICATIONS FOR THE ANNULMENT OF A MARRIAGE

Art. 180

A marriage contracted without th e free consent of the two spouses, or of one of them,
may be attacked only by the spouses or by the one whose consent was not free.

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975) Where there was a mistake as to the person, or as to
essential capacities of the person, the other s pouse may apply for annulment of the marriage.

Art. 181

In the case of the preceding Ar ticle, the application for annulment may no longer be
admissible whenever there has been continuous cohabitation fo r six months since the spouse
acquired his or her full freedom or the mistake was discovered by him or her.

Art. 182

A marriage contracted without the consent of the father and mother, of the ascendants or
of the family council, where this consent was necessary, may be attacked only by those whose
consent was required, or by the one of th e spouses who needed that consent .

Art. 183

An application for annulment may no longer be instituted by the spouses or the parents
whose consent was required, whenever the marriag e was expressly or tacitly approved by those
whose consent was necessary, or where one year has elapsed without claim on their part since
they have had knowledge of the marriage. Nor ma y it be instituted by the spouse where one year
has elapsed without claim on his or her part, since he or she has reached the competent age to
consent to the marriage by himself or herself.

Art. 184

(Act of 19 Feb. 1933)

A marriage contracted in viola tion of the provisions contained in Articles 144, 146, “146-
1,” (Act n° 93-1027 of 24 Aug. 1993) 147, 161, 162 and 163 may be attacked either by the
spouses themselves, or by all those who have an interest therein, or by the Government
procurator.

Art. 185

However, a marriage contracted by spouses who did not yet have the required age, or of
whom one of the two had not reached th at age, may no longer be attacked :

1° where six months have elap sed since that spouse or the spouses have reached the
competent age;

2° where the wife, who did not have that age, has conceived before six months elapsed .

Art. 186

The father, the mother, the ascendants and the family when they have consented to the
marriage contracted in the circumstances referr ed to in the preceding Article, may not be
admitted to apply for its annulment.

Art. 187

In all cases in which an applica tion for annulment may be instituted, in accordance with
Article 184, by all those who have an interest therein, it may not be instituted by collateral
relatives, or by the children born of another marri age, in the lifetime of the spouses, unless they
have a vested and present interest.

Art. 188

A spouse to whose detriment a second marriage was contracted, may apply for its
annulment even during the lifetime of the spouse who was bound to him or her.

Art. 189

Where the new spouses raise the in validity of the first marriage, the validity or invalidity
of that marriage must be judged beforehand.

Art. 190

In all cases to which Article 1 84 applies and under the modifications contained in Article
185, the Government procurator may and shall a pply for annulment of the marriage, during the
lifetime of the spouses, and have them ordered to separate.

Art. 190-1

[repealed]

Art. 191

A marriage which was not publicly contracted and which was not celebrated before the
competent public officer, may be attacked by the spouses themselves, by the father and mother,
by the ascendants and by all those having a ve sted and present interest, as well as by the
Government procurator.

Art. 192

(Act of 21 June 1907)

Where a marriage was not preceded by the public notice required or where the
dispensations allowed by law were not gained, or where the intervals prescribed between the
public notice and the celebration were not observe d, the Government procurator shall have the
public officer fined an amount not exceeding “30 francs” (4,5 € ) (Act n° 46-2154 of 7 Oct.
1946) and shall have the contracting parties, or those under whose authority they acted, fined in
proportion to their wealth.

Art. 193

The penalties stated in the pr eceding Article are incurred by the persons therein named
for any infringement of the rules prescribed by Article 165, even if those infringements are not
held to be sufficient to involve annulment of the marriage.

Art. 194

No one may claim the quality of spouse and the civil effects of marriage unless he or she
produces a record of celebration entered on the re gister of civil status; except in the cases
provided for by Article 46, in the Ti tle Of Records of Civil Status .

Art. 195

Apparent status may not exempt the alleged spouses who respectively avail themselves of
it from producing the record of celebration of th e marriage before the officer of civil status.

Art. 196

Where there is an apparent status and the record of celebration of the marriage before the
officer of civil status is produced, the spouses have respectively no standing to sue for the
annulment of that record.

Art.197

Where, however, in the case of Articles 194 and 195, there are children born of two
persons who have openly lived as husband and wife and who are both dead, the legitimacy of the
children may not be contested on the sole pretext of failure to produce the record of celebration,
whenever legitimacy is proved by an apparent stat us which is not contradicted by the record of
birth.

Art. 198

Where the proof of the lawful cel ebration of a marriage is established by the outcome of
a criminal procedure, the entry of the judgment on the registers of civil status secures for the
marriage, from the day of its celebration, all civ il effects, both as regards the spouses and the
children born of that marriage.

Art. 199

Where the spouses or one of them have died without having discovered fraud, a criminal
action may be brought by all those who have an interest in having the marriage declared valid,
and by the Government procurator.

Art. 200

Where a public officer is dead when fraud is discovered, a civil action may be instituted
against his heirs, by the Governme nt procurator, in the presence of the interested parties and
upon their accusation.

Art. 201

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

A marriage which has been declared void produces, nevertheless, its effects with regard
to the spouses, where it was contracted in good faith.

Where good faith exists only on th e part of one spouse, the marriage produces its effects
only in favour of that spouse.

Art. 202

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

It also produces its effects with regard to the children, even though none of the spouses
was in good faith.

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) The judge shall rule on the exercise of parental authority as
in matters of divorce.

CHAPTER V – OF THE OBLIGATI ONS ARISING FROM MARRIAGE

Art. 203

The spouses contract together, by the sole fact of marriage, the obligation of feeding,
supporting and educating their children.

Art. 204

A child has no claim against his father and mother for a settlement in view of marriage or
otherwise.

Art. 205

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Children owe maintenance to th eir father and mother or other ascendants who are in
need.

Art. 206

(Act of 9 Aug. 1919)

Sons- and daughters-in-law owe likewise and under the same circumstances, maintenance
to their father- and mother-in-law, but this obl igation ceases where the spouse owing to whom
the affinity existed and the children born of hi s or her union with the other spouse are dead.

Art. 207

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

The obligations result ing from these provisions are reciprocal.

Nevertheless, where the creditor ha s failed seriously to fulfil his obligations towards the
debtor, the judge may discharge the latter from all or part of the maintenance obligations.

Art. 207-1 [repealed]

Art. 208

(Act n° 73-2 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Maintenance shall be granted only in pr oportion to the needs of the one who claims it,
and to the wealth of the one who owes it.

The judge may, even of his own motion and according to the circumstances of the case,
couple the periodical payments with a revi sion clause permitted by the law in force.

Art. 209

Where the one who provides or the one who receives maintenance is placed again in such
a condition that the one can no longer give it, or th e other is no longer in need of it, a discharge
or reduction of it may be applied for.

Art. 210

Where the person who must pr ovide maintenance establishes that he cannot make
periodical payments, the “family causes judge “(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) may, with full
knowledge of the facts, order that he shall receive in his home, feed and maintain the one to
whom he owes maintenance.

Art. 211

The “family causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) may also decide whether the
father or mother who will offer to receive, feed and maintain in his or her home the child to
which he or she owes maintenance should in th at case be exempted from periodical payments.

CHAPTER VI – OF THE RESPECTIVE RI GHTS AND DUTIES OF THE SPOUSES

Art. 212

(Act of 22 Sept. 1942)

Spouses mutually owe each other fidelity, support and assistance.

Art. 213

(Act n° 70-459 of 4 June 1970)

Spouses are responsible together for the material and moral guidance of the family. They
shall provide for the education of the children and shall prepare their future.

Art. 214

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

Where an ante-nuptial agreement doe s not regulate the contributions of the spouses to the
marriage expenses, they shall contribute to them in proportio n to their respective means .

[repealed]

[repealed]

Where one of the spouses does not fulfil his or her obligations, he or she may be
compelled by the other to do so in the manner pr ovided for in the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 215

(Act n° 70-459 of 4 June 1970)

Spouses mutually oblige themselves to a community of living.

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975) The residence of the family is at the place which they
choose by common consent.

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965) The spouses may not, separately, dispose of the rights
whereby the lodging of the family is ensured, or of the pieces of furniture with which it is
garnished. The one of the two who did not give hi s or her consent to the transaction may claim
the annulment of it: the action for annulment is ope n to him or her within the year after the day
when he or she had knowledge of the transaction, without possibility of its ever being instituted
more than one year after the matrimonial regime was dissolved.

Art. 216

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

Each spouse has full legal capacity; but his or her righ ts and powers may be restricted as
a consequence of the matrimonial regime a nd of the provisions of this Chapter.

Art. 217

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

A spouse may be authorized by a court to enter alone into a transaction for which the
assistance or the consent of the other spouse would be necessary, where the latter is not able to
express his or her intention or where his or her refusal is not justified by the interest of the
family.

The transaction entered into under th e terms of a judicial authorization is effective against
the spouse whose assistance or consent was lack ing, without any personal obligation incumbent
on him or her resulting from it

Art. 218

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

A spouse may give the other a written authorization to represent him or her in the
exercise of the powers that the matrimoni al regime confers to him or her.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) He or she may, in all cases, freely revoke that
authorization.

Art. 219

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

Where one of the spouses is unab le to express his or her intention, the other may be
judicially entitled to represent him or her, in a general manner or for some particular
transactions, in the exercise of the powers re sulting from the matrimonial regime, the terms and
extent of that representation being fixed by the judge.

Failing a legal power, power of atto rney or judicial entitlement, the transactions entered
into by a spouse in representation of the other are effective with regard to the latter according to
the rules of management of another’s business.

Art. 220

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

Each one of the spouses has th e power to make alone contracts which relate to the
support of the household or the educ ation of children: any debt thus contracted by the one binds
the other jointly and severally.

Nevertheless, joint and several ob ligations do not arise as regards expenditures that are
manifestly excessive with reference to the way of living of the household, to the usefulness or
uselessness of the transacti on, to the good or bad faith of the contracting third party.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1 985) They do not arise either, where they were not
concluded with the consent of the two spouses, as regards instalment purchases or loans unless
those relate to reasonable sums needed for the wants of everyday life.

Art. 220-1

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

Where one of the spouses fails seriously in his or her duties and thus imperils the
interests of the family, the “f amily causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) may prescribe
any urgent measure which those interests require.

He may in particular forbid that spouse to make, without the consent of the other, grants
of his or her own property and of that of the community, movable or immovable. He may also
forbid the displacing of movables, subject to the specifying of those which he attributes to the
personal use of the one or the other of the spouses.

The duration of the measures provide d for in this Article must be determined. It may not
exceed three years, including a possible extension;

Art. 220-2

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

Where an injunction prohibits th e making of grants of property the conveyance of which
is subject to registration, it must be registered at the suit of the applicant spouse. That registration
ceases to be effective upon the expiry of the pe riod determined by the injunction, subject for the
party concerned to obtain in the interval a varying order, xhich shall be given notice of in the
same manner .

Where an injunction prohibits th e granting of movables, or the displacing them, it shall
be served by the applicant on his or her spouse and involves the effect of rendering the latter a
responsible custodian of the mova bles in the same manner as a person whose property is seized.
Where served on a third party, the latt er shall be deemed in bad faith.

Art. 220-3

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

May be annulled, on claim of the applicant spouse, all transactions entered into in
violation of the injunction, where they were made with a third party in bad faith, or even with
regard to a property the conveyance of which is subject to registration, where they are simply
subsequent to the registration pr ovided for by the preceding Article.

An action for annulment may be brought by the applicant spouse within two years after
the day when he or she had knowledge of the tr ansaction, without possibility of its ever being
instituted, where that transaction is subject to registration, more than two years after its
registration .

Art. 221

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

Each one of the spouses may open, without the consent of the other, a deposit account
and a securities account in his or her personal name.

(Act 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) With regard to the depositary, the depositor is always
considered, even after dissolution of the marriage, to have free disposal of the funds and of the
securities on deposit.

Art. 222

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

Where one of the spouses appears alone to do an act of administration or enjoyment or a
grant on a movable which he or she holds individuall y, he or she is considered, with regard to the
third party in good faith, to have the power to do that act alone.

This provision shall not apply to pieces of furniture referred to in Article 215, paragraph
3, or to movable tangible property the nature of which gives rise to a presumption of ownership
of the other spouse in acco rdance with Article 1404 .

Art. 223

(Act 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Each spouse may freely follow a trade, collect his or her earnings and salaries and
dispose of them after discharging marriage expenses .

Art. 224 [repealed]

Art. 225

(Act 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Each of the spouses shall administ er, bind and transfer alone his or her personal property
.

Art. 226

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

The provisions of this Chapter, on all questions where they do not save the application of
ante-nuptial agreements, apply by the sole effect of marriage, whatever the matrimonial regime
of the spouses may be.

CHAPTER VII – OF THE DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE

Art. 227

A marriage is dissolved:

1° By the death of one of the spouses;

2° By divorce lawfully pronounced;

3° [repealed]

CHAPTER VIII – OF SECOND MARRIAGES

Art. 228

(Act of 9 Aug. 1919)

A wife may contract a second ma rriage only three hundred full days after the dissolution
of a preceding marriage.

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 Jul. 1975) That period comes to an end in case of delivery after the
death of the husband. It also comes to an end where the wife produces a medical certificate
attesting that she is not in a state of pregnancy.

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 Jul. 1975) The president of the tribunal de grande instance in whose
jurisdiction the marriage is to be celebrated ma y, by interim ex parte order, shorten the period
provided for by the preceding Article, where it obviously results from the circumstances that, for
three hundred days, the former husband has not coha bitated with his wife. The petition is subject
to transmission to the Government procurator’s of fice. In the event of a dismissal of the petition,
an appeal may be lodged.

TITLE VI

OF DIVORCE

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

CHAPTER I – OF CASES FOR DIVORCE

Art. 229

Divorce may be decreed in cases:

– either of mutual consent; or

– of breakdown of community life; or

– of fault.

Section I – Of Divorce by Mutual Consent

§1 – Of Divorce on Joint Petition by the Spouses

Art. 230

Where the spouses petition together for divorce, they are not required to make the reason
for it known; they must only submit for the a pproval of the judge a draft convention which
regulates the consequences of it .

The petition may be filed either by the respective counsels of the parties, or by one
counsel chosen by common consent .

A divorce by mutual consent ma y not be petitioned during the first six months of
marriage.

Art. 231

The judge shal l consider the petition with each one of the spouses, then shall call them
together. He shall then call the counsel or counsels .

Where the spouses maintain their intention to divorce, the judge shall indicate to them
that their petition must be renewed after a three months period for consideration.

Failing a renewal within six mont hs following the expiry of the period, the joint petition
lapses.

Art. 232

The judge shall decree a divorce where he has acquired the conviction that the intention
of the spouses is actual and that each one of them gave consent freely. He shall approve, through
the same judgment, the agreement which regu lates the consequences of the divorce.

He may refuse approval and not decree a divorce where he finds that the agreement
insufficiently protects the interests of th e children or of one of the spouses.

§2 – Of Divorce Petitioned by one Spouse and Accepted by the Other

Art. 233

One of the spouses may petiti on for divorce by taking into account a set of facts
originating from both of them, that render intolerable the continuance of community life.

Art. 234

Where the other spouse acknowle dges the facts before the judge, the latter decrees
divorce without having to rule on the allocation of wrongs. A divorce thus decreed produces the
effects of a divorce decreed against both spouses.

Art. 235

Where the other spouse does not acknowledge the facts, the judge may not decree
divorce.

Art. 236

The declarations made by the spouses may not be used as evidence in any other action at
law.

Section II – Of Divorce for Br eakdown of Community Life

Art. 237

A spouse may petition for divorce by reason of an extended breakdown of community
life, where the spouses have lived apart in fact for six years.

Art. 238

It shall be likewise where the ment al faculties of the spouse have, for six years, been so
seriously altered that community of life no longer exists between the spouses and cannot be
restored in the future, according to the most reasonable anticipations.

The judge may dismiss the applic ation of his own motion, subject to Article 240, where
divorce may have too serious consequen ces for the illness of the spouse.

Art. 239

A spouse who petitions for di vorce on grounds of breakdown of community life shall
bear all the expenditures thereof. In his or her petition, he or she must specify the means by
which the obligations towards the other spouse and the children will be fulfilled.

Art. 240

Where the other spouse establishes that the divorce would result, either for him or her,
account being taken in particular of his or her ag e and of the duration of the marriage, or for the
children, in exceptional material or moral ha rdship, the judge shall dismiss the petition.

He may even dismiss it of his own motion in the circumstances referred to in Article 238.

Art. 241

Breakdown of community life ma y be invoked as a ground for divorce only by the spouse
who brings the originating peti tion, called principal petition.

The other spouse may then bring a petition, called counter-petition, by invoking the
wrongs of the one who took the initiative. The counter-petition may seek only divorce and not
judicial separation. Where the judge admits it, he dismisses the principal petition and decrees
divorce against the spouse who took the initiative thereof.

Section III – Of Divorce for Fault

Art. 242

Divorce may be petitioned by a spous e for facts ascribable to the other where those facts
constitute a serious or renewe d violation of the duties and obl igations of marriage and render
unendurable the continuance of community life.

Art. 243

It may be petitioned by a spouse where the other has been sentenced to one of the
penalties “provided for by Article 131-1 of the Penal Code” (Act n° 92-133 of 16 Dec. 1992).

Art. 244

Reconciliation of the spouses o ccurred after the facts alleged prevents their being
invoked as a ground for divorce.

The judge shall then declare the petition inadmissible. A new petition may however be
filed by reason of facts occurred or discovered after the reconciliation, the former facts being
then recallable in support of that new petition.

Temporary continuance or rene wal of community life must not be considered as a
reconciliation where they result only from necessity or from an endeavour to conciliation or from
the needs of the educa tion of the children.

Art. 245

Faults of the spouse who took the initiative of the divorce do not prevent from
considering his or her petition; they may, however, deprive the facts which the other spouse is
reproached with of the seriousness that would make them a ground for divorce.

Those faults may be also invoke d by the other spouse in support of a counter-petition in
divorce . Where both petitions are granted, divorce is decreed against both spouses.

Even failing a counter-petition, divorce may be decreed against both spouses where
wrongs against both appear in the hearings.

Art. 246

Where divorce is sought under Articles 233 to 245, the spouses may, as long as no
judgment on the merits has been handed down, re quest the “family causes judge” (Act n° 93-22
of 8 Jan. 1993 ) to establish thei r agreement and approve the draft convention which regulates
the consequences of the divorce.

The provisions of Articles 231 and 232 shall then apply.

CHAPTER II – OF DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS

Section I – General Provisions

Art. 247.

The tribunal de grande instance exercising civil jurisdiction has ex clusive jurisdiction to rule on
divorce and its consequences.

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) One judge of this court shall be assigned family causes.
[deleted]

This judge has jurisdiction to decree a divorce, whatever the ground for it may be. He
may transfer a case as it stands for hearings before a division of the court. That transfer is as of
right when requested by a party .

(Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987) He shall also have exclusive jurisdiction, after the decree
of divorce, whatever the ground for it may be, to ru le on the details of the exercise of parental
authority, “on changes as to periodical payments and on revision of the compensatory allowance
or its terms of payment” (Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000), as well as to decide to entrust the

children to a third party. He shall then rule informally and may be seized by the parties
concerned even by a mere petition.

Art. 248

Hearings on the case, the conseque nces of divorce and interim orders may not be public.

Art. 248-1

In case of a divorce for fault, and on request of the spouses, the “family causes judge”
(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) may restrict himself to establish that there are facts constituting a
cause of divorce in the grounds of the judgm ent, without having to state the wrongs and
complaints of the parties.

Art. 249

Where a petition for divorce must be brought in the name of an adult in guardianship, it
shall be filed by the guardian with the authorization of the family council, after advice of the
attending physician.

An adult in curatorship shall bring the action himself with the assistance of the curator.

Art. 249-1

Where the spouse against whom a petition is filed is in guardianship, the action shall be
brought against the guardian; where he or she is in curatorship, he or she is the defendant, with
the assistance of the curator.

Art. 249-2

A special guardian or curator sh all be appointed where the guardianship or curatorship
was entrusted to the spouse of the person under a disability.

Art. 249-3

Where one of the spouses is placed under judicial supervision, a petition for divorce may
be tried only after organization of a guardianship or curatorship.

Art. 249-4

Where one of the spouses is pl aced under one of the protective systems provided for in
Article 490 below, no petition for divor ce by mutual consent may be filed.

Art. 250

In case of statutory interdiction resulting from a sentence, a petition for divorce may be
brought by the guardian only with the author ization of the person under disability.

Section II – Of Conciliation

Art. 251

Where divorce is sought for brea kdown of community life or for fault, an attempt at
conciliation is compulsory before judicial processions. It may be renewed during the
proceedings.

Where divorce is sought by mutu al consent of the spouses, a conciliation may be
attempted pending the lawsuit according to the ru les of procedure appropriate to that case for
divorce.

Art. 252

Where the judge seeks to conciliate the spouses, he must personally have a talk with each
of them separately before bringing them together in his presence .

The counsels must then, where th e spouses so request, be called to be present and
participate in the talk .

In the case of Article 238 and in that where the spouse against whom the petition is
brought does not appear before the judge, the latter shall nevertheless have a talk with the other
spouse and urge him or her to consideration.

Art. 252-1

An attempt at conciliation may be suspended and resumed without any formality, with
the arranging of times for consideration for the spouses within a limit of eight days .

Where a longer period is deem ed advisable, the judge may decide to suspend the
proceedings and resort to a new attempt at conc iliation within six months at most. He may, if
there is occasion, make the requisite interim orders.

Art. 252-2

Where he does not succeed in ha ving them renounce divorce, the judge shall try to induce
the spouses to regulate amicably its consequen ces, in particular as regards the children, by
agreements ” which may be taken into account by the forthcoming judgment” (Act n° 93-22 of 8
Jan. 1993).

Art. 252-3

Anything that was said or written on the occasion of an attempt at conciliation, whatever
the form it occurred, may not be invoked for or against a spouse or a third party in the further
proceedings.

Section III – Of Interim Orders

Art. 253

In case of divorce on joint petition, the spouses themselves regulate interim measures in a
provisional agreement which must be a nnexed to their originating petition .

The judge however may have the terms of that agreement deleted or amended which
appear to him to be contrary to the welfare of the children.

Art. 254

At the time of the appearance of the spouses in the circumstances referred to in Article
233, or of the decree of non-conciliation in the ot her circumstances, the judge shall prescribe the
measures which are required in order to ensure the living of the spouses and the children until the
date on which the judgment becomes res judicata.

Art. 255

The judge may in particular:

1° Authori ze the spouses to reside apart;

2° Allocate to one of them th e enjoyment of the lodging and furniture of the household,
or divide that enjoyment between them;

3° Order the deliv ery of clothes and personal belongings;

4° Order periodical payments a nd allowance for costs to be paid by one spouse to the
other;

5° Grant to one of the spouses a dvance payments as to his or her part in the community
property, where circumstances so dictate .

Art. 256

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Consequences of a separation for the children shall be settled in accordance with the
provisions of Chapter I of Title IX of this Book.

Art. 257

From the originating petition, the judge may take emergency measures.

He may, on this ground, authorize th e petitioning spouse to reside apart, if occasion be
with his or her minor children.

He may also, as a safeguard of th e rights of a spouse, order any protective measures such
as the affixing of seals on community propert y. The provisions of Article 220-1 and the other
safeguards provided for by the matrimonial re gime remain nevertheless applicable.

Art. 258

Where he definitively dismis ses a petition for divorce, the judge may rule on the
contributions to the marriage expenses, the resi dence of the family and “the details of the
exercise of parental author ity” (Act n° 87-570, 22 Jul. 1987).

Section IV – Of Evidence

Art. 259

Facts invoked as grounds for divorce or as a defence to a petition may be established by
any evidence, including admissions.

Art. 259-1

A spouse may not produce in cour t letters exchanged between his or her spouse and a
third party which he or she obtained by duress or fraud.

Art. 259-2

The certificates drawn up on request of a party are set aside from the hearing where there
was illegal entry into the domicile or unlaw ful invasion of intimacy of private life.

Art. 259-3

The spouses must communicate to each other and communicate to the judge as well as to
experts designated by him, any information and doc uments appropriate for fixing allowances and
payments and liquidating the matrimonial regime.

The judge may cause any proper inqu iry to be instigated of debtors or of all those who
hold assets on behalf of the spouses without pr ofessional secrecy being allowed to be raised.

CHAPTER III – OF THE CONS EQUENCES OF DIVORCE

Section I – Of the Date at which Divorce Takes Effect

Art. 260

A judgment gran ting divorce dissolves the marriage at the date at which it acquires force
of res judicata.

Art. 261

To contract a new marriage, the wi fe must comply with the period of three hundred days
provided for in Article 228.

Art. 261-1

Where the spouses were authorized to reside apart pending the lawsuit, that period starts
running from the day of the judgment authorizing the separate residence or, in case of joint
petition, approving the provisional agr eement relating to this subject.

The wife may remarry without delay where divorce was granted in the circumstances
provided for in Articles 237 and 238.

Art. 261-2

The period comes to an end wh ere the birth of a child occurs after the decision
authorizing or approving the se parate residence or, failing whic h, after the date at which the
divorce judgment acquired force of res judicata .

Where the husband dies before th e divorce judgment acquired force of res judicata, the
period runs from the decision authorizing or approving the separate residence .

Art. 262

A divorce judgment is effective ag ainst third parties, as regards the property of the
spouses, from the day when the formalities of mention in the margin prescribed by the rules
which apply to civil status have been performed .

Art. 262-1

A divorce judgment takes effect in the relations between spouses, as regards their
property, as from the date of summons.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) Th e spouses may, one or the other, petition, if there is
occasion, that the effect of the judgment be carried back to the date when they ceased to live
together and collaborate. The one upon whom th e wrongs of separation fall chiefly may not
obtain that carrying back .

Art. 262-2

Any obligation contracted by one of the spouses on the responsibility of the community,
any transfer of community prope rty made by one of them within the limit of his or her power,

after the originating petition, shall be declared void, where there is evidence that there was fraud
of the rights of the other spouse .

.

Section II – Of the Consequen ces of Divorce for the Spouses

§1 – General Provisions

Art. 263

Where divorced spouses wish to contract another union between themselves, a new
celebration of marriage is required.

Art. 264

Following divorce, each of the spouses shall resume the use of his or her name.

However, in the circumstances pr ovided for in Articles 237 and 238, the wife is entitled
to keep the use of the husband’s name when the divorce has been petitioned by him.

In the other circumstances, the wi fe may keep the use of the husband’s name either with
his consent, or with the authori zation of the judge, where she proves that a particular interest lies
therein for herself or for the children.

Art. 264-1

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

When he grants divorce, the “m atrimonial causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)
shall order the liquidation and partition of the pa trimonial interests of the spouses and rule, if
there is occasion, on requests for continuation of undivided ownership or preferential allotments.

§ 2 – Of the Consequences Peculiar to the Various Cases for Divorce

Art. 265

Divorce is deemed granted against one spouse where it occurs on his or her exclusive
wrongs. It is also deemed grante d against the spouse who took the initiative of the divorce where
it is obtained by reason of breakdown of community life.

The spouse against whom divorce is granted loses the rights which legislation or
agreement made with third parties confer upon a divorced spouse.

Those rights are not lost in ca se of mutual wrongs or of divorce by mutual consent.

Art. 266

Where divorce is granted on the ex clusive wrongs of one of the spouses, this one may be
ordered to pay damages for material and moral ha rm which his or her spouse suffers because of
the dissolution of the marriage.

The latter may seek damages only in the occasion of an action for divorce .

Art. 267

Where divorce is granted on the ex clusive wrongs of one of the spouses, this one loses by
operation of law any gifts and matrimonial advant ages which his or her spouse had granted to
her or him, whether at the time of the marriage, or after.

The other spouse keeps the gifts a nd advantages which had been granted to him or her,
even though they were stipulated to be reciprocal and reciprocity did not occur.

Art. 267-1

Where divorce is granted on mutu al wrongs, each one of the spouses may revoke all or
part of the gifts and advantages whic h he or she granted to the other.

Art. 268

Where divorce is granted on joint petition, the spouses themselves shall decide on the
condition of the gifts and advant ages which they granted to each other; where they decided
nothing in this regard, they are deemed to have kept them .

Art. 268-1

Where divorce is granted on pe tition accepted by the other spouse, each one of the
spouses may revoke all or part of the gifts and ad vantages which he or she granted to the other.

Art. 269

Where divorce is granted on th e ground of breakdown of community life, the spouse who
took the initiative for divorce lose s by operation of law the gift and advantages which the other
spouse granted to him or her.

The other spouse keeps his or hers.

§ 3 – Of Compensatory Benefit

Art. 270

Except where it is granted on the ground of breakdown of community life, divorce puts
an end to the duty of support provided for by Ar ticle 212 of the Civil Code ; but one of the
spouses may be compelled to pay the other a benef it intended to compensate, as far as possible,
for the disparity that breakdown of the marriag e creates in the respective ways of living.

Art. 271

A compensatory benefit shall be fixed according to the needs of the spouse to whom it is
paid and to the means of the other, account being taken of the situation at the time of divorce and
of its evolution in a foreseeable future.

(Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000) In the context of the fixing of a compensatory benefit,
by the judge or by the parties in the agreement re ferred to in Article 278, or on the occasion of a
petition for revision, the parties shall provide the judge with declarations certifying on their
honour the accuracy of their means, incomes, patrimonies and ways of living.

Art. 272

In determining the needs and m eans, the judge shall have regard, in particular, to/

– the ages a nd states of health of the spouses;

– (Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000) the duration of the marriage;

– the time already devoted or th at must be devoted to the education of children;

– their professional qualifications “and positions with regard to the labour market” (Act n°
2000-596 of 30 June 2000);

– their existing and foreseeable rights;

– “their respective situation as to retirement pensions” (Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June
2000);

– their patrimony, both in capital and income, after the liquidation of the matrimonial
regime .

Art. 273

Compensatory benefit shal l be in the nature of a lump sum. [repealed]

Art. 274

(Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000)

Compensatory benefit shall take the form of a capital the amount of which shall be fixed
by the judge .

Art. 275

The judge shall decide the deta ils according to which the allotment or appropriation of
property in capital will be made:

1° Payment of a sum of money;

2° Surrender of property in kind, movables or immovables, “for ownership or usufruct,
for use or dwelling” (Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000), the judgment operating a forced transfer
in favour of the creditor;

3° Depositing securities which produ ce income in the hands of a third party in charge of
paying the income to the spouse creditor of the benefit until the time limit fixed.

The divorce judgment may be made subject to actual payment of the capital or
establishment of the guarantees provided for in Article 277.

Art. 275-1

(Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000)

Where a debtor is not able to pay the capital under the terms of Article 275, the judge
shall fix the arrangements for payment of the capital, within the limit of height years, in the form
of monthly or annual payments linked to an in dex in accordance with the rules applicable to
periodical payments.

A debtor may request revisi on of those arrangements for payment in case of a
considerable change in his or her situation. By way of exception the judge may then, by a special
and reasoned decision, authorize the payment of the capital on a total period of more than eight
years.

On a debtor spouse’s death, the re sponsibility for the balance of the capital passes to his
or her heirs. Heirs may request revision of th e arrangements for payment under the terms of the
preceding paragraph.

A debtor or his or her heirs may at any time redeem the balance of the capital.

After liquidation of the matrimoni al regime, the creditor of a compensatory benefit may
refer to the judge a claim for paym ent of the balance of the capital.

Art. 276

(Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000)

By way of exception, the judge may, by a specially reasoned decision, by reason of the
age or state of health of the creditor which does not allow him or her to supply to his or her
needs, fix the compensatory benefit in the form of a life annuity. He shall have regard to the
factors laid down in Article 272 .

Art. 276-1

“An annuity shall be linked to an index; the index shall be determined as in periodical
payments matters” (Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000).

The amount of an annuity before index-liking shall be fixed in a uniform fashion for its
entire duration or may vary by successive peri ods following the likely evolution of needs and
means.

Art. 276-2

(Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000)

On a debtor spouse’s death, the responsibility for the life annuity passes to his or her
heirs. Survivor’s pensions possibly paid in the deceased spouse’s right are deducted as of right
from the annuity paid to the creditor. Unle ss otherwise decided by the judge to whom the
creditor referred the matter, a deduction of the same amount shall still be granted where the
creditor loses his or her right to a survivor’s pension .

Art. 276-3

(Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000)

A compensatory benefit fixed in the form of a life annuity may be revised, postponed or
suppressed in case of an important change in the means or needs of the parties .

Revision may not lead to increas e the annuity up to an amount above the one initially
fixed by the judge .

An action for revision li es with the debtor and his or her heirs .

Art. 276-4

(Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000)

The debtor of a compensatory bene fit in the form of a life annuity may at any time refer
the matter to the judge for the pur pose of ruling on the replacement of the annuity by a capital
determined under the terms of Articles 275 and 275-1.

That application may be made by the debtor’s heirs .

The creditor of a compensatory benefit may make the same application where he or she
establishes that a modification in the situation of th e debtor allows that replacement, in particular
at the time of liquidation of the matrimonial regime.

Art. 277

Irrespective of a statutory or judi cial mortgage, the judge may order the debtor spouse to
establish a pledge, to give security “or to enter into a contract that guarantees the payment of the
annuity or capital” (Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000).

Art. 278

In case of joint petition, the s pouses shall fix the amount and terms of compensatory
benefit in the agreement which they submit to the judge for approval . “They may lay down that
the payment of the benefit will come to an e nd from the occurrence of a specific event. The
benefit may be in the form of an annuity gr anted for a limited period” (Act n° 2000-596 of 30
June 2000).

The judge, however, shall refuse to approve the agreement where it fixes unfairly the
rights and obligations of the spouses.

Art. 279

An approved agreement is enforceable at law as is a judicial decision.

It may be modified only by a new agreement between spouses, likewise submitted to
approval .

Spouses have nevertheless the power to provide in their agreement that each of them
may, in case of “important change in the means and needs of the parties” (Act n° 2000-596 of 30
June 2000), request the judge to re vise the compensatory benefit.

Art. 280

The transfers and surrenders provi ded for in this Subsection shall be deemed dependent
on the matrimonial regime. They may not be treated in the same ways as gifts.

Art. 280-1

The spouse on whose exclusiv e wrongs divorce was granted is not entitled to any
compensatory benefit.

He or she may, however, obtain an indemnity by way of exception where, account being

taken of the duration of community life and of the cooperation brought to the occupation of the
other spouse, it appears obviously contrary to equity to refuse him or her any pecuniary
compensation following divorce.

§ 4 – Of the Duty of Support after Divorce

Art. 281

Where divorce is granted for breakdown of community life, the spouse who took the
initiative for divorce remains en tirely bound by the duty of support .

In the case of Article 238, the dut y of support shall cover all that is needed for the
medical treatment of the sick spouse .

Art. 282

The fulfilling of the duty of support shall take the form of periodical payments. The latter
may always be revised according to the means and needs of each one of the spouses .

Art. 283

Periodical payments cease to be owed by operation of law where the spouse who is the
creditor of them contracts a new marriage .

An end shall be put to them wher e the creditor lives in a state of notorious concubinage.

Art. 284

On the death of the debtor spouse, the liability as to payments passes to his or her heirs.

Art. 285

Where the consistence of the de btor spouse’s property so permits, periodical payments
must be replaced, in whole or part, by the settl ing of a capital, according to the rules of Articles
274 to 275-1, “277” (Act n° 2000-596 of 30 June 2000) and 280.

Where that capital becomes inade quate to cover the needs of the creditor spouse, the
latter may request a complement under the form of periodical payments.

§ 5 – Of Lodging

Art. 285-1

Where the premises serving as lodging for the family are the separate or personal
property of one spouse, the judge may gr ant it on lease to the other spouse:

1° (Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987) Where parental authority is exercised by the latter
over one or several children or, in case of exercise in common of parental authority, where one
or several children have their us ual residence in these lodgings;

2° Where divorce was grante d on petition of the owner spouse, for breakdown of
community life.

In the case provided for in 1° a bove, the judge shall fix the duration of the lease and may
renew it until the coming of age of the youngest of the children.

In the case provided for in 2° above, the lease may not be granted for a duration
exceeding nine years, but may be lengthened by a new judgment. It comes to an end by operation
of law in case of remarriage of the one to whom it was granted. It shall be brought to an end
where the latter lives in a st ate of notorious concubinage.

In all cases, the judge may te rminate the lease where new circumstances so justify.

Section III – Of the Consequen ces of Divorce for the Children

Art. 286

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Consequences of divorce for th e children shall be settled in accordance with the
provisions of Chapter I of Title IX of this Book.

Art. 287 to 295 [repealed]

CHAPTER IV – OF JU DICIAL SEPARATION

Section I – Of Cases and Proceedings for Judicial Separation

Art. 296

Judicial separation may be granted on application of one of the spouses in the same cases
and subject to the same conditions as divorce.

Art. 297

A spouse against whom a petiti on for divorce is filed may make a counterclaim for
judicial separation. A spouse against whom a petiti on for judicial separation is filed may make a
counterclaim for divorce.

Where a petition for divorce and a petition for judicial separation are simultaneously
entertained, the judge shall grant a divorce on di vided wrongs with regard to both spouses.

Art. 298

In addition, the rules contained in Chapter II above shall apply to the proceedings for
judicial separation.

Section II – Of the Consequen ces of Judicial Separation

Art. 299

Judicial separation does not di ssolve marriage but it puts an end to the duty of
cohabitation.

Art. 300

A separated wife keeps the use of the husband’s name. Nevertheless, the judgment of
separation or a further judgment may forbid it to her. Where a husband has joined her wife’s
name to his name, she may also request that the husband be forbidden to bear it.

Art. 301

In case of death of one of th e judicially separated spouses, the other spouse keeps the
rights which legislation gr ants to a surviving spouse. He or she, however, is deprived of them
where judicial separation was granted against him or her, according to the distinctions made in
Article 265. Where judicial separa tion is granted on joint petition, the spouses may include in
their agreement a renunciation of the rights of succession conferred upon them by Articles “756
to 757-3 and 764 to 766” (Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001).

Art. 302

Judicial separation always involves separation of property.

Concerning property, the date at wh ich judicial separation takes effect is determined as
provided for in Articles 262 to 262-2.

Art. 303

Judicial separation leaves subsis ting the duty of support; the judgment which grants it or
a further judgment shall fix the periodical payments owed to the spouse in need.

Those payments shall be allotted irrespective of wrongs. The debtor spouse may
nevertheless invoke, if there is occasion, th e provisions of Article 207, paragraph 2.

Those payments are subject to the rules of maintenance obligations; nevertheless, the
provisions of Article 285 shall apply to them.

Art. 304

Subject to the provisions of this Section, the consequences of judicial separation shall
obey the same rules as the consequences of divorce stated in Chapter III above.

Section III – Of the End of Judicial Separation

Art. 305

Voluntary resumption of co mmunity life puts an end to judicial separation.

In order to be effective against th ird parties, it must either be established by a notarial
instrument, or be the subject of a declaration to an officer of civil status. Mention of it shall be
made in the margin of the record of marriage “o f the spouses, as well as in the margins of their
records of birth” (Act n° 85-1372 of 13 Dec. 1985).

Separation of property subsists unless the spouses adopt a new matrimonial regime as
provided for in Article 1397.

Art. 306

On request of one of the spouses, a judgment of judicial separation shall be converted as
of right into a judgment of divorce where ju dicial separation has lasted three years.

Art. 307

In all cases of judicial sepa ration, it may be converted into divorce by joint petition.

Where judicial separation was gran ted on joint petition, it may be converted into divorce
only by a new joint petition .

Art. 308

Because of a conversion, the cause for judicial separation becomes the cause for divorce;
the allocation of wrongs is not changed.

The judge shall fix the conseque nces of divorce. The benefits and payments between
spouses shall be determined according to the rules appropriate for divorce.

Art. 309

A wife may contract a new marriage as soon as the judgment of conversion has force of
res judicata .

CHAPTER V – OF THE CONFLICT OF LAWS IN MATTERS OF DIVORCE AND OF
JUDICIAL SEPARATION

Art. 310

Divorce and judicial separation are governed by French law :

– where both spouses are of French nationality;

– where both spouse s have their domicile on French territory;

– where no foreign law consid ers it should govern whereas French courts have
jurisdiction over a di vorce or judicial separation case .

TITLE VII

OF PARENT AND CHILD (I)

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

CHAPTER I – PROVISIONS COMMON TO LEGITIMATE AND ILLEGITIMATE
CHILDREN

Art. 310-1

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

All children whose parentage is lawfully established have the same rights and the same
duties in their relations with thei r father and mother. They enter in to the family of each of them.

Section I – Of Presumpti ons Regarding Parentage

Art. 311

Legislation presumes that a child was conceived during the period that extends from the
three-hundredth to the one-hundred and eightieth day, inclusive, before the date of birth.

Conception is presumed to have taken place at any time during that period, depending of
what the welfare of the child requires.

Contrary evidence may be adduced to rebut those presumptions.

Art. 311-1

Apparent status shall result fr om a sufficient collection of facts showing a bond of
parentage and relationship between an individual and the family to which he is said to belong.

Apparent status must be continuous.

Art. 311-2

The main ones of those facts shall be:

That the individual has always borne the name of those from whom he is said to descend;

That the latter ha ve treated him as their child, and that he has treated them as his father
and mother;

That they have, in that cap acity, provided for his education, support and settling;

That he is so r ecognized in society and by the family;

That public authorities consider him as such .

Art. 311-3

Subject to the conditions provided for in Articles 71 and 72 of this Code he parents or the
child may apply to the judge of guardianships for an affidavit proving until proof to the contrary
the apparent status, without prejudi ce to any other evidence to which they may resort to establish
its existence in court, should it be contested.

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) Th e parental bonds established by an apparent status
recorded in an affidavit shall be mentioned in th e margin of the record of birth of the child.

Section II – Of Actions Regarding Parentage

Art. 311-4

No action is admissible as to the parentage of a child who was not born viable.

Art. 311-5

The tribunal de grande instan ce exercising civil jurisdiction shall have exclusive
jurisdiction to have cognisance of actions regarding parentage.

Art. 311-6

In case of an offence interferi ng with the parentage of an individual, a criminal action
may be ruled upon only after the judgment on the que stion of parentage has become res judicata.

Art. 311-7

Whenever they are not confined by statute within shorter periods, actions regarding
parentage are time-barred after thirty years from th e day when the individual was deprived of the
status that he claims, or be gan to enjoin the status that is contested against him.

Art. 311-8

An action who belonged to an indi vidual as to his parentage may be brought by his heirs
only when he died as a minor or within five years after his coming of age or his emancipation.

His heirs may also pursue an ac tion which he had already initiated, unless there was a
withdrawal or non-suit.

Art. 311-9

An action regarding pare ntage may not be the subject of a waiver.

Art. 311-10

Judgments handed down in matters of parentage are enforceable even against persons
who were not parties thereto; but the latter are entitled to file third party applications for
rehearing.

Judges may of their own motion requi re that all the parties concerned against whom they
consider judgment should be gi ven be joined in the action.

Art. 311-11

Likewise, where in one of the actions granted by Articles 340 and 342 below, a defence
[repealed] is raised, based on the fact that the mother had, during the legal period of conception,
intercourse with a third party, the judge may order that the la tter be joined in the action.

Art. 311-12

The courts shall rule on conflicts of parentages for which legislation did not lay down
other guidelines by establishing the most probable parentage through any evidence.

Failing adequate means of convicti on, they shall have regard to the apparent status.

Art. 311-13

In the case where they are cons trained to dismiss the claim of a party who actually
educated a minor child, the courts may neverthele ss, account being taken of the welfare of the
child, grant to that party a right of access.

Section III – Of the Conflict of Laws Relating to the Establishing of Parentage

Art. 311-14

Parentage is governed by the persona l law of the mother on the day of birth of the child;
where the mother is unknown, by the child’s personal law.

Art. 311-15

However, where a legitimate child and his father and mother, or an illegitimate child and
one of his father and mother have in France their usual common or separate residence, the
apparent status has all the consequences it pr oduces according to French law, even when the
other elements of the parentage may depend upon a foreign law.

Art. 311-16

Marriage involves legitimation where, on the day when the union is celebrated, that
consequence is admitted either by the law governi ng the effects of marriage, or by the personal
law of one of the spouses, or by the child’s personal law.

Legitimation on the authority of th e court is governed, at the choice of the petitioner,
either by the personal law of the latt er, or by the child’s personal law.

Art. 311-17

A voluntary acknowledgement of paternity or maternity is valid where it was made in
accordance with either the pe rsonal law of his doer, or the child’s personal law.

Art. 311-18

An action for purposes of subsidie s is governed, at the choice of the child, by the law of
its usual residence or the law of th e usual residence of the debtor.

Section IV – Of Medical ly Assisted Procreation

Art. 311-19

(Act n° 94-653 of 29 July 1994)

In case of a medically assisted procreation with a third party donor, no parental bonds
may be established between the donor and the child born out of the procreation.

No action in tort may lie against a donor.

Art. 311-20

(Act n° 94-653 of 29 July 1994)

Spouses or unmarried partners who, in order to procreate, resort to a medical assistance
requiring the intervention of a third party donor, mu st, subject to conditions that ensure secrecy,
give first their consents to a j udge or a notaire who shall inform them of the consequences of
their act as regards parentage.

Consent given to a medically assisted procreation prohibits any action for challenging
parentage or claiming a status un less it is argued that the child was not born out of the medically
assisted procreation or that the consent was deprived of effect.

Consent is deprived of effect in case of death, of the filing of a petition for divorce or
judicial separation or of discont inuance of community life, occurre d before the realisation of the
medically assisted procreation. It is also deprived of effect where the male or the female revokes
it in writing and before the realisation of the me dically assisted procreation, in the hands of the
physician in charge of the implem entation of that assistance.

He who, after consenting to medi cal assistance to procreation, does not acknowledge the
child born out of it renders himself liable vis-à-vis the mother and child

Furthermore, may be judicially declared the paternity outside of marriage of him who,
after consenting to a medical a ssistance to procreation, does not acknowledge the child born out
of it. The action shall comply with th e provisions of Article 340-2 to 340-6.

Section V – Of the Rules of Devolution of Family Name

(2002; Act n° 2003-516 of 18 June 20031)

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 311-21

Where the parentage of a child has been established with regard to his two parents at the latest on
the day of declaration of his birth or afterwar ds but simultaneously, the parents shall choose the
family name which devolves upon him: either the father’s name, or the mother’s name, or both
names coupled in the order they choose within the limit of one family name for each of them.
Failing a joint declaration to the officer of civil status mentioning the choice of the name of the
child, the latter shall take the name of the pare nt with regard to whom his parentage has first
been established and the father’s name where hi s parentage has been established simultaneously
with regard to both.

Where a child of whom one parent at leas t is French is born abroad, parents who have not
availed themselves of the power to choose the name in the way provided for in the preceding
paragraph may make such a declaration at the time of the registration of the record, at the latest
within three years of the birth of the child.

A name devolving on a first child ha s effect as to the other common children.

Where the parents or one of them bear a double family name, they may, by a joint written
declaration, transmit only one name to their children.

Art. 311-22

The provisions of Article 311-21 shall apply to the child who becomes French in compliance
with Article 22-1, in the way provide d for by a decree in Conseil d’État.

Art. 311-23

The power to choose provided for in Article s 311-21 and 334-2 may be exercised only once.

CHAPTER II – OF LEG ITIMATE CHILDREN

Section I – Of the Pres umption of Paternity

Art. 312

A child conceived in wedlock has the husband as his father.

However, the latter may disavow the child in court, where he proves facts fitted to
demonstrate that he cannot be the father.

Art. 313

In case of judgment or even of petition, either for divorce or for judicial separation, the
presumption of paternity shall not apply to a ch ild born more than three hundred days after the
order authorizing the spouses to live apart, and less than one hundred and eighty days following
either the final dismissal of th e petition or a reconciliation.

The presumption of paternity regains however its full force, by operation of law, where
the child has the apparent status of a legiti mate child with regard to the spouses.

Art. 313-1

The presumption of paternity sha ll be set aside where a child, recorded without indication
of the husband’s name, has an apparent st atus only with regard to the mother.

Art. 313-2

Where the presumption of paternity is set aside in the circumstances provided for in the
preceding Articles, the parentage of a child is established with regard to the mother as if there
was a disavowal admitted in court.

Each one of the spouses may request that the effects of the presumption of paternity be
reinstated by proving that, during the statutory period of conception, a de facto relationship took
place, that renders probable the paternity of the husband. “The action may be brought by the
child within two years after his coming of age” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993).

Art. 314

A child born before the one-hundred and eightieth day of marriage is legitimate and shall
be deemed to have been so as from his conception.

The husband, however, ma y disavow him as provided for in Article 312.

He may even disavow him on the so le proof of the date of the delivery, unless he knew of
the pregnancy before the marriage, or be have like the father after the birth.

Art. 315

The presumption of paternity sh all not apply to a child born more than three hundred
days after the dissolution of the marriage or, in case of declared absence of the husband, to the
one who was born more than three h undred days after the disappearance.

Art. 316

A husband must institute an action in disavowal within six months of the birth, where he
is on the spot.

Where he was not on th e spot, within six months from his return.

And within six months following th e discovery of the fraud, where the birth of the child
was concealed from him.

Art. 316-1

Where the husband is dead before having instituted the action, but still being within the
prescribed period for doing so, his heirs are enti tled to contest the legitimacy of the child.

Their action ceases nevertheless to be admissible where six months have elapsed from the
time when the child has taken possession of prope rty claimed to be paternal, or from the time
when the child has disturbed them in their own possession.

Art. 316-2

An extra-judicial instrument containing a disavowal on the part of the husband or a
contestation of legitimacy on the part of the heirs, is void where it is not followed by an action at
law within the period of six months.

Art. 317

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

An action in disavowal shall be di rected, in the presence of the mother, against an ad hoc
administrator designated on behalf of the child by the judge of guardianships in the way provided
for in Article 389-3.

Art. 318

Even where there is no disavowal, the mother may contest the paternity of the husband,
but only for the purpose of legitimation, when she remarried with the true father of the child after
dissolution of the marriage .

Art. 318-1

On pain of dismissal, an action, di rected against the husband or his heirs, must be joined
with an application for legitimation “brought before the tribunal de grande instance” (Act n° 93-
22 of 8 Jan. 1993).

It must be lodged by the mother and her new spouse within six months of their marriage
and before the child has reach ed the age of seven years.

Art. 318-2

Judgment is given on the two petitions by one and the same ruling

which may entertain the contestation of legitimacy only where legitimation is admitted.

Section II – Of Proofs of Legitimacy

Art. 319

Parentage of legitimate children is proved by records of birth entered in the registers of
civil status.

Art. 320

Failing this instrument, appare nt status of a legitimate child is sufficient.

Art. 321

There is apparent status of a legitimate child where it binds the child indivisibly to his
father and mother.

Art. 322

No one may claim a status contrary to that which is given to him by his record of birth
and an apparent status cons istent with that record.

And reciprocally, no one may contes t the status of a person who has an apparent status
consistent with his record of birth.

Art. 322-1

If however it is alleged that there was a setting up of a supposititious child, or a
substitution, even unintentional, ei ther before, or after the drafting of the birth record, proof of it
is admissible and may be made by any means.

Art. 323

Failing record and apparent stat us, or where the child was entered, either under false
names or without indication of the mother’s name , proof of the parentage “may be judicially
made only where there exist presumptions or ci rcumstantial evidence serious enough to allow its
being admissible.” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993).

[repealed]

Art. 324 [repealed]

Art. 325

Contrary proof may be made by any appropriate means to establish that the claimant is
not the child of the mother whom he claims to have or even, maternity being proved, that it is not
the child of the mother’s husband.

Where the husband was not joined in the case for the claiming of status, he may contest
his paternity within a period of six months af ter the day when he knew of the judgment which
entertained the petition of the child having become res judicata.

Art. 326

Without waiting for a claim of st atus to be instituted by the child, the husband may, by
any means, contest his paternity within a period of six months after the day when he knew of the
birth.

Art. 327

After the death of the husband, his heirs are likewise entitled to contest his paternity,
either as a precautionary step where the husband was still in the prescribed period for doing so,
or in defence to a claim of status.

Art. 328

The spouses, separately or join tly, may, by bringing in proof as provided for in Article
323 above, claim a child as their own; but if the la tter already has an established parentage, they
must first demonstrate its inaccuracy, supposing th at the case is one of those in which the law
authorizes that demonstration.

Section III – Of Legitimation

Art. 329

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Legitimation may benefit all illegitimate children provided that their parentage has been
lawfully established.

Art. 330

Legitimation takes place either by marriage of the parents, or on the authority of the
court.

§ 1 – Of Legitimation by Marriage

Art. 331

All children born out of wedlock, “even deceased” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993), are
legitimated by operation of law by the s ubsequent marriage of their parents.

Where their parentage was not alr eady established, those children must be the subject of
an acknowledgement at the moment of celebration of the marriage.. In that event, the officer of
civil status who performs the celebration shal l take note of the acknowledgement and of the
legitimation in a separate record. [“The family na me of the children is determined under the rules
laid down in Article 311-21” (A ct n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)]

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 331-1

Where the parentage of an illegitim ate child was established with regard to his father and
mother or one of them only af ter their marriage, legitimation may take place only by virtue of a
judgment.

That judgment shall state that the child has, since the celebration of the marriage, enjoyed
the apparent status of their common child.

Art. 331-2

Any legitimation shall be mentioned in the margin of the record of birth of the
legitimated child.

That mention may be required by any party concerned. In the case of Article 331, the
officer of civil status shall provide for it himsel f, where he had knowledge of the existence of the
children.

“The mention of the legitimation on th e record of birth of an adult child is of no effect on
his patronymic [replaced by “family name” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)] where the
record does not contain in a ddition mention of the consent of the party concerned to the
modification of his patronymic” [replaced by “family name” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March
20021)] (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993).

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 332 [repealed]

Art. 332-1

Legitimation confers on a legitimated child the rights and duties of a legitimate child.

“By means of a joint decl aration produced at the time of the celebration of the marriage or
ascertained by the court, the pare nts are entitled to the option provided for in Article 311-21, if
parentage has been established in the way provide d for in Article 334-1 and if they did not avail
themselves of the power given by Article 334-2″(Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 2002; Act n°
2003-516 of 18 June 20031). “Legitimation however ma y not have the effect of modifying the
patronymic [replaced by “family name”, Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 2002; Act n° 2003-516 of
18 June 20031)] of an adult child without hi s consent” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993).

It takes effect from the date of the marriage.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

§ 2 – Of Legitimation on the Authority of the Court

Art. 333

Where it appears that a marriage is impossible between the two parents, the benefit of
legitimation may yet be conferred on the child on th e authority of the court provided that he has,
with regard to the parent who so requests, th e apparent status of an illegitimate child.

Art. 333-1

A petition for purposes of legitima tion must be initiated by one of the two parents or by
both jointly before the tribunal de grande instance.

Art. 333-2

Where one of the parents was, at the time of conception, in bonds of a wedlock which is
not dissolved, his or he r petition is admissible only with the consent of her or his spouse.

Art. 333-3

The court shall verify whether the statutory conditions are fulfilled and, after receiving or
inducing, if there is occasion, the comments of the child himself, of the other parent where he or
she is not a party to the petiti on, as well as that of the spouse of the petitioner, it shall pronounce
the legitimation, if it co nsiders it is justified.

Art. 333-4

A legitimation on the authority of the court takes effect at the date of the judgment which
pronounces it finally.

Where it took place on petition of one of the parents, it does not have any effect with
regard to the other; it does not involve change of the [“family” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March
20021)] name of the child, unless the court otherwise decides.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 333-5

Where legitimation on the authority of the court was pronounced with regard to both parents, the
child shall take the name of the father [replaced by “the family name of the child is determined
under the rules laid down by Articles 311-21 and 311-23″ (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)];
where he is a minor,” the court shall rule on the te rms of exercise of parental authority” (Act n°
87-750 of 22 July 1987) as in matters of divorce.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 333-6

The provisions of Articles 331-2, [repealed] and 3 32-1, paragraph 1, shall apply to legitimation
on the authority of the court1.

1 Shall continue in force until 31 Dec 2004.

Art. 333-6.- “The provisions of Article 331-2 and of the first two paragraphs of Article 332-1
shall apply to legitimation on the authority of the court (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 2002 1).

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan 2005

CHAPTER III – OF ILLEG ITIMATE CHILDREN

Section I – Of the Effect s of Illegitimacy and of the Modes of Establishing Illegitimate Kinship
in General

Art. 334

[repealed]

[deleted]

Art. 334-1

An illegitimate child acquires the name of the parent with regard to whom his parentage has been
established in the first place; [his father’s name, where his parentage has been established
simultaneously with regard to both. de leted by Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)]

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan 2005

Art. 334-2

Even where his parentage was established only in the second place with regard to the father, an
illegitimate child may take the latter’s name by substitution when, during his minority, the two
parents make joint declaration of it before “the chief clerk of the tribunal de grande instance”
(Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995)1.

Where the child is more than “thirteen” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) years old, his personal
consent is required.

1 Shall continue in force until 30 Dec. 2004

Art. 334-2.- “Where the name of an ille gitimate child was not transmitted in the way provided
for in Article 311-21, his parents may, by means of a joint declaration made before the officer of
civil status, choose during his minority whether they will substitute to it the family name of the
parent with regard to whom parentage was esta blished in the second place, or couple their two
names, in the order they choose, within the lim it of one family name for each of them. Mention
of the change of name shall app ear in the margin of the record of birth.” ( Act n° 2002-304 of 4
March 2002; Act n° 2003-516 of 18 June 20031).

Where the child is more than “thirteen” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) years old, his personal
consent is required.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan 2005

Art. 334-3 . “In the other cases, the change of name of an illegitimate child must be requested to
the family causes judge. However, the tribunal de grande instance seized of a request for the
change of status of an illegitimate child may in one and the same judgment rule on it and on the
application for the change of name of the child that was brought before it”

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993).

An action may be instituted during the minority of the child and within two years
following either its coming of age, or a modification brought about in his status.

Art. 334-4

The substitution of name extends as of right to the minor children of the party concerned.
It extends to adult children only with their consent.

Art. 334-5

Failing established paternity, the mother’s husband may, by substitution, confer his own name on
the child by a declaration made jo intly with the mother, under the conditions laid down in Article
334-2 above1.

. The child may however re quest to take back the name which he bore before, through a
petition submitted to the “family causes judge” (A ct n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993), within two years
following his coming of age.

1 Shall continue in force until 31 Dec. 2004.

Art. 334-5.- “Failing established maternity or paternity, the father’s wife or the mother’s
husband according to the circumstances may confer by substitution her or his family name to the
child by a declaration made jointly with the othe r spouse, subject to the conditions set out in
Article 334-2. Subject to the same conditions, th e coupled names of both spouses may also be
conferred on the child in the order they have chos en and within the limit of one name for each of
them.” ( Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021).

The child may however re quest to take back the name which he bore before, through a
petition submitted to the “family causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993), within two
years following his coming of age.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan 2005

Art. 334-6

The rules for attributing a name provided for in the preceding Articles shall not prejudice
the effects of an apparent status.

Art. 334-7 [repealed]

Art. 334-8

(Act n° 82-536 of 25 June 1982)

Illegitimate parentage is lawfully established by voluntary acknowledgement.

Illegitimate parentage may also be lawfully established by an apparent status or by the
effect of a judgment.

Art. 334-9

An acknowledgement is void, a pate rnity or maternity action is not admissible, where the
child has a legitimate prentage alrea dy established by an apparent status.

Art. 334-10

Where there exists between the fa ther and mother of the illegitimate child one of the
impediments to marriage provided for by Artic les 161 and 162 above by reason of kinship, if
parentage is already established wi th regard to the one, it is forbidden to establish parentage with
regard to the other.

Section II – Of the Acknowledgeme nt of Illegitimate Children

Art. 335

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Acknowledgment of an illegitimate child may be made in the record of birth, by an
instrument received by the officer of civil st atus or by any other authentic instrument.

The instrument shall co ntain the statements provided for in Article 62.

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996) It shall also contain a mention that the maker of the
acknowledgement was informed of the divisible character of the bond of illegitimate kinship.

Art. 336

An acknowledgement of the father without indication of the mother and admission on her
part, has effect only with regard to the father.

Art. 337

A record of birth designating the mo ther is deemed to be an acknowledgment, where it is
corroborated by an apparent status.

Art. 338

So long as it is not contested in court, an acknowledgement renders inadmissible the
establishing of another pare ntage which contradicts it.

Art. 339

An acknowledgement may be c ontested by all persons having an interest therein,
including his maker.

An action may also be instituted by the Government procurator’s office where
circumstantial evidence based on the instrument s themselves renders improbable the declared
paternity or maternity. “It may likewise be in stituted where acknowledgement was made for
evading the rules which govern adopti on” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996).

Where there exis ts an apparent status which is c onsistent with the acknowledgement and
has lasted at least ten years after it, no contestati on is any longer admissible, unless on the part of
the other parent, of the child himself or of those who claim to be the true parents.

Section III – Of Paternity and Maternity Suits

Art. 340

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Paternity out of wedlock may be judicially declared.

Proof of it may be made only wh ere there exist serious presumptions or circumstantial
evidence.

Art. 340-1 [repealed]

Art. 340-2

The action belongs only to the child.

During the minority of the child, th e mother, albeit a minor, is alone entitled to institute
it.

Where the mother did not acknowle dge the child, where she is dead or unable to express
her intention, the action shall be instituted as provided for in Article 464, paragraph 3, of this
Code.

Art. 340-3

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

An action to establish paternity must be brought against the alleged father or against his
heirs; in the absence of heirs or where they ha ve renounced the succession, against the State, the
renouncing heirs being nevertheless joined in the action in order to maintain their rights.

Art. 340-4

An action must be instituted with in two years after the child’s birth, on pain of lapse.

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) Wh ere however the alleged father and the mother have
lived, during the statutory peri od of conception, in a state of concubinage involving, in the
absence of community life, an enduring or cont inuous relationship, the action may be instituted
until the expiry of a period of two years following the ending of the concubinage. Where the
alleged father contributed to the support, the education or the settling of the child in the capacity
of a father, the action may be instituted until th e expiry of a period of two years following the
ending of that contribution.

Where an action was not instit uted during the minority of the child, the latter may
institute it during two years after his coming of age.

Art. 340-5

Where it entertains the action, th e court may, on petition of the mother, order the father to
reimburse her for all or part of her maternity and support expenses during the three months
preceding and the three months following the birt h, without prejudice to damages she may claim
under Articles 1382 and 1383.

Art. 340-6

The court shall rule, if there is occasion, on the attribution of name and on parental
authority, under Articles 334-3 and ” 372″ (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002).

Art. 340-7

When dismissing the petition, the judges may, however, allow subsidies to the child, if
the relationship between the mother and the defe ndant was proved in the way provided for in
Articles 342 and following.

Art. 341

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Maternity suits are allowed subject to Article 341-1.

The child who brings the action must prove that he is the one to whom the alleged mother
has given birth.

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) Pr oof of it may be made only where there exist serious
presumptions or circumstantial evidence.

Art. 341-1

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

After a child’s birth, his mother may request that the secrecy as to her admittance and
identity be preserved.

Section IV – Of the Action for Purpose of Subsidies

Art. 342

An illegitimate child whose paternal parentage is not lawfully established may claim
subsidies to the one who had a relationship with his mother dur ing the statutory period of
conception.

(Act n° 77-1456 of 29 Dec. 1977) An action may be instituted during the whole minority
of the child; the latter may still institute it with in two years following his coming of age where it
was not done during his minority.

An action is admissible even wh ere the father or mother were, at the time of the
conception, in the bonds of a wedlock with anothe r person, or if there existed between them an
impediment to marriage governed by Articles 161 to 164 of this Code.

Art. 342-1

An action for purpose of subsid ies may also be instituted by the child of a married
woman, where his record of legitimate child is not corroborated by an apparent status.

Art.342-2

Subsidies shall be settled, in the form of periodical payments, according to the needs of
the child, the means of the debt or and his family situation.

Periodical payments may be owed beyond the coming of age of the child, where he is still
in need, unless that circumstan ce is imputable to his fault.

Art. 342-3

Where there is occasion to apply Article 311-11 above, the judge, failing other factors for
decision, has the discretion to impose on the defe ndants an indemnity intended to ensure the
support and education of the child, where faults are established against them or commitments
were previously entere d into by them.

That indemnity shall be coll ected by the Children’s aid service, a public-interest
organization or a judicial agent bound to pr ofessional secrecy, who will pay it over to the
statutory representative of the ch ild. The terms of this collecting and of this paying over shall be
fixed by decree.

The provisions governing subsidie s shall apply to that indemnity as to other issues.

Art. 342-4

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

A defendant may defeat a claim by proving by any means that he cannot be the father of
the child.

Art. 342-5

The responsibility of subsidies sh all be transmitted to the succession of the debtor under
the rules of Article “767” (Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001).

Art. 342-6

Articles 340-2, 340-3 and 340-5 above shall apply to an action for purpose of subsidies.

Art. 342-7

A judgment which awards subsid ies creates between the debtor and the beneficiary, as
well as, if there is occasion, betw een each of them and the parents or the spouse of the other, the
impediments to marriage regulated by Articles 161 to 164 of this Code.

Art. 342-8

Res judicata on an action for purpos e of subsidies gives rise to no bar to proceedings
against a subsequent paternity suit.

The award of subsidies ceases to have effect where the paternal parentage of the child
happens to be established subsequently with regard to someone else than the debtor.

TITLE VIII

OF ADOPTION

(Act n° 66-500 of 11 July 1966)

CHAPTER I – OF PLENARY ADOPTION

Section I – Of the Requisites for Plenary Adoption

Art. 343

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

Adoption may be petitioned by two spouses not judicially separated , married for more
than two years or who are both ol der than twenty-eight years.

Art. 343-1

Adoption may be also petitioned by a person over “twenty-eight years of age” (Act n° 96-
604 of 5 July 1996).

Where the adopter is married and not judicially separated, his or her spouse’s consent is
required unless this spouse is unable to express his or her intention.

Art. 343-2

(Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1976)

The requirement as to age provided for in the preceding Article is not imposed in the case
of adoption of the spouse’s child.

Art. 344

The adopters must be fifteen years older than the children whom they propose to adopt.
Where the latter are their spouse’ s children the required difference of age is only ten years.

(Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1 976) The court may, however, if there are good reasons,
make an adoption order where the difference in ages is smaller than that provided for by the
preceding paragraph.

Art. 345

Adoption is allowed only in favour of children under fifteen, who have been received in
the home of the adopter or adopt ers for at least six months.

Where however the child is olde r than fifteen and has been received before having
reached that age by persons who did not fulfil th e statutory requirements for adopting or where
he was the subject of an ordinary adoption befo re reaching that age, plenary adoption may be
applied for if the conditions for it are fulfilled, “d uring the minority of the child and within two
years following his coming of age” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996).

Where it is older than “thirt een” (Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1976), an adopted must
personaly consent to his plenary adoption.

Art. 345-1

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

Plenary adoption of the spouse’s child is allowed:

1° Where the child has a lawfully established parentage only with regard to that spouse;

2° Where the parent other than the spouse has been totally deprived of parental authority;

3° Where the parent other than th e spouse is dead and has left no ascendant of the first
degree or where the latter obviously took no further interest in the child.

Art. 346

No one may be adopted by several persons unless by two spouses.

(Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1976) However, a new adoption may be ordered either after
the death of the adopter or the tw o adopters, or after the death of one of the two adopters if the
request is made by the new spouse of the survivor.

Art. 347

May be adopted:

1° Children to the adoption of wh om the father and mother or the family council have
validly consented;

2° Wards of the State;

3° Children declared abandoned in the way provided for in Article 350.

Art. 348

Where the parentage of a child is established with regard to his father and mother, the
latter must both consent to the adoption.

Where one of them is dead or unabl e to express his or her consent or has lost his or her
rights of parental authority, the consent of the other suffices.

Art. 348-1

Where the parentage of a child is es tablished only with regard to one of his parents, that
one shall give the consent to adoption.

Art. 348-2

Where the father and mother of the child are dead, unable to express their intention or
deprived of their rights of pare ntal authority, consent shall be given by the family council, after
advice of the person who actually takes care of the child.

It shall be likewise wher e the parentage of the child is not established.

Art. 248-3

Consent to the adoption shall be given “b efore the clerk in chief” (Act n° 95-424 of 8
Feb. 1995) of the tribunal d’instance of the domicile or residence of the person who consents, or
before a French or foreign notaire, or before French diplomatic or consular agents. It may also be
received by the Children’s aid service wh ere the child was entrusted to them.

Consent to adoption may be wit hdrawn within “two months” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July
1996). Withdrawal must be made by registered letter with request for advice of delivery
addressed to the person or servi ce that received the consent to adoption. The handing over of the
child to his parents on even verb al request shall also be treated as proof of the withdrawal.

Where, on the expiry of the pe riod of “two months” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996),
consent was not withdrawn, the parents may still re quest restitution of the child, provided that he
has not been placed for purpose of adoption. Where the person who received him refuses to give
him back, the parents may refer the matter to the court which, taking into account the welfare of
the child, shall determine whether there is occas ion to order his restitution. By effect of
restitution, a consent to adoption lapses.

Art. 348-4

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

Where the father and mother or the family council consent to the adoption of a child by
entrusting him to the Children’s aid service or to a body authorized for adoption, the choice of
the adopter is left to the guardian with the agre ement of the family council of the wards of the
State or of the family council of the guardia nship organized on the initiative of the body
authorized for adoption.

Art. 348-5

Except where there exists a bond of relationship by blood or by marriage up to the sixth
degree inclusive between the adopt er and the adoptee, the consent to adoption of children under
two years old is valid only if th e child was actually entrusted to th e Children’s aid service “or to a
body authorized for adoption” (A ct n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996).

Art. 348-6

The court may make an adoption or der where it considers abusive the refusal of consent
raised by the legitimate or illegitimate parents or by one of them only, when they took no further
interest in the child at the risk of endangering his health or morality.

It shall be likewise in case of abusive refusal of consent by the family council.

Art. 349

As regards the wards of State w hose parents did not consent to an adoption, consent shall
be given by the family council of those wards.

Art. 350

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

A child received by a private pers on, a body or a Children’s aid service, whose parents
obviously took no further interest to him during th e year preceding the institution of a petition
for declaration of abandonment, shall be declared abandoned by the tribunal de grande instance,
except in case of a great dist ress of the parents and without prejudice to the provisions of
paragraph 4. A petition for declaration of aba ndonment is required to be transmitted by the
private person, the body or the Children’s aid serv ice who have received the child on the expiry
of a period of one year where the parents obviously took no further interest to it .

(Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1976) Are deemed to have obviously taken no further interest
to their child parents who have not entertained w ith him relations necessary to maintain bonds of
affection.

A mere withdrawal of consent to adoption, a request for news or a wish expressed but not
carried out to take the child back may not be a token of interest sufficient to constitute the
ground of a dismissal as of right of a petition for declaration of abandonment. “Those steps may
not interrupt the period set out in pa ragraph 1″(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993).

Abandonment may not be declared where, during the period set out in paragraph 1 of this
Article, a member of the family petitioned to assu me care of the child and where that petition is
declared to be consonant w ith the welfare of the child.

Where it declares that the child is abandoned, the court shall, by the same order, delegate
the rights of parental authority ov er the child to the Children’s aid service, to the body or to the
private person “who received the child or to whom the latter was entrusted” (Act n° 93-22 of 8
Jan. 1993).

A third party application for re vocation of the order is admissible only in case of
deception, fraud or mistake as to the identity of the child.

Section II – Of the Placing for Pu rpose of Plenary Adoption and of the Judgment of Plenary
Adoption

Art. 351

Placing for the purpose of adoption must be made by actual entrusting to the prospective
adopters of a child for whom a valid and final co nsent to adoption was given, of a ward of State
or of a child declared ab andoned by judicial decision.

Where the parentage of the child is not established, there may be no placing for purpose
of adoption during a period of “t wo months” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996) after the receiving
of the child.

Placing may not take place wher e the parents of the child have petitioned for the
restitution of the child so long as there is no deci sion on the conclusiveness of that petition at the
request of the most diligent party.

Art. 352

Placing for the purpose of adoption is a bar to a restitution of the child to his family of
origin. It defeats any declaration of parentage and any acknowledgement.

Where a placing for the purpose of adoption comes to an end or where the court refuses
to order adoption, the effects of pl acing are retroactively set aside.

Art. 353

An adoption order may be made at the request of the adopter by the tribunal de grande
instance which shall verify “within six months after reference to the court” (Act n° 93-22 of 8
Jan. 1993), whether the statutory requirements ar e fulfilled and adoption is consonant with the
welfare of the child.

(Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1976) In case the adopter has descendants, the court shall
verify in addition whether the adoption is not likely to imperil family life.

Where the adopter dies after having properly received the child for purpose of his
adoption, a petition may be filed on his or her be half by the surviving spouse or by one of the
adopter’s heirs.

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996) Wh ere the child dies after being properly received for
purpose of its adoption, the petition may neverthe less be filed. The judgment has effect on the
day preceding the death and involves only modifi cation of the civil status of the child.

An adoption order shall not state its reasons.

Art. 353-1

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

In case of adoption of a ward of State “, of a child entrusted to a body authorized for
adoption” (Act n° 2002-93 of 22 Ja n. 2002), or of an alien child who is not the child of the
adopter’s spouse, the court shall verify before making an adoption order that the petitioner or
petitioners gained an aut horization to adopt or we re dispensed with it.

Where an authorization was refu sed or was not issued within the statutory period, the
court may make an adoption order if it considers that the petitioners have the capacity to receive
the child and that the adoption is consonant with his welfare.

Art. 353-2. A third party application for revocat ion of the adoption order is admissible only in
case of deception or fraud imputable to the adopters.

Art. 354

Within fifteen days of the date on which it came into force of res judicata, an order
pronouncing plenary adoption shall be registered on the registers of civil status of the place of
birth of the adoptee, on request of the Government procurator.

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996 ) Where the adoptee was born in a foreign country, the
order shall be registered on the registers of the ce ntral service of civil status of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs.

The registration shall state the da y, hour and place of birth, the sex of the child as well as
his [“family name and” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)] first names such as they result
from the adoption order, the first names, names, date and place of birth, occupation and domicile
of the adopter or adopters. It may not contain an y indication as to the actual parentage of the
child.

The registration takes the place of a record of birth for the adoptee.

“The original record of birt h kept by a French officer of civil status and, where
appropriate,” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996) th e record of birth established under Article 58
shall, on the initiative of the Government procurator, be stampe d “adoption” and treated as void.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Sept. 2003.

Section III – Of the Eff ects of Plenary Adoption

Art. 355

Adoption produces its effects from the day of the filing of the petition for adoption.

Art. 356

Adoption confers on the child a parentage which substitutes for his original parentage:
the adoptee ceases to belong to his blood family, s ubject to the prohibitions of marriage referred
to in Articles 161 to 164.

(Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1976) Ho wever, an adoption of the spouse’s child still leaves
extant his original parentage with regard to that spouse and his or her family. It produces,
furthermore, the effects of an adoption by two spouses.

Art. 357

Adoption confers on the child the name of the adopter [and, in case of adoption by two
spouses, the husband’s name.., deleted by Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021 ]

[“In case of adoption by two spous es, the name conferred on a child is determined under
the rules laid down in Articl e 311-21.” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)]

On request of the adopter or adopt ers, the court may modify the first names of the child.

Where the adopter is a married wo man, the court may, in the adoption order, decide with
the consent of the husband of the adopter that the name of the husband will be conferred on the
adoptee; where the husband is dead or unable to express his intention, the court shall in its
discretion make a determination after consulting the heirs of the husband or the closest persons
entitled to inherit from him. [replaced by: “Whe re the adopter is a married woman or a married
man, the court may, in the adoption order, decide, on request of the adopter, that the name of the
spouse will be conferred on the adoptee, subject to the consent of the spouse. The court may
also, on request of the adopter and subject to th e consent of the spouse, confer on the child the
coupled names of the spouses in the order they choose and within the limit of one family name
for each of them.

“Where the husband or the wife of the adopter is dead or unable to express his or her
intention, the court shall in its discretion make a determination after consulting the heirs of the
deceased or the closest persons entitled to inhe rit from him or her.” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March
20021) ]

1 Shall come into force on 1 Sept 2003

Art. 357-1

(Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)

The provisions of Article 311- 21 shall apply to a child who was the subject of an
adoption lawfully ordered abroad and having in France the effects of a plenary adoption.

The adopters shall exercise the option available under that Article at the time of the
request for registration of an a doption order by declaration sent to the Government procurator of
the place where that regist ration is to be made.

Where the adopters request an or der for enforcement of a foreign adoption order, they
shall join a declaration of option to their request. Mention of that declaration shall be made in the
decision.

Mention of the name chosen shall be made at the suit of the Government procurator, in
the child’s record of birth.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Sept 2003

Art. 358

An adoptee has, in the family of the adopter, the same rights and obligations as a child
“whose parentage is established under Title V II of this Book” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March
2002).

Art. 359

Adoption is irrevocable.

CHAPTER II – OF ORDINARY ADOPTION

Section I – Of Requisites and Judgment

Art. 360

Ordinary adoption is al lowed irrespective of the age of the adoptee.

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996) Wher e there are serious reasons justifying it, an ordinary
adoption of a child who was the subject of a plenary adoption is allowed.

Where the adoptee is over “thirt een” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993), he must personally
consent to the adoption.

Art. 361

(Act n° 2001-111 of 6 Feb. 2001)

The provisions of Articles 343 to 344, 346 to 350, 353, 353-
1, 353-2, 355 and 357, last
paragraph [ replaced by : “the last two paragraphs of Article 357” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March
20021)], are applicable to ordinary adoption.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 362

Within fifteen days of the da te on which it becomes res judicata, the order that
pronounces an ordinary adoption must be mentioned or registered on the registers of civil status
on request of the Government procurator.

Section II – Of the Effect s of Ordinary Adoption

Art. 363

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Ordinary adoption confers the name of the adopt er on the adoptee by adding it to the name of the
latter.

“Where the adoptee and the adopter, or one of them, bear a double family name, the name
conferred to the adoptee results fr om the addition of the adopter’s name to his own name, within
the limit of one name for each of them. The c hoice belongs to the adopter, who must obtain the
consent of the adoptee where the latter is older than thirteen.

“In case of an adoption by two spouses, the name coupled with that of the adoptee shall be, on
request of the adopters, either that of the husband, or that of the wife, within the limit of one
name for each of them, and, failing an agreement, the first of the husband’s names. Where the
adoptee bears a double family name, the choice of the name which is preserved belongs to the
adopters, who must obtain the cons ent of the adoptee where he is older than thirteen. In case of
disagreement or failing a choice, the name of the adopters preserve d is added to the first of the
adoptee’s names. (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 2002; Act n° 2003-516 of 18 June 2
0031)

The court, however, may on request of the ad opter, decide that the adoptee will bear only the
name of the adopter. “In case of an adoption by two spouses, the family name substituted to that
of the adoptee may, at the choice of the adopters, be either that of the husband, or that of the
wife, or the coupled names of the spouses in th e order they choose and within the limit of one
name for each of them” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021). That request may also be filed
after the adoption. Where the adop tee is older than thirteen, his personal consent to that

substitution of a patronymic [replaced by: “family name” (Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)] is required.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 363-1

(Act n° 2002-304 of 4 March 20021)

The provisions of Article 363 sh all apply to a child who has been the subject of an
adoption lawfully ordered abroad and which has in France the effects of an ordinary adoption,
where the record of birth is kept by a French authority.

The adopters must exercise the op tion available under that Article by a declaration sent to
the Government procurator of the place where the record of birth is kept on the occasion of a
request for updating the latter.

Mention of the name chosen is en tered on the record of birth of the child, at the suit of
the Government procurator.

1 Shall come into force on 1 Jan. 2005

Art. 364

An adoptee remains in his family of origin and preserves all his rights therein, in
particular his rights of succession.

The prohibitions to marriage pr ovided for in Articles 161 to 164 of this Code apply
between the adoptee and his family of origin.

Art. 365

An adopter is, with regard to th e adoptee, alone invested of all the rights of parental
authority, including that of cons enting to the marriage of the adoptee, unless she or he is the
spouse of the father or of the mother of the a doptee; in that event, the adopter has parental
authority concurrently with his or her spouse, “who retains alone the exercise of it, subject to a
joint declaration with the adopter before the chief clerk of the tribunal de grande instance for the
purpose of an exercise in comm on of that authority” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002).

The rights of parental authority are exercised by the adopter or adopters on the “terms
provided for by Chapter I of Title IX of this Book” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002).

The rules of statutory administ ration and of guardianship of “minors” (Act n° 2002-305
of 4 March 2002) shall apply to an adoptee.

Art. 366

The bond of kinship resulting fr om adoption extend to the [repealed] children of the
adoptee.

Marriage is prohibited :

1° Between the adopter, the adoptee and his descendants;

2° Between the adoptee and the a dopter’s spouse; reciprocally, between the adopter and
the adoptee’s spouse;

3° Between the adoptee children of the same individual;

4° Between th e adoptee and the adopter’s children.

Nevertheless, the prohibitions to marriage provided fo r in 3° and 4° above may be lifted
by dispensation of the President of the Re public, where there are serious reasons.

(Act n° 76-1179 of 22 Dec. 1976) The prohibition to marriage provided for in 2° above
may be lifted in the same conditions where the person who created the kinship is deceased.

Art. 367

An adoptee owes maintenance to th e adopter where he is in need and, reciprocally, an
adopter owes maintenance to the adoptee.

The obligation of maintenance cont inues to exist between the adoptee and his father and
mother. However, the father and mother of th e adoptee are bound to provide maintenance to him
only where he cannot obtain it from the adopter.

Art. 368

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

An adoptee and his descendants have, in the family of the adopter, the rights to
succession provided for in Book III, Title I, Chapter III.

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996) The adoptee and his descendants do not have, however,
the status of compulsory heirs with re gard to the ascendants of the adopter.

Art. 368-1

Where an adoptee dies without descendants, property given by the adopter or received
through succession from him shall retu rn to the adopter or his descendants, where it still exists in
kind at the time of the death of the adoptee, on condition to contribute to debts and subject to the
vested rights of third parties. Property received gratuitously by the adoptee from his father and
mother shall return likewise to the latter or to their descendants.

The surplus of property of an a doptee shall be divided in halves between the family of
origin and the adopter’s family, without prejudice to the rights of the spouse on the whole of the
succession.

Art. 369

The effects of an adoption conti nue notwithstanding the subsequent establishment of a
parental bo,d.

Art. 370

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

Where serious reasons so justify, adoption may be revoked , on request of the adopter or
the adoptee, or, where the latter is a minor, of that of the Government procurator’s office.

A request for revocation made by the adopter is admissible only where the adoptee is
over fifteen.

Where the adoptee is a minor, the father and mother by blood or, failing them, a member
of the family of origin up to the degree of cousin-german may also request revocation.

Art. 370-1

An order which re vokes an adoption shall state its reasons

Its operative part shall be menti oned in the margin of the record of birth or of the
registration of the adoption order, in the way provided for in Article 362 .

Art. 370-2

Revocation causes all e ffects of adoption to cease for the future .

CHAPTER III – OF THE CONFLICT OF LA WS RELATING TO ADOPTION AND OF THE
EFFECTS IN FRANCE OF ADOPTIONS ORDERED ABROAD

(Act n° 2001-111 of 6 Feb. 2001)

Art. 370-3

The requirements for adoption are governed by the national law of the adopter or, in case
of adoption by two spouses, by the law which governs the effects of their union. Adoption
however may not be ordered where it is proh ibited by the national laws of both spouses.

Adoption of a foreign minor may not be ordered where his personal law prohibits that
institution, unless the minor was born and resides usually in France.

Whatever the applicable law may be, adoption requires the consent of the statutory
representative of the child. Consent must be free, obtaine d without any compensation,
subsequent to the birth of the child and informed as to the consequences of adoption, specially
where it is given for the purpose of a plenary adoption, as to the entire and irrevocable character
of the breaking off of the pre-existing parental bond.

Art. 370-4

The effects of an adoption ordered in France are those of French law.

Art. 370-5

An adoption lawfully ordered in a foreign country produces in France the effects of a
plenary adoption where it breaks off completely and irrevocably the pre-existing parental bond.
Failing which, it produces the effects of an ordinary adoption. It may be converted into a plenary
adoption where the required consents were given expressly and advisedly.

TITLE IX

OF PARENT AND CHILD (II : OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY)

(Act n° 70-459 of 4 June 1970)

CHAPTER I – OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY WITH REGARD TO THE PERSON OF A
CHILD

Art. 371

A child, at any age, ow es honour and respect to his father and mother.

Art. 371-1

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Parental authority is a set of rights and duties whose finality is the welfare of the child.

It is vested in the father a nd mother until the majority or emancipation of the child in
order to protect him in his secu rity, health and morality, to ensure his education and allow his
development, showing regard to his person.

Parents shall make a child a party to judgments relating to him, according to his age and
degree of maturity.

Art. 371-2

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Each one of the parents shall c ontribute to the education and support of the children in
proportion to his or her means, to those of the other parent and to the needs of the child.

That obligation does not come to an end as of right where the child is of age.

Art. 371-3

A child may not, without the permi ssion of the father and mother, leave the family home
and he may be removed from it only in cases of necessity as determined by statute.

Art. 371-4

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

A child has the right to have personal relations with his grandparents. Only serious
reasons may constitute a bar to that right.

Where the welfar e of the child so requires, the family causes judge shall fix the details of
the relations between a child and a third person, relative or not.

Art. 371-5

(Act n° 96-1238 of 30 Dec. 1996)

A child may not be separated from its brothers and sisters, unless this is not possible or
where his welfare dictates a different solution. If there is occasion, the judge shall rule on the
relations between the brothers and sisters.

Section I – Of the Exercise of Parental Authority

§ 1 – General Principles

Art. 372

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

The father and mother shall exercise in common parental authority.

Where, however, parentage is estab lished with regard to one of them more than one year
after the birth of a child whose pare ntage is already established with regard to the other, the latter
alone remains vested with the exercise of parental authority. It shall be likewise where parentage
is judicially declared with regard to the second parent of the child.

Parental aut hority may however be exercised in co mmon in case of joint declaration of
the father and mother before the chief clerk of the tribunal de grande instance or upon judgment

of the family causes judge.

Art. 372-1 and Art. 372-1-1 [repealed]

Art. 372-2

Where one of the “parents” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) performs alone an usual act of
parental authority concerning the person of the child, he or she shall be considered to be acting
with the consent of the other with re gard to third parties in good faith,.

Art. 373

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Shall be deprived of the exercise of parental authority the father or mother who is unable
to express his or her intention, by reason of a disability, absence or any other cause.

Art. 373-1

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Where one of the father and mother dies or is deprived of the exercise of parental
authority, the other shall exer cise that authority alone.

§2 – Of the Exercise of Parental Authority by Separated Parents

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Art. 373-2

Separation of the parents has no in fluence on the rules of devolution of the exercise of
parental authority.

Each of the father and mother sh all maintain personal relations with the child and respect
the bonds of the latter wi th the other parent.

Any change of residence of one of the parents, where it modifies the terms of exercise of
parental authority, sh all be the subject of a notice to the ot her parent, previously and in due time.

In case of disagreement between them, the most diligent parent shall refer the matter to the
family causes judge who shall rule according to what the welfare of the child requires. The judge
shall apportion removal expenses and adapt acco rdingly the amount of the contribution to the
support and education of the child.

Art. 373-2-1

Where the welf are of the child so requires, the j udge may commit exercise of parental
authority to one of the parents.

The exercise of the right of access and lodging may be refused to the other parent only
for serious reasons.

That parent shall keep the right and duty to supe rvise the support and education of the
child. He or she must have notice of the important choices relating to the life of the child. He or
she shall comply with the obligation that devolves upon him or her under Article 371-2.

Art. 373-2-2

In case of a separation betwee n the parents, or between the latter and the child, a
contribution to his support and ed ucation shall take the form of periodical payments to be paid,
according to the circumstances, by one of the parent s to the other, or to the person to whom the
child is entrusted.

The terms and guaranties of t hose periodical payments shall be fixed by the approved
agreement referred to in Article 373- 2-7 or, failing which, by the judge.

Those payments may in whole or in part take the form of a direct taking charge of costs
incurred on behalf of a child.

They may in whole or in part be effected under the form of a right of use and dwelling.

Art. 373-2-3

Where the consistence of the de btor’s property so permits, periodical payments may be
replaced, in whole or in part, under the te rms and guarantees provided for by the approved
agreement or by the judge, by the payment of a sum of money in the hands of an accredited body
responsible for granting in count erpart to the child an index-linked annuity, a surrender of
property in usufruct or an allo cation of property yielding income.

Art. 373-2-4

Ascription of additional means, in particular under the form of periodical payments, may,
if there is occasion, be requested later on.

Art. 373-2-5

A parent who has primarily the re sponsibility of an adult child who cannot meet his own
needs may ask the other parent to pay a contri bution to his support and education. The judge may
decide or the parents agree that th is contribution be paid in whole or in part into the hands of the
child.

§ 3 – Of the Intervention of the Family Causes Judge

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Art. 373-2-6

A judge of the tribunal de grande instance in charge of family causes shall settle issues
brought before him in the framework of this Chapter in watching in particular over the
safeguarding of the welf are of minor children.

The judge may order measures that allow to protect continuity and effectiveness of the
keeping of the bonds of the child with each of his parents.

He may in particular order an en try on the passports of the parents to prohibit the child’s
departure from the territor y without the authorization of the two parents.

Art. 373-2-7

Parents may seize the family causes judge to have approved the agreement through which
they organize the terms of exercise of parental authority and establish their contributions to the
support and education of the child.

The judge shall approve the agr eement unless he observes that it does not sufficiently
protect the welfare of the child or that the consent of the parents was not freely given.

Art. 373-2-8

The judge may also be seized by one of the parents or the Government procurator, who
may himself be seized by a third person, relativ e or not, for the purpose of ruling upon the terms
of exercise of parental author ity and the contribution to the su pport and education of the child.

Art. 373-2-9

In compliance with the two preced ing Articles, the residence of a child may be fixed
alternately at the domicile of each of the pa rents or at the domicile of one of them.

On request of one of the parents or in case of disagreement between them about the mode
of residence of the child, the judge may order pr ovisionally an alternate residence of which he
shall determine the duration. On th e expiry of it, the judge shall rule finally on the residence of
the child alternately at the domicile of each of th e parents or at the domicile of one of them.

Art. 373-2-10

In case of disagreement, th e judge shall endeavour to conciliate the parties.

For the purpose of making easier th e search by the parents of a consensual exercise of
parental authority, the judge ma y offer them a measure of mediation and, after gaining their
agreement, designate a family me diator who will initiate it.

He may call upon them to meet a family mediator who will acquaint them with the
subject and progress of such a measure.

Art. 373-2-11

Where he rules on the terms of exercise of parental authority, the judge shall take into
consideration in particular:

1° The practice previously follow ed by the parents or the agreements they entered into
earlier;

2° Feelings expressed by a mi nor child in the way provided for in Article 388-1;

3° The capacity of each parent to assume his or her duties and to respect the rights of the
other;

4° The result of court-ordered appraisals possibly carried out, taking into account in
particular the age of the child;

5° Information collected in possi ble social enquiries and counter-enquiries provided for
in Article 373-2-12.

Art. 373-2-12

Before any decision fixing the terms of exercise of parental authority and of the right of
access, or entrusting the children to a third person , the judge may assign the task of undertaking a
social enquiry to any qualified person. This is for the purpose of collecting information on the
situation of the family and on the conditions in which the children live and are educated.

Where one of the parents contests the conclusions of a social inquiry, a counter-inquiry
may be ordered on his or her request.

A social inquiry may not be used in a trial of a cause for divorce.

Art. 373-2-13

The provisions of an approved agreement as well as the judgments relating to the
exercise of parental authority may be varied or completed at any time by the judge, on request of
the parents or of a parent or of the Government procurator, who himself may be seized by a third
person, relative or not.

§ 4 – Of the Intervention of Third Persons

Art. 373-3

(Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987)

“Separation of the parents” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002) is not a bar to the
devolution provided for by Article 373-1, even where the parent who remains able to exercise
parental authority was deprived of the exercise of some attributes of that authority by the effects
of a judgment delivered against him or her.

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002) The judge may, by way of exception and where the welfare
of the child so requires, in particular when one of the parents is deprived of the exercise or
parental authority, decide to en trust the child to a third person, chosen preferably within his
relatives. He shall be seized and shal l rule under Articles 373-2-8 and 373-2-11.

In exceptional circumstances, th e “family causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)
who decides on the terms of exercise of parental authority after “a separation of the parents” (Act
n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002) may decide, even in th e lifetime of the parents, that in case of
death of the parent who exercises parental auth ority, the child may not be placed in the custody
of the survivor. He may, in that event, designate the person to whom the child shall temporarily
be entrusted.

[deleted]

Art. 373-4

(Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987)

Where the child was entrusted to a third party, parental authority shall continue to be
exercised by the father and mother; however, th e person to whom the child was entrusted shall
perform all the usual acts regard ing his supervision and education.

The “family causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993), where he temporarily entrusts
the child to a third person, may decide that the latter shall require the establishment of a
guardianship.

Art. 374

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Where the parentage of an illegitimate child is established only with regard to one of his
parents, the latter shall exerci se parental authority alone.

Where his parentage is established with regard to both parents under terms different from
those provided for in Article 372, parental authority shall be exercised by the mother. It shall
however be exercised in common by both parents where they make a joint declaration thereof
before the “clerk in chief of the tribunal de grande instance” (Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995).

In all cases the family causes judge may, on request of the father, the mother or the
Government procurator’s office, modify the terms of exercise of parental authority with regard to
an illegitimate child. He may decide that it will be exercised either by one of the two parents, or
in common by both parents; in that case, he sha ll designate the parent at whose home the child
will have his usual residence.

The family causes judge may grant a right of supervision to the parent who does not have
the exercise of parental author ity. He may refuse him or her a right of access and lodging only
for serious reasons.

In case of exercise in common of parental authority, the parent at whose home the
children do not usually reside sha ll contribute to their support and education in proportion to the
respective means of the parents.

Art. 374-1

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

The court which decides on the es tablishing of an illegitimate parentage may decide to
entrust the child temporarily to a third person w ho will be in charge of requiring the organization
of a guardianship.

Art. 374-2

In all cases provided for in this Title, a guardianship may be established even where there
is no property to be administered.

It shall be then organize d in accordance with the provisions of Title X.

Section II – Of Edu cational Assistance

Art. 375

Where the health, security or morality of a not emancipated minor are imperilled, or
where the conditions of his e ducation are seriously endangered, measures of educational
assistance may be judicially ordered on request of the father and mother jointly, or of one of
them, “of the person or body to whom the child wa s entrusted” (Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987)
or of the guardian, of the minor himself or of the Government procurator’s office. Exceptionally,
the judge may be seized of his own motion .

They may be ordered at the same time with regard to several children dependent on a
same parental authority .

(Act n° 86-17 of 6 Jan. 1986) The decision shall fix the duration of the measure without
exceeding two years, where it relates to an e ducational measure implemented by a service or
body. A measure may be renewed by a judgment setting out the grounds on which it is based.

Art. 375-1

The juvenile j udge shall have jurisdiction, subject to appeal, in all matters relating to
educational assistance.

He shall al ways endeavour to secure the adhe sion of the family to the measure
contemplated.

Art. 375-2

Whenever possible, a minor must be kept in his present circle. In that case, the judge
shall designate, either a qualifie d person, or a service of observa tion, education or rehabilitation
in the free community, with the mission of bringi ng aid and counsel to the family in order to
overcome the material or moral difficulties which it is encountering. That person or service shall
be responsible for following the development of th e child and making a periodical report of it to
the judge.

The judge may also make the k eeping of the child in his circle conditional on specific
obligations, such as that of re gularly attending a medical or educational institution, ordinary or
specialized, or of exercisi ng a professional activity.

Art. 375-3

Where it is necessary to withdraw the child from hi s present circle, the judge may decide
to entrust him:

1° “To the other parent” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March
2002) ;

2° To another member of the family or to a trustworthy third person;

3° To a medical or educationa l, ordinary or specialized, service or institution;

4° “To a départemental Childre n’s aid service” (Act n° 89-487 of 10 July 1989) .

However, where a petition for divorce was filed or a divorce order handed down between
the father and mother, those measures may be taken only if a new circumstance likely to
endanger the minor is revealed after the decision “which rules on the terms of exercise of
parental authority or entrusts th e child to a third person” (Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987) . They
may not be a bar to the power of the “family causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) to
decide, “under Article 373-3” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002), to whom the child is to be
entrusted. The same rules shall apply to judicial separation.

Art. 375-4

(Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987)

In the circumstances specified in 1°, 2° and 3° of the preceding Article, the judge may
assign either to a qualified person, or to a serv ice of observation, education or rehabilitation in
the free community, the mission of bringing aid and c ounsel to the person or the service to whom
the child was entrusted, as well as to the famil y, and of following the development of the child.

In all cases, the judge may join the handing over of the child with the same terms as
under Article 375-2, paragraph 2. He may also decide that periodical report shall be made to him
as to the situation of the child.

Art. 375-5

Provisionally, but subject to appeal, the judge may, pending suit, either order the
provisory handing over of the child to a rest or observation centre, or take one of the measures
provided for in Articles 375-3 and 375-4.

In case of emergency, the Government procurator of the place where the child was found,
shall have the same power, with the responsibility of referring the matter within eight days to the
competent judge who shall maintain, vary or revoke the measure.

Art. 375-6

Decisions taken in matters of educational assistance may, at any time, be varied or
revoked by the judge who took them, either of hi s own motion, or on request of the father and
mother jointly or of one of them, “of the person or service to whom the child was entrusted” (Act
n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987) or of the guardian, the child himself or the Government procurator’s
office.

Art. 375-7

The father and mother whose child gave occasion for a measure of educational assistance
keep their parental authority over him and ex ercise all the attributes of it that are not
incompatible with the implementation of the measure. They may not emancipate the child
without authorization of the juvenile judge, while the measure of educational assistance is being
implemented

Where it was necessary to place th e child outside the parents’ home, the latter keep a right
of correspondence and a right of access. The judge shall fix the terms thereof and may even, if
the welfare of the child so requires, decide that the exercise of these rights or of one of them
shall be temporarily suspended. “The judge may i ndicate that the locamlity of placement of the
child shall be chosen so as to make easier, as fa r as possible, the exercise of the right of access
for the parent or parents” (Act n° 98-657 of 29 July 1998) .

Art. 375-8

The expenses of support and educat ion of the child who was the subject of a measure of
educational assistance continue to devolve upon its father and mother as well as upon his
ascendants from whom maintenance may be cl aimed, except for the power of the judge to
discharge them of it in whole or in part.

Art. 375-9

(Act n° 2002-303 of 4 March 2002).- The judg ment which, under Article 375-3, paragraph 3,
entrusts the minor to an institution which receives persons admitted by reason of mental diseases,

shall be handed down after detailed medical advice from a physician not belonging to the
institution, for a duration which may not exceed fifteen days.

The provision may be renewed, after medical assent given by a psychiatrist of the receiving
institution, for a duration of one month, renewable.

Section III – Of the Delegation of Parental Authority

Art. 376

No relinquishment or transfer rela ting to parental authority may be effective, unless under
a judgment in the cases specified below.

Art. 376-1

A “family causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) may, where he is called to rule
upon “the terms of exercise of parental authorit y or upon the education of a minor child or where
he decides to entrust a child to a third person” (Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987), take into
consideration the covenants whic h the father and mother may have freely concluded between
them on this subject, unless one of them addu ces serious reasons which allow him or her to
revoke his or her consent.

Art. 377

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

The father and mother, jointly or separately, may, where circumstances so require, seize a
judge for the purpose of having delega ted all or part of the exercise of their parental authority to
a third person, member of the family, trustw orthy near relation, institution approved for
receiving children or départemental Children’s aid service.

In case of plain disinterest or where the parents are unable to exercise all or part of
parental authority, the individua l, the body or the départemental Children’s aid service who
received the child may also seize the judge fo r purpose of having delegated to them parental
authority wholly or partially. In al l cases referred to in this Article, both parents shall be called in

the case. Where the child concerned is the subject of a measure of educational assistance,
delegation may occur only after opin ion of the juvenile judge.

Art. 377-1

(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002)

Delegation, total or partial, of parental authority results from the judgment handed down
by the family causes judge.

However, a judgment of delega tion may provide, for the needs of education of a child,
that the father and mother, or one of them, shall share all or part of the exercise of parental
authority with the third person delegatee. That division shall require consent of the parent or
parents in so far as they exerci se parental authority. The presump tion in Article 372-2 shall apply
with regard to transactions performed by the delegator or delegators and the delegatee.

The judge may be seized of the di fficulties that a shared exercise of parental authority
may produce by the parents, one of them, the dele gatee or the Government procurator. He shall
rule in accordance with the pr ovisions of Article 373-2-11 .

Art. 377-2

In all cases, delegation may come to an end or be removed by a new judgment, where
new circumstances are adduced.

In the case where the father and mother are granted the return of the child, the “family
causes judge” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993) sh all place on them, unless they are necessitous,
reimbursement of all or part of the expenses of support.

[deleted]

Art. 377-3

The right to consent to the adoption of a minor may never be delegated.

Section IV – Of the Total or Partial Withdrawal of Parental Authority

Art. 378

By express provision of a crim inal judgment, parental authority may be “totally
withdrawn” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996) from the father and mother who are sentenced either
as perpetrators, co-perpetrators or accomplices of a serious or ordinary offence committed on the
person of their child, or as co-p erpetrators or accomplices of a serious or ordinary offence
committed by their child,.

That “withdrawal” (Act n° 96- 604 of 5 July 1996) may be applied to ascendants other
than the father and mother as regards that part of parental authority which they may have over
their descendants.

Art. 378-1

The father and mother who “apart from any criminal sentence, either by maltreatment, or
by usual and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages or drug addiction, or by a notorious
misconduct or criminal activities” or by lack of ca re or want of guidance, obviously endanger the
security, health or morality of the child, “may be totally withdrawn parental authority” (Act n°
96-604 of 5 July 1996).

The father and mother who, for more than two years, have intentionally abstained from
exercising the rights and fulfilling the duties they retained under Article 375-7, may likewise “be
totally withdrawn parental authorit y” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996).

An action “for total withdrawal of parental authority” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)
shall be brought before the tribunal de grande instance, either by the Government procurator’s
office, or by a member of the family or by the child’s guardian.

Art. 379

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

A total withdrawal of parental authority ordered under one of the two preceding Articles
affects by operation of law all the attributes, pa trimonial as well as personal, connected with
parental authority; in th e absence of other determination, it ex tends to all minor children already
born at the time of the judgment. It involves, for the child, dispensation from maintenance

obligation, in derogation from Articles 205 to 207, unless otherwise provided by the judgment of
withdrawal.

Art. 379-1

(Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)

Instead of a total withdrawal , the judgment may be confined to ordering a partial
withdrawal of parental au thority, limited to the attributes it sp ecifies. It may also decide that a
total or partial withdrawal of parental authority will be effective only with regard to certain
children already born.

Art. 380

When it orders “a total or partial withdrawal of parental authority or” (Act n° 96-604 of 5
July 1996) of the right of custody, the court seized shall, where the other parent is dead or has
lost the exercise of parental authority, either “d esignate a third person to whom the child will be
temporarily entrusted” (Act n° 87-570 of 22 July 1987) with the re sponsibility of requesting the
organization of a guardianship, or entrust th e child to the Children’s aid service.

It may take the same measures where parental authority has devolved on one of the
parents through the effect “of a to tal withdrawal of parental authority ordered” (Act n° 96-604 of
5 July 1996) against the other.

Art. 381

The father and mother who have been the subject “of a total withdrawal of parental
authority” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996) or of a withdrawal of rights for one of the grounds
provided for in Articles 378 and 378-1, may, by wa y of a petition, gain from the tribunal de
grande instance, by proving new circumstances, the re stitution to them, in whole or in part, of the
rights of which they were deprived.

An application for restitution may be filed only one year at the earliest after the judgment
ordering “the total or partial w ithdrawal of parental authority” (Act n° 96-604 of 5 July 1996)
became irrevocable; in case of dismissal, it ma y be renewed only after a new period of one year.
No application is admissible where, before the fi ling of the petition, the child has been placed for
the purpose of adoption.

Where restitution is granted, the Government procurator’s office shall, if there is
occasion, apply for measures of educational assistance.

CHAPTER II – OF PARENTAL AUTHORITY WI TH REGARD TO THE PROPERTY OF A
CHILD

Art. 382

The father and mother have, subject to the distinctions that follow, the administration and
enjoyment of the property of their child.

Art. 383

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Statutory administration shall be exercised jointly by the father and mother where they
exercise in common parental aut hority and, in the other cases, unde r judicial supervision, either
by the father or by the mother, according to the provisions of the preceding Chapter.

Statutory enjoym ent is attached to statutory administ ration: it belongs either to the two
parents jointly, or to the one of the father and mother who is responsible for the administration.

Art. 384

The right of enjoyment comes to an end :

1° As soon as the child has comple ted “sixteen years” (Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974), or
even earlier when he contracts marriage;

2° Through the causes which put an end to parental authority, or even, more particularly,
through those which put an end to statutory administration;

3° Through the causes which involve extinction of any usufruct.

Art. 385

The charges of such enjoyment are:

1° Those to which usufructuaries are liable in general;

2° The feeding, supporting an d educating the child, according to his wealth;

3° Debts which burden a succession r eceived by the child to the extent that they must be
discharged out of the income.

Art. 386

That enjoyment may not take pl ace for the benefit of a surviving spouse who omits to
make an inventory, authentic or under priv ate signature, of property owed to a minor.

Art. 387

Statutory enjoyment does not ex tend to property acquired by a child through his work, or
to that which is donated or bequeathed to him under the express condition that the father and
mother may not have enjoyment of them.

TITLE X

OF MINORITY, OF GUARDIANSH IP AND OF EMANCIPATION

CHAPTER I – OF MINORITY

Art. 388

(Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974)

A minor is an individual of either sex who has not yet reached the full age of eighteen
years.

Art. 388-1

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

In all proceedings relating to hi m, a minor capable of discernment may, without prejudice
to the provisions as to his intervention or consen t, be heard by the judge or the person appointed
by the judge for that purpose. Wher e a minor so requests, his hearing may be denied only
by a judgment setting out specially the grounds on which it is based.

. He may be heard alone, with a counsel or a pe rson of his choice. Where that choice does not
appear to be consonant with the welfare of the child, the judge may appoint another person.

The hearing of a minor does not c onfer on him the status of a party to the proceedings.

Art. 388-2

(Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993)

Where, in a lawsuit, the interests of a minor appear to be in conflict with those of his
statutory representatives, the j udge of guardianships in the manner provided for in Article 389-3,
or, failing which, the judge who is seized of the case shall appoint an ad hoc administrator who
has the responsibility to represent him.

CHAPTER II – OF GUARDIANSHIP

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

Section I – Of the Cases Where either Statutory Administration or Guardianship Takes Place

Art. 389

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where parental authority is exer cised in common by the twol parents, they are statutory
administrators. In the other cases , statutory administration belongs to the parent who exercises
parental authority.

Art. 389-1

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Statutory administration is outright where the two parents exercise parental authority in
common.

Art. 389-2

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Statutory administration is placed under supervision of the judge of guardianships where
one or the other of the two parents is dead or is “deprived of the exercise of parental authority”
(Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002); it shall be likewise “in case of unilateral ex ercise of parental
authority” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002).

Art. 389-3

A statutory administrator acts as an agent for the minor in all civil transactions, except
cases where the law or usage authorizes minors to act for themselves.

Where his interests are in conflict with those of the minor, he must have an administrator
ad hoc appointed by the judge of guardianships. “In the absence of any suit of the statutory
administrator, the judge may undertake that appointment on request of the Government
procurator’s office, of the minor himself or of his own motion” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993).

Property donated or bequeathe d to a minor under the condition that it shall be
administered by a third person is not subject to statutory administration. That third person
administrator has the powers conferred on him by the gift or will; failing which, those of an
administrator under judicial supervision.

Art. 389-4

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

In outright statutory administra tion, each of the “parents” (Act n° 85-1327 of 23 Dec.
1985) is deemed, with regard to third parties, to have received from the other the power to do
alone the transactions for which a guardi an would not need any authorization.

Art. 389-5

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

In outright statutory administrati on, the parents perform together the transactions that a
guardian could do only with the authorization of the family council.

Failing agreement between the parent s, a transaction must be authorized by the judge of
guardianships.

Even by mutual agreement, the pa rents may neither sell amicably, nor contribute to a
partnership an immovable or a business concern belonging to th e minor, nor contract loans on
his behalf, nor waive a right for him without the authorization of the judge of guardianships. The
same authorization is required for an amicable partition and the statement of liquidation shall be
approved in the way provided for in Article 466.

Where a transaction causes loss to the minor, the parents are liable for it jointly and
severally.

Art. 389-6

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

In statutory administration unde r judicial supervision, an administrator must provide
himself with an authorization from the judge of guardianships in order to perform the
transactions that a guardian ma y do only with an authorization.

He may do the other transactions alone.

Art. 389-7

(Act n° 70-459 of 4 July 1970)

As to other issues, the rules of guardianship shall apply to statutory administration, with
the adjustments resulting from the latter’s bei ng deprived of family council and supervisory
guardian, and without prejudicing, on the other part, to the rights that the father and mother hold
under Title Of Parental Authority in particular as regards the education of the child and the
usufruct of his property.

Art. 390

A guardianship must be opened where the father and mother are both dead or are
“deprived of the exercise of parental authority” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002).

It must also be opened with regard to an illegitimate child where neither the father nor the
mother have voluntarily acknowledged it.

There is no derogation to spec ific statutes governing the Children’s aid service.

Art. 391

In the case of statutory administration under judicial supervision, the judge of
guardianships may at any time, either of his ow n motion, or at the request of relatives by blood
or marriage or of the Government procurator’s office, decide to open guardianship, after hearing
or summoning the statutory administrator, excep t in emergency. The latter may not, from the
application and until final judgment, except in case s of emergency, enter into any transaction that
would require the authorizat ion of the family council were a guardianship opened.

The judge of guardianships may also decide, but only for serious reasons, to open a
guardianship in the case of an outright statutory administration.

In both cases, where a guardianshi p is opened, the judge of guardianships shall convene
the family council which may either name the st atutory administrator as guardian, or designate
another guardian.

Art. 392

Where an illegitimate child happe ns to be acknowledged by one of his parents after the
opening of a guardianship, the judge of guardianships may, on request of that parent, decide to
substitute statutory administrati on to guardianship under Article 389-2.

Section II – Of the Organi zation of a Guardianship

§ 1 – Of the Judge of Guardianships

Art. 393

The office of judge of guardianships is exercised by a judge of the tribunal d’instance in
whose territorial jurisdiction the minor has his domicile.

Art. 394

Where the minor’s domicile is tran sferred to another place, the guardian shall forthwith
give notice of it to the j udge of guardianships previously seize d. The latter shall forward the file

of the guardianship to the judge of guardianships of the new domicile. Mention of that
forwarding shall be kept in the cour t office of the tribunal d’instance.

Art. 395

A judge of guardianships sh all exercise a general supervision over statutory
administrations and guardians hips of his jurisdiction.

He may convene statutory admini strators, guardians and other organs of guardianship,
require clarifications from, make observations to, and gran t injunctions against them.

He may sentence to the fine pr ovided for in the Code of Civil Procedure those who,
without lawful excuse, did not comply with his injunctions.

Art. 396

The proceedings before a judge of guardianships shall be regulated by the Code of Civil
Procedure.

§ 2 – Of Guardians

Art. 397

The individual right to select a guard ian, relative or not, belongs only to the last dying of
the father and mother, where he or she has kept , on the day of death, the exercise of statutory
administration or guardianship.

Art. 398

That appointment may be made only in the form of a will or of a special declaration
before a notaire.

Art. 399 and 400 [repealed]

Art. 401

A guardian selected by the father or mother may not be compelled to accept
guardianship, unless he is furthermore within the class of the persons to whom, failing that
special selection, the fam ily council might have assign the duty thereof.

Art. 402

Where no guardian was selected by the last dying of the father and mother, guardianship
of a [deleted, Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002] ch ild is conferred on the one of the ascendants
who is of the closest degree.

Art. 403

In case of concurrence between ascendants of the same degree, the family council shall
designate the one among them who will be guardian.

Art. 404

Where there is neither testamen tary guardian nor ascendant guardian, or where the one
who was designated in that capacity happens to cea se his office, a guardian shall be given to the
minor by the family council.

Art. 405

That council shall be convened by th e judge of guardianships, either of his own motion or
on submission therefor made to him by relatives by blood or marriage of the father and mother,
creditors or other parties con cerned or the Government procur ator’s office. Any person may
complain to the judge against the fact that will give occasion to the appointment of a guardian.

Art. 406

A guardian shall be designated for the duration of a guardianship.

The family council may however provide for his replacement in the course of the
guardianship where serious circumstances so requ ire, without prejudice to cases of excuse,
incapacity or removal.

§ 3 – Of Family Council

Art. 407

A family council is composed of four to six members, including the supervisory
guardian, but not the guardian or the judge of guardianships.

They shall be designated by th e judge for the duration of the guardianship. The judge
may, however, without prejudi ce to Articles 428 and following, provide of his own motion for
the replacement of one or several members in th e course of guardianship in order to respond to
changes which may occur in th e condition of the parties.

Art. 408

The judge of guardianships sh all select the members of the family council among the
relatives by blood or marriage of the father a nd mother of the minor, in appraising all the
circumstances of the case: nearness of degree, place of residence, ages and abilities of the parties
concerned.

He must avoid, as far as possible, leaving one of the two lines without representation. But
he shall have regard, above all, to the usual relations which the father and mother had with the
various relatives by blood or marriag e, as well as to the interest that those relatives have shown
or appear to be able to show to the person of the child.

Art. 409

The judge of guardianships may also call upon, to form part of the family council,
friends, neighbours or any other persons whom he c onsiders able to take interest in the child.

Art. 410

A family council is convened by the judge of guardianships. It shall be so where
convening is required either by two of its member s, or by the guardian or supervisory guardian,
or by the minor himself provided he is of the full age of “sixteen years” (Act n° 74-631 of 5 July
1974).

(Act n° 98-381 of 14 May 1998) A family council shall also be convened on the request
of a minor under sixteen and capab le of discernment, unless otherwise decided with particular
reasons by the judge.

Art. 411

Notice convening a meeting must be served at least eight days before the meeting.

(Act n° 98-281 of 14 May 1998) Previously to that meeting, the judge shall hold a
hearing of the minor capable of discernmen t in the way provided for in Article 388-1.

Art. 412

Members of the family council are obliged to attend meetings in person. Each one,
however, may be represented by a relative by blood or marriage of the father and mother of the
minor, where that relative is not already, in his own name, a member of the family council. A
husband may represent his wi fe or reciprocally.

Members of the family council who, without a lawful excuse, are neither present nor
validly represented, shall incur the fine provi ded for by the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 413

Where the judge of guardianshi ps considers that a judgment may be handed down
without the holding of a meeting being necessary, he shall notify to each one of the members of
the council the text of the decision to be taken with appropriate clarifications.

Each of the members shall cast his vote by letter missive within the period fixed to him
by the judge; failing which, he shall incur the fine provided for by the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 414

A family council may deliberate onl y where at least half of its members are present or
represented. Where that number is not attained, the judge may, either adjourn the meeting or, in
case of emergency, take the decision himself.

Art. 415

A family council is presided ove r by the judge of guardianships, who is entitled to vote
with a casting vote in case of a parity of votes.

The guardian must attend the m eetings; he is heard but does not vote, nor does the
supervisory guardian where he represents the guardian.

(Act n° 98-381 of 14 May 1998) A minor capable of discernment may, where the judge
does not consider it contrary to his welfare, a ttend meetings in an advisory capacity. A minor
over the full age of sixteen must be called wh ere the meeting was convened on his requisition.

In no case may his consent to a tr ansaction discharge the guardian and the other organs of
guardianship from their liabilities.

Art. 416

Resolutions of a family council are void where they were obtained by fraud or deception,
or where substantive formalities were omitted.

Invalidity is remedied by a ne w resolution equivalent to a confirmation under Article
1338.

An action for annulment may be brought by the guardian, the supervisory guardian,
members of the family council or by the Govern ment procurator’s office, within two years
following the resolution, as well as by the ward become of age or emancipated, within two years
following his coming of age or his emancipati on. Prescription does not run where there was
deception or fraud, until the fact is discovered.

Transactions performed under a nullified resolution are themselves voidable in the same
manner. The period, however, runs from the transaction and not from the resolution.

§ 4 – Of the Other Organs of Guardianship

Art. 417

The family council, having regard to the abilities of the persons concerned and the
composition of the patrimony to be administere d, may decide that the guardianship will be
divided between a guardian to the person and a gua rdian to the property, or that the management
of particular property will be en trusted to a deputy guardian.

Guardians so appointed shall be independent, and not liable to each other, in their
respective functions, unless otherwise ordered by the family council.

Art. 418

Guardianship is a personal office.

It does not extend to a guardia n’s spouse. Where, however, that spouse intrudes into the
management of the ward’s patrimony, he or she becomes jointly and severally liable with the
guardian for all management subsequent to the intrusion.

Art. 419

Guardianship does not extend to a guardian’s heirs. The latter are liable only for the
management of their predecessor; and, where they are adults, they are bound to continue it until
the appointment of a new guardian.

Art. 420

In every guardianship, there sh all be a supervisory guardian, appointed by the family
council among its members.

The functions of a supervisory gua rdian consist in the supervision of the management of
the guardian and in representing a minor where his interests conflict with those of the guardian.

Where he observes some mismanagement, he must, on pain of incurring personal
liability, immediately inform the judge of guardianships of it.

Art. 421

Where a guardia n intrudes into the management befo re the appointment of a supervisory
guardian, he may be dismissed from the guardia nship, if there was fraud on his part, without
prejudice to compensation due to the minor.

Art. 422 [repealed]

Art. 423

Where a guard ian is a relative by blood or marriage of the minor only in one line, the
supervisory guardian shall be taken, as fa r as possible, from the other line.

Art. 424

A supervisory guardian does not replace as of right a guardian who died or became under
a disability, or who disclaims th e guardianship; but he then shall, on pain of damages that may
result from it to the minor, seek the appointment of a new guardian.

Art. 425

The office of a supervisory guardi an comes to an end at the same time as that of the
guardian.

Art. 426

A guardian may not seek the dismissal of a supervisory guardian or vote in the family
councils that are convened for that purpose.

§ 5 – Of the Duties of a Guardian

Art. 427

Guardianship, a prot ection due to a child, is a public office.

Art. 428

Save the father and mother in the case of Article 391, persons to whom age, illness,
remoteness, exceptionally absorbing professional or family activities or a previous guardianship
render that new office particularly hea vy, may be dispensed from guardianship.

Art. 429

Save the father and mother, ma y be discharged from guardianship persons who cannot
continue to perform it because of one of the causes provided fo r by the preceding Article, where
it occurred since the appointment.

Art. 430 and 431 [repealed]

Art. 432

One who was not a relative by blood or marriage of the father and mother of a minor may
not be compelled to accept a guardianship.

Art. 433

(Act n° 89-487 of 10 July 1989)

Where a guardianship remains vacant, the judge of guardianships shall remit it to the
State if it concerns an adult, and to the Ch ildren’s aid service if it concerns a minor.

Art. 434

Excuses that dispense or discha rge from a guardianship may be extended to a supervisory
guardian and even to members of the family counc il, but only according to the seriousness of the
cause.

Art. 435 and 436 [repealed]

Art. 437

A family council shall rule on the excuses of the guardian and the supervisory guardian;
the judge of guardianships on the excuses o ffered by members of the family council.

Art. 438

Where an appointed guardian is present in person at the resolution which remits
guardianship to him, he shall immediately, and on pain of having all subsequent claims declared
non-admissible, offer his excuses on which the family council shall deliberate.

Art. 439

Where he was not present in person, he shall, within eight days of notice of appointment
being served upon him, have the family council convened to deliberate on his excuses.

Art. 440

Where his excuses are rejected, he may make application to the tribunal de grande
instance to have them accepted; but he is bound to administer temporarily pending suit.

Art. 441

The various duties of guardianshi p may be assumed by any person, without distinction of
sex, but with reservation of the causes of incapac ity, exclusion, dismissal or challenge expressed
below.

Art. 442

Are incapable of the various duties of guardianship:

1° Minors, save the father or mother;

2° Adults under guardianshi p, insane persons and adults under curatorship.

Art. 443

Are excluded or dismissed by opera tion of law from the various duties of guardianship:

1° Those who were sentenced to an afflictive or infamous punishment or to whom
exercise of the duties of guardianship was fo rbidden under Article 42 [131-26] of the Penal
Code.

They may, however, be admitted to the guardianship of their own children, upon assent
of the family council.

2° Those who have been deprived of parental authority.

Art. 444

May be excluded or dismissed from the various duties of guardianship people of
notorious misconduct and those whose improbity, us ual negligence or inability for business has
been established.

Art. 445

Those who have, or whose father and mother have with the minor a controversy calling
into question the status of the la tter or a significant part of his property must resign and may be
challenged as to the various duties of guardianship.

Art. 446

Where a member of the family counc il is subject to exclusion, dismissal or challenge, the
judge of guardianships shall decide himself, either of his own motion, or on demand of the
guardian, of the supervisory guardian or of the Government procurator’s office.

Art. 447

Where a cause for exclusion, dismissa l or challenge relates to a guardian or a supervisory
guardian, the family council shall decide. It sh all be convened by the judge of guardianships,
either of his own motion, or on demand made by th e persons mentioned in Article 410 or by the
Government procurator’s office.

Art. 448

A guardian or supervisory guardi an may be excluded, dismissed or challenged only after
being heard or summoned.

Where he accep ts the resolution, mention shall be made thereof and a new guardian or
supervisory guardian shall take office at once.

Where he does not accept, he may ma ke an application to vacate under the rules of the
Code of Civil Procedure; but the judge of guardia nships may, if he considers that there is an
emergency, prescribe forthwith interim measures for the welfare of the minor.

Section III – Of the Functioning of a Guardianship

Art. 449

A family council shall regulate the general conditions of support and education of the
child, having regard to the intention which the father and mother may have expressed on this
subject.

Art. 450

A guardian shall take care of the person of the minor and shall represent him in all civil
transactions, save the cases where the law or usage authorizes minors to act for themselves.

He shall administer his propert y like a prudent administrator and be liable for the
damages that would result from his mismanagement.

He may not buy the minor’s property or take it on lease for rent or farm lease, unless the
family council has authorized the supervisory gua rdian to make a lease with him, or accept the
assignment of any right or claim against his ward.

Art. 451

A guardian shall administer and act in that capacity from the day of his appointment,
where it was made in his presence; otherwise, from the day when notice of it was served upon
him.

Within the ten days which follow, he shall require the lifting of seals, if they were
affixed, and shall at once have an inventory of the minor’s property made, in the presence of the
supervisory guardian. An office copy of that inventory shall be sent to the judge of
guardianships.

Failing an inventory within the pr escribed period, the supervisory guardian shall refer the
matter to the judge of guardianships for the purpo se of its being made, on pain of being jointly
and severally liable with the guardian for all orde rs rendered in favour of the ward. Default of
inventory shall authorize the ward to make proof of the value and composition of his property by
any means, even common repute.

Where a minor owes something to the guardian, the latter shall so declare in the
inventory, on pain of forfeiture, on the demand that the public officer is required to make to him,
and mention of which shall be made in the memorandum.

Art. 452

Within the three months which follow the initiating of a guardianship, a guardian shall
convert into registered securities or deposit all the bearer securities belonging to the minor into
an account opened in the name of the minor and mentioning the minority, with a depositary
accredited by the Government to receive funds and s ecurities of wards, unless he is authorized to
sell them as provided for in Articles 457 and 468.

He shall similarly, and under the sa me reservation, convert into registered securities or
deposit with an accredited depositary the bearer s ecurities that the minor receives afterwards, in
whatever manner, within the same period of th ree months after the entry into possession.

He may not withdraw the bearer securities deposited as provided for in the preceding
paragraphs, or convert registered securities into bearer securities, unless conversion is made
through a depositary accredi ted by the Government

The family council may, if necessary, fix a longer period for the performance of such
operations.

Art. 453

A guardian may give a receipt for funds which he receives for the account of the ward
only with the counte r-signature of the supervisory guardian

Those funds shall be deposited by him into an account opened in the name of the minor
and mentioning the minority, with a depositary ac credited by the Government to receive funds
and securities of wards.

Deposit is to be made within th e period of one month after the receiving of funds; where
that period elapses, the guardian is, as of right, debtor for the interests.

Art. 454

On the initiating of a guardianship, the family council shall determine at a roof estimate,
and according to the importance of the property managed, the sum annually available for the

support and education of the ward, the expenses of administration of his property, as well as
possibly the allowance that may be granted to the guardian.

The same resolution shall spec ify whether the guardian is authorized to put on the
account the salaries of particul ars administrators or agents for whose assistance he may ask,
under his own responsibility.

The family council may also authorize the guardian to make a contract for the
management of the marketable securities of the ward. The resolution shall designate the
contracting third party having regard to his solv ency and professional experience, and specify the
terms of the contract. Notwithstanding any stipul ation to the contrary, the contract may, at any
time, be terminated in the name of the ward.

Art. 455

A family council shall determine the sum at which shall begin for the guardian the
responsibility to reinvest the li quid capital of the minor, as well as the surplus of the income.
That reinvestment shall be made within a peri od of six months, save extension by the family
council. Where that period elapses, the guardian is as of right accountable for the interests.

The nature of the property that may be acquired in reinvestment shall be determined by
the family council, either in advance, or on the occasion of each transaction.

In any case, third partie s shall not be guarantors of the reinvestment.

Art. 456

As a representative of a minor, a guardian shall perform all acts of administration alone.

He may thus transfer, for value, m ovables of current use and property having character of
profits.

Leases agreed to by a guardian do not confer on the lessee, against a minor become of
age, any right to renewal or any right to remain on the premises at the expiry of the lease,
notwithstanding any statutory pr ovision to the contrary. Those provisions, however, shall not
apply to leases granted before the instituting of the guardianship and renewed by the guardian.

Transactions which, for the manage ment of the marketable securities of the ward, must
be deemed acts of administration entering into the responsibilities and powers, either of statutory
administrators and guardians, or of accredited depositaries, shall be determined by decree in
Conseil d’État.

Art. 457

A guardian may not, without being thereto authorized by the family council, make
transfers in the name of the minor.

Without that au thorization, he may not, in particular, borrow for the ward, or dispose of
or encumber with real rights immovables, busin ess concerns, marketable securities and other
incorporeal rights, or movables which are precious or constitute an important part of the ward’s
patrimony.

Art. 458

In giving its authorization, a family council may prescribe all steps it considers
appropriate, in particular as to the reinvestment of the funds.

Art. 459

A sale of immovables and busin ess concerns that belong to a minor shall be done
publicly by auction, in the presen ce of the supervisory guardian, subject to the conditions laid
down by Articles 953 and following of the Code of Civil Procedure [Articles 1271 and following
of the new Code of Civil Procedure].

A family council may, however, auth orize an amicable sale, either by public auction with
an opening bid it shall fix, or by priv ate agreement, at prices and terms it shall determine. In case
of amicable auction, an outbiddi ng may always be made, as provi ded for in the Code of Civil
Procedure.

A contribution to a partnership of an immovable or business concern may take place by
private agreement It must be authorized by the family council on the report of an expert whom
the judge of guardianships shall designate.

Marketable secu rities registered on an official list shall be sold through the agency of a
stockbroker [a broker-dealer].

Other marketable securities sha ll be sold by auction through the agency of a stockbroker
[a broker-dealer] or a notaire designated in the resolution which authorizes the sale. The family
council may, however, on the report of an expert designated by the judge of guardianships,
authorize the sale of it by private agreement at prices and under terms it shall determine.

Art. 460

The authorization required by Article 457 for the transfer of property of a minor shall not
apply where a judgment has ordere d a sale by auction on request of a co-owner of the property
held undivided.

Art. 461

A guardian may accept a succession accruing to a minor only under benefit of inventory.
The family council may, however, by a speci al resolution, authorize him to accept it
unconditionally where the assets mani festly exceed the liabilities.

A guardian may not repudiate a succession accruing to a minor without an authorization
of the family council.

Art. 462

In case the succession repudiate d in the name of a minor has not been accepted by any
one else, it may be retaken, either by the gua rdian authorized for that purpose by a new
resolution of the family council, or by the minor when he has come of age; but in the condition
in which it is at the time it is retaken and without any possibility of review of the sales and other
transactions lawfully performed during the vacancy.

Art. 463

A guardian may accept without auth orization gifts and specific legacies accruing to the
ward, unless they are encumbered with charges.

Art. 464

A guardian may, without authoriza tion, lodge a claim relating to patrimonial rights of the
minor. He may likewise abandon the proceedings. Th e family council may enjoin him to initiate
an action, to abandon it, or to make offers fo r the purpose of abandonment, on pain of being
liable.

A guardian may defend alone an action brought against the minor, but he may acquiesce
in it only with the authorizat ion of the family council.

An authorization of the family council is always required for actions relating to non-
patrimonial rights.

Art. 465

A guardian may not, without an aut horization of the family council, file an application
for partition in the name of the minor; but he may, without that authorization, reply to an
application for partition brought against the minor or join in a collective petition for the purpose
of partition, lodged by all the pa rties concerned under Article 822.

Art. 466

In order to produce with regard to a minor the same full effect as it would do between
adults, a partition must be made in court, in accordance with the provisions of Articles 815 and
following.

The family council may, however, auth orize an amicable partition, even partial. In that
case, it shall designate a notaire to proceed th ereto. The statement of liquidation, to which shall
be attached the resolution of the family council, must be submitted to the approval of the tribunal
de grande instance.

Any other partition sh all be considered as only provisional.

Art. 467

A guardian may compromise in the name of the minor only after having the family
council approve the terms of the compromise.

Art. 468

In all cases where the authorization of the family council is required for the validity of an
act of the guardian, it may be s ubstituted by that of the judge of guardianships, where the act to

be made involves property the capital value of which does not exceed a sum that is fixed by
decree1.

The judge of guardianships may also, on request of a guardian, authorize a sale of
marketable securities instead and in place of the family council where it appears to him that there
would be danger in delay, but on condition that a report be made as soon as possible to the
family council which will decide on the reinvestment.

1 D. n° 65-961 of 5 Nov. 1965 : 1000 000 F (15 300 €)

Section IV – Of the Accounts of Guardianship and Of Liabilities

Art. 469

Every guardian is accountable for his management when it comes to an end.

Art. 470

Before the end of a guardia nship, a guardian is bound to deliver each year to the
supervisory guardian an account of management. That account shall be written and delivered
without cost, on unstamped paper.

(Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995) Th e supervisory guardian shall transmit the account with
his comments to the clerk in chief of the tri bunal d’instance who may ask him any information.
In case of difficulty, the clerk in chief shall report to the judge of guardianships who may
convene the family council, without prejudice to the power of the judge to get communication of
the account and supervise it at any time.

Where a minor reaches the full age of “sixteen years” (Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974), the
judge of guardianships may decide that th e account shall be communicated to him.

Art. 471

Within the three months followi ng the end of a guardianship, a final account shall be
rendered, either to the minor himself, having become of age or emancipated, or to his heirs. The
guardian shall advan ce the costs of it; they sha ll be charged to the ward.

A guardian must be allowed therein all expenses sufficiently warranted and made for a
useful purpose.

Where a guardian happens to cease his functions before the end of the guardianship, he
shall render a recapitulatory account of his mana gement to the new guardian who may accept it
only with the authorization of the family council, upon the comments of the supervisory
guardian.

Art. 472

A minor come of age or emanci pated may approve an account of guardianship only one
month after the guardian gave it to him, agai nst a receipt, with supporting documents. An
approval given before the e nd of the period is void.

Also void is any agreement entered into between the ward, become of age or
emancipated, and him who was his guardian where it has the effect of releasing the latter, in
whole or in part, from his obligation to render account.

Where an account gives rise to controversies, they shall be prosecuted and adjudged as
provided for in the Title Of Accounti ng of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 473

Approval of an account does not prejudice actions for compensation that may belong to a
ward against a guardian or other organs of the guardianship.

The State is alone liable with regard to the ward, save its action of recourse if there is
occasion, for damage resulting from whatever fault committed in the functioning of the
guardianship, either by the judge of guardianships or his clerk, “or by the clerk in chief of the
tribunal d’instance” (Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995) , or by the public administrator in charge of a
vacant guardianship under Article 433.

An action for damages by the ward against the State shall be brought in all cases before
the tribunal de grande instance.

Art. 474

The sum to which the balance due by the guardian may amount bears interest by
operation of law from the approval of the account and, at the latest, three months after the end of
the guardianship.

Interests on what may be due to the guardian by the minor run only from the day of
demand for payment which followed the approval of the account.

Art. 475

Any action by the minor against a guardian, organs of the guardianship or the State
relating to guardianship matters is time-barred af ter five years, counting from majority, even
where there has been emancipation.

CHAPTER III – OF EMANCIPATION

(Act n° 64-123 of 14 Dec. 1964)

Art. 476

(Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974)

A minor is emancipated as a matter of right by marriage.

Art. 477

(Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974)

A minor, even unmarried, may be emancipated when he has reached the full age of
sixteen years.

“After the minor has been hear d” (Act n° 93-22 of 8 Jan. 1993), that emancipation shall
be pronounced, if there are proper r easons, by the judge of guardianships, on request of the father
and mother or of one of them.

Where the request is filed by only one parent, the judge shall decide after hearing the
other, unless the latter is unable to express his or her intention.

Art. 478

(Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974)

A minor left without father and mother may in the same manner be emancipated on
request of the family council.

Art. 479

Where, in the case of the preced ing Article, the guardian having taken no step, a member
of the family council is of opinion that the minor can be emancipated, he may require the judge
of guardianships to convene the council in order to consider the matter. The minor himself may
request that convening.

Art. 480

The account of the administration or guardianship, as the case may be, is rendered to an
emancipated minor in the way provided for in Article 471.

Art. 481

An emancipated minor is capable, like an adult, of all transactions of civil life.

He must however, in order to ma rry or give himself in adoption, comply with the same
rules as if he was not emancipated.

Art. 482

An emancipated minor ceases to be under the authority of his father and mother.

The latter are not liable as of right, in their sole capacity as father or mother, for damage
that he may cause to others after his emancipation.

Art. 483 to 486 [repealed]

Art. 487

(Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974)

An emancipated minor may not be a merchant.

TITLE XI

OF MAJORITY AND OF ADULTS WH O ARE PROTECTED BY THE LAW

(Act n° 68-5 of 3 Jan. 1968)

CHAPTER I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 488

(Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974)

Majority is fixed at the full age of eighteen years; at that age one is capable of all the
transactions of civil life.

Nevertheless, an adult whom an impairing of his personal faculties places in the
impossibility of providing alone for his interests is protected by the law, either on the occasion
of a specific transaction, or in a continuous manner.

May be likewise protected an adult who, because of his prodigality, insobriety or
idleness, is in danger to fall into need or compromises the fulfilment of his family obligations.

Art. 489

In order to enter into a valid tran saction, it is necessary to be of sound mind. But it is for
those who seek annulment on that ground to prove th e existence of a mental disorder at the time
of the transaction.

During the lifetime of an indi vidual, an action for annulment may be brought only by
him, or by his guardian or curato r, where one of them was appoint ed for him afterwards. It is
time-barred after the period provided for in Article 1304.

Art. 489-1

After his death, transactions entered into by an individual, other than a gift inter vivos or
a will, may be contested on the ground provided for in the preceding Article only in the cases
listed below:

1° Where a transaction in itself discloses proof of a mental disorder;

2° Where it was entered into in a time when the individual was placed under judicial
supervision;

3° Where a pe tition was initiated before the death in order to have a guardianship or
curatorship opened.

Art. 489-2

A person who has caused damage to another when he was under the influence of a mental
disorder is nonetheless liable to compensation.

Art. 490

Where mental faculties are disordered by an illness, an infirmity or feebleness due to age,
the interests of the person are safeguarded by one of the systems of protection provided for in the
following Chapters.

The same systems of protection appl y to the impairing of bodily faculties if it prevents
the expression of intention.

An impairing of mental or bodily faculties must be medically established.

Art. 490-1

The methods of medical treatment, in particular as to the choice between hospitalisation
and care at home, are independent of the system of protection relating to civil interests.

Reciprocally, the system relati ng to civil interests is independent of the medical
treatment.

Nevertheless, judgments by which the judge of guardianships organizes the protection of
civil interests must be preceded by an advice of the attending physician.

Art. 490-2

Whatever the system of protecti on applicable may be, the lodging of the protected person
and the furniture with which it is equipped must be kept at his disposal as long as it is possible.

Power of administration, as regard s that property, allows only agreements for precarious
enjoyment, which shall cease from the return of the protected person, despite any provision or
stipulation to the contrary.

Where it becomes necessary or it is in the interest of the protected person to dispose of
rights relating to lodging or to transfer the furniture, the transaction must be approved by the
judge of guardianships, after advice of the a ttending physician, without prejudice to the other
formalities which the nature of the property ma y require. Souvenirs and other objects of a
personal character must always be excepted from transfer and kept at the disposal of the
protected person, where appropriate, tha nks to the institution of treatment.

Art. 490-3

The Government procurator of the place of treatment and the judge of guardianships may
visit or cause to be visited adu lts protected by law, whatever the system of protection applicable
to them may be.

CHAPTER II – OF ADULTS UNDER JUDICIAL SUPERVISION

Art. 491

An adult who, for one of the cause s provided for in Article 490, needs to be protected in
the transactions of civil life, may be placed under judicial supervision.

Art. 491-1

Judicial supervision results from a declaration made to the Government procurator in the
way provided for by the Code of Public Health.

A judge of guardianships, to whom proceedings in guardianship or curatorship have been
referred, may place the person whom it should be advi sable to protect under judicial supervision,
pending suit, by an interim order transmitted to the Government procurator.

Art. 491-2

An adult placed under judicial supervision keeps the exercise of his rights.

However, the transactions he en tered into and the undertakings he contracted may be
rescinded for ordinary loss or abated in case of excess, even though they may not be annulled
under Article 489.

Courts shall take into considerat ion, on this subject, the wealth of the protected person,
the good or bad faith of those who dealt with him, the usefulness or uselessness of the
transaction. An action for rescission or ab atement may be brought, during the
lifetime of the person, by all those who would ha ve standing to petition for the opening of a
guardianship and, after his death, by his heirs. It is time-barred after the period provided for in
Article 1304.

Art. 491-3

Where a person has appointed an agent for the purpose of administering his property,
either before, or after being placed under judici al supervision, that agency must be fulfilled.

However, where a power of attorn ey expressly mentions that it was given on account of
the period of supervision, it may, during that pe riod, be revoked by the principal only with the
authorization of the j udge of guardianships.

In all cases, the judge, either of his own motion, or on request of one of the parties who
would have standing to request the opening of a guardianship, ma y order the revocation of the
agency.

He may also, even of his own motion, order that “the accounts be submitted to the clerk
in chief of the tribunal d’instance for approval, without prejudice to the power of the judge to
exercise himself that supervision” (Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995).

Art. 491-4

In the absence of an agency, th e rules of management of another’s business shall be
followed.

However, those who would have standing to request the opening of a guardianship are
under the obligation to do the acts of preser vation necessitated by the management of the
patrimony of the protected person where they had knowledge of their urgency as well as of the
declaration for purpose of supervision. The same obligation falls under the same conditions on
the director of the treating inst itution or, possibly, on the one w ho shelters at his home the person
under supervision.

An obligation to do acts of pres ervation involves, with regard to third parties, the
corresponding power.

Art. 491-5

Where there is occasion to act outside the cases defined in the preceding Article, any
party concerned may give notice thereo f to the judge of guardianships.

The judge may, either appoint a special agent for the purpose of doing a specific
transaction or a series of transa ctions of the same nature, within the limits of what a guardian
might do without the authorization of the family council, or decide of his own motion to open a
guardianship or a curatorship, or direct the pa rty concerned to instigate himself the opening
where he is one of those ha ving standing to request it

Art. 491-6

Judicial supervision comes to an end with a new declaration certifying that the previous
situation has come to an end, by lapse of the d eclaration under the periods of the Code of Civil
Procedure or by its cancellation upon deci sion of the Government procurator.

It comes also to an end with th e opening of a guardianship or of a curatorship from the
day when the new system of protection takes effect.

CHAPTER III – OF ADULTS IN GUARDIANSHIP

Art. 492

A guardianship shall be opened where an adult, for one of the causes provided for in
Article 490, needs to be represented in a continuo us manner in the transactions of civil life.

Art. 493

The opening of a guardianship sha ll be ordered by the judge of guardianships on request
of the person whom there is occasion to protect , of his or her spouse, unless community of living
has ceased between them, of his or her ascendants or descendants, brothers and sisters, of the
curator or of the Government procurator; it may also opened by the judge of his own motion.

Other relatives by blood or marri age, or friends, may only make known to the judge the
cause that could justify the ope ning of a guardianship. It shall be likewise with the attending
physician and the director of the institution.

The persons referred to in the two preceding paragraphs may, even where they did not
intervene into the case, appeal to the tribunal de grande instance against a judgment which
opened a guardianship.

Art. 493-1

The judge may order the opening of a guardianship only where the impairing of mental or
bodily faculties of the sick person was ascertained by a specialist chosen from a list established
by the Government procurator.

The opening of a guardianship sha ll be ordered in the way provided for in the Code of
Civil Procedure.

Art. 493-2

Judgments opening, modifying or withdrawing a guardianship may be enforced against
third parties only two months after mention of th em was made in the margin of the record of
birth of the protected person, as provided for in the Code of Civil Procedure.

Even failing that mention, they ar e nevertheless enforceable against third parties who had
personal knowledge of them.

Art. 494

A guardianship may be opene d for an emancipated minor as for an adult.

As regards a non-emancipated minor, a petition may even be initiated and adjudged
during the last year of minority; but guardianship shall take effect only from the day when he
comes of age.

Art. 495

Shall apply also to guardianships of adults the rules prescribed by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of
Chapter II of Title X of this Book for guardianshi ps of minors, save, however, those which relate
to the education of the child and, in a ddition, under the following amendments.

Art. 496

A spouse is the guardian of th e other spouse, unless community of living has ceased
between them or the judge is of opinion that a nother reason prevents his or her being entrusted
with guardianship. All othe r guardians are dative.

A guardianship of an adult may be conferred on a juridical person.

Art. 496-1

Nobody, except the spouse, descenda nts and juridical persons may be compelled to hold
guardianship of an adult beyond five years. On the expiry of that period, the guardian may
request and shall gain his replacement.

Art. 496-2

An attending physician may not be a guardian or a supervisory guardian of his patient.
But the judge of guardianships ma y always call on him to participate in the family council in an
advisory capacity.

A guardianship may not be conf erred on a treating institution, or on any person holding
therein a gainful occupation unless they are one of those who had standing to request the opening
of a guardianship. An executive employee of th e institution may however be designated as
manager of the guardianship in the circ umstances referred to in Article 499.

Art. 497

Where there is “a relative by blood or by marriage” (Act n° 96-452 of 28 May 1996)
qualified for managing the property, the judge of guardianships may decide that he shall manage
it as a statutory administrator, without a supervisory guardian or a family council, in accordance
with the rules that apply, as regards the property of a minor, to statutory administration under
judicial supervision.

Art. 498

There is no occasion to open a guardianship which would devolve on a spouse where the
interests of a protected person can be provi ded for adequately in accordance with the
matrimonial regime and in particular w ith the rules of Articles 217 and 219, 1426 and 1429.

Art. 499

Where, in consideration of the compos ition of the property to be managed, the judge of
guardianships considers it useless to establish a complete guardianship, he may limit himself to
designate as manager of the guardianship, without supervisory guardian or family council, either
an executive employee belonging to the administ rative staff of the treating institution, or a
special administrator, chosen in the way provided for in a decree in Conseil d’État.

Art. 500

A manager of a guardianship shall collect the incomes of the protected person and apply
them to the support and treatment of the latter and discharge of the main tenance obligations for
which he may be liable. Where there is an exce ss, he shall deposit it into an account which he
must open with an accredited de positary. Each year, he shall render account of his management
directly to the “clerk in chie f of the tribunal d’instance, wit hout prejudice to the power of the
judge to request at any time from the cler k in chief communication of the account of
management and direct transmittal of th e accounting” (Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995).

Where other acts become necessar y, he shall refer the matter to the judge who may either
authorize him to do them, or decide to establish the guardianship completely.

Art. 501

When opening a guardianship or in a subsequent judgment, the judge, upon opinion of
the attending physician, may list some transactions that the person in guardianship will have the
capacity to enter into himself, either alone, or wi th the assistance of the guardian or of the person
standing in his stead.

Art. 502

All transactions entered into by a protected person after the judgment of opening of a
guardianship are void as of right, subj ect to the provisions of Article 493-2.

Art. 503

Prior transactions may be annulled where the cause which determined the opening of the
guardianship existed notoriously at the time when they were made.

Art. 504

A will made after the opening of a guardianship is void as of right.

A will previously made remains valid, unless it is proved that, since the opening of the
guardianship, the reason which determined the testator to so dispose has disappeared.

Art. 505

With authorizat ion of the family council, gifts may be made in the name of an adult in
guardianship, but only in favour of his descendant s and by way of advancement, or in favour of
the spouse.

Art. 506

Even in the cases of articles 497 and 499, marriage of an adult in guardianship is allowed
only with the consent of a family council specially convened in orde r to consider the matter. The
council may decide only after hearing the future spouses.

There is no occasion for a meeti ng of the family council where the father and mother
both give their consent to the marriage.

In all cases, the opin ion of the attending physician is required.

Art. 506-1

(Act n° 99-944 of 15 Nov. 1999)

Adults in guardianship may not enter into a civil covenant of solidarity.

Where, during a civil covenant of solidarity, one of the partners is placed under
guardianship, the guardian authorized by the fa mily council or, failing which, the judge of
guardianships may put an end to the covenant in the way provided for in Article 515-7,
paragraph 1 or 2.

Where the initiative to cancel the covenant is taken by the other partner, the notice
mentioned in the same Article, paragraph 2 and 3, shall be served on the guardian.

Art. 507

Guardianship comes to an end with the causes that determined it; nevertheless removal of
it may be ordered only in complying with the formalities prescribed for attaining its opening and
a person in guardianship may resume the exercise of his rights only after a judgment of removal.

The methods of review provided for by Article 493, paragraph 3, may be resorted to only
against judgments that refuse to give removal of a guardianship.

CHAPTER IV – OF ADULTS IN CURATORSHIP

Art. 508

Where an adult, for one of the causes provided for in Article 490, without being unable to
act for himself, has need of being advised or supe rvised in transactions of civil life, he may be
placed under a system of curatorship.

Art. 508-1

An adult to whom Article 488, pa ragraph 3, refers may also be placed under a system of
curatorship.

Art. 509

Curatorship is opened and comes to an end in the same way as a guardianship of adults.

It is subject to the same requirements as to notice.

Art. 509-1

In a curatorship there is no other organ than the curator.

A spouse is curator for the ot her spouse unless community of living has ceased between
them or the judge is of opinion that another r eason prevents his or her being entrusted with
curatorship. All other curators must be appointed by the judge of guardianships.

Art. 509-2

The provisions relating to the dutie s of a guardian shall apply to the office of a curator,
under the amendments which guard ianship of adults involves.

Art. 510

An adult in curatorship may not, without the assistance of his curator, enter into any
transaction which, under the system of guardianship of adults, requires an authorization of the
family council. Nor may he, without that assistance, receive capital or make investment of it.

Where a curato r refuses his assistance to a trans action, a person in curatorship may
request a suppletory authorization from the judge of guardianships.

Art. 510-1

Where an adult in curatorshi p has entered alone into a transaction for which the
assistance of a curator was required, himself or the curator may seek the annulment of it.

An action for annulment is time -barred after the period provided for in Article 1304, or
even, before expiry of that period, in conseque nce of the approval that the curator may have
given to the transaction.

Art. 510-2

Any service made on an adult in curatorship may be also made on the curator, on pain of
invalidity.

Art. 510-3

In cases where the assistance of a curator was not required by statute, transactions into
which an adult in curatorship ma y have entered alone remain neve rtheless subject to actions for
rescission or abatement regulated by Article 491-2, as though they we re entered into by a person
under judicial supervision.

Art. 511

When opening a curatorship or in a subsequent judgment, the judge, upon opinion of the
attending physician, may list some transactions that the person in curatorship will have the
capacity to enter into alone, in derogation from Article 510, or, inversely, add other transactions
to those for which that Article requ ires the assistance of a curator.

Art. 512

When appointing a curator, the j udge may order that he alone shall receive the incomes
of the person in curatorship, settle expenses with regard to third parties, and deposit the excess, if
any, into an account opened w ith an accredited depositary.

A curator appointed with that ta sk shall render an account of his management each year
to the “clerk in chief of the tribunal d’instance, without prejudice to the power of the judge to
request at any time from the clerk in chief communication of the account of management and
direct transmittal of the accounting” (Act n° 95-125 of 8 Feb. 1995). .

Art. 513

A person in curatorship may freely make his will, except for application of Article 901, if
there is occasion.

He may make a gift only with the assistance of his curator.

Art. 514

As regards marriage of an adult in curatorship, the consent of the curator is required;
failing which, that of the judge of guardianships.

Art. 515 [repealed]

TITLE XII

OF CIVIL COVENANTS OF SOLI DARITY AND OF CONCUBINAGE

(Act n° 99-944 of 15 Nov. 1999)

CHAPTER I – OF CIVIL CO VENANTS OF SOLIDARITY

Art. 515-1

A civil covenant of solidarity is a contract entered into by two natural persons of age, of
different sexes or of a same se x, to organize their common life.

Art. 515-2

On pain of nullity, th ere may not be a civil covenant of solidarity:

1° Between ascendants and desce ndants in direct line, between relatives by marriage in
direct line and between collaterals until the third degree inclusive;

2° Between two persons of wh om one at least is bound by the bonds of marriage;

3° Between two persons of whom one at least is already bound by a civil covenant of
solidarity.

Art. 515-3

Two persons who enter into a civil covenant of solidarity shall make a joint declaration of
it at the court office of the tribunal d’instance under the jurisdiction of which they fix their
common residence.

On pain of dismissal, they sh all file with the clerk the agreement concluded between
them in duplicate original and add the documents of civil status which allow to establish the
validity of the transactio n with respect to Article 515-2, as we ll as a certificate of the court office
of the tribunal d’instance of thei r places of birth or, in case of bi rth abroad, of the court office of
the tribunal de grande instance of Paris, attesting that they are not already bound by a civil
covenant of solidarity.

After the filing of the set of doc uments, the clerk shall enter that declaration into a
register.

The clerk shall countersign and da te the two originals of the agreement and give them
back to each partner.

He shall have a mention of the decl aration entered into a register held in the court office
of the tribunal d’instance of th e place of birth of each partner or , in case of birth abroad, in the
court office of the tribunal de grande instance of Paris.

An entry in the register of the place of residence shall attribute an undisputable date to
the civil covenant of solidarity and rende r it effective against third parties.

Any amendment to the covenant sha ll be the subject of a joint declaration entered at the
court office that received the initi al transaction, to which shall be added, on pain of dismissal and
in duplicate original, th e instrument amending the agreement. The formalities provided for in
paragraph 4 shall apply.

Abroad, the entry of a joint decl aration of a covenant binding two partners of whom one
at least is of French nationality, the formalitie s provided for in paragraphs 2 and 4 and those
required in case of an amendment of the cove nant shall be the responsibility of French
diplomatic and consular agents.

Art. 515-4

Partners bound by a civil covenant of solidarity shall provide mutual material and moral
aid to each other. The terms of that aid shall be fixed by the covenant.

Partners shall be jointly and severally liable with regard to third parties for debts incurred
by one of them for the needs of everyday life and for expenses relating to the common lodging.

Art. 515-5

Partners to a civil covenant of solidarity shall lay down, in the agreement referred to in
Article 515-3, paragraph 2, whether they wish to submit to the system of undivided ownership
the furniture they would acquire for value after the conclusion of the covenant. Failing which,
that furniture shall be deemed undivided in ha lves. It shall be likewise where the date of
acquisition of that propert y may not be established.

The other property of which partne rs become owners for value after the conclusion of the
covenant shall be deemed undivided in halves where the instrument of acquisition or of
subscription does not otherwise provide.

Art. 515-6

The provisions of Article 832 sh all apply between partners to a civil covenant of
solidarity in case of dissolution of it, save those relating to all or part of an agricultural holding,
as well as to an undivided share or to partnership shares of that holding.

Art. 515-7

Where partners decide by mutu al agreement to put an end to a civil covenant of
solidarity, they shall file a joint written declaration with the court office of the tribunal d’instance
under the jurisdiction of which one of them at least has his residence. The clerk shall enter that
declaration into a register a nd shall ensure its preservation.

Where one of the partners decides to put an end to a civil covenant of solidarity, he or she
shall serve notice of his or her decision on the ot her and shall send a copy of that notice to the
court office of the tribunal d’instance which received the initial instrument.

Where one of the partners puts an end to a civil covenant of solidarity by marrying, he or
she shall notify his or her decision to the other by service and shall send copies of the latter and
of his or her record of birth on which mention of the marriage has been made, to the court office
of the tribunal d’instance which received the initial instrument.

Where a civil covenant of solidarity comes to an end by the death of at least one of the
partners, the survivor or any part y concerned shall send a copy of the record of death to the court
office of the tribunal d’instance wh ich received the initial instrument.

A clerk who receives a declar ation or instruments provided for in the preceding
paragraphs shall enter or have entered mention of the end of the covenant into the margin of the
initial instrument. He shall also have registration of that mention written into the margin of the
register provided for in Article 515-3, paragraph 5.

Abroad, receiving, recording and preserving a declaration or instruments referred to in
the first four paragraphs shall be the responsibility of French dipl omatic or consular agents, who
shall also undertake or have undertaken menti ons provided for in the preceding paragraph.

A civil covenant of solidarity shall come to an end, according to the circumstances:

1° As soon as a mention is made in the margin of the initial instrument of the joint
declaration provided for in the first paragraph;

2° Three months after service delivered under paragraph 2, provided that a copy of it was
brought to the knowledge of the clerk of th e court designated in that paragraph;

3° On the date of the ma rriage or of the death of one of the partners.

Partners shall undertake themselves the liquidation of the rights and obligations resulting
on their behalf from the civil covenant of solidar ity. Failing an agreement, the judge shall rule on
the patrimonial consequences of the breach, wi thout prejudice to damage possibly suffered.

CHAPTER II – OF CONCUBINAGE

Art. 515-8

Concubinage is an union in fact , characterized by a life in common offering a character
of stability and continuity, between two persons, of different sexes or of the same sex, who live
in couple.

BOOK TWO

OF PROPERTY AND OF THE VARIOU S MODIFICATIONS OF OWNERSHIP

TITLE ONE

OF THE VARIOUS KINDS OF PROPERTY

Art. 516

All property is movable or immovable.

CHAPTER I – OF IMMOVABLES

Art. 517

Property is immovable, either by its nature or by its destination or by the object to which
it applies.

Art. 518

Lands and buildi ngs are immovables by their nature.

Art. 519

Windmills or watermills, fixed on pillars and forming part of a building, are also
immovables by their nature.

Art. 520

Harvests standing by roots and the fruit of trees not yet gathered are also immovables.

As soon as crops are cut and the fruit separated, even though not removed, they are
movables.

Where only a part of a ha rvest is cut, this part alone is movable.

Art. 521

The normal cutting of underwood or of timber periodically cut becomes movable only as
the cutting down of trees proceeds.

Art. 522

Animals which the owner of a tene ment delivers to a farmer or share cropper for farming,
whether they are appraised or not, shall be deemed immovables so long as they remain attached
to the tenement under the te rms of the agreement.

Animals leased to othe r than farmers or share croppers are movables.

Art. 523

Pipes used to bring water into a house or other immovable are immovables and form part
of the tenement to which they are attached.

Art. 524

“Animals and things that the ow ner of a tenement placed thereon for the use and working
of the tenement are immovable by des tination” (Act n° 99-5 of 6 Jan. 1999).

Thus,

Animals attached to farming;

Farming implements;

Seeds given to farmers or share croppers;

Pigeons in pigeon-houses;

Warren rabbits;

Beehives;

“Fishes of waters not referred to in Article 402 [L. 231-3] of the Rural Code and of
stretches of water referred to in Articles 432 and 433 [L. 231-6 and L. 231-7] of the same Code”
(Act n° 84-512 of 29 June 1984); [now Article s L. 431-6 and L. 431-7 of the Code of the
Environment]”

Wine pressers , boilers, stills, vats and barrels;

Implements necessary for working ironworks, paper-mills and other factories;

Straw and manure,

are immovables by destination where they have been placed by the owner for the use and
working of the tenement.

All movables which the owner has attached to the tenement perpetually are also
immovables by destination.

Art. 525

An owner shall be deemed to have attached movables perpetually to his tenement, where
they are fastened with plaster or mortar or cement, or where they cannot be removed without
being broken or damaged, or without breaking or damaging the part of the tenement to which
they are affixed.

The mirrors of an apartment shall be deemed perpetually placed where the flooring to
which they have been fastened is part of the panelling.

It shall be the same as to pictures and other ornaments.

As regards statues, they are immovables where they are placed in a recess designed
expressly to receive them, even though they can be removed without breakage or damage.

Art. 526

The usufruct of immovable things;

Servitudes or land services;

Actions for the purpose of recovering an immovable,

are immovables by the object to which they apply.

CHAPTER II – OF MOVABLES

Art. 527

Property is movable by its nature or by prescription of law.

Art. 528

(Act n° 99-5 of 6 Jan. 1999)

Animals and things which can m ove from one place to another, whether they move by
themselves, or whether they can move only as the result of an extraneous power, are movables
by their nature .

Art. 529

Obligations and actions having as their object sums due or movable effects, shares or
interests in financial, commerc ial or industrial concerns, even where immovables depending on
these enterprises belong to the concerns, are mova bles by prescription of law. Those shares or
interests shall be deemed movables with regard to each shareholder only, as long as the concern
lasts.

Perpetual or life annuities, either from the State or private individuals, are also movables
by prescription of law.

Art. 530

Any annuity established in perpetuity for the price of sale of an immovable, or as
condition to a conveyance, for value or gratuito us, of an immovable tenement, is essentially
redeemable.

A creditor may nevertheless regulate the terms and conditions of the redemption.

He may also stipulate that the annuity may be redeemed only after a certain time, which
may never exceed thirty years: any st ipulation to the contrary is void.

Art. 531

Boats, ferry-boats, ships, floating mills and baths, and generally all works which are not
fastened to pillars and do not form part of a house, are movables: a seizure of some of these
things may however, owing to their importance, be subject to certain special proceedings, as
explained in the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 532

Materials coming from the demo lition of a building, those gathered for erecting a new
one, are movables until they are used by a worker in building operations.

Art. 533

The word movable, used alone in provisions of law or of man, without any other addition
or designation, does not include ready money, precious stones, credits, books, medals,
instruments of sciences, arts and professions, clothing, horses, carriages, weapons, grain, wine,
hay and other commodities; neither does it include what is involved in a business.

Art. 534

The words furnishing movables include only movables intended for use and
ornamentation of apartments, such as tapestries, beds, seats, mirrors, clocks, tables, china and
other articles of such kind.

Pictures and statues that form pa rt of the furniture of an apartment are also included
therein, but not collections of pictures which may be in galleries or special rooms.

It shall be likew ise of china: only that which is part of the decoration of an apartment is
included under the denominati on of furnishing movables.

Art. 535

The expression movable property, that of furniture or movable effects include generally
every thing which is deemed to be a mova ble according to the rules above set forth.

Art. 536

A sale or gift of a house, with all that is found therein, does nor include ready money, or
credits and other rights whose instruments of title may have been deposited in the house; all
other movable effects are included.

CHAPTER III – OF PROPERTY IN ITS RELATIONS WITH THOSE WHO OWN IT

Art. 537

Private individuals have the free disposal of property which belongs to them, subject to
the modifications established by legislation.

Property which does not belong to private individuals is administered and may be
transferred only in the forms and accordi ng to the rules which are peculiar to it.

Art. 538

Ways, roads and streets of which the State is in charge, navigable or floatable rivers and
streams, beaches, foreshore, ports, harbours, anchorages and generally all parts of French
territory which are not capable of private ownership are deemed to be dependencies of the Public
Domain.

Art. 539

All property without a claimant a nd a master, and that of private persons who die without
heirs or whose successions are abandoned, belong to the Public Domain.

Art. 540

The gates, walls, ditches and battle ments of fortified places and fortresses, are also part of
the Public Domain.

Art. 541

It shall be likewise with lands, fortifications and battlements of places which are no
longer fortified places: they belong to the State, unless they have been lawfully transferred, or
ownership has been acquired by prescription against it.

Art. 542

Common property is that to whose ownership or revenue the inhabitants or one or several
communes have a vested right.

Art. 543

One may have a right of ownership, or a mere right of enjoyment, or only land services to
be claimed on property.

TITLE II

OF OWNERSHIP

Art. 544

Ownership is the right to enjoy and di spose of things in the most absolute manner,
provided they are not used in a way prohibited by statutes or regulations.

Art. 545

No one may be compelled to yield his ownership, unless for public purposes and for a
fair and previous indemnity.

Art. 546

Ownership of a thing, either movable or immovable, gives a right to everything it
produces and to what is accessorily united to it, either naturally or artificially.

That right is called right of accession.

CHAPTER I – OF THE RIGHT OF ACCESSION TO WHAT IS PRODUCED BY A THING

Art. 547

Natural or cultural fruit of the land;

Revenues;

Increase in stock,

belong to the owner by right of accession.

Art. 548

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Fruit produced by a thing belong to the owner only on condition that he repays the costs
of ploughing, works and seeds incurred by third part ies and whose value must be assessed at the
date of repayment.

Art. 549

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

A mere possessor makes fruits his own only where he possesses in good faith. If not, he
is bound to restore the products with the thing to the owner who claims it; where the said
products are not found in kind, their value must be appraised at the date of repayment.

Art. 550

A possessor is in good faith where he possesses as owner, under an instrument of transfer
of whose defects he does not know.

He ceases to be in good faith from the time those defects are known to him.

CHAPTER II – OF THE RIGHT OF ACCESSION TO WHAT UNITES OR INCORPORATES
ITSELF WITH A THING

Art. 551

Everything which unites and incorporates itself with a thing belongs to the owner,
according to the rules hereafter laid down.

Section I – Of the Right of Acce ssion Relating to Immovable Things

Art. 552

Ownership of the ground invo lves ownership of what is above and below it.

An owner may make above all th e plantings and constructions which he deems proper,
unless otherwise provided for in the Title Of Servitudes or Land Services.

He may make below all construc tions and excavations which he deems proper and draw
from these excavations all the pr oducts which they can give, subj ect to the limitations resulting
from statutes and regulations relating to mi nes and from police statutes and regulations.

Art. 553

All constructions, plantings and wo rks on or inside a piece of land are presumed made by
the owner, at his expenses and belonging to him, unless the contrary is proved; without prejudice
to the ownership, either of an underground galler y under a building of another, or of any other
part of the building, which a third party may ha ve acquired or may acquire by prescription

Art. 554

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

An owner of the ground who made constructions, plantings and works with materials
which did not belong to him, shall pay the value of them, appraised at the date of payment; he
may also be ordered to pay damages, if there is occasion: but the owner of the materials may not
remove them.

Art. 555

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Where plantings, constructions or works were made by a third party and with materials
belonging to the latter, the owner of the tenement has the right, subject to the provisions of
paragraph 4, either to keep the ownership of them, or to compel the third party to remove them.

Where the owner of the tenement requires to have the constructions, plantings or works
suppressed, it shall be done at the expense of the third party, and without any compensation for
him; the third party may furthermore be ordered to pay damages for loss which the owner of the
tenement may have suffered.

Where the owner of the teneme nt prefers to keep ownership of the constructions,
plantings or works, he must, at his choice, repay the third party either a sum equal to that by
which the tenement has increased in value, or the cost of the materials and the price of the labour
appraised at the date of repayment, account be ing taken of the condition in which the said
plantings, constructions or works are .

Where the plantings, constructions or works were made by an evinced third party who
would not have been liable to restoring the fruits owing to his good faith, the owner may not
insist on the suppression of the said works, cons tructions and plantations, but he has the choice
to repay the third party eith er of the sums referred to in the preceding paragraph.

Art. 556

Deposits and accretions which gath er successively and imperceptibly in tenements on the
bank of a river or stream are called alluvion.

Alluvion benefits to the riparian ow ner, whether it be a question of a river or of a stream
navigable, floatable or not; on condition, in the fi rst case, that he leaves a footpath or towing-
path, in accordance with regulations.

Art. 557

The same rule shall apply to sandbanks formed by running water which withdraws
insensibly from one of its banks and proceeds on to the other: the owner of the uncovered bank
profits from the alluvion, without the riparian owner of the opposite side being allowed to claim
the land which he has lost.

That right does no t arise with regard to foreshore.

Art. 558

Alluvion does not arise with regard to lakes and ponds, whose owner always keeps the
land covered by the water when it reaches the level of the outlet of the pond, even where the
volume of water decreases.

Reciprocally, the owner of a pond does not acquire any right to the riparian lands which
its water happens to cover during extraordinary floods.

Art. 559

Where a river or stream, navigabl e or not, removes by a sudden drift a considerable and
recognizable part of a riparian field and carries it towards a lower field or to the opposite bank,
the owner of the part removed may claim his prope rty; but he is compelled to file his claim
within one year: after that period, it will no longer be admissible, unless the owner of the field to
which the part removed has been joined has not yet taken possession of it.

Art. 560

Islands, islets, deposits which gather in the beds of rivers or of navigable or floatable
streams belong to the State, unless there is an inst rument of title or prescription to the contrary.

Art. 561

Islands and deposits which gather in streams not navigable nor floatable belong to the
riparian owners on the side where the island ga thered: where the island has not gathered on one
side, it belongs to riparian owners of both si des, beginning from a line supposedly drawn in the
middle of the river.

Art. 562

Where a stream or river, in forming a new arm, cuts off and surrounds a field of a
riparian owner and makes an island of it, that owner keeps the ownership of his field, although
the island gathered in a river or a stream navigable or floatable.

Art. 563

(Act of 8 April 1898)

Where a river or a stream navi gable or floatable forms a new course by abandoning its
former bed, the riparian owners may acquire owne rship of that former bed, each one in his own
right until a line supposedly drawn in the middle of the stream. The price of the former bed must
be fixed by experts appointed by th e president of the court of the location of the land, on request
of the préfet of the département.

Where the riparian owners fail to declare, within three months of the notice served upon
them by the préfet, their intention to purchase at the prices fixed by the experts, the conveyance
of the ancient bed must be made under the ru les which govern alienation of the domain of the
State.

The proceeds of the sale shall be distributed as a compensation to the owners of the
tenements filled by the new course in proportion to the value of the ground taken from each of
them.

Art. 564

Pigeons, rabbits, fishes which go to another pigeon-house, warren or “stretch of water
referred to in Articles 432 and 433 [ L. 231-6 and L. 231-7] of the Rural Code” (Act n° 84-512 of
29 June 1984), belong to the owner of these thin gs, provided that they were not attracted by
fraud or guile.

Section II – Of the Right of Acce ssion Relating to Movable Things

Art. 565

Where the right of accession app lies to two movable things belonging to two different
masters, it depends entirely on the principles of natural equity.

The following rules will serve as examples to the judge to make up his mind, in
unforeseen situations, according to the circumstances of the case.

Art. 566

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Where two things belonging to differe nt masters, which have been so joined as to form
one whole, are nevertheless separable, so that one may subsist without the other, the whole
belongs to the master of the thing which forms th e main part, subject to the obligation of paying
to the other the value, appraised at the date of payment, of the thing which has been jopined.

Art. 567

The part to which the other has b een joined only for the use, ornamentation or completion
of the first is deemed the main part.

Art. 568

Where, however, the thing joined is of much more value than the main thing and where it
was used without the knowledge of the owner, the latter may request that the thing joined be
separated in order to be returned to him, even where there may result some deterioration of the
thing to which it has been joined.

Art. 569

Where of two things joined to fo rm one whole, one cannot be considered as the accessory
of the other, that one is deemed the main whic h has the greater value, or the greater volume
where the values are approximately equal.

Art. 570

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Where a craftsman or any person whatever has used material which did not belong to him
to make a thing of a new kind, whether the material can resume its original form or not, he who
was the owner of it has the right to claim the th ing made out of it by repaying the price of the
labour appraised at the date of repayment.

Art. 571

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Where however the labour was so important that it greatly exceeds the value of the
material used, the service will then be deemed the main part and the workman has the right to
keep the thing wrought, by repaying th e owner the value of the material, appraised at the date of
repayment.

Art. 572

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Where a person has partly used material which belonged to him and partly material
which did not belong to him to make a thing of a new kind, without either of the two materials
being entirely destroyed, but in such a way that they cannot be separated without inconvenience,
the thing is common to the two owners, as to on e, on account of the material which belonged to
him, and as to the other, on account both of the material which belonged to him and of the price
of his labour. The price of the labour must be appr aised at the date of the auction sale provided
for in Article 575.

Art. 573

Where a thing has been formed by a mingling of several materials belonging to different
owners, of which none however can be considered as the main material, if the materials can be
separated, he without whose knowledge the material s have been mingled may request that they
be separated.

Where the materials can no longe r be separated without inconvenience, they acquire
ownership of them in common, in proportion to the quantity, the quality and the value of the
materials belonging to each of them.

Art. 574

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Where the material belonging to one of the owners was far superior to the other in
quantity and price, then the owner of the mate rial superior in value may request the thing
resulting from the mingling, by repaying the other th e value of his material, appraised at the date
of repayment.

Art. 575

Where a thing remains in common between the owners of the materials from which it has
been made, it must be sold by auction for their common benefit.

Art. 576

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

In all cases where the owner w hose material was used without his knowledge to make a
thing of a different kind may claim ownership of that thing, he has the choice of requesting
restitution of his material in the same kind, quantity, weight, measure and good quality, or its
value appraised at the date of restitution.

Art. 577

Those who have made use of materials belonging to others, and without their knowledge,
may also be ordered to pay damages, if th ere is occasion, without prejudice to criminal
prosecution, if need be.

TITLE III

OF USUFRUCT, OF USE AND OF HABITATION

CHAPTER I – OF USUFRUCT

Art. 578

Usufruct is th e right to enjoy things of which anot her has ownership in the same manner
as the owner himself, but on condition that their substance be preserved.

Art. 579

Usufruct is established by law or by a person’s wish.

Art. 580

Usufruct may be establishe d outright, or at a certain date, or conditionally.

Art. 581

It may be established on any kind of movable and immovable property.

Section I – Of the Rights of a Usufructuary

Art. 582

A usufructuary has the right to en joy all kinds of fruits, either natural or cultural, or
revenues, which the thing of which he has the usufruct can produce.

Art. 583

Natural fruits are those which are the spontaneous product of the earth. The produce and
increase of animals are also natural fruits.

Cultural fruits of a te nement are those which are obtained by cultivation.

Art. 584

Revenues are rents of houses , interests on sums due, arrears of annuities.

Prices of farming leases are also included in the class of revenues.

Art. 585

Natural and cultural fruits, hangi ng from branches or roots when a usufruct begins,
belong to the usufructuary.

Those which are in the same condition when the usufruct comes to an end, belong to the
owner, without compensation on e ither side for ploughing and seeds, but also without prejudice
to the portion of the fruits which may be acqui red by a tenant paying rent in kind who may be
there at the beginning or at the termination of the usufruct.

Art. 586

Revenues are deemed to be acquired day by day, and belong to the usufructuary in
proportion to the duration of his usuf ruct. This rule shall apply to proceeds of farming leases, as
well as to rents of houses and other revenues.

Art. 587

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Where a usufruct includes things which cannot be used without being consumed, such as
money, grain, liquors, a usufructua ry has the right to use them, but with the responsibility of
returning, at the end of the usufru ct, either things of the same quantity and quality or their value
appraised at the ti me of restitution.

Art. 588

A usufruct of a life annuity also gives the usufructuary, during the duration of his
usufruct, the right to collect arrearages of it, without being liable to any restitution.

Art. 589

Where a usufruct includes things which, without being consumed at once, deteriorate
gradually, such as clothes or furnishing movables, the usufructuary has the right to make use of
them for the use to which they are intended and is only bound to return them at the end of the
usufruct in the condition in which they are, not deteriorated through his intentional wrong or
fault.

Art. 590

Where a usufruct includes unde rwood, a usufructuary is bound to respect the order and
quota of cuttings, in accordance wi th the parcelling or the uniform usage of the owners; without
however compensation in favour of th e usufructuary or of his heirs, for ordinary cuttings, either
of coppice, or of staddles, or of forest trees that were not done during his enjoyment.

Trees which can be removed from a tree nursery without damaging it, form part of a
usufruct only on condition for the usufructuary of complying with the usages of the place in
replacing them.

Art. 591

A usufructuary also benefits, al ways by observing the periods and usages of the former
owners, by the parts of woods of timber trees in which periodical cuttings are made, whether
those cuttings are made periodically over a certain extent of land, or whether they are made of a
certain quantity of trees taken indiscriminate ly over the whole surface of the property.

Art. 592

In all other cases, a usufructua ry may not interfere with woods of timber trees: he may
only use the trees which have been uprooted or broken by accident to make the repairs which he
is bound to make; he may even for that purpose have trees cut down, if necessary, provided the
necessity of so doing is ascertained with the owner.

Art. 593

He may take vine props in the woods; he may also take annual or periodical products
from the trees; all of which being done according to the usage of the country or the custom of the
owners.

Art. 594

Fruit trees which die, even th ose which are uprooted or broken by accident, belong to the
usufructuary, subject to the conditi on of replacing them by others.

Art. 595

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

A usufructuary may enjoy by himself, give on lease to another, even sell or transfer his
right gratuitously.

Leases that a usufructuary made alone for a period exceeding nine years are, in case of
termination of the usufruct, bind ing with regard to the bare-owner only for the time remaining to
run, either of the first period of nine years where the parties are still in it, or of the second period,
and so on in order that the lesse e has only the right to conclude the enjoyment of the period of
nine years in which he is.

Leases of nine years or under wh ich an usufructuary alone makes or renews more than
three years before termination of a current lease where it relates to rural property, or more than
two years before the same time where it relate s to houses, are without effect, unless their
performance began before termination of the usufruct.

A usufructuary may not, without the assistance of the bare-owner, give on lease a rural
tenement or an immovable intended for commercial , industrial or craft use. Failing assent of the
bare-owner, a usufructuary may be authorized by a court to do that transaction alone.

Art. 596

A usufructuary enjoys the increas e resulting from alluvion to the thing of which he has
the usufruct.

Art. 597

He enjoys the rights of servit ude, of way and generally all rights which an owner may
enjoy, and he enjoys them in the same way as the owner himself.

Art. 598

He also enjoys, in the same way as the owner, mines and quarries which are being
worked when the usufruct begins; where, how ever, a working which may not be carried on
without a concession is concerne d, a usufructuary may enjoy it only after gaining permission
from the President of the Republic.

He has no right to mines and quarries not yet opened, or to peat bogs whose working has
not yet begun, or to a treasu re-trove which may be discove red during the duration of the
usufruct.

Art. 599

An owner may not, by his acts or in any manner whatsoever, injure the rights of a
usufructuary.

On his part, a usufructuary may not, on termination of the usufruct, claim any
compensation for the improvements which he assert s to have made, even though the value of the
thing has been increased thereby.

He or his heirs may however rem ove mirrors, pictures and other ornaments which he may
have set up, but provided he restores the premises to their former condition.

Section II – Of the Obliga tions of a Usufructuary

Art. 600

A usufructuary takes things in the condition in which they are; but he may enter into
enjoyment only after having an inventory of the movables and a statement as to the immovables
subject to the usufruct drawn up, the owner being present or he having been duly summoned.

Art. 601

He shall give security to enjoy as a prudent administrator, unless he is dispensed with by
the instrument creating the usufru ct; however, the father and mother who have the legal usufruct
of their children’s property, a sell er or donor who reserved the usufruct, are not obliged to give
security.

Art. 602

Where a usufructuary does not find a security, the immovables shall be given on lease or
sequestered;

Sums included in the usufruct shall be invested;

Commodities shall be sold and the proceeds arising out of it shall be likewise invested;

The interest on those sums and th e proceeds of leases shall belong in that case to the
usufructuary.

Art. 603

Failing a security on the part of a usufructuary, an owner may demand that movables
which fall into decay through use be sold, and th e proceeds invested like that of commodities;
the usufructuary shall then enjoy the interest during his usufruct: however, a usufructuary may
request, and the judges may order, according to the circumstances, that a part of the movables
necessary for his use be left to him, on his ow n mere guarantee given on oath, and subject to the
condition of presenting them again on termination of the usufruct.

Art. 604

Delay in giving security does not de prive a usufructuary of the fruits to which he may be
entitled: they are owed to him from the time when the usufruct began.

Art. 605

A usufructuary is only bound to repairs of maintenance.

Major repairs remain the responsibi lity of the owner, unless they were occasioned by the
lack of repairs of maintenance si nce the beginning of the usufruct; in whic h case the usufructuary
is also liable for them.

Art. 606

Major repairs ar e those to main walls and vaults, th e restoring of beams and of entire
coverings;

That of dams, breast walls and enclosing walls also in entirety.

All other repairs are of maintenance.

Art. 607

Neither an owner nor a usufruct uary are bound to rebuild what has fallen from decay or
has been destroyed by a fortuitous event.

Art. 608

A usufructuary is liable dur ing his enjoyment for all the annual charges upon the
property, such as taxes and others which, according to usage, are deemed to be charges on the
fruits.

Art. 609

As to charges that may be im posed upon the ownership for the duration of the usufruct,
an owner and a usufructuary c ontribute to them as follows:

The owner is bound to pay them a nd the usufructuary must account to him for interest;

Where they are advanced by the us ufructuary, he may claim the capital at the end of the
usufruct.

Art. 610

A legacy, made by a testator, of a life annuity or of periodical payments, must be paid
wholly by the universal legatee of the usufruct, and by a legatee by universal title of the usufruct
in proportion to his enjoyment, without any claiming back on their part.

Art. 611

A specific usufructuary is not liable for debts for which the tenement is mortgaged:
where he is compelled to pay them, he has a remedy against the owner, subject to what is
provided for in Article 1020 in the Titl e Of Gifts Inter Vivos and of Wills.

Art. 612

A usufructuary, either universal, or by universal title, shall contribute with the owner to
the payment of debts as follows:

The value of the tenement subject to usufruct shall be appraised; the contribution to the
debts shall be then fixed, in accordance with that value.

Where a usufructuary wishes to advance the sum for which the tenement is liable, the
capital shall be restored to him at the end of the usufruct, without any interest.

Where a usufructuary does not wi sh to make that advance, the owner has the choice
either to pay that sum, in which case the usufruct uary shall account to him for interest during the
duration of the usufruct, or to ha ve a portion of the property subject to the usufruct sold to the
extent of the amount due.

Art. 613

A usufructuary is obliged to pay only the costs of the suits relating to enjoyment and of
the other orders to which those suits may give rise.

Art. 614

Where during the duration of an usufruct a third party commits any encroachment upon
the tenement, or interferes in any other way with the rights of the owner, the usufructuary is
bound to notify the latter thereof; failing which, he is liable for all loss which may result from it
to the owner, as he would be for dilapidations committed by himself.

Art. 615

Where an usufruct is established only over an animal which happens to die without the
fault of the usufructuary, the latter is not bound to re turn another one, or to pay an appraisal of it.

Art. 616

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

Where a herd upon which a usufru ct was established perishes entirely by accident or
disease and without the fault of the usufructuary, the latter is bound to account to the owner only
for the skins, or of their value ap praised at the date of restitution.

Where the herd does not perish en tirely, the usufructuary is bound to replace the heads of
the animals that have perished, to the extent of the increase in stock.

Section III – Of the Manner in whic h a Usufruct comes to an End

Art. 617

A usufruct is extinguished:

By the natural [repeal ed by implication] death of the usufructuary;

By the expiry of the time for which it was granted;

By the consolidation or vesting in the same person of the two capacities of usufructuary
and of owner;

By non-user of the right during thirty years;

By the total loss of the thing upon which the usufruct was established.

Art. 618

Usufruct may also cease through abuse which a usufructuary makes of his enjoyment,
either by committing dilapidations upon the teneme nt, or by allowing it to decay for want of
maintenance.

Creditors of a usufructuary may intervene in controversies, for the preservation of their
rights; they may offer to repair the dilapidations committed and to give guarantees for the future.

Judges may, according to the serious ness of the circumstances, order either the absolute
extinguishment of the usufruct, or the re-entry of the owner into the enjoyment of the thing
subject thereto, provided that he pa ys annually to the usufructuary, or to his assigns, a fixed sum,
up to the time when the usufru ct should have ceased.

Art. 619

A usufruct which is not granted to private individuals may last only thirty years.

Art. 620

A usufruct granted until a third party reaches a fixed age lasts until that time, even though the
third party dies before the fixed age.

Art. 621

The sale of a th ing subject to usufruct involves no cha nge in the right of the usufructuary;
he continues to enjoy his usufruct unless he has formally waived it.

Art. 622

Creditors of a usufructuary may ha ve a waiver annulled, where it was prejudicial to them.

Art. 623

Where a part only of a thing subj ect to usufruct is destroyed, usufruct is preserved on
what remains.

Art. 624

Where a usufruct is established only on a building, and that building is destroyed by fire
or other accident, or collapses from decay, the us ufructuary may not have the right to enjoy the
ground or the materials.

Where the usufruct was establ ished on an area of which the building was a part, the
usufructuary enjoys the ground and the materials.

CHAPTER II – OF USE AND OF HABITATION

Art. 625

Rights of use and habitation are established and lost in the same manner as usufruct.

Art. 626

They may not be enjoyed unless s ecurity has been previously given, and statements and
inventories made, as in the case of usufruct.

Art. 627

A user and a person having a right of habitation shall enjoy like prudent administrators.

Art. 628

Rights of use and of habitation are regulated by the instruments which have established
them and are more or less extensiv e, depending upon their provisions.

Art. 629

Where an instrument does not make clear the extent of these rights, they shall be
regulated as follows.

Art. 630

A person who has the use of the fr uits of a tenement may only demand what is necessary
for his needs and those of his family.

He may demand them even for the needs of children arrived since the granting of the use.

Art. 631

A user may neither tran sfer nor lease his right to another person.

Art. 632

He who has a right of habitati on in a house, may live there with his family, even though
he was not married at the time when that right was granted to him.

Art. 633

A right of habitation is restricted to what is necessary for the habitation of the person to
whom that right is granted, and of his family.

Art. 634

A right of habita tion may not be transferred or leased.

Art. 635

Where an user takes all the fruits of a tenement, or occupies the whole of a house, he is
subjected to the expenses of cultivation, repairs of maintenance and payment of taxes, like a
usufructuary.

Where he takes only a part of th e fruits or occupies only a part of a house, he shall
contribute in proportion to what he enjoys.

Art. 636

Use of woods and fore sts is regulated by a specific legislation.

TITLE IV

OF SERVITUDES OR LAND SERVICES

Art. 637

A servitude is a charge impose d on an immovable for the use and utility of another
immovable belonging to another owner.

Art. 638

A servitude may not establish any pre-eminence of an immovable over the other.

Art. 639

It results either from the natural location of the premises, or from obligations imposed by
statute, or from agreements between owners.

CHAPTER I – OF THE SERV ITUDES ORIGINATING FROM THE SITUATION OF THE
PREMISES

Art. 640

Lower tenements are subjected to those which are higher, to receive waters which flow
naturally from them without the hand of man having contributed thereto.

A lower owner may not raise dams which prevent that flow.

An upper owner may not do anythi ng that worsens the servitude of the lower tenement.

Art. 641

(Act of 8 April 1898)

An owner has the right to use and dispose of rainwater which falls on his tenement.

Where the use of those waters or the course given to them worsens the natural servitude
of flow established by Article 640, a compensation is due to the owner of the lower tenement.

The same provision shall a pply to spring waters originating on a tenement.

Where, by borings or subterranean works, an owner causes waters to rise from his
tenement, the owners of lower tenements mu st receive them; but they are entitled to
compensation in case of loss resulting from their flow.

Houses, courts, gardens, parks and enclosures adjoining dwellings may not be subjected
to any worsening of the servitude of flow in th e cases provided for in the preceding paragraphs.

Controversies which the estab lishment and exercise of the servitudes provided for by
these paragraphs may give rise to, and the settlement, if any, of the compensations due to the
owners of lower tenements, must be brought, subj ect to review, before the judge of the tribunal
d’instance of the canton who, in his judgment must reconcile the interests of agriculture and
industry with the respect due to ownership.

If there is occasion for an appraisement, one expert only may be appointed

Art. 642

(Act of 8 April 1898)

A person who has a spring on his tenement may always use the water on his wishes,
within the limits and for th e needs of his property.

An owner of a spring may no longer use it to the detriment of the owners of the lower
tenements who, for more than thirty years, have made and completed, on the tenement where the
water springs, apparent and permanent works inte nded to use the waters and facilitating their
passage within their property.

Nor may he use them so as to depr ive the inhabitants of a commune, village or hamlet, of
the water which is necessary to them; but where the inhabitants have not acquired or prescribed
the use, the owner may claim a compensa tion which shall be fixed by experts.

Art. 643

(Act of 8 April 1898)

Where, as soon as they leave th e tenement where they spout out, spring waters form a
watercourse presenting the nature of public and running waters, the owner may not divert them
from their natural course, to the detriment of lower users.

Art. 644

A person whose property borders running water other than that which is declared a
dependency of the Public Domain by Article 538 in the Title Of Different Kinds of Property,
may use it as it flows for irrigating his property.

A person through whose property that water flows may even use it over the interval it
runs through it, provided he retu rns it to its ordinary course when it leaves his tenements.

Art. 645

Where a controversy arises between owners to whom those waters may be useful, the
courts, in their decisions, must reconcile the interests of agriculture with the respect due to
ownership; and, in all cases, th e special and local regulations on the course and use of waters
must be complied with.

Art. 646

Any owner may compel his ne ighbour to a setting of boundaries of their contiguous
tenements. Setting boundaries shal l be done at common expense.

Art. 647

An owner may enclose his prope rty, subject to the exception laid down in Article 682.

Art. 648

An owner who wishes to be enclos ed loses his right to commonage and free pasture, in
proportion to the land that he so withdraws.

CHAPTER II – OF THE SERVITUD ES ESTABLISHED BY STATUTE

Art. 649

Servitudes established by statute are for the purpose of public or communal utility, or of
the utility of private individuals.

Art. 650

Those established for public or communal utility have as their subjects towing-paths
along navigable or floatable streams, the making or repairing of roads and of other public or
municipal works.

All that relates to that kind of se rvitudes is prescribed by statutes or specific regulations.

Art. 651

The law subjects owners to vari ous obligations towards each other, independent of any
agreement.

Art. 652

Part of those obligati ons are regulated by statutes on rural police;

The others relate to party walls and common ditches, to cases in which an outer wall is
necessary, to views over the property of a neighbour, to eaves and to right of way.

Section I – Of Party Walls and Common Ditches

Art. 653

In cities and in the country, a ny wall serving as separation between buildings up to the
point of disjunction, or between courtyards and ga rdens, and even between enclosures in fields,
is deemed to be a party wall, unle ss there is an instrument of title or an indication to the contrary.

Art. 654

There is an indication of a no n-party wall where the top of a wall is straight and
perpendicular from its facing on one side a nd shows an inclined plane on the other;

Even where there is on one side only either a coping or stone fillets and corbels which
were placed there in building the wall.

In such cases, a wall is deemed to be long exclusively to the owner on whose side the
eaves or stone corbels and fillets are.

Art. 655

Repairing and reconstruction of a party wall must be borne by all those who have a right
to it, and in proportion to the right of each.

Art. 656

However, any co-owner of a party wall may excuse himself from contributing to
repairing and reconstructing by waiving the right in common, provided the party wall does not
support a building which belongs to him.

Art. 657

A co-owner may build against a party wall, and place there beams or joists through the
whole thickness of the wall, more or less fi fty-four millimetres, without prejudice to a
neighbour’s right to have the beam shortened with a chisel down to half of the wall, where he
himself wishes to lay beams in the same place, or to back a chimney against it.

Art. 658

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

A co-owner may have a party wa ll raised; but he must pay alone the expense of the
raising and of the repairs of ma intenance above the height of th e common enclosure; he must
also pay alone the costs of maintenance of the common part of the wall due to the raising and
repay to the neighbouring owner all the expenses made necessary for the latter by the raising.

Art. 659

Where a party wall is not in a condition to support a raising, the person wishing to raise it
must have it entirely rebuilt at his own expense, and the thickness in excess must be taken on his
side.

Art. 660

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

A neighbour who did not contribut e to a raising may acquire rights in common on it by
paying one-half of the expense it has cost and the value of one-half of the ground supplied for
the additional thickness, if there is any. The expense that the raising has cost must be appraised
at the date of acquisition, account being taken of the condition in which the raised part of the
wall is.

Art. 661

(Act n° 60-464 of 17 May 1960)

An owner adjoining a wall may make it a party wall in whole or in part by repaying to the
master of the wall half the expe nse which it has cost, or half the expense which the part of the
wall which he wishes to make a party wall has co st and half the value of the ground on which the
wall was built. The expense which the wall has cost must be appraised at the date of acquisition
of rights in common on it, account being take n of the condition in which it is.

Art. 662

A neighbour may not make a rece ss in a party wall or apply or build up a work on it
without the consent of the othe r, or, on his refusal, without having had experts determine the
necessary steps in order that the new work be not detrimental to the other’s rights.

Art. 663

In cities and suburbs, everyone may compel his neighbour to contribute to the
constructions and repairs of an enclosure se parating their houses, court-yards and gardens
situated in those cities and s uburbs: the height of the enclos ure shall be fixed according to
specific regulations or uniform and recognized usages and, failing usages and regulations, a
dividing wall between neighbours, whic h will be constructed or restored in the future, shall be at
least thirty-two decimetres high, including the coping, in cities of fifty thousand souls and more,
and twenty-six decimetres in the others.

Art. 664 [repealed]

Art. 665

Where a party wall or a house is rebuilt, active and passive servitudes continue with
regard to the new wall or the new house, without , however, their being allowed to become more
burdensome, and provided rebuilding is ma de before prescription is acquired.

Art. 666

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

Every enclosur e separating tenements is deemed to be held in common, unless there is
only one property actually enclosed, or there is an instrument of title, prescription or indication
to the contrary.

As regards ditches, there is an indication that they are not held in common where the
embankment or spoil of earth is found on only one side of the ditch.

A ditch is deemed to belong exclus ively to the one on whose side the spoil is situated.

Art. 667

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

A common enclosure must be maintained at common expense; but a neighbour may
elude that obligation by wa iving ownership in common.

That power ceases where the ditch serves usually for the flowing of waters.

Art. 668

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

A neighbour whose property adjo ins a ditch or a hedge not held in common may not
compel the owner of that ditch or he dge to convey rights in common to him.

A co-owner of a common hedge ma y destroy it up to the limit of his property, provided
he builds a wall upon that limit.

The same rule shall apply to the co-owner of a common ditch which is used only as an
enclosure.

Art. 669

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

So long as a hedge is held in common, its products belong to the owners in halves.

Art. 670

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

Trees situated in a common hedge are held in common as the hedge is. Trees planted on
the dividing line of two tenements are also deemed to be held in common. Where they die or are
cut or uprooted, those trees are divi ded in halves. Fruits are gathered at joint expense and divided

also in halves, either when they fall naturally, or when the fall was caused, or when they were
picked.

Each owner has the right to require that the trees held in common be uprooted.

Art. 671

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

It is permitted to have trees, shrubs or bushes near the limit of a neighbouring property
only at the distance allowed by the specific regul ations presently in force or by uniform and
recognized usages, and failing regulations and usag es, at the distance of two metres from the
dividing line of the two tenements as regards pl antations whose height exceeds two metres, and
at the distance of half a metr e as regards other plantation.

Trees, bushes and shrubs of a ll kinds may be planted in espaliers on each side of a
dividing wall, without having to k eep to any distance, but they may not pass the crest of the wall.

Where a wall is not a party wall, th e owner alone has the right to lean espaliers against it.

Art. 672

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

A neighbour may require that trees, shrubs and bushes planted at a distance less than the
statutory distance, be uprooted or reduced to the height fixed in the preceding Article, unless
there is an instrument of title , an adjustment made by the owne r, or thirty-year prescription.

Where the trees die, or where they are cut or uprooted, a neighbour may replace them
only by keeping to the statutory distances.

Art. 673

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881; Act of 12 Feb. 1921)

One over whose property branches of a neighbour’s trees, bushes and shrubs jut out may
compel the latter to cut them. Fruits which have fallen naturally from these branches belong to
him.

Where roots, brambles and br ushwood jut out on his property, he has the right to cut
them himself up to the limit of the dividing line.

The right to cut roots, brambles and brushwood or to have branches of trees, bushes or
shrubs cut may not be lost by prescription.

Section II – Of theDistance and of Intermedia te Works Required for Certain Constructions

Art. 674

He who has a well or a cesspool dug near a wall, whether it is a party wall or not,

He who wishes to build a chimne y or a fire-place, a forge, an oven or a furnace,

Set a stable against it,

Or place against that wall a st ore of salt or a heap of corrosive materials;

Is obliged to leave the distance prescribed by regulations and specific usages relating to
those things, or to do the works prescribed by the same regulations and usages in order to avoid
injuring a neighbour.

Section III – Of the Views over th e Property of One’s Neighbour

Art. 675

One of the neighbours may not, w ithout the consent of the other, cut in a party wall any
window or opening, in any manner what ever, even in fixed fanlights.

Art. 676

The owner of a wall which is not a party wall, adjoining the property of another person,
may cut openings or windows in it, in leaded iron and fixed fanlights.

Those windows must be provided with an iron lattice whose meshes shall have an
aperture of one decimetre (about three inches, eight lines) at the most, and with a frame of fixed
fanlights.

Art. 677

Those windows or openings may onl y be made at twenty six decimetres (eight feet)
above the floor or ground of the room which one wishes to give light to, where it is on the
ground floor, and at nineteen decimetres (six feet) above the floor of the upper stories.

Art. 678

(Act n° 67-1253 of 30 Dec. 1967)

One may not have straight view s or bow windows, or balconies or similar projections
over the neighbour’s property, whether enclosed or not, if there is not a distance of nineteen
decimetres between the wall where they are cut a nd the said property, unless the tenement or the
part of the tenement over which the view bear s is already burdened, for the benefit of the
tenement which profits by it, with a servit ude of way which prevents the erecting of
constructions.

Art. 679

(Act n° 67-1253 of 30 Dec. 1967)

One may not, subject to the same reservation, have side or oblique views on the same
property, unless there is a dist ance of six decimetres.

Art. 680

The distance mentioned in the two preceding Articles counts from the outer facing of the
wall in which the opening is cut, and, where ther e are balconies or other similar projections, from
their exterior line up to the dividing line of the two tenements.

Section IV – Of Eaves

Art. 681

An owner must make his roofs in such a way that rainwater falls on his land or on the
public highway; he may not have it pour on his neighbour’s tenement.

Section V – Of Right of Way

Art. 682

(Act n° 67-1253 of 30 Dec. 1967)

An owner whose tenements are enclaved and who has no way out to the public highway,
or only one which is insufficient either for an ag ricultural, industrial or commercial working of
his property, or for carrying out operations of building or developm ent, is entitled to claim on his
neighbours’ tenements a way sufficient for the complete servicing of his own tenements,
provided he pays a compensation in pr oportion to the damage he may cause.

Art. 683

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

The way must be taken regularly on the side where the route from the enclaved tenement
to the public highway is shortest

It must however be fixed at the least damageable place for the person over whose
tenement it is allowed.

Art. 684

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

Where a tenement is enclosed because of its dividing in consequence of a sale, an
exchange, a partition or any othe r contract, a way may be requested only on the lands which
were the subject of those transactions.

However, in the case where a su fficient way cannot be made over the divided tenements,
Article 682 shall apply.

Art. 685

(Act of 20 Aug. 1881)

The location and manner of a se rvitude of way for enclavement are established by a
continuous usage for thirty years.

An action for compensation in the case provided for in Article 682 is subject to be time-
barred, and the way may be continued, although an action for compensation is no longer
admissible.

Art. 685-1

(Act n° 71-494 of 25 June 1971)

In case of discontinuance of the enclavement and whatever be the way in which the
location and manner of the servitude were determ ined, the owner of the servient tenement may,
at any time, invoke the extinguishment of the servitude where the service of the dominant
tenement is ensured under the conditions of Article 682.

Failing amicable agreement, that disappearance must be ascertained by a judicial
decision.

CHAPTER III – OF THE SERVITUDES ESTABLISHED BY THE ACT OF MAN

Section I – Of the Various Kinds of Servitude s which may be Established over Property

Art. 686

Owners are permitted to establish over their property, or in favour of their property, such
servitudes as they deem proper, provided however that the services established are laid neither
on a person nor in favour of a person, but only on a tenement and for a tenement, and provided
that those servitudes moreover are not in any way contrary to public policy.

The use and extent of the serv itudes thus established are regulated by the instrument
which creates them; failing an instrument, by the following rules.

Art. 687

Servitudes are established either for the use of buildings, or for that of tenements.

Those of the first kind are called urban, whether the buildings to which they are due are
located in a city or in the country.

Those of the second kind are named rural.

Art. 688

Servitudes are either continuous or discontinuous.

Continuous servitudes are those w hose usage is or may be unceasing without need of a
present act of man: such are water-pipes , sewers, views and others of that kind.

Discontinuous servitudes are thos e which need a present act of man in order to be
exercised: such are rights of way, drawi ng water, pasturing and others similar.

Art. 689

Servitudes are apparent or non-apparent.

Apparent servitudes are those which show themselves by outer works, such as a door, a
window, an aqueduct.

Non-apparent servitudes are those which do not have an outer sign of their existence,
such as for instance a prohibition to build on a te nement, or to build only up to a fixed height.

Section II – How Servitudes are Established

Art. 690

Continuous and apparent serv itudes are acquired by an instrument of title or by
possession of thirty years.

Art. 691

Continuous non-apparent servitude s and discontinuous servitudes, whether apparent or
not, may be established only by an instrument of title.

Possession, even immemorial, is not sufficient to establish them, without, however, one
being allowed to challenge today servitudes of that kind already acquired by possession in
localities where they were allowed to be acquired in that way.

Art. 692

Adjustment made by the owner is eq uivalent to an instrument of title as to continuous and
apparent servitudes.

Art. 693

There is an adjustment made by the owner only where it is proved that the two tenements
at present divided belonged to the same owner and that it was th rough him that things were put
in the condition which give s rise to the servitude.

Art. 694

Where an owner of two tenements between which an apparent sign of servitude exists,
disposes of one property and the contract does not contain any agreement relating to the
servitude, the latter continues to exist actively or passively in favour of the tenement conveyed or
upon the tenement conveyed.

Art. 695

An instrument creating a servitude , with regard to those which may not be acquired by
prescription, may be replaced only by an instru ment recognizing the servitude, emanating from
the owner of the tenement subjected to the servitude.

Art. 696

Where a person establishes a servitude , he is deemed to grant all that is necessary to use
it.

For instance, a servitude to draw water from another’s fountain necessarily involves a
right of way.

Section III – Of the Rights of the Owner of a Tenement to which a Servitude is Due

Art. 697

A person to whom a servitude is due, has the right to make all works necessary to use and
maintain it.

Art. 698

Those works shall be at his expense, and not at that of the owner of the tenement
subjected to the servitude, unless the instrument creating the servitude provides for the contrary.

Art. 699

Even in the case where the owne r of a tenement subjected to a servitude is compelled
under the instrument to make the works necessary fo r the use or preservation of a servitude at his
own expense, he may always exempt himself fr om the burden by waiving the servient tenement
to the owner of the tenement to which the servitude is due.

Art. 700

Where a property for which a servitude was established happens to be divided, the
servitude remains due for each portion, without how ever the condition of the servient tenement
becoming more burdensome.

Thus, for instance, in case of a ri ght of way, all the co-owners are obliged to use it at the
same place.

Art. 701

The owner of a tenement which owes a servitude may do nothing tending to diminish its
use or to make it more inconvenient.

Thus, he may not change the condi tion of the premises or remove the exercise of the
servitude to a place different from th e one where it was originally assigned.

But however, where that original assigning has become more onerous to the owner of the
servient tenement, or where it prevents him from making adva ntageous repairs on it, he may
offer to the owner of the other tenement a place as convenient for the exercise of his rights, and
the latter may not refuse it.

Art. 702

On his part, he who has a right of servitude may only use it in accordance with his
instrument of title, without being allowed to make, either on the tenement which owes the
servitude, or on the tenement to which it is due , any change which would render the condition of
the former more burdensome.

Section IV – How Servitudes are Extinguished

Art. 703

Servitudes cease when things are in such a condition that they can no longer be used.

Art. 704

They revive where things are restor ed in such a manner that they can be used; unless time
has already elapsed, sufficient to give rise to the presumption that the servitude is extinguished,
as stated in Article 707.

Art. 705

A servitude is extinguished when the tenement to which it is owed, and the one which
owes it, are united in the same hands.

Art. 706

A servitude is exti nguished by non-user during thirty years.

Art. 707

The thirty years begin to run, according to the different kinds of servitudes, either from
the day when one ceased to enjoy them, with resp ect to discontinuous servitudes, or from the day
when an act contrary to the servitude has been performed, with respect to continuous servitudes.

Art. 708

The manner of a servitude may be time-barred like the servitude itself and in the same
way.

Art. 709

Where a property in favour of whic h a servitude is established belongs to several persons
in undivided ownership, enjoyment by one prev ents prescription against all of them.

Art. 710

Where, among co-owners, there is one against whom prescription could not run, such as a
minor, he keeps the rights of all the others.

BOOK III

OF THE VARIOUS WA YS IN WHICH OWNERSHIP IS ACQUIRED

general provisions

Art. 711

Ownership of property is acquired and transmitted by succession, by gift inter vivos or
will, and by the effect of obligations.

Art. 712

Ownership is also acquire d by accession or incorporation, and by prescription.

Art. 713

Property which has no master belongs to the State.

Art. 714

There are things which belong to nobody and whose usage is c
ommon to all.

Public order statut es regulate the manner of enjoying them.

Art. 715

The right to hunt or fish is also regulated by specific statutes.

Art. 716

Ownership of a treasure trove belongs to him who discovers it on his own tenement;
where a treasure trove is discovered on another’ s tenement, one half of it belongs to him who
discovered it, and the other half to the owner of the tenement.

A treasure trove is any hidden or buried thing of which nobody can prove ownership and
which is discovered by a mere chance.

Art. 717

Rights to flotsam, to effects cast up by the sea, of whatever nature they may be, to plants
and herbages which grow on the seashore, are also regulated by specific statutes.

It shall be the same as to lost things whose master does not appear.

TITLE ONE

OF SUCCESSIONS

Art. 718 and 719 [repealed]

CHAPTER ONE – OF THE OPENING OF SUCCESSIONS, THE UNIVERSAL TITLE AND
THE VESTING OF HEIRS IN POSSESSION

(Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001)

Art. 720

Successions are opened by de ath, at the latest domicile of the deceased .

Art. 721

Successions devolve according to legislation where the deceased did not dispose of his
property by gratuitous transfers .

They may devolve through gratuitous transfers insofar as the latter are consistent with
inheritable reserve.

Art. 722

Agreements having the purpose of creating or disclaiming rights upon all or part of a
succession not yet opened or of a property being part of it are effective only where authorized by
legislation .

Art. 723

Universal successors and successo rs by universal title are liable for an indefinite
obligation to the debts of a succession .

Art. 724

Heirs designated by legislati on are vested by operation of law in possession of the
property, rights and actio ns of the deceased ;

Universal legatees and donees are ve sted in possession in the conditions provided for in
Title II of this Book.

Failing them, succession is acqui red by the State who needs a court order to take
possession .

Art. 724-1

The provisions of this Title, in particular those which relate to option, undivided
ownership and partition shall apply, as may be thought proper, to universal legatees or donees, or
legatees or donees by univers al title, save as otherwise provided by a specific rule .

CHAPTER II – OF THE QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR INHERITING OF PROOF OF
HEIRSHIP

(Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001)

Section I – Of theQualificati ons Required for Inheriting

Art. 725

In order to inherit, one must ex ist at the time of the opening of the succession or, having
been conceived, be born viable .

A person whose absence is presumed under Article 112 may inherit .

Art. 725-1

Where two persons, one of whom was entitled to the other’s succession, die in the same
event, the order of deaths sha ll be established by any means.

Where that order may not be determined, the succession of each of them devolves
without the other being called to it.

Where, however, one of the co -deceased leaves descendants, the latter may represent
their predecessor in title, when representation is allowed.

Art. 726

Are unworthy of inheriting and, as such, must be excluded from succession :

1° One who is sentenced, as pe rpetrator or accomplice, to a serious penalty for having
intentionally given or attempted to give death to the deceased;

2° One who is sentenced, as pe rpetrator or accomplice, to a serious penalty for having
intentionally struck blows at or committed violence or assault that provoked the deceased’s death
without intenti on of causing it.

Art. 727

May be declared unworthy of inheriting :

1° One who is sentenced, as pe rpetrator or accomplice, to a correctional penalty for
having intentionally given or attempted to give death to the deceased;

2° One who is sentenced, as pe rpetrator or accomplice, to a correctional penalty for
having intentionally committed violence that pro voked the deceased’s death without intention of
causing it;

3° One who is sentenced for fals e testimony borne against the deceased in criminal
proceedings;

4° One who is sentenced for abst aining intentionally from preventing either a serious or
an ordinary offence against th e physical integrity of the deceased, wherefrom death resulted,
whereas he could do so w ithout any danger as to him or third persons ;

5° One who is sentenced for a sl anderous criminal charge against the deceased where,
relating to the acts denounced, a serious penalty was incurred ;

May also be declared unworthy of inheriting those who have committed acts referred to
in 1° and 2° above and with regard to whom, by reason of their death, the public right of action
could not be exercised or was extinguished .

Art. 727-1

A declaration of unworthiness provided for in Article 727 shall be pronounced after the
opening of the succession by the tribunal de grande instance on application of another heir. An
application must be brought w ithin six months of the death where the sentence or conviction
precedes the death, or within six months of th at judgment where it follows the death .

In the absence of heirs, a requ est may be filed by the Government procurator’s office.

Art. 728

Is not excluded from successi on a person entitled to inherit subject to a cause of
unworthiness provided for in Articles 726 and 727, where the deceased, after the facts and the
knowledge he had thereof, has stated by an express declaration of intention in the form of a will,
that he intends to maintain him in his rights to succession or made a gratuitous transfer, universal
or by universal title, in his favour.

Art. 729

An heir who is excluded from a succession on account of unworthiness is obliged to
return all incomes and revenues which he enjoyed since the opening of the succession .

Art. 729-1

Children of an unworthy person may not be excluded on account of their parent’s fault,
whether they come to the succession on their own behalf or through representation; but an
unworthy person may not, in any case, claim over the property of that succession the enjoyment
that the law grants to the fathers and mo thers over the property of their children.

Section II – Of Pr oof of Heirship

Art. 730

Proof of heirship may be made by any means.

No changes are made in the provi sions or uniform usages relating to the issuing of
certificates of ownership or inheritance by judicial or administrative authorities.

Art. 730-1

Proof of heirship may result from an affidavit drawn up by a notaire on request of one or
several assigns.

Failing an ante-nuptial agreement or last will and testament of the predecessor in title of
the person who requires it, an affidavit may also be drawn up by the clerk in chief of the tribunal
d’instance of the place of opening of the succession.

An affidavit shall refer to the record of death of the person whose succession is opened
and shall mention the supporting do cuments which may have been filed, such as records of civil
status, and, possibly, documents re lating to the existence of gratuitous transfers mortis causa
which may affect the devolution of the succession.

It shall contain the assertion, signed by the assign or assigns makers of the request, that
they are entitled, alone or with others whom th ey specify, to come into all or part of the
succession of the deceased.

Any person whose statements s eem to be useful may be called to the affidavit.

Art. 730-2

An assertion contained in an affidavit does not involve, per se, acceptance of the
succession.

Art. 730-3

Faith must be given to an a ffidavit so established, until evidence contrary to it.

A person who avails himself of it is presumed to have rights of succession in the
percentage herein stated.

Art. 730-4

The heirs designated in an affi davit or their common agent are deemed, with regard to
third persons possessing property of the succession, to have free disposal of that property and,
where funds are concerned, free disposal of them in the percentage stated in the affidavit.

Art. 730-5

A person who, knowingly and in bad faith, avails himself of an inaccurate affidavit,
incurs the penalties of concealment provided for in Article 792, without prejudice for damages.

CHAPTER III – OF HEIRS

(Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001)

Art. 731

Succession devolves by law to the relatives and spouse entitled to inherit on the
following terms.

Art. 732

A surviving spouse non-divorced, ag ainst whom there does not exist an order of judicial
separation having force of res judicata is a spouse entitled to inherit.

Section I – Of the Rights of Relatives in the Absence of a Spouse Entitled to Inherit

Art. 733

Legislation does not discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate children in order to
determine relatives called to inherit .

Rights resulting from a doption are regulated in the Title Of Adoption.

§ 1 – Of Orders of Heirs

Art. 734

In the absence of a spouse entitle d to inherit, relatives are called to succeed as follows:

1° Children and their descendants;

2° The father and mother; brot hers and sisters and the descendants of the latter;

3° Ascendants other than the father and mother;

4° Collaterals other than brothers and sisters and the descendants of the latter.

Each of these four categories c onstitutes an order of heirs which excludes the following.

Art. 735

Children or their descendants su cceed to their father and mother or other ascendants,
without distinction of sex or primogeniture , even where born of different marriages.

Art. 736

Where a deceased leaves neither de scendants, nor brother or sister, or descendants of the
latter, his father and mother inherit from him, each one taking one half.

Art. 737

Where the father and mother have died before the deceased and the latter leaves no
descendants, the brothers and sisters of the d eceased or their descendants inherit from him,
excluding the other relatives, ascendants or collaterals.

Art. 738

Where the father and mother ou tlive the deceased and the latter has no descendants, but
brothers and sisters or descendants of the latte r, one-quarter of the succession devolves to each
one of the father and mother, and the remaining half to the brothers and sisters or to their
descendants.

Where only one of the father and mother survives, one-quarter of the succession devolves
to the latter, and three-quarters to the brot hers and sisters or to their descendants .

Art. 739

Failing heirs of the first two orders, succession devolves to ascendants other than the
father and mother .

Art. 740

Failing heirs of the first three or ders, succession devolves to collateral relatives of the
deceased other than brothers and sisters and the descendants of the latter .

§ 2 – Of Degrees

Art. 741

The proximity of relationshi p is established by the number of generations; each
generation is called a degree .

Art. 742

The sequence of degrees form s the line; the sequence of degrees between persons
descending one from the other is called the direct line; the sequence of degrees between persons
who do not descend one from the other, but who descend from a common ancestor, is called the
collateral line.

Descending direct lin e is separated from ascending direct line.

Art. 743

In the direct line, as many de grees are counted as there are generations between the
persons: thus, a son is, with regard to his father, in the first degree, a grandson in the second; and
reciprocally the father and grandfathe r with regard to sons and grandsons.

In the collateral line, degrees ar e counted by generations from one of the relatives to and
exclusive of the common ancestor, and from the latter to the other relative.

Thus, two brothers are relatives in the second degree; uncle and nephew are in the third
degree; first cousins in the fourth degree; and so on.

Art. 744

In each order, the heir who is in the nearest degree excludes an heir in a later degree.

In the same degree, heirs inherit in equal shares and by heads.

The whole, subject to what will be laid down hereafter as to division by branches and
representation.

Art. 745

Collateral relatives may not inherit beyond the sixth degree.

§ 3 – Of Division by Branches, Paternal and Maternal

Art. 746

Parenthood is divided into tw o branches, depending on whether it proceeds from the
father or the mother.

Art. 747

Where succession devolves to asce ndants, it is divided in halves between those of the
paternal branch and those of the maternal branch.

Art. 748

In each branch, the ascendant who is in the nearest degree inherits, to the exclusion of all
others.

The ascendants in the same degree inherit by heads.

Failing an ascendant in a branch, the ascendants of the other branch shall take the whole
succession.

Art. 749

Where succession devolves to co llaterals other than brothers and sisters and their
descendants, it is divided in halves between t hose of the paternal branch and those of the
maternal branch.

Art. 750

In each branch, the collateral who is in the nearest degree inherits, to the exclusion of all
others.

The collaterals in the same degree inherit by heads.

Failing a collateral in a branch, th e collaterals of the other branch shall take the whole
succession.

§ 4 – Of Representation

Art. 751

Representation is a fiction of the law which causes the representative to enter into the
rights of the person represented.

Art. 752

Representation takes place without limitation in the descending direct line.

It is admitted in all cases, whether the children of the deceased compete with the
descendants of a predeceased child, or whether all the children of the deceased having died
before him, the descendants of said children are in equal or unequal degrees between them.

Art. 752-1

Representation does not take place in favour of ascendants; in each of the two lines, the
nearest always excludes the remotest.

Art. 752-2

In the collateral line, representa tion is admitted in favour of children and descendants of
brothers or sisters of the deceased, whether they come to the succession concurrently with uncles
and aunts, or whether, all the brothers and sist ers of the deceased having died before him, the
succession devolves on their descenda nts in equal or unequal degree.

Art. 753

In all cases in which representation is admitted, partition shall be made by stocks, as if
the represented person came to the succession; if there is occasion, it shall be made by
subdivision of stock. Within a stock or subdivisi on of stock, partition shall be made by heads.

Art. 754

One represents predeceased pe rsons, one does not represent those who have renounced.

One may represent a person to whose succession one has renounced.

Art. 755

Representation is admitted in favour of the children and descendants of an unworthy heir,
although the latter is alive on the opening of the succession.

Children of an unworthy heir c onceived before the opening of a succession of which the
unworthy heir was excluded shall return to the succession of the latter the property they have
inherited in his stead, where they come in competition with other children conceived after the
opening of the first succession.

Collation shall be made under the pr ovisions of Section 2 of Chapter VI of this Title .

Section II – Of the Rights of a Spouse Entitled to Inherit

§ 1 – Of the Nature of the Right s, of their Amount and Exercise

Art. 756

A spouse entitled to inherit is called to a succession ei ther alone, or in competition with
the relatives of a deceased.

Art. 757

Where a predeceased spouse leaves children or descendants, the surviving spouse shall
take, at his or her option, either the usufruct of the whole of the existing property or the
ownership of the quarter where all the children are born from both spouses and the ownership of
the quarter in the presence of one or several children who are not born from both spouses.

Art. 757-1

Where, in the absence of childr en or descendants, a deceased leaves his father and
mother, the surviving spouse shall take one half of the property. The other half devolves for one
quarter to the father and for one quarter to the mother .

Where the father or the mother is predeceased, the share which he would have taken
devolves to the surviving spouse .

Art. 757-2

In the absence of children or descendants of the deceased or of his father and mother, the
surviving spouse shall take the whole succession .

Art. 757-3

Notwithstanding Article 757-2, in case of predecease of the father and mother and in
absence of descendants, the property that the d eceased received from them by succession or gift
and that is found in kind in the succession devolves for one half to the brothers and sisters of the
deceased or to their descendants, themselves de scending from the predeceased parent or parents
from whom the devolution originates.

Art. 758

Where a surviving spouse takes the whole or the three quarters of the property, the
ascendants of the deceased, other than the father and mother, who are in need are entitled to a
maintenance obligation against th e succession of the predeceased.

The period within which it may be claimed is of one year after the death or the moment
from which the heirs cease to perform the payments they made before to the ascendants. In case
of undivided ownership the period shall be ex tended until the completion of the partition.

Periodical payments shall be obt ained from the succession. They shall be borne by all the
heirs and, in case of insufficien cy, by all the specific legatees, in proportion to what they
received.

If, however, the deceased expressl y declared that such legacy should be paid in
preference to the other, Article 927 shall apply.

Art. 758-1

Where a surviving spouse has an option between ownership or usufruct, his or her rights
may not be assigned so long as he or she did not exercise the option.

Art. 758-2

The option of a spouse between usufruct and ownership may be proved by any means.

Art. 758-3

Any heir may request in writing a spouse to exercise his or her option. Where he or she
fails to come to a decision in writing within th ree months, the spouse shall be deemed to have
chosen the usufruct .

Art. 758-4

Where he or she dies without ha ving come to a decision, the spouse shall be deemed to
have chosen the usufruct .

Art. 758-5

The calculation of the right in fu ll ownership of a spouse provided for in Articles 757 and
757-1 must be effected on an aggregate formed of all the property existing at the death of his or
her spouse to which shall be united fictitiously that which he or she has disposed with, by an act
inter vivos or testamentary, in favour of persons entitled to inherit, by way of advancement.

The spouse may exercise his or her right only on property which the predeceased has not
disposed with by act inter vivos or testamentary, and without prejudicing reserved rights or rights
to collation.

§ 2 – Of the Conversion of a Usufruct

Art. 759

Any usufruct belonging to a s pouse upon the property of the predeceased, whether it
results from legislation, from a will or from a gi ft of future property, gives rise to a power of

conversion into a life annuity, on request of one of the heirs bare-owners or of the spouse himself
or herself entitled to inherit.

Art. 759-1

A power of conversion may not be renounced . Coheirs may not be deprived of it by the
intention of the predeceased.

Art. 760

Failing an agreement between the pa rties, an application for conversion shall be referred
to the judge. It may be instituted until final partition.

Where he entertains the appli cation for conversion, the judge shall determine the amount
of the annuity, the guarantees which the debtor heir s shall give, as well as the appropriate kind of
index-linking to maintain the initial equi valence of the annuity to the usufruct.

The judge, however, may not order against the intention of the spouse the conversion of
the usufruct bearing on the lodging which he or she occupies as his or her main residence, as
well as on the furniture with which it is fitted.

Art. 761

Through an agreement between the heirs and the spouse, it may be proceeded to a
conversion of the usufruct of the spouse into a capital.

Art. 762

The conversion of an usufruct is part of the performing of a partition. It does not produce
a retroactive effect, save stipulati ons of the parties to the contrary.

§ 3 – Of the Temporary Right to Lodgi ng and of the Right for Life to Lodging

Art. 763

Where, at the time of the death, a spouse entitled to inherit actually occupies, as his or her
main habitation, a lodging belonging to the spous es or fully depending upon the succession, he
or she has by operation of law, during one year, th e gratuitous enjoyment of that lodging, as well
as of the furniture, included in the succession, with which it is fitted.

Where his or her habitation was s ecured through a lease , the rents thereof shall be repaid
to him or her during the year , as the payments proceed.

The rights provided for in this Arti cle shall be deemed direct effects of the marriage and
not rights of inheritance;

This Article is mandatory.

Art. 764

Save intention to the contrary expressed by the deceased in the way provided for in
Article 971, a spouse entitled to in herit who actually occupied, at the time of the death, as his or
her main habitation, a lodging belonging to the spouses or fully depending upon the succession,
has on this lodging, until his or her death, a right of habitation and a right of use on the furniture,
included in the succession, with which it is fitted.

Those rights of habitation and of use are exercised subject to the conditions provided for
in Articles 627, 631, 634 and 635.

The spouse, the other heirs, or one of them may insist on an inventory of the movables
and a statement of the immovable subjected to the rights of use and of habitation being drawn
up.

Notwithstanding Articles 631 a nd 634, where it results from the situation of the spouse
that the lodging subject to the right of habitation is no longer ad apted to his or her needs, the
spouse or his or her representativ e may lease it for an use other than commercial or rural in order
to provide necessary means for new conditions of dwelling.

Art. 765

The value of the rights of habita tion and use shall be appropriated to the value of the
rights of succession taken by the spouse.

Where the value of the rights of habitation and use is lesser than that of the rights of
succession, the spouse may take the remainder on the existing property.

Where the value of the rights of habitation and use is hi gher than that of his or her rights
of succession, the spouse is not bound to compen sate the succession on account of the excess.

Art. 765-1

A spouse has one year after the deat h in order to evidence his or her intention to benefit
from those rights of habitation and use.

Art. 765-2

Where the lodging was the subject of a lease, a spouse entitled to inherit who, at the time
of the death, actually occupied th e premises as his or her main habitation benefits by the right of
use upon the furniture, included in the succession, with which it is fitted.

Art. 766

A spouse entitl ed to inherit and the heirs may, by agreement, convert the rights of
habitation and use into a life annuity or a capital.

Where a minor or a protected adult are among the parties to an agreement, the latter must
be authorized by the judge of guardianships.

§ 4 – Of the Right to Maintenance

Art. 767

The succession of a predeceased spous e owes maintenance to a spouse entitled to inherit
who is in need. The period within which to claim it is one year after the death or the time where
the heirs cease to perform the payments they ma de before to the spouse. In case of undivided
ownership the period shall be extended until the completion of the partition.

Periodical payments shall be obtained from the succession. They shall be borne by all the
heirs and, in case of insufficien cy, by all the specific legatees, in proportion to what they
received.

If, however, the deceased expressl y declared that such legacy should be paid in
preference to the other, Article 927 shall apply.

CHAPTER IV – OF THE RIGHTS OF THE STATE

Art. 768

(Ord. n° 58-1307 of 23 Dec. 1958)

In absence of heirs, a succession is acquired by the State .

Art. 769

(Ord. n° 58-1307 of 23 Dec. 1958)

The administration of Domains which claims a right to a succession is bound to have
seals affixed and to cause an inventory to be made in the forms prescribed for the acceptance of
successions under benefit of inventory .

Art. 770

(Ord. n° 58-1307 of 23 Dec. 1958)

It must petition to obtain from the tribunal de grande instance in whose territorial
jurisdiction the succession was opened, a court order to take possession.

It is dispensed from using the services of a counsel; the court shall rule on the petition
three months and forty days after a notice and bill in the usual forms, and after having heard the
Government procurator.

Where, the vacancy having been duly declared, the administration of Domains has been
appointed curator, it may, before filing its petition, proceed by itsel f to the formalities of notice
provided for in the preceding paragraph.

In all cases, bill-sticking shall be proved by a copy of the bill signed by the director of
Domains and bearing a certificate of the mayor of the place of opening of the succession.

Art. 771 [repealed]

Art. 772

(Ord. n° 58-1307 of 23 Dec. 1958)

The administration of Domains which does not fulfil the formalities prescribed for it may
be ordered to pay damages to th e heirs, if any should appear.

Art. 773 [repealed]

CHAPTER V – OF THE ACCEPTANCE AND REPUDIATION OF SUCCESSIONS

Section I – Of Acceptance

Art. 774

A succession may be accepted outright or subject to benefit of inventory.

Art. 775

No one is obliged to accept a succession which devolves upon him .

Art. 776

(Act of 18 Feb. 1938)

Successions devolving on minors and on adults in guardianship may be lawfully accepted
only in accordance with the provisions of the Title Of Minority, of Guardianship and of
Emancipation.

Art. 777

The effects of acceptance go back to the day of the opening of the succession .

Art. 778

Acceptance may be express or by conduct: it is express where one assumes the title or
capacity of heir in an authentic or private instrument; it is by conduct where the heir does an act
which necessarily implies his intention of accepti ng and which he would be entitled to do only in
his capacity as heir.

Art. 779

Acts of mere preservation, su pervision and interim administration are not acts of
acceptance of a succession, unless the title or cap acity of heir has been assumed therein.

Art. 780

A gift, sale or assignment of his rights of inheritance made by one of the co-heirs, either
to a stranger, or to all his co -heirs, or to some of them, involves on his part acceptance of the
succession.

It shall be the same :

1° as to the renunciation, even gr atuitous, which one of the heirs makes in favour of one
or several of his co-heirs;

2° as to the renunciation which he makes in favour of all his co-heirs without distinction,
where he receives the price of his renunciation.

Art. 781

Where a person to whom a succe ssion has devolved dies without having repudiated it or
without having accepted it expressly or by condu ct, his heirs may accept or repudiate it on his
behalf.

Art. 782

Where those heirs do not agree as to accepting or repudiating the succession, it must be
accepted under benefit of inventory.

Art. 783

An adult may attack an accep tance, express or by conduct, which he made of a
succession, only in the case where that accepta nce was the result of a deception committed upon
him: he may never claim on the ground that he su ffered loss, except only in the case where the
succession is absorbed or reduced more than on e-half through the discovery of a will unknown at
the time of the acceptance.

Section II – Of the Renu nciation of Successions

Art. 784

Renunciation of a succession may not be presumed; it may only be made at the court
office of the tribunal de grande instance in the arrondissement of which the succession was
opened, on a special register kept for that purpose.

Art. 785

An heir who renounces shall be deemed to have never been an heir.

Art. 786

The share of a renouncing heir ac crues to his co-heirs; where he is alone, it devolves
upon the next degree.

Art. 787

One may never take by repres entation of an heir who renounced: where the person
renouncing is the only heir in his degree, or wh ere all the co-heirs renounce, children come in
their own right and inherit by heads.

Art. 788

Creditors of one who renounces to the detriment of their rights may be authorized by the
court to accept the succession on behalf of their debtor, in his place and stead.

In that case, the renunciation is avoided only in favou r of the creditors and to the extent
only of their claims: it is not so in favour of the heir who renounced .

Art. 789

The power to accept or repudiate a succession is extinguished by the length of time
required for the longest prescr iption of immovable rights .

Art. 790

So long as prescription of the right to accept is not effective against the heirs who
renounced, they have the power to still accep t the succession, where it has not already been
accepted by other heirs; without pr ejudice, however, to the rights which third parties may have
acquired to property of the succession, either by pr escription, or by transactions lawfully entered
into with the curator of the vacant succession.

Art. 791

One may not, even by an ante -nuptial agreement, renounce the succession of a living
person or transfer contin gent rights which one may have to that succession.

Art. 792

Heirs who have misappropriated or concealed items of property of a succession, are
deprived of the power to re nounce it: they remain outright heirs, notwithstanding their
renunciation, without being allowed to claim any share in the things misappropriated or
concealed.

Section III – Of the Benef it of Inventory, of its Effects and of the Obligations of a Beneficiary
Heir

Art. 793

The declaration of an heir, that he intends to assume that capacity only under benefit of
inventory, must be made at th e court office of the tribunal de grande instance in the
arrondissement of which the succession was opened: it must be entered on the register designed
for receiving acts of renunciation .

Art. 794

That declaration is effective only where it is preceded or followed by a true and exact
inventory of the property of the succession, in the manner prescribed by the legislation on
procedure, and within the periods wh ich shall be hereafter specified.

Art. 795

An heir has three months for making the inventory, from the day of the opening of the
succession.

He has in addition, for deliber ating on his acceptance or renunciation, a period of forty
days, which shall commence to run from the day of expiry of the three months given for the
inventory, or from the day of the closing of th e inventory if it was finished before the three
months.

Art. 796

Where, however, there exist in th e succession articles liable to waste away or costly to
keep, an heir may, in his capacity of being enti tled to inherit, and without there being an
acceptance on his part thereby presumed, have hims elf authorized by the court to proceed to a
sale of those articles.

That sale must be done by a public officer, after the bills and notice regulated by
legislation on procedure.

Art. 797

While the periods for making an inventory and deliberating are elapsing, an heir may not
be compelled to assume a capacity and no judgm ent may be obtained against him: where he
renounces when the periods have elapsed or before , the expenses which he has lawfully incurred
up to that time are the responsibility of the succession.

Art. 798

After the expiry of the above-mentioned periods, an heir, in case of proceedings brought
against him, may require a new period which th e court to which the matter was referred may
grant or refuse according to the circumstances.

Art. 799

The costs of the proceedings, in th e case of the preceding Article, are the responsibility of
the succession, where the heir pr oves either that he had no knowledge of the death, or that the
periods were insufficient, either because of the location of the property, or because of the
controversies which have arisen : where he does not make that proof, the costs are his personal
responsibility.

Art. 800

Nevertheless, after the expiry of the periods granted by Article 795, and even of those
given by the judge under Article 798, an heir keeps the power to still make an inventory and to
stand as heir beneficiary, where he has not acted as heir or where there does not exist against him
a judgment having become res judicata which conde mns him in the capacity of outright heir.

Art. 801

An heir who has been guilty of concealment or who has omitted, knowingly and in bad
faith, to include articles of the succession in the inventory, is deprived of the benefit of
inventory.

Art. 802

The effect of the benefit of inventory is to give an heir the advantage:

1° To be obliged to pay the debts of the succession only to the extent of the value of the
property which he receives, and even to be allo wed to discharge himself from paying the debts
by abandoning all the property of the succes sion to the creditors and legatees;

2° Not to mingle his personal pr operty with that of the succession, and to keep against it
the right to ask for payment of his claims.

Art. 803

A beneficiary heir is responsible for administering the property of the succession, and
must account for his administrati on to creditors and legatees.

He may be constrained as to his personal property only after having been given notice to
present his account, and having failed to comply with that obligation.

After an auditing of the account, he may be constrained as to his personal property only
to the extent of the balance of which he is debtor.

Art. 804

He is liable only for gross fa ults in the administration for which he has charge.

Art. 805

He may sell movables of the succession only through a public officer, by auction and
after the usual bills and notices.

Where he produces them in kind, he is liable only for depreciation or deterioration caused
by his negligent conduct.

Art. 806

He may sell immovables only in the forms prescribed by the rules of procedure; he is
obliged to transfer the proceeds thereof to mortgage creditors who made themselves known.

Art. 807

Where creditors or other persons concerned so require, he is obliged to give good and
solvent security for the value of the movables co ntained in the inventory and for the portion of
the proceeds of the immovables not transferred to mortgage creditors.

Where he fails to give that secu rity, the movables shall be sold and the proceeds thereof
deposited, as well as the proceeds not transf erred of the immovables, for the purpose of
discharging the liabili ties of the succession.

Art. 808

Where there are attaching credito rs, a beneficiary heir may pay only in the order and
manner fixed by the judge.

Where there are no attaching creditor s he shall pay creditors and legatees as they present
themselves.

Art. 809

Creditors who did not attach, w ho present themselves after the auditing of the account
and the payment of the balance , may only exer cise their remedies against the legatees.

In either case, the remedy is time-b arred after the lapse of three years, after the day of the
auditing of the account and th e payment of the balance.

Art. 810

Costs of seals, if any have been affixed, of inventory and of account, are charged against
the succession .

Section IV – Of Vacant Successions

Art. 811

Where, after expiry of the periods for making the inventory and deliberating, no one
presents himself to claim a succession, and th ere are no known heirs or the known heirs have
renounced, the succession is deemed vacant.

Art. 812

The tribunal de grande instance in whose arrondissement it is opened, shall appoint a
curator on request of the pers ons concerned, or on demand of the Government procurator.

Art. 813

A curator of a vacant succession is obliged first of all to have its state of being
established by an inventory: he shall exercise and enforce its rights; he shall answer claims
brought against it; he shall admini ster, with the responsibility of having the funds forming part of
the succession, as well as the proceeds from the sa le of movables or immovables, deposited into
the funds of the receive r of the national office for the pres ervation of rights and with the
responsibility of accounting to whomever it may belong.

Art. 814

The provisions of Section III of this Chapter, on the forms of an inventory, the method of
administration, and the accounts to be rendered by a beneficiary heir, shall apply moreover to
curators of vacant successions, “insofar as they ar e not contrary to the provisions of Articles
1000 and 1001 of the Code of Civil Procedure” (Ord. n° 58-1007 of 24
Oct. 1958) .

CHAPTER VI – OF PARTIT ION AND OF COLLATIONS

Section I – Of Undivided Ownership and of the Action for Partition

Art. 815

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

No one may be compelled to remain in undivided ownership and a partition may always
be induced, unless it was dela yed by judgment or agreement .

“On request of an undivided co-own er, a court may delay partition” (Act n° 78-627 of 10
June 1978) for two years at the most where its im mediate carrying out could affect the value of
the undivided property “or where one of the undivided co-owners can settle in an agricultural
holding depending on the succession only at the end of that period” (Act n° 80-502 of 4 July
1980). That delay may be applied to the whole of the undivided property or only to part of it .

Furthermore, where undivided co -owners wish to remain in undivided ownership, the
court may, on request of one or several of them, on the basis of the interests as they stand, and
without prejudice to the applicati on of Articles 832 to 832-3, allot his share, after appraisal, to
the one who sought partition, either in kind, if it can easily be disjoined from the remainder of
the undivided property, or in money, if the allotm ent in kind cannot be conveniently made, or if
the applicant expresses his preference for it; where there is not a sufficient sum in the undivided
property, the complement shall be remitted by t hose of the undivided co-owners who concurred
in the request, without prejudice to the possi bility for the other undivided co-owners to
participate in it if they expre ss the wish of doing so. The share of each of them in the undivided
property shall be increased in proportion to his remittance.

Art. 815-1

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Failing an amicable agreement, undivided ownership of an agricultural holding forming
an economic unit and whose development was secured by the deceased or by his or her spouse
may be maintained, under the terms fixed by the c ourt, on request of the persons referred to in
paragraphs 3 and 4 below . The cour t shall rule on the basis of the interests as they stand and of
the possibilities of existence which the family can derive from the undivided property. The
maintenance of undivided ownership remains po ssible where the holding includes elements of
which the heir or the spouse was already ow ner or co-owner before the opening of the
succession.

Undivided ownership may also be maintained on request of the same persons and under
the terms fixed by the court, as regards ownership of premises used for habitation or for
professional purposes which, at the time of the death, were actually used for that habitation or
for those purposes by the deceased or his or her spous e. It shall be the same for movable articles
which are useful for the ex ercise of the profession.

Where the deceased leaves one or several minor descendants, the maintenance of
undivided ownership may be requested either by the surviving spouse, or by any heir, or by the
statutory representati ve of the minors.

In the absence of minor descendants, the maintenance of undivided ownership may be
requested only by the surviving spouse and provided that he was before the death, or has become
by reason of the death, co-owner of the agricu ltural holding or of the premises used for
habitation or for professional purpos es. If it is a case of premises used for habitation, the spouse
must have resided on the spot at the time of the death.

Maintenance of undivided owners hip may not be prescribed for a duration longer than
five years. In may be renewed, in the case provided for in paragraph 3, until the coming of age of
the youngest of the descendants, and, in the case provided for in paragraph 4, until the death of
the surviving spouse.

Art. 815-2

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Any undivided owner may take th e necessary steps for the preservation of the undivided
property.

He may use for that purpose f unds of the undivided property which he holds, and he is
deemed to have the free disposal of them with regards to third parties.

Failing funds of the undivided prope rty, he may compel his undivided co-owners to make
with him the necessa ry expenditures.

Where undivided property is encu mbered with an usufruct, those powers are effective
against the usufructuary to the extent that the latter is responsible for repairs.

Art. 815-3

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Acts of administration and dis position relating to undivided property require the consent
of all the undivided co-owners . They may give to one or several of them general authority for
administration. A special authority is required for any act which does not belong to a normal
management of the undivided property, as well as for the conclusion and renewal of leases.

Where one undivided owner takes up the management of the undivided property, with the
knowledge of the others and nevertheless without opposition on their part, he is deemed to have
received an implied authority, c overing acts of administration, but not acts of disposition or
conclusion or renewal of contracts.

Art. 815-4

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Where one of the undivided owners is unable to express his intention, another may be
judicially entitled to represent him, in a genera l manner or for some particular transactions, the
terms and extent of that representation being fixed by the judge.

Failing statutory power, contractual authority or judicial entitlement, the acts done by a
undivided owner on behalf of anothe r are effective with regard to the latter under the rules of
management of another’s business.

Art. 815-5

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

An undivided owner may be judi cially authorized to do alone an act for which the
consent of an undivided co-owner would be requir ed, where the refusal of the latter imperils the
common interest.

“The judge may not, on request of a bare-owner, order the sale of the full ownership of a
property encumbered with an usuf ruct, against the wish of the usufructuary” (Act n° 87-498 of 6
July 1987).

An act made within the terms fixe d by the judicial authorization is effective against the
undivided owner whose consent was wanting .

Art. 815-6

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

The president of the tribunal de grande instance may prescribe or authorize all urgent
measures which the comm on interest requires .

He may in particular authorize an undivided owner to collect from debtors of the
undivided property or from depositaries of undivi ded money funds designed to meet urgent
needs, while prescribing, where required, the terms of their use. That authorization does not
involve qualifying as regards a surviving spouse or a heir.

He may also, either designate an undivided owner as administrator with obligation if
there is occasion of giving secu rity, or appoint a sequestrer. Articles 1873-5 to 1873-9 of this
Code shall apply as may be thought proper to th e powers and obligations of the administrator,
unless they are otherwis e regulated by the judge.

Art. 815-7

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

The president of the court may al so prohibit the shifting of tangible movables reserving
the right to specifying those of which he grants the personal usage to one or another of the
persons entitled, under the responsib ility on the latter to give security, if he deems it necessary.

Art. 815-8

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Whoever collects revenues or incu rs expenses for the account of the undivided ownership
must keep a statement of them which is at the disposal of the undivided owners.

Art. 815-9

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Each undivided owner may use and enjoy undivided property in accordance with its
destination, to the extent compa tible with the rights of the other undivided owners and with the
effect of the acts lawfully made in the course of the undivided ownership. Failing an agreement

between the persons concerned, the exercise of that right shall be regulated, provisionally, by the
president of the court .

An undivided owner who uses or en joys privately an undivided thing is liable to an
indemnity, unless otherwise agreed .

Art. 815-10

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Fruits and revenues of undivide d property accrue to the undivided ownership, in default
of interim partition or of any other ag reement establishing divided enjoyment.

No inquiry relating to fruits a nd revenues may, however, be admissible more than five
years after the date on which they we re or could have been collected.

Each undivided owner is entitled to benefits coming from undivided property and bears
the loss in proportion to his ri ghts in the undivided property.

Art. 815-11

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Any undivided owner may claim his annual share in the benefits, less the expenses
involved by acts to which he consented or which are effective against him.

Failing another title, the extent of the rights of each in the undivided ownership results
from the affidavit or from the abstract of inventory drawn up by the notaire .

In case of controversy, the pres ident of the tribunal de grande instance may order an
interim distribution of the benef its, subject to an account to be made before the final liquidation.

Up to the amount of available money, he may likewise order an advance in capital on the
rights of an undivided owner in the partition to come.

Art. 815-12

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

An undivided owner who manages one or several undivided items of property is
accountable for the products of hi s management. He is entitled to compensation for his activity
on terms fixed amicably or, failing which, by judicial decision.

Art. 815-13

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Where an undivided owner has improved at his expenses the condition of undivided
property, account of it must be take n for him according to equity, with regard to the increase in
value of the property at the time of partition or of transfer. Account shall be taken likewise for
him of the necessary outlays he made out of hi s own money for the preservation of said property,
even though they did not improve it.

Reciprocally, an undivided owner is responsible for degradations and deteriorations
which have diminished the value of the undivided property through his act or fault.

Art. 815-14

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

An undivided owner who intends to transfer, for value, to a person outside the undivided
ownership, all or part of his righ ts in the undivided property or in one or several articles of that
property shall give notice by extra- judicial act to the other undivided owners of the price and
terms of the planned transfer as well as of the name, domicile and occupation of the person who
intends to acquire it.

Any undivided owner may, within the period of one month following that notice, make
known to the transferor, by extra-judi cial act, that he exercises a right of pre-emption at the price
and terms of which he was notified.

In case of pre-emption, the person who is exercising it shall have an instrument of sale
drafted within a period of two m onths, counting from the date of sending his reply to the seller.
After that period, his declaration of pre-emption is void by operation of law, fifteen days after a

notice of default remained ineffective, and without prejudice to damages which may be claimed
of him by the seller .

Where several undivided owners exercise their rights of pre-emption, unless otherwise
agreed, they are deemed to acqui re together the portion put up for sale in proportion to their
respective shares in the undivided ownership.

Where terms of payment have b een granted by the transferor, Article 833-1 shall apply.

Art. 815-15

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Where there is occasion for an auc tion of all or part of the rights of an undivided owner
in undivided property or in one or more articles of that property, the counsel or notaire must
inform the undivided owners of it by notice one month before the date planned for the sale.
“Each undivided owner may take the place of the pur chaser within a period of one month after
the auction, by declaration at th e court office or with the notaire” (Act n° 78-627 of 10 June
1978).

The particulars established for the purpose of the sale must mention the rights of
substitution.

Art. 815-16

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Every transfer or
auction made in defiance of Articles 815-14 and 815-15 is void. An action for annulment is time-
barred after five years. It may be brought only by those on whom notices were to be served or by
their heirs.

Art. 815-17

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Creditors who might have levied execution on the undivided property before there was
undivided ownership, and those whose claims result from the preservation or management of the
undivided property, shall be paid by deduction from the assets before partition. They may, in
addition, conduct attachment or seizure and sale of the undivided property.

Personal creditors of an undivide d owner may not attach or seize the latter’s share in
undivided property, whether movable or immovable.

They have, however, the power to in stigate partition in the name of their debtor or to
intervene in a partition instigated by him. The undivided co-owners may stop the course of the
action for partition by discharging the obligation in the name and on behalf of the debtor. Those
who exercise that power shall be reim bursed by deduction from the undivided property.

Art. 815-18

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

The provisions of Articles 815 to 815-17 shall apply to undivided property in usufruct to
the extent that they are consistent with the rules on usufruct.

The notices provided for in Articles 815-14, 815-15 and 815-16 must be served on any
bare owner and on any usufructuary. But a usufru ctuary may acquire a share in bare ownership
only where no bare owner offers to acquire it; a bare owner may acquire a share in usufruct only
where no usufructuary offers to acquire it.

Art. 816

A partition may be applied for even where one of the heirs has enjoyed separately a part
of the property of the su ccession, if there was no instrument of partition nor possession adequate
to acquire prescription .

Art. 817

(Act of 19 June 1939)

As regards minors or adults in guardianship, an action for partition may be brought by
their guardians speci ally authorized by a family council.

As regards absent coheirs, th e action belongs to the relatives vested with possession.

Art. 818 [repealed]

Art. 819

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where all the heirs are present and fully capable, a partition may be made in such manner
and through such act as the parties deem proper .

Art. 820

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Property of a succession may, in whol e or in part, be subject to measures of preservation,
such as the affixing of seals, on request of a party concerned or of the Government procurator’s
office, under the conditions and following the forms determined by the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 821 [repealed]

Art. 822

(D.-Law of 17 June 1938)

An action for partition and the controversies arising either on the occasion of
maintaining undivided ownership or during the pr oceedings of partition, shall be, on pain of
annulment, submitted only to the court of the place of opening of the succession; it is before that
court that auctions shal l be made and that claims relating to the warranty of shares between
coparceners and those for rescissi on of a partition shall be brought. In the case where an attempt
to conciliation as provided for in Article 48 [rep ealed] of the Code of Civil Procedure takes
place, the judge of the tribunal d’instance of the place of opening of the succession shall alone be
competent, on pain of annulment.

(Act of 15 Dec. 1921) Where a ll the parties agree, the court may be seized of an
application for partition through a collective request signed by their counsels. If there is occasion
for an auction, the request shall contain an upset price which will serve as an appraisal. In that
case, the judgment shall be handed down in chambers and is not appealable where the
submissions of the request are accepte d by the court without modification.

(Act of 19 June 1939) The provi sions of the preceding paragraphs shall apply without
need of a previous authorizati on, whatever the capacity of the party concerned may be and even
where he is represented by a judicial agent.

Art. 823

Where one of the coheirs refuses to consent to a partition, or where controversies arise,
either as to the way of proceeding, or as to the manner of settling it, the court shall decide as in
summary matters, or sha ll appoint, if necessary, for the pr oceedings of partition, one of the
judges, on whose report it shall decide the controversies.

Art. 824

Appraisal of the immovables sha ll be made by experts chosen by the parties concerned,
or, upon their refusal, appointed by the court of its own motion.

The memorandum of the experts sh all state the basis of the appraisal; it shall indicate
whether the article appraised can be conveniently partitioned; in wh at manner; finally, in case of
partition, it shall fix each one of the shares that can be formed therefrom, and their value.

Art. 825

Appraisal of the movables, where there was no valuation in a regular inventory, must be
made by knowledgeable persons, at a fair price and without increase.

Art. 826

Each one of the coheirs may claim his share of the movables and immovables of the
succession in kind: nevertheless, where there are attaching or seizing creditors, or where the
majority of the coheirs deem a sale necessary for the discharge of the debts and liabilities of the
succession, movables shall be sold p ublicly in the ordinary manner.

Art. 827

(D.-Law of 17 June 1938)

Where the immovables cannot be conveniently partitioned or allocated in the conditions
provided for by this Code, a sale by auc tion must take place before the court.

The parties, however, where they ar e all of full age, may consent that the auction be held
before a notaire, on the choice of whom they agree.

Art. 828

After the immovables and movables have been appraised and sold, if there is occasion,
the supervising judge sha ll send the parties before a notaire up on whom they agree, or whom he
appoints of his own motion, if the parties do not agree upon a choice.

Before that officer shall be de termined the accounts of what the parties may owe each
other, the formation of the general mass, the com position of the shares and the allotments to be
made to each of the coparceners.

Art. 829

Each coheir shall return to the mass, according to the rules hereafter laid down, the gifts
which have been made to him and the sums of which he is debtor.

Art. 830

Where collation is not made in kind, the coheirs to whom it is owed, shall appropriate an
equivalent portion from the mass of the succession.

Appropriations shall be made, as far as possible, on things of the same kind, character
and good quality as those not returned in kind.

Art. 831

After those appropriations, out of what remains of the mass, the composition is made of
as many equal shares as there are copa rcener heirs or coparcener stocks.

Art. 832

(D.-Law of 17 June 1938)

In forming and composing shar es, the parcelling out of lands and the splitting up of
holdings must be avoided.

In so far as parcelling out of la nds and splitting up of holdings can be avoided, each share
must, as far as possible, be composed, in whole or in part, of movables or immovables, of rights
or of claims of equivalent value.

“A surviving spouse or any co-o wner heir may request a preferential allotment by way of
partition, under the responsib ility of a compensation, if any, of any agricultural holding, or part
of agricultural holding, constituting an economic unit, or undivided portion of an agricultural
unit, even formed in part from a property of wh ich he was already owner or co-owner before the
death, in whose development he actually participates or participated; in the case of an heir, the
requirement as to participation may have been fu lfilled by his or her spouse. If there is occasion,
the request for preferenti al allotment may bear on shares of the capital, without prejudice to the
application of the statutory provi sions or of articles of association on the continuation of a
partnership with the surv iving spouse or one or several heirs.

“The same rules shall apply to any commercial, industrial or craft concern, whose
importance does not exclude a family natu re ” (Act n° 82-596 of 10 July 1982).

(Act n° 80-502 of 4 July 1980) In the case where neither the surviving spouse, nor any
co-owner heir requests the appl ication of the provisions provided for in paragraph 3 above or
those of Articles 832-1 or 832-2, preferential allotment may be granted to any coparcener

provided he obliges himself to give on lease, within a period of six months, the property under
consideration under the terms fixed in Chapter VII of Title I of Book VI [Chapter VI of Title I of
Book IV] of the Rural Code to one or several of the coheirs fulfilling the personal requirements
provided for in paragraph 3 above or to one or several descendants of those coheirs fulfilling the
same conditions .

A surviving spouse or any co-o wner heir may also request preferential allotment :

Of the ownershi p or right to lease of the premises which actually serve him or her as
habitation, where he or she had resi dence here at the time of the death “, with the furniture which
garnishes them” (Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001);

Of the ownershi p or right to lease of the premises used for professional purposes which
serve actually for the exercise of his or her occupation and of the furniture for professional
purposes which garnishes the premises;

Of the whole of movable articles necessary for the holding of a rural property farmed by
the deceased as tenant farmer or sharecropper wh ere the lease continues for the profit of the
applicant or where a new lease is granted to the latter.

Preferential allotment may be sought jointly by several persons entitled to inherit.
“Preferential allotment of the ow nership of the premises and of the furniture which gaenishes it,
referred to in paragraph 7, is as of right for a surviving spouse” (Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec.
2001).

“In the circumstances referred to in the preceding paragraph, an allottee surviving spouse
may require from his coparceners periods, whic h may not exceed ten years, for payment of a
fraction of the balance, equal to a half at the most. Unless otherwise agreed, the sums remaining
due bear an interest at the statutory rate.

“In case of sale of the premises or of the furniture which garnishes them, the fraction of
the balance which relates to it becomes immediately du e; in case of partial sales, the proceeds of
those sales shall be paid to the coparceners a nd appropriated to the fraction of the balance still
due.

“Rights resulting from a preferen tial allotment may not prejudice rights for life of use and
habitation which a spouse may exercise under Ar ticle 764” (Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001).

“Failing an amicable agreement, a request for preferential allotment shall be brought
before the court, which shall decide on the basis of the interest as they stand; in case of several
requests relating to a holding or a concern, the court shall take into account the fitness of the
various applicants to manage that holding or concern and to remain therein, and in particular the
duration of their personal taking pa rt in the operation of the holding or of the concern” (Act n°
82-596 of 10 July 1982) .

Property which forms the subject of the allotment shall be appraised at its value on the
day of partition .

Unless otherwise amicably agr eed between the coparceners, a balance which may be
oxed shall be paid cash .

Art. 832-1

(Act n° 80-502 of 4 July 1980)

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 832, paragraphs “14 and 16 ” (Act n° 2001-
1135 of 3 Dec. 2001) and unless maintenance in undi vided ownership is requested under Articles
815, paragraph 2, and 815-1, preferential allotment re ferred to in Article 832, paragraph 3, is as
of right as regards any agricultu ral holding which does not exceed the limits of surface fixed by
decree in Conseil d’État. In case of several requests, the court shall designate the allottee or joint
allottees on the basis of the interests as they stan d and of the fitness of the various applicants to
manage the holding and to remain therein .

In the circumstances referred to in the preceding paragraph, even where a preferential
allotment was judicially granted, the allottee ma y require from his coparceners periods which
may not exceed ten years for payment of a fraction of the balance, equal to a half at most. Except
otherwise agreed, sums remaining due b ear interest at the statutory rate.

(Act n° 61-1378 of 19 Dec. 1961) In case of sale of the whole of an allotted property the
fraction of the balance remaining owed becomes im mediately due; in case of partial sales, the
proceeds of those sales shall be paid to the coparceners and appr opriated to the fraction of the
balance still due.

[repealed]

Art. 832-2

(Act n° 80-502 of 4 July 1980)

Where maintenance in undivi ded ownership was not ordered under Articles 815,
paragraph 2, and 815-1, and failing a preferen tial allotment in ownership provided for in
Articles 832, paragraph 3, or 832- 1, a surviving spouse or any co-owner heir may request
preferential allotment of all or part of imm ovable property or rights for agricultural purposes
depending on the succession, with a view to establishing an agricultural land grouping with one
or several coheirs and, as the case ma y be, one or several third persons.

That allotment is of right wher e the surviving spouse or one or several of the coheirs
fulfilling the personal qualifications provided for in Article 832, paragraph 3, require that there
be given them on lease all or part of the propert y of the grouping, subject to the conditions laid
down in Chapter VII of Title I of Book VI [Chapter VI of Title I of Book IV] of the Rural Code.

In case of several requests, the property of the grouping may, where its composition so
permits, be the subject of several leases benefiti ng different coheirs; otherwise, and failing an
amicable agreement the court shall designate the lessee taking into account the fitness of the
various applicants to manage the property conc erned and to remain therein. Where the terms and
conditions of that lease or of those leases were not the subject of an agreement, they shall be
fixed by the court.

The immovable property and rights which the applican ts do not intend to contribute to
the agricultural land grouping, t ogether with the other property of the succession, shall be
allotted by priority, within the limits of their respective rights of succession, to the undivided
owners who did not agree to the formation of the grouping. Where those undivided owners do
not obtain the whole of their rights through the allo tment thus made, a balance must be paid to
them. Unless otherwise amicably agreed between the coparceners, a balance which may be owed
shall be paid within the year following the pa rtition. It may be effected through a giving in
payment under the form of shares in the agricu ltural land grouping, unless the parties concerned,
within the month following the proposal made to them, make known their opposition to that
mode of payment.

Partition is complete only after the signature of the instrument of constitution of the
agricultural land groupin g and, if there is occasion, of the long-term lease or leases.

Art. 832-3

(Act n° 80-502 of 4 July 1980)

Where an agricultural holding constituting an economic unit and not operated under the
form of a partnership is not maintained in undivided ownership under Articles 815, paragraph 2,
and 815-1, and was not the subject of a preferenti al allotment within the terms provided for in
Articles 832, 832-1 or 832-2, a surv iving spouse or any co-owner heir who wishes to continue
the exploiting in which he or she actually participates or participated may require,
notwithstanding any request for auction, that the partition be concluded subject to the condition
that his or her coparceners grant to him or her a long-term lease under the terms fixed in Chapter
VII of Title I of Book VI [Chapt er VI of Title I of Book IV] of the Rural Code, on the lands of
the holding which fall to them. Un less otherwise amicably agreed between the parties, the one
who requests to benefit by those provisions sha ll receive by priority in his or her share the
buildings for exploita tion and habitation.

The preceding provisions shall ap ply to a part of an agricultural holding which can
constitute an economic unit.

Account shall be taken, if there is occasion, of depreciation due to the existence of a lease
in the appraisal of the lands included in the various shares.

Articles 807 and 808 [L. 412-14 and L. 412-15] of the Rural Code shall determine the
specific rules for the lease referred to in the first paragraph of this Article.

Where there are several requests, the tribunal de grande instance shall designate the
beneficiary or beneficiaries on the basis of the interests as they stand and of the fitness of the
various applicants to manage all or part of the holding or to remain therein.

Where, due to the obvious unfitness of the applicant or applicants to manage all or part of
the holding, the interests of the c oheirs risk being imperilled, the c ourt may decide that there is
no occasion to apply the first thr ee paragraphs of this Article.

An economic unit referred to in pa ragraph 1 can be formed in part of property of which a
surviving spouse or a heir was al ready owner or co-owner before the death. As regards a heir, the
requisite of participation may have been fulfilled by his or her spouse.

Art. 832-4

(Act n° 80-502 of 4 July 1980)

The provisions of Articles 832, 832-1, 832-2 and 832-3 shall benefit a spouse or any heir,
whether co-owner in full or bare ownership .

The provisions of Articles 832, 832- 2 and 832-3 shall benefit also a beneficiary, universal
or by universal title, of the succession by virt ue of a will or of a contractual institution.

Art. 833

Inequality of shares in kind shall be compensated by a reversion, either in the form of an
annuity, or in money.

Art. 833-1

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Where the debtor of a balance has obtained time for payment and, as a result of economic
circumstances, the value of the property put in his share has increased or lessened by more than
one-fourth since the partition, th e sums remaining due shall increase or lessen in the same
proportion.

The parties may, however, agree that the amount of the balance will not vary.

Art. 834

Shares are made by one of the coheirs where they can agree between themselves on the
choice and where the one chosen accepts the char ge: otherwise the shares shall be made by an
expert appointed by th e supervising judge.

They shall then be drawn by lots.

Art. 835

Before drawing the lots, each copa rcener is allowed to present objections as to their
formation.

Art. 836

The rules established for the di vision of the masses to be partitioned shall also be
followed in the subdivision to be made between the coparcener stocks.

Art. 837

Where, in operations referred to a notaire, controversies arise, the notaire shall draw up a
memorandum of the difficulties and respective statements of the parties, and shall refer them to
the supervisor appointed for the partition; and as to other issues, proceedings shall be conducted
as prescribed by legislation relating to procedure.

Art. 838

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

Where all coheirs are not present, a partition must be made in court, under the rules of
Articles 819 to 837.

It shall be the same where there are among them non-emancipated minors or adults in
guardianship, subject to Article 466.

Where there are several minors, a special and distinct guardian may be given to each of
them.

Art. 839

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

Where there is occasion for an au ction, in the case provided for in paragraph 1 of the
preceding Article, it may be made only in court with the formalities prescribed for the transfer of
the property of minors. Outsiders shall always be admitted.

Art. 840

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

Partitions made in accordance with the rules above prescribed in the name of “presumed
absentees” (Act n° 77-1447 of 28 Dec. 1977) and persons not present are final; they are
temporary only where the prescribed rules were not complied with.

Art. 841 [repealed]

Art. 842

After partition, each coparcener shall receive the instruments of title pertaining to the
property which falls on him.

Instruments of title of a divided property shall remain to the one who has the largest part,
with the responsibility to assist with them those of his coparcener s who have an interest therein,
where he is required to do so.

Instruments of title common to a w hole inheritance shall be delivered to the one whom all
the heirs have chosen to be the depositary of them, with the responsibility to assist the
coparceners with them, whenever required. Where th ere is a difficulty about that choice, it shall
be regulated by the judge .

Section II – Of the Collations, Appropriation and Abatement of Gr atuitous Transfers Made to
Persons Entitled to Inherit

Art. 843

(Act of 24 March 1898)

Every heir, even beneficiary, coming into a succession, shall return to his coheirs
everything he has received from the deceased, by gi ft inter vivos, directly or indirectly; he may
not keep the gifts made to him by the deceased unless they were made expressly over and above
his share, or with exemption from collation.

Legacies made to a heir are deemed to be made over and above his part, unless the
testator has expressed his wish to the contra ry, in which case the legatee may only claim his
legacy by taking less.

Art. 844

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Gifts made over and above the sh are or with exemption from collation may be retained,
and legacies may be claimed by an heir coming into a partition, only up to the amount of the
disposable portion: the exce ss is subject to reduction .

Art. 845

An heir who renounces a succession may nevertheless retain the gift inter vivos or claim
the legacy made to him up to the amount of the disposable portion.

Art. 846

A donee who was not a presumptive heir at the time of the gift, but who is entitled to
inherit on the day of the opening of the successi on, is also bound to collation, unless the donor
has exempted him from it.

Art. 847

Gifts and legacies made to the son of a person who is entitled to inherit at the time of the
opening of the succession, are always deemed to have been made with exemption from collation.

The father coming to the succession of the donor is not bound to collate them.

Art. 848

Likewise, a son coming in his ow n right to the succession of the donor is not bound to
collate a gift made to his father , even if he has accepted the latter’s succession; but where the son
comes only by representation, he sh all collate what was given to his father, even in the case
where he has repudiated his succession.

Art. 849

Gifts and legacies made to the spouse of a spouse entitled to inherit are deemed to be
made with exemption from collation.

Where gifts and legacies are made jointly to two spouses, one of whom only inherits, the
latter collates the half; where th e gifts are made to the spouse enti tled to inherit, he or she shall
collate the whole.

Art. 850

Collation is made only to the succession of the donor.

Art. 851

Collation is due for what has been devoted to the settling of one of the coheirs, or for the
payment of his debts.

Art. 852

The expenses of food, support, educ ation, apprenticeship, the ordinary costs of outfitting,
those of weddings and usual pr esents, shall not be collated.

Art. 853

It shall be th e same with profits which a heir may have made out of agreements entered
into with the deceased, where those agreements di d not offer any indirect advantage when they
were made.

Art. 854

Likewise, no collation is due fo r partnerships concluded without fraud between the
deceased and one of his heirs, where the artic les thereof were regulated by an authentic
instrument.

Art. 855

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

A property which perishes through a fortuitous event and without fault of the donee is not
subject to collation.

Where, however, that property was restored through an indemnity received because of its
loss, a donee shall collate it in the proportion that the indemn ity served to restore it.

Where the indemnity was not used for that purpose, it is itself subject to collation .

Art. 856

Fruits and interests from thi ngs subject to collation are due only from the day of the
opening of the succession.

Art. 857

Collation is only due by a coheir to his coheir; it is not due to legatees nor to creditors of
the succession.

Art. 858

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Collation is made by taking le ss. It may not be required in kind unless otherwise
stipulated in the instrument of gift.

In case of such a stipulation, conveyances and creations of real rights granted by the
donee are extinguished in conse quence of collation, unless the donor has consented to them.

Art. 859

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

An heir also has the power to collate in kind property given which still belongs to him
provided that property be free from any encu mbrance or occupancy with which it was not
already burdened at the time of the gift.

Art. 860

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Collation is due of the value of the property given at the time of partition, according to its
condition at the time of the gift.

Where the property was transferred before partition, account shall be taken of the value it
had at the time of transfer and, where a new pr operty was substituted for the property transferred,
of the value of that new pr operty at the time of partition.

The whole, unless otherw ise stipulated in the instrument of gift.

Where it results from such a stipula tion that the value to be collated is less than the value
of the property determined accord ing to the rules of appraisal provided for by Article 922 below,
that difference forms an indirect advantage vested in the donee over and above his share.

Art. 861

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Where collation is made in ki nd and the condition of the property given was improved by
the act of the donee, account thereof must be taken to him, in consideration of that by which their
value has increased at the tim e of partition or transfer.

Likewise account must be taken to the donee of the necessary expenses which he made
for the preservation of the property, even if they have not improved it.

Art. 862

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

A coheir who makes collation in kind may retain possession of the property given until
the sums due to him for expenses or im provements have been actually reimbursed.

Art. 863

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

A donee, on his part, must, in case of collation in kind, account for degradations and
deteriorations which have reduced the value of the property given through his act or fault.

Art. 864

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

A gift made in advance of his share to a compulsory heir who accepts the succession
shall be appropriated to his shar e of reserve and, subsidiarily to the disposable portion, unless
otherwise agreed in the instrument of gift.

The excess is subject to abatement.

A gift made in advance of his sh are to a compulsory heir who renounces the succession is
treated as a gift over and above the donee’s share.

Art. 865

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

A gratuitous transfer made over and above the beneficiary’s share shall be appropriated to
the disposable portion. The exce ss is subject to abatement.

Art. 866

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Gifts made to a person entitled to inherit, or to persons entitled to inherit, jointly, which
exceed the disposable portion may be retained in whole by the beneficiaries, whatever the excess
may be, provided they compensate the coheirs in money.

Art. 867

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Where a legacy made to a person en titled to inherit, or to persons entitled to inherit,
jointly, relates to a property or several item s of property which compose a whole whose value
exceeds the disposable portion, the legatee or legatees may, whatever the excess, claim in totality
the subject matter of the gratuit ous transfer, provided they compen sate the coheirs in money. It
shall be likewise even where the gratuitous tran sfer involves movable items of property which
were in the common use of the deceased and of the legatee .

Art. 868

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Where abatement may not be re quired in kind, a donee or legatee is debtor for an
indemnity equivalent to the excess portion of th e abatable gratuitous transfer. That indemnity
shall be calculated according to the value of the articles donated or bequeathed at the time of
partition, and their condition on the day when the gratuitous transfer took effect.

It is payable at the time of pa rtition, save agreement between the coheirs. However,
where the subject matter of the gr atuitous transfer is an item of the property which may be the
subject of a preferential allotment, periods may be granted by the court, account being taken of
the interests as they stand, if they were not granted by the transferor. The granting of those
periods may not in any case have the effect of deferring payment of the indemnity beyond ten
years from the opening of the succession. The provisi ons of Article 833-1 shall then apply to the
payment of the sums due.

Failing agreement or stipulation to the contrary, those sums bear interests at the statutory
rate in civil matters. Advantages resulting from periods and methods of payment granted do not
constitute a gratuitous transfer.

In case of sale of the whole of a property donated or bequeathed, the sums remaining due
become immediately due; in case of partial sales, the proceeds of those sales are paid to the
coheirs and appropriated to the sums still due.

Art. 869

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Collation of a sum of money is equal to its amount. Where, however, it was used to
acquire property, collation of the value of that property is due , in the way provided for in Article
860 .

Section III – Of the Payment of Debts

Art. 870

Coheirs contribute between themselv es to the payment of the debts and liabilities of the
succession, each one in proportion to what he takes from it.

Art. 871

A legatee under universal title cont ributes with the heirs pro rata to his benefit; but a
specific legatee is not held for the debts and liabilities, except however a foreclosure action
against a bequeathed immovable.

Art. 872

Where immovables of a succession are encumbered by annuities with a special mortgage,
each coheir may require that the annuities be reimbursed and the immovables freed before the
composing of the shares. Where the coheirs part ition the succession in the condition in which it
stands, the encumbered immovable must be apprai sed at the same rate as the other immovables;
the capital of the annuity shall be deducted from the total value; the heir in whose share that
immovable falls has alone the charge of servici ng the annuity and is liable for it towards his
coheirs.

Art. 873

Heirs are held to the debts and liabilities of the su ccession personally for their equal share
and portion, and by mortgage for the whole; subject to their remedy either against their coheirs,
or against the universal legatees, for the part to which the latter must contribute.

Art. 874

A specific legatee who has paid a debt encumbering a bequeathed immovable remains
subrogated to the rights of the creditor against th e heirs and successors under universal title.

Art. 875

A coheir or successor under univer sal title who, because of a mortgage, has paid more
than his share of a common debt, has a remedy against the other heirs or successors under
universal title only for the share which each of them must bear personally, even in the case
where the coheir who paid the debt has caused himself to be subrogated to the rights of the
creditor; without prejudice, however, of the ri ghts of a coheir who, because of benefit of
inventory, has retained the pow er to demand payment of his personal claim, like any other
creditor.

Art. 876

In case of insolvency of one of the coheirs or successors under universal title, his share of
the mortgage debt must be divided pro rata between all the others.

Art. 877

Enforceable instruments against a deceased are equally enforceable against a heir
personally; creditors, however, may seek enforcement only eight days after notice of those
instruments has been served upon the heir personally or at his domicile.

Art. 878

They may request, in any case and against any creditor, separation of the deceased’s
patrimony from the heir’s patrimony.

Art. 879

That right, however, may no longe r be exercised where there is novation in the claim
against the deceased, by acceptance of the heir as debtor.

Art. 880

It is time-barred, with rega rd to movables, after the lapse of three years.

With regard to immovables, an act ion may be brought as long as they are in the hands of
the heir.

Art. 881

Creditors of an heir are not allo wed to request the separation of the patrimonies against
the creditors of the succession.

Art. 882

In order to prevent that partition be made in fraud of their rights, creditors of a coparcener
may oppose its being made out of their presence; th ey have the right to intervene in it at their
own expense; but they may not attack a partitio n achieved, unless, however, it was made without
them and notwithstanding an objection they would have made.

Section IV – Of the Effects of Pa rtition and of Warranty of Shares

Art. 883

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Each coheir shall be deemed to have succeeded alone and immediately to all the effects
comprised in his share, or falli ng to him through auction, and never to have had ownership of the
other effects of the succession.

It shall be the same as to the property which came to him through any other act leading to
the cessation of undivided ownership. One shall not distinguish depending on whether the act
causes undivided ownership to cease in whole or in part, with regard only to some items of
property or to some heirs.

However, transactions lawfully pe rformed either under an agency given by the coheirs, or
under a judicial authorization, maintain their e ffects whatever the allotment of the property
which was the subject thereof may be at the time of the partition.

Art. 884

Coheirs remain respectively wa rrantors towards each other only for disturbances and
dispossession which result from a cause previous to the partition.

The warranty may not arise wh ere the kind of dispossession suffered was excepted by a
specific and express clause of the instrument of partition; it ceases where a heir suffers
dispossession by his own fault.

Art. 885

Each coheir is personally obliged in proportion to his hereditary share to indemnify his
coheir for the loss which dispossession caused to him.

Where one of the coheirs is inso lvent, the portion for which he is responsible must be
equally divided between the warran tor and all the solvent coheirs.

Art. 886

The warranty of solvency of the debtor of an annuity may be enforced only within the
five years following the partiti on. Warranty on account of insolv ency does not arise where it
happened only since the partition achieved.

Section V – Of Rescission in Matters of Partition

Art. 887

Partitions may be re scinded for reason of violence or deception.

There may also be occasion for rescission where one of the coheirs establishes, to his
prejudice, loss amounting to more than one four th. The mere omission of an article of the
succession does not give rise to an action for rescission, but only to a supplement to the
instrument of partition.

Art. 888

An action for partition is allowe d against any act aiming at putting an end to an undivided
ownership, between coheirs, whether it be characte rized as a sale, exchange, settlement, or in
any other manner.

But, after the partition, or the act which takes its place, an action for rescission is no
longer admissible against a settlement made ove r the real difficulties which the first act
presented, even though no suit has b een initiated on that subject.

Art. 889

An action is not admitted against a sale of rights to succession made without fraud to one
of the coheirs, at his own risk, by his other coheirs or one of them.

Art. 890

In order to decide whether there ha s been loss, the articles shall be appraised according to
their value at th e time of partition.

Art. 891

The defendant in a claim for rescission may stop the course of it and prevent a new
partition by offering and delivering to the plaintiff the supplement of his hereditary share, either
in money, or in kind.

Art. 892

A coheir who has transferred his sh are in whole or in part, is no longer entitled to bring
an action for rescission on ground of deception or vi olence, where the transfer which he made is
subsequent to the discovery of the decepti on, or to the ending of the violence.

TITLE II

OF GIFTS INTER VIVOS AND OF WILLS

CHAPTER I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 893

One may dispose of his property gratuitously only by gift inter vivos or by will, in the
forms hereinafter laid down.

Art. 894

A gift inter vivos is a transact ion by which the donor divests himself now and irrevocably
of the thing donated, in favour of the donee who accepts it.

Art. 895

A will is a transaction by which a testator disposes, for the time when he is no longer
alive, of the whole or part of hi s property, and which he may revoke.

Art. 896

Substitutions are prohibited .

Any disposition by which a donee, an heir appointed or a legatee, is assigned the duty to
keep and return to a third party, is void, even wi th regard to the donee, the heir appointed or the
legatee.

[repealed]

Art. 897

Are excepted from the first two paragraphs of the preceding Article the dispositions
which the fathers and mothers and the brothers a nd sisters are allowed to make under Chapter VI
of this Title.

Art. 898

A disposition by which a third party is called to take a gift, an inheritance or a legacy, in
case a donee, an heir appointed or a legatee woul d not take it, shall not be considered as a
substitution, and is valid .

Art. 899

It shall be the same as regard s an inter vivos or testamentary disposition by which a
usufruct is donated to one person and bare ownership to another .

Art. 900

In any inter vivos or testamentary disposition, the conditions which are impossible or
those which are contrary to legi slation or good morals, shall be deemed to be not written .

Art. 900-1

(Act n° 71-526 of 3 July 1971)

Clauses of inalienability co ncerning a property donated or bequeathed are valid only
where they are temporary and justified by a serious and legitimate interest. Even in that case, a
donee or legatee may be judicially authorized to dispose of the property if the interest which
justified the clause has disappeared or if it happens that a more important interest so requires.

[repealed]

The provisions of this Article do not prejudice gratuitous transfers granted to juridical
persons or even to natural persons res ponsible for forming juridical persons.

Art. 900-2

(Act n° 84-562 of 4 July 1984)

A beneficiary may apply for judicial revision of the conditions and charges encumbering
the gifts or legacies which he has received, where, in consequence of a change of circumstances,
performance of them has become for him extr emely difficult, or seriously detrimental.

Art. 900-3

(Act n° 84-562 of 4 July 1984)

A claim for revision shall be brought as a main action; it may be so also as a
counterclaim, in reply to an action for perfor mance or revocation brought by the heirs of the
disposing person.

It shall be brought against the he irs; it shall be brought at the same time against the
Government procurator’s office where there is doubt as to the existence or identity of some of
them; where there is no known heir, it must be brought against the Government procurator’s
office.

The latter shall, in any case, have the case communicated to
him.

Art. 900-4

(Act n° 84-562 of 4 July 1984)

A judge seized of a claim for revision may, according to the circumstances and even of
his own motion, either reduce the quantity or intervals of the performances encumbering the
gratuitous transfer, or modify their character making allowance fo r the intention of the disposing
person, or even merge them with analogous performances resulting from other gratuitous
transfers.

He may authorize the transfer of a ll or part of the property which is the subject matter of
the gratuitous transfer with ordering that the proceeds thereof be used for purposes in keeping
with the intention of the disposing party.

He shall prescribe measures adapted to maintain, as far as possible, the denomination
which the disposing person intended to give to his gratuitous transfer.

Art. 900-5

(Act n° 84-562 of 4 July 1984)

A claim is admissible only ten years after the death of the disposing person or, in case of
a succession of claims, ten years after the judgment which ordered the previous revision.

A beneficiary must justify th e steps he took, during the interval, to perform his
obligations.

Art. 900-6

(Act n° 84-562 of 4 July 1984)

Third party application for reh earing against a judgment acceding to an application for
revision is admissible only in case of fraud chargeable to the donee or legatee.

The retraction or reformation of the judgment attacked does not give rise to any action
against the third party purchaser in good faith.

Art. 900-7

(Act n° 84-562 of 4 July 1984)

Where, after revision, performance of the conditions or charges, such as it was originally
provided, becomes possible again, it may be requested by the heirs.

Art. 900-8

(Act n° 84-562 of 4 July 1984)

Shall be deemed not written any clause by which a disposing party deprives of a
gratuitous transfer a pe rson who questions the validity of a cl ause of inalienability or requests
authorization to transfer.

CHAPTER II – OF THE CAPACITY TO DISP OSE OR TO RECEIVE BY INTER VIVOS
GIFT OR BY WILL

Art. 901

To make an inter vivos gift or a will one must be of sound mind.

Art. 902

All persons may dispose and receiv e, either by inter vivos gift, or by will, except those
whom legislation declares to be incapable.

Art. 903

A minor under sixteen years of age may not in any way dispose, except for what is
provided for in Chapter IX of this Title.

Art. 904

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

A minor who has reached the ag e of sixteen years and is not emancipated, may only
dispose by will, and only to the extent of half of the property which legislation allows an adult to
dispose of.

(Act of 28 Oct. 1916) Where, how ever, he is called up for a campaign of war, he may,
during the duration of the hostilitie s, dispose of the same portion as if he were of full age, in

favour of any of his relatives, or of several of them up to the sixth degree inclusive or in favour
of his surviving spouse.

Failing relatives of the sixth degree inclusive, a minor may dispose as a person of full age
would do.

Art. 905 [repealed]

Art. 906

To be capable of receiving inter vivos, one need only to be conceived at the time of the
gift.

To be capable of receiving by will, one need only to be conceived at the time of the death
of the testator.

However, the gift or will may only take effect if the child is born viable.

Art. 907

A minor, although he has reached th e age of sixteen, may not dispose to the benefit of his
guardian, even by will.

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964) A minor, having become of age or emancipated, may
not dispose, either by gift inter vivos or by w ill, to the benefit of the person who was his
guardian, unless the final account of the guardians hip has been previously rendered and audited.

In the above two cases, the ascendants of minors who are or who were their guardians are
excepted.

Art. 908 and 908-1 [repealed]

Art. 908-2

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

In inter vivos and testamentary dispositions, the phrases “sons and grandsons, children
and grandchildren”, without other addition or designation, refer to illegitimate descent as well as
legitimate, unless the contrary results from the instrument or from circumstances.

Art. 909

Doctors in medicine or surger y, health officers and pharmacists who have treated a
person during the disease of which he dies, may not benefit from the inter vivos or testamentary
dispositions which he made in their fa vour during the course of that illness.

Are excepted :

1° Specific remunerative dispositions, with regard to the means of the disposing party
and to the services rendered;

2° Universal dispositions, in the case of relationship up to the fourth degree inclusive,
provided however the deceased has no heir in th e direct line; unless the person in whose favour
the disposition was made is hi mself one of those heirs.

The same rules shall apply to ministers of worship.

Art. 910

Dispositions inter vivos or by w ill to the benefit of almshouses, of the poor of a commune
or of public-utility institutions may only take effect as they are authorized by decree.

Art. 911

Any disposition in favour of a person under a disability is void, whether it is disguised
under the form of a contract for value, or is made under the names of intermediaries.

Are deemed intermediaries the fa ther and mother, the children and descendants, and the
spouse of the person under a disability.

Art. 912 [repealed]

CHAPTER III – OF THE DISPOSABLE PORTION OF PROPERTY AND OF ABATEMENT

Section I – Of the Disposab le Portion of Property

Art. 913

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Gratuitous transfers, either by inter vivos acts or by wills, may not exceed half of the
property of a disposing person, wher e he leaves only one child at his death; one-third, where he
leaves two children; one-fourth, where he leaves three or a greater number; without there being
occasion to discriminate between legitimate and illegitimate children [repealed].

Art. 913-1

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Are included in Article 913, under th e name of children, descendants in whatever degree,
although they must be counted only for the child whose place they take in the succession of the
disposing party.

Art. 914

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Gratuitous transfers, either by inter vivos acts or by wills, may not exceed half of the
property where, failing children, a deceased leaves one or several ascendants in each of the lines,
paternal and maternal, and three-fourths where he leaves ascendants only in one line .

The property thus reserved for the benefit of ascendants is received by them in the order
that the law calls them to succeed: they alone ar e entitled to that reserve in all cases where a
partition concurrently with collat erals would not give them the por tion of property assigned to it.

Art. 914-1

(Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001)

Gratuitous transfers, either by inter vivos acts or by wills, may not exceed three-fourths
of the property where, failing descendants and as cendants, a deceased leaves a surviving spouse,
not divorced, against whom does not exist an orde r of judicial separation become res judicata
and who is not a party to divorce or judicial separation proceedings.

Art. 915 to 915-2 [repealed]

Art. 916

“Failing descendants, ascendants or a surviving spouse, not divorced, against whom an
order of judicial separation become res judicata does not exist and who is not a party to divorce
or judicial separation proceedings” (Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001), gratuitous transfers by
inter vivos acts or by wills may exhaust the whole property.

Art. 917

Where a disposition by inter vivos ac t or by will is of a usufruct or of an annuity whose
value exceeds the disposable portion, the heirs for whose benefit the law establishes a reserve
have the option, either to perfor m that disposition or to waive ownership of the disposable
portion.

Art. 918

The value in full ownership of property transferred, either on condition of paying a life
annuity, or non-returnable, or with reservation of a usufruct, to one of the persons entitled to
inherit in the direct line, shall be appropriated to the disposable portion; and the excess, if any,
shall be collated to the mass. That appropriation and that collation may not be requested by those
of the other persons entitled to inherit in the direct line who may have consented to those
transfers, and, in no case, by persons enti tled to inherit in the collateral line.

Art. 919

(Act of 24 March 1898)

The disposable portion may be donate d in whole or in part, either by act inter vivos or by
will, to the children or other pe rsons entitled to inherit from th e donor, without being subject to
collation by the donee or legatee coming to the succession, provided that, as regards gifts, the
disposition was made expressl y over and above the share.

A declaration that a gift is over and above the share may be made, either in the
instrument containing the disposition, or after, in the form of inter vivos or testamentary
dispositions.

Section II – Of the Abatemen t of Gifts and Legacies

Art. 920

Dispositions either inter vivos or mortis causa, which exceed the disposable portion shall
be abated to that portion at the tim e of the opening of the succession.

Art. 921

Abatement of dispositions inter vivos may be requested only by those for whose benefit
the law makes a reserve, by their heirs or assi gns: donees, legatees or creditors of a deceased
may not request that abatement or benefit by it.

Art. 922

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Abatement is determined by forming a mass of all the property existing at the death of
the donor or testator.

One shall add fictitiously to it, af ter deducting the debts, that of which he has disposed by
gift inter vivos according to its condition at the tim e of the gift and its value at the opening of the
succession. Where property has been transferred, account shall be taken of its value at the time
of transfer and, if there was substitution, of the value of th e new property on the day of the
opening of the succession.

One shall calcu late on all that property, having rega rd to the kind of heirs whom he
leaves, the portion which the deceased may have disposed of.

Art. 923

There shall never be occasion to abate gifts inter vivos, until the value of all the property
included in the testamentary dispositions has b een exhausted; and where there is occasion for
that abatement it shall be done begi nning with the last gift and so on, going back from the last to
the oldest.

Art. 924

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

A compulsory heir favoured ove r and above his share beyond the disposable portion and
who accepts the succession bears the abatement in va lue as is laid down in Article 866; up to his
rights in the reserve, abatemen t shall be made by taking less.

He may claim all the articles bequ eathed where the reducible portion does not exceed his
share in the reserve.

Art. 925

Where the value of the inter vivos gifts exceeds or equals the disposable portion, all the
testamentary dispositions lapse.

Art. 926

Where the testamentary dispositions exceed, either the disposable portion, or that part of
the portion remaining after deduction of the value of the inter vivos gifts, abatement shall be
made pro rata, without any dis tinction between universal lega cies and specific legacies.

Art. 927

Nevertheless, in all cases where th e testator expressly declared that he intends that a
legacy be paid in preference to others, that pref erence must take place: and the legacy to which it
applies shall be abated only where the value of the others does not complete the statutory
reserve.

Art. 928

A donee shall return the fruits of what exceeds the disposable portion from the day of the
death of the donor, where a claim for abatement wa s brought within the year; otherwise, from the
day of the claim.

Art. 929

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Rights in rem created by a don ee are extinguished by the effect of abatement. Those
rights, however, maintain their effects where th e donor consented to them in the constitutive
instrument or in a subsequent instrument. The donee is responsible for depreciation resulting
from it.

Art. 930

An action for abatement or recovery may be brought by the heirs against third parties
holding immovables which were part of gifts and were conveyed by the donees, in the same
manner and in the same order as against the donee s themselves, and after attachment or seizure
and sale of their property. That action must be brought following the order of the dates of the
conveyances, beginning by the most recent.

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971) Where a donor has consented to the transfer with the
accord of all compulsory heirs born and alive at the time of it, an action may no longer be
brought against a third party holder.

CHAPTER IV – OF INTER VIVOS GIFTS

Section I – Of the Form of Inter Vivos Gifts

Art. 931

All acts containing an inter vivos gift shall be executed before notaires, in the ordinary
form of contracts; and there shall remain the original of them, on pain of annulment.

Art. 932

An inter vivos gift is binding upon the donor and produces effect only from the day when
it is accepted in express terms.

Acceptance may be made during the lifetime of the donor, by a subsequent and authentic
instrument of which the original shall remain; but then the gift has effect, with regard to the
donor, only from the day when he has been given no tice of the instrument which establishes that
acceptance.

Art. 933

Where the donor is of full age, acceptance must be made by him or in his name, by a
person having a power of attorney, containing aut hority to accept the gift made, or a general
authority to accept all gifts which have or may have been made.

That power of attorney must be executed before notaires; and an office copy of it must be
annexed to the original of the gi ft, or to the original of the acceptance , if made by a separate
instrument.

Art. 934 [repealed]

Art. 935

A gift made to a non-emancipated minor or to an adult in guardianship must be accepted
by his guardian, in accordance with Article 463, in the Title Of Minority, of Guardianship and of
Emancipation .

[repealed]

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1 964) Nevertheless, the father and mother of a non-
emancipated minor, or the other ascendants, even during the lifetime of the father and mother,
although they are not guardians of the minor, may accept on his behalf.

Art. 936

A deaf and dumb person who knows how to write may accept by himself or through an
agent.

Where he cannot write, acceptance must be made by a curator appointed for that purpose,
according to the rules laid down in the Title Of Minority, of Guardianship and of Emancipation.

Art. 937

Gifts made to the benefit of al mshouses, of the poor of a commune or of public-utility
institutions must be accepted by the administrators of those communes or institutions, after they
have been duly authorized.

Art. 938

A gift duly accepted is complete by the sole consent of the parties; and ownership of the
articles donated is transferred to the d onee without need of any other delivery.

Art. 939

(Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959)

Where there is a gift of pr operty capable of being mortgaged, registration of the
instruments containing the gift and the acceptance, as well as the notice of acceptance, if it took
place by separate instrument, must be made at th e land registry in the arrondissement where the
property is situated.

Art. 940

[repealed]

Where a gift is made to minors, to adults in guardianship, or to public institutions,
registration shall be made at the suit of guardians, curators or administrators.

Art. 941

(Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959)

Failure to have the registration made may be set up by all interested persons, except,
however, those who are re sponsible for having the registrati on made, or their assigns, and the
donor.

Art. 942

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Minors and adults in guardianship shall not be reinstated in case of failure to accept or
register the gifts; subject to th eir remedy against their guardians, if there is occasion, and without
reinstatement taking place, even wh ere the guardians are insolvent.

Art. 943

An inter vivos gift may only incl ude the existing property of the donor; where it includes
property to come, it is void in this regard.

Art. 944

Any inter vivos gift made subj ect to conditions whose performance depends on the sole
intention of the donor, is void.

Art. 945

It is likewise void where it wa s made under the condition of paying debts or liability
other than those which existed at the time of th e gift, or which are expressed either in the
instrument of gift, or in a statem ent which should be annexed thereto.

Art. 946

In the case where the donor has rese rved to himself the freedom to dispose of an article
included in the gift, or of a fixed sum out of the property donated, if he dies without having
disposed of them, the said article or sum sha ll belong to the donor’s heirs, notwithstanding all
clauses and stipulations to the contrary.

Art. 947

The four preceding Articles shall not apply to the gifts mentioned in Chapters VIII and
IX of this Title.

Art. 948

Any act of gift of movable effects is valid only as to the effects of which a statement of
appraisal, signed by the donor and the donee, or by those who accept for the latter, is annexed to
the original of the gift.

Art. 949

A donor is allowed to reserve for hi s benefit or to dispose for the benefit of another, of
the enjoyment or the usufruct of the movable or immovable property donated.

Art. 950

Where a gift of movable effect s is made with reservation of usufruct, the donee is
obliged, at the expiry of the usufruct, to ta ke the effects donated which are in kind, in the
condition in which they are; and he has an action against the donor or his heirs on account of the
articles which do not exist, up to the amount of the value which was given to them in the
statement of appraisal.

Art. 951

A donor may stipulate a right of re version of the items donated, either for the case of the
predecease of the donee alone, or for the case of the predecease of the donee and of his
descendants;

That right may be stipul ated only for the benefit of the donor alone .

Art. 952

The effect of the right of reversion is to rescind all conveyances of the immovable
property donated, and to make the property revert to the donor, free and unencumbered by any
liabilities and mortgages, ex cept, however, the mortgage of dowry and of ante-nuptial
agreements, where the other property of the donor spouse is not sufficient and only in the case
where the gift was made by the same ante-nup tial agreement from which those rights and
mortgages result .

Section II – Of Exceptions to the Rule of Irrevocability of Inter Vivos Gifts

Art. 953

An inter vivos gift may be revoked only for non-performance of the conditions under
which it was made, on account of ingratitude, an d on account of unforeseen birth of children.

Art. 954

In the case of revocation for non- performance of the conditions, the property shall revert
to the hands of the donor free of all charges and mortgages granted by the donee: and the donor
shall have the same rights agains t third parties holding the immovables donate d as he would have
against the donee himself.

Art. 955

An inter vivos gift may be revoke d on account of ingratitude only in the following cases:

1° Where the donee has ma de an attempt against the life of the donor;

2° Where he has been guilty of cr uelty, serious offences or grievous insults against him;

3° Where he refuses maintenance to him.

Art. 956

Revocation on account of non-performance of conditions or of ingratitude may never
take place by operation of law.

Art. 957

A claim for revocation on account of ingratitude must be brought within the year, from
the day of the offence with which the donee is charged by the donor, or from the day when the
offence could have been known by the donor.

That revocation may not be applie d for by the donor against the heirs of the donee, or by
the heirs of the donor against the donee, unless, in the latter case, the action has been initiated by
the donor, or he has died within a year after the offence.

Art. 958

(Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959)

A revocation on account of ingrat itude may not prejudice transfers made by a donee, or
mortgages and other real encumbrances with wh ich he may have burdened the subject matter of
the gift, provided they all are previous to the registration of the claim for revocation at the land
registry of the place of the property .

In case of revocation, the donee sh all be ordered to return the value of the articles
transferred, with regard to the ti me of the claim, and the fruits, from the day of that claim.

Art. 959

Gifts in favour of marriag e may not be revoked on account of ingratitude.

Art. 960

All inter vivos gifts made by pers ons who had no children or descendants presently living
at the time of the gift, of whatever value they may be, and for whatever reason they may have

been made, and although they were reciprocal or remunerative, even those made in favour of
marriage by persons other than the ascendants to th e spouses, or by the spouses to each other, are
revoked by operation of law by the unforeseen birt h of a legitimate child of the donor, even
posthumous, or by legitimation by subsequent marri age of an illegitimate child, where he was
born after the gift.

Art. 961

That revocation shall take pla ce, although the child of the donor was conceived at the
time of the gift.

Art. 962

A gift is likewise revoked even if the donee has taken possession of the property donated
and the latter has been left with him by the donor after the birth of the child; without, however,
the donee being obliged to return the fruits colle cted by him, of whatever nature they may be,
before the day when notice of the birth of the child or of his legitimation by subsequent marriage
was served on him by process or other instrument in due form; and even where the claim for
recovering the property donated was brought only after that notice.

Art. 963

Property included in a gift revoke d by operation of law, shall revert to the patrimony of
the donor free from all encumbrances and mortga ges granted by the donee, without there being
appropriated, even subsidiarily, to the restitution of the dowry of the wife of that donee, to her
recoveries or other ante-nuptia l agreements; and that shall take place even though the gift was
made in favour of the marriage of the donee a nd included in the agreement, and the donor has
bound himself as surety, through the gift, for the performance of the ante-nuptial agreement.

Art. 964

Gifts revoked in this way may not be revived or resume their effect, either by the death of
the donor’s child, or by any confirmatory instrume nt; and where the donor wishes to donate the
same property to the same donee, either before or after the death of the child through whose birth
the gift was revoked, he may do so only by a new disposition.

Art. 965

Any clause or agreement by which a donor renounces the revocation of a gift on account
of unforeseen birth of a child, shall be consid ered as void and may not produce any effect .

Art. 966

A donee, his heirs or assigns, or others detaining things donated, may set up prescription
to assert a gift revoked by the unforeseen birth of a child only after a possession of thirty years,
which may start running only from the day of the birth of the latest child of the donor, even
posthumous; and without prejudice to interruptions, as provided by law.

CHAPTER V – OF TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITIONS

Section I – Of General Rules on the Form of Wills

Art. 967

Any person may dispose by will, e ither under the name of appointment of an heir, or
under the name of legacy, or under any other de nomination suitable for expressing his wish.

Art. 968

A will may not be made in the same instrument by two or several persons, either for the
benefit of a third person, or as a mutual and reciprocal disposition.

Art. 969

A will may be holographic, or made by a public instrument, or in the secret form.

Art. 970

An holographic will is not valid unless it is entirely written, dated and signed by the
hand of the testator: it is not subject to any other form.

Art. 971

(Act n° 50-1513 of 8 Dec. 1950)

A will by public instrument shall be received by two notaires or by one notaire attended
by two witnesses.

Art. 972

(Act n° 50-1513 of 8 Dec. 1950)

Where a will is received by two notai res, it shall be dictated to them by the testator; one
of those notaires shall write it himself or sh all have it written by hand or mechanically.

Where there is only one notaire, it must also be dictated by the testator; the notaire shall
write it himself or shall have it written by hand or mechanically.

In either case, it must be read over to the testator.

All of which shall be expressly mentioned.

Art. 973

(Act n° 50-1513 of 8 Dec. 1950)

That will must be signed by the testator in the presence of the witnesses and of the
notaire; where the testator declares that he does not know how to sign or is unable to do so, his
declaration shall be expressly mentioned in the instrument, as well as the cause which prevents
him from signing.

Art. 974

(Act n° 50-1513 of 8 Dec. 1950)

The will must be signed by the witnesses and by the notaire .

Art. 975

Legatees, in whatever class they may be, their relatives by blood or marriage up to the
fourth degree inclusive, or clerks of the notai res by whom the instruments are received, may not
be taken as witnesses of a will by public instrument.

Art. 976

(Act n° 50-1513 of 8 Dec. 1950)

Where a testator wishes to make a secret will, the paper which contains the dispositions
or the paper used as an envelope, if there is one, shall be closed, stamped and sealed up.

The testator sh all present it thus close d, stamped and sealed up to the notaire and to two
witnesses, or he will have it closed, stamped a nd sealed up in their presence and he shall declare
that the contents of that paper is his will, signed by him, and written by him or by another, while
affirming in that latter case, that he has personally verified its contents; he shall indicate, in all
cases, the mode of writing used (by hand or mechanical).

The notary shall draw up, in origin al not recorded, an instrument of superscription which
he shall write or have written by hand or mechani cally on that paper, or on the sheet used as an
envelop and bearing the date and indication of the place where it was done, a description of the

cover and of the print of the seal, and mention of all the above-mentioned formalities; that
instrument shall be signed by the testator as well as by the notaire and the witnesses.

All that is mentioned above sh all be done without interruption and without attending to
other instruments.

In case the testator cannot sign the instrument of superscription owing to an impediment
arisen since the signature of the will, mention shall be made of the declaration which he makes
of it and of the reason he gives for it.

Art. 977

(Act n° 50-1513 of 8 Dec. 1950)

Where the testator does not know how to sign or was unable to do so when he had his
dispositions written, one shall pr oceed as laid down in the preced ing Article; in addition, there
shall be mentioned on the instrument of superscrip tion that the testator declared that he did not
know how to sign or was unable to do so when he had his dispositions written.

Art. 978

Those who do not know how or are unable to read, may not make dispositions in the
form of a secret will.

Art. 979

(Act n° 50-1513 of 8 Dec. 1950)

In case the test ator is unable to speak, but can write, he may make a secret will, subject to
the express condition that the will be signed by him and written by him or another, that he
present it to the notaire and to the witnesses and that he write at the top of the instrument of
superscription, in their presence, that the paper he presents is his will and sign. Mention shall be
made in the instrument of superscription that th e testator has written and signed those words in
the presence of the notaire and of the witnesses and, furthermor e, all which is prescribed by
Article 976 and is not inconsistent with this Article shall be complied with.

In all cases provided for in this Article and in the preceding Articles, a secret will in
which the statutory formalities were not complie d with and which is void as such, is valid
however as a holographic will, where all the requ isites for its validity as holographic will are
fulfilled, even if it was named a secret will.

Art. 980

(Act n° 50-1513 of 8 Dec. 1950)

Witnesses called to take part in wills must be French and of full age, know how to sign
and have the enjoyment of their civil rights . Th ey may be of either sex but a husband and his
wife may not be witnesses to the same instrument.

Section II – Of Particular Rule s on the Form of Certain Wills

Art. 981

(Act of 17 May 1900)

Wills of soldiers, of sailors of the State and of persons employed with the armies may be
received in the cases and on the terms provided for in Article 93, either by a superior officer or
military doctor of a corresponding rank, in the presen ce of two witnesses; or by two officials of
the Quartermaster Department or two officers of th e commissariat; or by one of those officials or
officers in the presence of two witnesses; or fi nally, in an isolated detachment, by the officer
commanding the detachment, with the assistance of two witnesses, where it does not exist in the
detachment a superior officer or military docto r of a corresponding rank, an official of the
Quartermaster Department or an officer of the commissariat.

The will of the officer commanding an isolated detachment may be received by the
officer coming after him in order of duty.

The right to make a will in the wa y provided for in this Article shall extend to prisoners
in the hands of the enemy.

Art. 982

(Act of 17 May 1900)

Wills mentioned in the preceding Article may also, where the testator is ill or wounded,
be received in hospitals or military medical units such as defined by military regulations, by the
senior surgeon, whatever his rank may be, with the assistance of the managing administration
officer.

Failing that administration o fficer, the presence of two witnesses is necessary.

Art. 983

(Act of 8 June 1893)

In all cases, an original in duplic ate of the wills mentioned in the two preceding Articles
shall be made.

Where this formality could not be fulfilled because of the state of health of the testator,
an office copy of the will shall be drawn up to ta ke the place of the second original; that office
copy shall be signed by the witnesses and by the in strumentary officers. Mention shall be made
therein of the reasons which prevented the second original from being drawn up.

As soon as communications are possi ble and within the shortest time, the two originals or
the original and the office copy of the will shall be addressed separately and by different mails,
under closed and sealed cover, to the Minister of War or of the Navy, to be filed with the notaire
indicated by the testator or, faili ng an indication, with the presiden t of the chamber of notaires of
the arrondissement of the last domicile.

Art. 984

(Act of 8 June 1893)

A will made in the manner established above is void six months after the testator has
come to a place where he is at liberty to use the or dinary forms, unless, before the expiry of that
period, he is again placed in one of the special si tuations provided for in Article 93. The will is
then valid during that special si tuation and during a new period of six months after its expiry.

Art. 985

Wills made in a place with which all communication is interrupted because of the plague
or other contagious disease, may be made before the judge of the tribunal d’instance or before
one of the municipal officials of the comm une, in the presence of two witnesses.

(Act of 28 July 1915) This provisi on shall apply to those suffering from those diseases, as
well to those who are in the contaminated places, although they are not presently ill.

Art. 986

(Act of 28 July 1915)

Wills made in an island of the Eu ropean territory of France, where there exists no office
of notaire, when there is an impossibility of co mmunicating with the continent, may be received
as is laid down in the preceding Article. The im possibility of communicating must be certified in
the instrument by the judge of the tribunal d’inst ance or the municipal official who received the
will.

Art. 987

The wills mentioned in the two preceding Articles become void six months after
communications have been re-established in the place where the testator is, or six months after
he has gone to a place wher e they are not interrupted.

Art. 988

(Act of 8 June 1893)

In the course of a sea voyage, eith er on the way or during a stoppage in port, where it is
impossible to communicate with land, or where it doe s not exist in the port, if it is in a foreign
country, a French diplomatic or consular agent ve sted with the functions of a notaire, wills of

persons present on board shall be received, in the presence of two witnesses: on ships of the
State, by the administration officer or, in his absence, by the captain or one who fulfils his
functions; and on other ships by the captain, master or skipper, with the assistance of the chief
officer, or, in their absence, by t hose who fulfil their functions.

The instrument shall indicate th at of the above provided circumstances in which it was
received.

Art. 989

(Act of 8 June 1893)

On ships of the state, under th e circumstances provided for in the preceding Article, the
will of the administration officer shall be received by the captain or by one who fulfils his
functions and, where there is no administration offi cer, the will of the captain shall be received
by the one coming after him in order of duty.

On other ships, the will of the captain, master or skipper, or that of the chief officer, shall,
under the same circumstances, be re ceived by the persons who come after them in order of duty.

Art. 990

(Act of 8 June 1893)

In all cases, an original in duplic ate of the wills mentioned in the two preceding Articles
shall be made.

Where that formality could not be fulfilled because of the state of health of the testator,
an office copy of the will shall be drawn up to ta ke the place of the second original; that office
copy shall be signed by the witnesses and by the in strumentary officers. Mention shall be made
of the reasons which prevented the s econd original from being drawn up .

Art. 991

(Act of 8 June 1893)

At the first stoppage in a foreign port where there is a French diplomatic or consular
agent , one of the originals or the office copy of the will shall be delivered, under closed and
sealed cover, into the hands of that official, who shall forward it to the Minister of the Navy, in
order that it may be deposited as is stated in Article 983.

Art. 992

(Act of 8 June 1893)

Upon the arrival of the ship in a Fr ench port, the two originals of the will, or the original
and its office copy, or the original which remains, in case of transmission or delivery effected
during the course of the voyage, shall be deposited, under closed and sealed cover, for the ships
of the State, at the office of commissioning, and for other ship s, at the office of seamen’s
registration. Each of those documents shall be addr essed separately and by different mails, to the
Minister of the Navy, who shall forward them as is stated in Article 983.

Art. 993

(Act of 8 June 1893)

On the list of the crew, in regard to the name of the testator, mention shall be made of the
delivery of the originals or office copy of the will made to the consulate, to the office of
commissioning or to the office of seamen’s regist ration, in accordance with the prescriptions of
the preceding Articles.

Art. 994

(Act of 8 June 1893)

A will made during the course of a sea voyage, in the form prescribed in Articles 988 and
following, is valid only where the testator dies on board or within six months after landing in a
place where he could have redone it in the ordinary forms.

However, where the testator undertakes a new sea voyage before expiry of that period,
the will is valid during the duration of that voya ge and during a new period of six months after
the testator has disembarked again.

Art. 995

(Act of 8 June 1893)

Dispositions inserted in a will made, in the course of a sea voyage, to the benefit of the
officers of the ship other that t hose who are relatives by blood or ma rriage of the testator, are null
and void.

It shall be the same, whether the will is made in the holographic form or received in
accordance with Articles 988 and following.

Art. 996

(Act of 8 June 1893)

A reading shall be given to the test ator, in the presence of the witnesses, of the provisions
of Articles 984, 987 or 994, as the case may be, and mention of that reading shall be mentioned
in the will .

Art. 997

(Act of 8 June 1893)

The wills included in the above Ar ticles of this Section shall be signed by the testator, by
those who have received them and by the witnesses.

Art. 998

(Act of 8 June 1893)

Where a testator declares that he is unable or does not know how to sign, mention shall
be made of his declaration, as well as of the reason which prevents him from signing.

In the case where the presence of two witnesses is required, the will shall be signed by
one of them at least, and mention shall be made of the reason why the other did not sign.

Art. 999

A French person who is in a foreign country may make his testamentary dispositions by
instrument under private signature, as is prescribed in Arti cle 970, or by authentic instrument, in
the forms in use in the place where the instrument is made.

Art. 1000

Wills made in a foreign countr y may be enforced on property situated in France only
after they have been registered at the office of the domicile of the testator, where he has kept
one, otherwise, at the office of his last know n domicile in France; and in the case the will
contains dispositions of immovables there situated, it shall be also registered at the registry of the
situation of those immovables, wi thout a double tax being charged .

Art. 1001

The formalities to which the various wills are subject under the provisions of this Section
and the preceding one shall be comp lied with on pain of annulment.

Section III – Of the Appoin tments of Heirs and of Legacies in general

Art. 1002

Testamentary dispositions are either universal, or by universal title, or specific.

Each of those dispositions, whether made under the designation of appointment of an
heir, or made under the designation of legacy, produ ces its effect according to the rules hereafter
laid down for universal legacies, for legacies by universal title, or for specific legacies.

Section IV – Of Universal Legacies

Art. 1003

A universal legacy is a testam entary disposition by which a testator donates to one or
more persons the entirety of the prope rty which he may leave at his death.

Art. 1004

Where, at the death of a testat or, there are heirs to whom a portion of his property is
reserved by law, those heirs are seized by operati on of law, by the death, of all the property of
the succession; and a universal legatee is comp elled to request of them the delivery of the
property included in the will.

Art. 1005

However, in the same cases, a universal legatee has the enjoyment of the property
included in the will from the day of the death, wh ere a claim for delivery was brought within one
year after that time; otherwise, that enjoymen t shall only commence from the day of a claim
brought in court, or from the day wh en delivery was voluntarily agreed to.

Art. 1006

Where at the death of a testator there are no heirs to whom a portion of the property is
reserved by law, a universal lega tee is seized by operation of law by the death of the testator,
without being compelled to request delivery.

Art. 1007

(Act n° 66-1012 of 28 Dec. 1966)

Before it produces its effects, an holographic or secret will shall be deposited in the hands
of a notaire. The will shall be opened where it is sealed . The notaire shall draw up at once a
memorandum of the opening and of the condition of the will, while specifying the circumstances
of the deposit. The will as well as the memora ndum shall take their place among the original
records of the notaire.

Within the month following the da te of the memorandum, the notaire shall address an
office copy of it and a facsimile of the will to the chief clerk of the tribunal d’instance of the
place of opening of the succession, who shall acknow ledge receipt of those documents and shall
place them among his original records.

Art. 1008

In the case of Article 1006, where th e will is holographic or secret, a universal legatee is
bound to apply to be vested with possession, by an orde r of the president, written at the foot of a
petition, to which the instrument of deposit shall be joined.

Art. 1009

A universal legatee who competes wi th an heir to whom the law reserves a portion of the
property, is liable for the debts and charges of the succession of the testator, personally to the
extent of his share and portion, and as to mort gages to the extent of the whole; and he is
responsible for paying all the lega cies, except in case of abatement, as is stated in Articles 926
and 927.

Section V – Of Legacies by Universal Title

Art. 1010

A legacy by universal title is one by which the testator bequeaths a portion of the
property of which the law permits him to dispose, such as a half, a third, or all his immovables,
or all his movables, or a fi xed portion of all his immovables or of all his movables.

Any other legacy constitutes only a specific disposition.

Art. 1011

Legatees by un iversal title are obliged to request delivery from the heirs to whom a
portion of property is reserved by law; and, fa iling them, from the heirs called in the order
established by the Title Of Successions.

Art. 1012

A legatee by univer sal title is liable, like a universal legatee, for the debts and charges of
the succession of the testator, pe rsonally to the extent of his share and portion, and as to
mortgages to the extent of the whole.

Art. 1013

Where a testator has disposed of only a part of the disposable portion, and has done so by
universal title, that legatee is res ponsible for paying the specific legacies pro rata with the natural
heirs.

Section VI – Of Specific Legacies

Art. 1014

An outright legacy gives to the lega tee, from the day of the death of the testator, a right to
the thing bequeathed, which right may be tr ansmitted to his heirs or assigns.

Nevertheless, a specific legatee may be vested with the possession of the thing
bequeathed, or claim the fruits or interests of it only from the day of his claim for delivery, made
following the order established by Article 1011, or from the day when delivery was voluntarily
granted to him.

Art. 1015

Interests or fruits of a thing bequ eathed accrue to the legatee, from the day of the death,
and without a claim having b een brought by him in court:

1° Where the testator has expre ssly expressed his wish in this regard in the will;

2° Where an annuity or a pension has been bequeathed as a maintenance.

Art. 1016

The costs of a claim for deliver y shall be charged to the succession, without however a
reduction of the statutory reserve resulting from it.

Recording fees are due by the legatee.

All of which, unl ess otherwise directed by the will.

Each legacy may be registered separately, without that registration benefiting to anyone
other than the legatee or his assigns.

Art. 1017

The heirs of the testator, or ot her debtors for a legacy, are personally liable for its
payment, each one pro rata of the share and po rtion by which he benefits in the succession.

They are responsible as to mortga ges for the whole, up to the amount of the value of the
immovables of the succession which they may hold.

Art. 1018

The thing bequeathed shall be delivered with its necessary accessories, and in the
condition in which it stands on th e day of the death of the donor.

Art. 1019

Where a person who bequeathed owne rship of an immovable, has increased it thereafter
by acquisitions, those acquisitions, ev en if contiguous, shall not be deemed to form a part of the
legacy, failing a new disposition.

It may not be so of improveme nts or of new constructions made on the tenement
bequeathed, or of an enclosure whos e space the testator has increased.

Art. 1020

Where, before the will or afterwards, a thing bequeathed has been mortgaged for a debt
of the succession, or even for the debt of a third person, or where it is burdened with a usufruct,
the one who is obliged to pay the legacy is not bound to disencumber the thing, unless he has
been directed to do so by an express provision of the testator.

Art. 1021

Where a testator has bequeathed a thing belonging to others, the legacy is void, whether
the testator knew or not that the thing did not belong to him.

Art. 1022

Where a legacy is of an undetermined thing, the heir are not obliged to give it of the best
quality, and he may not offer it of the worst.

Art. 1023

A legacy made to a creditor, may not be deemed a set-off against his claim, nor a legacy
made to a servant a set-off against his wages.

Art. 1024

A specific legatee is not liable for the debts of the succession, subject to the abatement of
the legacy, as above stated, and subjec t to a foreclosure action by creditors.

Section VII – Of Testamentary Executors

Art. 1025

A testator may appoi nt one or several testamentary executors.

Art. 1026

He may vest them in possession of the whole or only of part of his movables; but vesting
may not last for more than one year and one day after his death.

Where he did not grant it to them, they may not demand it.

Art. 1027

An heir may cause vesting to cease by offering to deliver to the testamentary executors a
sum sufficient to pay the legacies of m ovables, or by justifying that payment.

Art. 1028

A person who may not bind himself may not be a testamentary executor.

Art. 1029 [repealed]

Art. 1030

A minor may not be a testamentary executor, even with the authorization of his guardian
[or curator, repealed by implication].

Art. 1031

Testamentary executors shall ha ve seals affixed, where some of the heirs are minors,
adults in guardianship or absentees.

They shall have an inventory made of the property of the succession, in the presence of
the presumptive heir, or he having been duly summoned.

They shall induce the sale of mova bles, if there is insufficient money to pay the legacies.

They shall take care that the will is carried out; and, in case of controversy as to its
carrying out, they may interven e to support its validity.

They shall account for their manage ment on the expiry of the year from the death of the
testator.

Art. 1032

The powers of a testam entary executor may not pass to his heirs.

Art. 1033

Where there are several testamen tary executors who have accepted, one alone may act in
default of the others; and they are jointly and severally liable for the account of the movables
which was entrusted to them, unless the testator has divided their duties and each of them has
confined himself to those which were assigned to him.

Art. 1034

Expenses incurred by a testamentary executor for affixing seals, for the inventory, the
account and other expenses relating to his duties, shall be charged to the succession.

Section VIII – Of the Revocation of Wills and of their Lapse

Art. 1035

Wills may only be revoked, in whole or in part, by a subsequent will, or by an instrument
before notaires, containing the decl aration of a change of intention.

Art. 1036

Subsequent wills which do not revoke previous ones in an express manner annul only
those of the dispositions therei n contained which are inconsistent with the new ones, or which
are contrary to them.

Art. 1037

A revocation made in a subseque nt will produces its full effect, even though the new will
is not carried out through a disabil ity of the heir appointed or the legatee, or their refusal to take
it.

Art. 1038

Any transfer made by the testator of all or part of the thing bequeathed, even by a sale
with option of redemption or by exchange, involve s revocation of the legacy as to everything
that was transferred, even though the subsequent transfer is void and the thing has returned to the
hands of the testator.

Art. 1039

Any testamentary disposition lapses where the one in whose favour it was made does not
survive the testator.

Art. 1040

Any testamentary disposition made under a condition depending upon an uncertain event,
and such that, in the intention of the testator, that disposition is to be carried out only where the
event happens or does not happen, lapses if the a ppointed heir or the legatee dies before the
condition is fulfilled.

Art. 1041

A condition which, in the intention of the testator, only suspends the carrying out of the
disposition, does not prevent the appointed heir or the legatee from having a vested right
transmissible to his heirs.

Art. 1042

A legacy lapses, where the thi ng bequeathed totally perishes in the lifetime of the
testator.

It shall be likewise where it perish es after his death, without the act or fault of the heir,
although the latter may have been on notice to deliver it, if it would likewise have perished in the
hands of the legatee.

Art. 1043

A testamentary disposition lapses where the appointed heir or the legatee repudiates it or
is incompetent to take it .

Art. 1044

There shall be occasion for accruer to the benefit of the legatees, in the case where a
legacy is made jointly to several of them.

A legacy shall be deemed jointly made where it is made by one and the same disposition
and where the testator did not assign the share of each of the co-legatees in the thing bequeathed.

Art. 1045

It shall likewis e be deemed jointly made when a thin g which is not susceptible of being
divided without deterioration is donated by the same will to several persons, even separately.

Art. 1046

The same causes which, according Article 954 and the first two provisions of Article 955,
allow a claim for revocation of an inter vivos gift, shall justify a claim for revocation of
testamentary dispositions.

Art. 1047

Where that claim is based upon a grievous insult against the memory of the testator, it
must be brought within one year after the day of the offence.

CHAPTER VI – OF DISPOSITIONS ALLOWE D IN FAVOUR OF THE GRANDCHILDREN
OF A DONOR OR TESTATOR OR OF TH E CHILDREN OF HIS BROTHERS AND
SISTERS

Art. 1048

Property of which the father and mother may dispose, may be donated by them, in whole
or in part, to one or several of their childre n by inter vivos or testamentary act, with the
obligation of returning that prope rty to the children born and to be born, in the first degree only,
of said donees.

Art. 1049

Is valid, in case of death without children, a disposition which a deceased made by inter
vivos or testamentary act for the benefit of one or se veral of his brothers or sisters, of all or part
of the property which is not rese rved by law in his succession, with the obligation of returning
that property to the children born and to be born, in the first degree only, of said donee brothers
or sisters.

Art. 1050

The dispositions allowed by the two preceding Articles are valid only where the
obligation to return is for the benefit of all th e children born and to be born of the institute,
without exception or preference by reason of age or sex.

Art. 1051

Where, in the above cases, an instit ute subject to restitution for the benefit of his children
dies, leaving children in the first degree and des cendants of a pre-deceased child, the latter shall
take the portion of the pre-dece ased child, by representation.

Art. 1052

Where a child, brother or sister to whom property was donated by an inter vivos act,
without obligation of restitution, accepts a new gr atuitous transfer made by an inter vivos or
testamentary act, subject to the condition that th e property previously donated be burdened with
that obligation, they are no longer allowed to divi de the two dispositions made for their benefit
and to renounce the second to be sa tisfied with the first, even if they offer to return the property
included in the second gift.

Art. 1053

The rights of the substitutes take effect from the time when, for whatever reason, the
enjoyment of the child, the brother or the sister in stitutes comes to an end: an anticipated waiver
of the enjoyment for the benefit of the institutes may not prejudice creditors of the institute
antecedent to the waiver.

Art. 1054 [repealed by implication]

Art. 1055

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

A person who makes the dispositions allowed by the preceding Articles may, by the same
act, or by a subsequent act, in authentic form, appoint a guardian in charge of the execution of
those dispositions: that guardian may be dispen sed only for one of the causes expressed in
Articles 428 and following.

Art. 1056

Failing such guardian, one shall be named at the suit of the institute or of his guardian
where he is a minor, within a period of one mont h after the day of the death of the donor or
testator, or after the day when, since that de ath, the act containing the disposition has become
known.

Art. 1057

An institute who did not comply with the preceding Article loses the benefit of the
disposition; and, in that case, the right may be declared to be vested in the substitutes, at the suit
either of the substitutes where they are of full age, or of their guardian or curator, where they are
minors or adults in guardianship, or of any relative of the substitutes of full age, minors or adults
in guardianship, or even ex officio, at the suit of the Government procurator of the tribunal de
grande instance of the place where the succession was opened.

Art. 1058

After the death of the person who has disposed with an obligation of restitution, there
shall be made, in the ordinary forms, an invent ory of all the property and effects composing the
succession, except, nevertheless, in case of a spec ific legacy. That inventory shall include an
appraisal at a fair price of th e movables and movable effects.

Art. 1059

It shall be done at the request of the institute and within the period fixed in the Title Of
Successions, in the presence of the guardian appo inted for the execution. The expenses shall be
taken from the property included in the succession.

Art. 1060

Where an inventory was not made on request of the institute within the above period, it
shall be done within the following month at the suit of the guardian appointed for the execution,
in the presence of the institute or of his guardian.

Art. 1061

Where the two preceding Articles have not been complied with, the same inventory shall
be done, at the suit of the persons designated in Article 1057, the institute or his guardian and the
guardian appointed for the execution being summoned.

Art. 1062

The institute shall have a sale passed on to, by bills and auctions, of all the movables and
effects included in the disposition, with the ex ception nevertheless of those mentioned in the two
following Articles.

Art. 1063

The furniture and other movable things which are included in the disposition under the
express condition of keeping them in kind, shall be returned in the condition in which they are at
the time of the restitution.

Art. 1064

Cattle and implements used to e xploit lands shall be deemed included in the donations
inter vivos or testamentary of said lands; and th e institute is bound only to have them appraised
and evaluated, in order to return a lik e value at the time of the restitution.

Art. 1065

Within a period of six months after the day of the closing of the inventory, an institute
shall invest the ready money, the funds coming fr om the proceeds of the movables and effects
which have been sold, and what is received from bills receivable.

That period ma y be extended if there is occasion.

Art. 1066

An institute is likewise bound to invest the funds coming from bills receivable which are
recovered and from redemptions of annuities; and this, within three months at the latest after he
has received them.

Art. 1067

That investment shall be made in accordance with the directions of the maker of the
disposition, where he designated the nature of the property in which the investment must be
made; otherwise, it may be made only in immova bles or with a prior charge on immovables.

Art. 1068

The investment prescribed by the preceding Articles shall be made in the presence and at
the suit of the guardian appointed for the execution.

Art. 1069

(Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959)

Dispositions by inter vivos or testamen tary acts, with an obligation of restitution, shall, at
the suit either of the institute or of the guardia n appointed for the execution, be registered, as to
immovables in accordance with the statutes and re gulations relating to land registration, and as to
preferential or mortgaged claims followi ng the prescriptions of Articles 2148 and 2149,
paragraph 2, of this Code.

Art. 1070

Lack of “registration” (Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959) of an instrument containing a
disposition may be set up by creditors and third pa rties purchasers, even against minors or adults
in guardianship, subject to the remedy against the institute and the guardian for the execution,
and without the minors or adults in guardiansh ip being reinstated against that lack of
“registration” (Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959), even where the institute and the guardian are
insolvent.

Art. 1071

Lack of “registration” (O rd. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959) may not be made good or
considered as remedied by knowledge which the cr editors or third parties purchasers may have
had of the disposition in other ways than by the “registration” (Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959).

Art. 1072

Donees, legatees, and even the [deleted] heirs of the person
who made the disposition,
and likewise their donees, legatees or heirs may not, in any event, set up against the substitutes
the lack of “registratio n” (Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959) or of recording.

Art. 1073

A guardian appointed for the execu tion is personally liable, where he has not, in every
way, complied with the rules hereabove laid down for establishing the property, for the sale of
movables, for the investment of the funds, for the registration and recording and, in general,
where he has not taken all the necessary steps so that the obligation of restitution be well and
faithfully fulfilled.

Art. 1074

Where the institute is a minor, he may not, even in case of insolvency of his guardian, be
reinstated against non-compliance with the rules prescribed by the Articles of this Chapter.

CHAPTER VII – OF PARTITIONS MADE BY ASCENDANTS

(Act n° 71-523 of 3 July 1971)

Art. 1075

The father and mother and other ascendants may make a distribution and partition of their
property between their children and descendants.

That act may be made under the form of a partition made by gift or of a partition made by
will. It shall comply with the formalities, requis ites and rules prescribed for inter vivos gifts in
the first case, and for wills in the second, subj ect to the application of the provisions which
follow.

(Act n° 88-15 of 5 Jan. 1988) Wher e their property includes an individual concern of an
industrial, commercial, craft, ag ricultural or professional charact er, the father and mother and
other ascendants may, under the same conditions and with the same effects, distribute and

partition them between their children and descendants and othe r persons under the form of a
partition made by gift, provided th e tangible and intangible property allocated for the exploiting
of the concern is part of that distribution and th at partition, and that distribution and that partition
have the effect of assigning to those other persons only the owne rship of all or part of that
property or its enjoyment.

Art. 1075-1

A partition made by an as cendant may not be attacked for reason of loss.

Art. 1075-2

The provisions of Article 833- 1, paragraph 1, shall apply to balances which are the
responsibility of donees, notwithstanding any agreement to the contrary.

Art. 1075-3

Where the whole of the property wh ich an ascendant leaves on the day of his or her death
has not been included in the pa rtition, that item of his or her property which has not been
included shall be assigne d or partitioned in accordance with the law.

Section I – Of Partitions Made by Gifts

Art. 1076

A partition made by gift ma y have as its subject matter only existing property.

A gift and a partition may be made by separate acts, provided the ascendant is a party to
both acts.

Art. 1077

Property received by descendants as an anticipated partition constitutes an advancement
of their portions of reserve, unless it was donated expressly over and above their shares.

Art. 1077-1

A descendant who did not particip ate in a partition made by gift or who received a part
below his portion of the reserve may bring an ac tion for abatement where there does not exist at
the opening of the succession propert y not included in the partition and sufficient to form or
make his reserve complete, account being taken of the gratuitous transfers by which he may have
profited.

Art. 1077-2

Partitions made by gifts shall fo llow the rules of inter vivos gifts for all which regards
appropriation, calculation of the reserve and abatement.

An action for abatement may be brought only after the death of the ascendant who made
the partition or of the survivor of the ascendants in case of joint partition. It is time-barred after
five years from the said death.

A child not yet conceived at the time of a partition made by gift has a similar action to
form or make his hereditary share complete.

Art. 1078

Notwithstanding the rules which a pply to inter vivos gifts, the property donated must,
unless otherwise agreed, be appraised at the day of the partition made by gift as regards
appropriation and calculation of th e reserve, provided all the children living or represented at the
death of the ascendant have received a share in the anticipated partition and have expressly
accepted it, and no reservation of a usufruct bear ing on a sum of money has been provided for.

Art. 1078-1

The shares of certain “beneficiaries” (Act n° 88-15 of 5 Jan. 1988) may be formed, in
whole or in part, from gifts, e ither subject to collation, or over a nd above their shares, which they
already received from the ascendant , with regard possibly to the investments and re-investments
which they may have made in the interval.

The date of appraisal applicable to an anticipated partition shall also apply to the previous
gifts which are thus incorporated into it. Any stipulation to the contrary shall be deemed not
written.

Art. 1078-2

The parties may also agree that a previous gift over and above a donee’s share be
incorporated into a partition a nd appropriated to the portion of the reserve of the donee as an
advancement.

Art. 1078-3

The agreements specified in the two preceding Articles may take place even in the
absence of new gifts of the ascendant. They sha ll not be considered as gratuitous transfers
between descendants but as a pa rtition made by the ascendant.

Section II – Of Partitions Made by Wills

Art. 1079

A partition made by a will produces only the effects of a partition. Its beneficiaries have
the capacity of heirs and may not forego availing themselves of the will in order to claim a new
partition of the succession.

Art. 1080

A child or descendant who did not receive a share equal to his portion of the reserve may
bring an action for abatement in accordance with Article 1077-2.

CHAPTER VIII – OF GIFTS MADE BY ANTE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENT TO SPOUSES AND
TO CHILDREN TO BE BO RN OF THE MARRIAGE

Art. 1081

Every inter vivos gift of exis ting property, although made by an ante-nuptial agreement
to the spouses or to one of them, is subject to the general rules prescribed for the gifts made as
such.

It may not take place for the benefit of children to be born except in the cases stated in
Chapter VI of this Title.

Art. 1082

The father and mother, other as cendants, collateral relatives of the spouses and even
outsiders may dispose of all or part of the prope rty they will leave on the day of their death, by
an ante-nuptial agreement, as well for the benefit of said spouses, as for the benefit of children to
be born of their marriage, in case th e donor would survive the donee spouse.

Such gift, although made only for the benefit of the spouses or of one of them, shall
always, in the said case of survival of the donor, be presumed made for the benefit of the
children and descendants to be born of the marriage.

Art. 1083

A gift, in the form specified in th e preceding Article, is irrevocable, in this sense only that
the donor may not dispose gratuitously of the prop erty contained in the gift, with the exception
of moderate sums, by way of reimbursement or otherwise.

Art. 1084

A gift by an ante-nuptial agreem ent may be done cumulatively of existing and future
property, in all or in part, provi ded a statement of the debts and charges of the donor existing at
the time of the gift is annexed to the instrumen t; in which case, the donee shall be at liberty, at

the time of the death of the donor, to retain the existing property, by waiving the difference of
the donor’s property.

Art. 1085

Where the statement mentione d in the preceding Article was not annexed to the
instrument containing a gift of the existing and future property, a donee is obliged to accept or
repudiate that gift in whole. In case of accep tance, he may claim only the property existing on
the day of the death of the donor, and he is li able to pay all the debts and charges of the
succession.

Art. 1086

A gift may also be made by an ante-nuptial agreement in favour of the spouses and of
children to be born of their marriage, subject to the condition of paying without distinction all the
debts and charges of the succession of the donor, or subject to other conditions of which the
fulfilment depends upon his wish, by whatever pe rson the gift is made: the donee is obliged to
fulfil the conditions unless he prefers to renounce the gift; and in case a donor by an ante-nuptial
agreement has reserved to himself the power to dis pose of an article included in the gift of his
existing property, or of a fixed sum to be taken out of that same property, if he dies without
having disposed of them, the article or the sum shall be deemed included in the gift and shall
belong to the donee or his heirs.

Art. 1087

Gifts made by an ante-nuptial ag reement may not be attacked or declared void on the
pretext of lack of acceptance.

Art. 1088

Any gift made in favour of a marriage lapses where the marriage does not follow.

Art. 1089

Gifts made to one of the spouses, under the terms of Articles 1082, 1084 and 1086 above,
lapse where the donor surviv es the donee spouse and his or her descendants .

Art. 1090

All gifts made to spouses by thei r ante-nuptial agreement are, when the succession of the
donor opens, abatable up to th e portion which the law allows the donor to dispose of.

CHAPTER IX – OF DISPOSITIONS BETW EEN SPOUSES, EITHER BY ANTE-NUPTIAL
AGREEMENT OR DURING MARRIAGE

Art. 1091

Spouses may, by an ante-nuptial agreem ent, make to each other, or one to the other, such
gift as they deem proper, under th e amendments hereafter laid down.

Art. 1092

Any inter vivos gift of exis ting property, made between spouses by an ante-nuptial
agreement shall not be deemed made under condi tion of survival of the donee where that
condition is not formally expre ssed; and it shall be subject to all the rules and forms above
prescribed for these kinds of gifts.

Art. 1093

A gift of future property, or of existing and future property, made between spouses by an
ante-nuptial agreement, either single or reciprocal , shall be subject to the rules laid down by the
preceding Chapter, as regards similar gifts made by a third person, except that it may not pass to
the children born of the marriage, in case of d eath of the donee spouse before the donor spouse.

Art. 1094

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

A spouse may, either by an antenuptial agreement, or during marriage, in case he or she
leaves no legitimate or illegitimate children or des cendants, dispose in favour of the other spouse
in ownership, of everything he or she may dispose of in favour of a stranger, and, in addition, of
the bare ownership of the portion reserved to ascendants by Article 914 of this Code.

Art. 1094-1

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Where a spouse leaves children or descendants, either legitimate, born or not of the
marriage, or illegitimate, he or she may dis pose in favour of the other spouse, either of
ownership of what he or she may dispose of in favour of a stranger, or of one-fourth of his
property in ownership and of the ot her three-fourths in usufruct, or else of the totality of property
in usufruct only.

Art. 1094-2 [repealed]

Art. 1094-3

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Children or descendants may, not withstanding any stipulation of the disposing party to
the contrary, require, as to propert y subject to usufruct, that an inventory of movables as well as
a statement of immovables be drawn up, that funds be invested and that bearer securities be, at
the choice of the usufructuary, converted into registered securities or deposited with an
accredited depositary.

Art. 1095

A minor may, by an ante-nuptial agreement, donate to the other spouse, either by a single
gift or by a reciprocal gift, onl y with the consent and assistan ce of those whose consent is
required for the validity of the marriage; and with that consent, he may donate everything the law
allows a spouse of full age to donate to the other spouse.

Art. 1096

(Act of 18 Feb. 1938)

All gifts made between spous es, during the marriage, although named inter vivos, are
always revocable.

[repealed]

Those gifts are not revoked by the unforeseen birth of child
ren.

Art. 1097 and 1097-1 [repealed]

Art. 1098

(Act n° 72-3 of 3 Jan. 1972)

Where a remarried spouse made, to his or her second spouse, within the limits of Article
1094-1, a gratuitous transfer in ownership, each ch ild of the first bed has, so far as he is
concerned, unless otherwise unequivocally dire cted by the disposing party, the power to
substitute to the fulfilment of that transfer the wa iver of the usufruct of the share of succession he
would have received failing a surviving spouse .

Those who have exercised that power may require the application of the provisions of
Article 1094-3 .

Art. 1099

Spouses may not indirectly donate to each other more what they are allowed by the above
provisions .

Any gift, whether dis guised or made to intermediaries, is void.

Art. 1099-1

(Act n° 67-1179 of 28 Dec. 1967)

Where a spouse acquires a propert y with funds which were donated to him or her by the
other for that purpose, the gift is only of the funds and not of the property in which they were
invested.

In that case, the rights of the donor or of his or he r heirs have as their subject matter a
sum of money according to the present value of the property. Where the property has been
transferred, one considers the value it had on the day of the transfer, and where a new property
has been substituted to the property transferred, the value of that new property.

Art. 1100 [repealed]

TITLE III

OF CONTRACTS OR OF CONVENTI ONAL OBLIGATIONS IN GENERAL

CHAPTER I – PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

Art. 1101

A contract is an agreement by which one or several persons bind themselves, towards one
or several others, to transfer, to do or not to do something.

Art. 1102

A contract is synallagmatic or bilateral where the contracting parties bind themselves
mutually towards each other.

Art. 1103

It is unilateral where one or more persons are bound towards one or several others,
without there being a ny obligation on the pa rt of the latter.

Art. 1104

It is commutative where each part y binds himself to transfer or do a thing which is
considered as the equivalent of what is tran sferred to him or of what is done for him.

Where the equivalent consists in a chance of gain or of loss for each party, depending
upon an uncertain event, a contract is aleatory.

Art. 1105

A contract of benevolence is one by which one of the parties procures a purely gratuitous
advantage to the other.

Art. 1106

A contract for value is one which obliges each party to transfer or do something.

Art. 1107

Contracts, whether they have a specific denomination or not, are subject to general rules,
which are the subject matter of this Title.

Particular rule s for certain contracts are laid down under the Titles relating to each of
them; and the particular rules for commercial tran sactions are laid down by the legislation that
relates to commerce.

CHAPTER II – OF THE ESSENTIAL RE QUISITES FOR THE VALIDITY OF
AGREEMENTS

Art. 1108

Four requisites are essential for the validity of an agreement:

The consent of the party who binds himself;

His capacity to contract;

A definite object which forms the subject-matter of the undertaking;

A lawful cause in the obligation.

Section I – Of Consent

Art. 1109

There is no valid consent, wher e the consent was given only by error, or where it was
extorted by duress or abused by deception.

Art. 1110

Error is a ground for annulment of an agreement only where it rests on the very substance
of the thing which is the object thereof.

It is not a ground for annulment where it only rests on the person with whom one has the
intention of contracting, unless re gard to/for that person was the main cause of the agreement .

Art. 1111

Duress exerted against the pers on who has contracted the obligation is a ground for
annulment even though it was exerted by a third pa rty different from the one for whose benefit
the agreement was made.

Art. 1112

There is duress where it is of a nature to make an impression upon a reasonable person
and where it can inspire him with a fear of exposing his person or his wealth to considerable and
present harm.

Regard shall be paid, on this question, to the age, the sex and the condition of the
persons.

Art. 1113

Duress is a ground for annulment of a contract, where it is exerted not only against a
contracting party, but also agai nst the party’s spouse, against his or her descendants or
ascendants.

Art. 1114

Reverential fear alone towards a father, mother or other ascendant, without any duress
being exerted , may not su ffice to annul a contract.

Art. 1115

A contract may no longer be attacked on the ground of duress where, since duress has
ceased, that contract has been approved, either expressly, or by conduct, or in letting the time
fixed by law for restitution elapse.

Art. 1116

Deception is a ground for annulment of a contract where the schemes used by one of the
parties are such that it is obvious that, without them, the other party would not have entered into
the contract.

It may not be presumed, and must be proved.

Art. 1117

An agreement entered into by error, duress or deception is not void by operation of law; it
only gives rise to an action for annulment or re scission, in the cases and in the manner explained
in Section VII of Chapte r V of this Title.

Art. 1118

Loss vitiates agreements only in cer tain contracts and with regard to certain persons, as
will be explained in the same Section.

Art. 1119

As a rule, one may, bind oneself and stipulate in his own name, only for oneself.

Art. 1120

One may, nevertheless stand guarantee for a third party, by promising his acting; subject
to a compensation against him who stood guarantee or promised to obtain ratification, where the
third party refuses to keep the undertaking.

Art. 1121

One may likewise stipulate for the benefit of a third party, where it is the condition of a
stipulation which one makes for oneself or of a gift which one makes to another. He who made
that stipulation may no longer revok e it, where the third party declares that he wishes to take
advantage of it.

Art. 1122

One is deemed to have stipulat ed for himself and for his heirs and assigns, unless the
contrary is expressed or results from the nature of the agreement.

Section II – Of the Capac ity of Contracting Parties

Art. 1123

Any person may enter into a contra ct, unless he has been declared incapable of it by law.

Art. 1124

(Act n° 68-5 of 3 Jan. 1968)

Are incapable of entering in to a contract, to the extent defined by law:

Non-emancipated minors;

Adults protected with in the meaning of Article 488 of this Code.

Art. 1125

(Act n° 68-5 of 3 Jan. 1968)

Persons capable of binding themselves may not set up the incapacity of those with whom
they have made a contract.

Art. 1125-1

(Act n° 68-5 of 3 Jan. 1968)

Except for authorization by court, it is forbidden, on pain of annulment, for whomever
exercises a function or fills an employment in an institution sheltering elderly persons or
dispensing psychiatric care, to stand as purchaser of a property or assignee of a right belonging
to a person admitted to the institution, or to take on lease lodgings occupied by that person
before his admission to the institution.

For the implementation of this Article, shall be deemed intermediaries, the spouse,
ascendants and descendants of the persons to whom the above-enacted prohibitions apply.

Section III – Of the Object and Subject-Matter of Contracts

Art. 1126

Any contract has for its object a th ing which one party binds himself to transfer, or which
one party binds himself to do or not to do.

Art. 1127

The mere use or the mere possession of a thing may be the object of a contract, like the
thing itself.

Art. 1128

Only things which may be the subject matter of legal transactions between private
individuals may be the object of agreements.

Art. 1129

An obligation must have for its object a thing determined at least as to its kind.

The quantity of the thing may be uncertain, provided it can be determined.

Art. 1130

Future things may be the object of an obligation.

One may not however renounce a succession which is not open, or make any stipulation
with respect to such succession, even with the consent of him whose succession is concerned.

Section IV – Of Cause

Art. 1131

An obligation without cause or with a false cause, or with an unlawful cause, may not
have any effect.

Art. 1132

An agreement is nevertheless valid, although its cause is not expressed.

Art. 1133

A cause is unlawful where it is prohibited by legislation, where it is contrary to public
morals or to public policy.

CHAPTER III – OF THE E FFECT OF OBLIGATIONS

Section I – General Provisions

Art. 1134

Agreements lawfully entered into take the place of the law for those who have made
them.

They may be revoked only by mutual consent, or for causes authorized by law.

They must be performed in good faith.

Art. 1135

Agreements are binding not only as to what is therein expressed, but also as to all the
consequences which equity, usage or statute give to the obligation according to its nature.

Section II – Of the Ob ligation to Transfer

Art. 1136

An obligation to transfer carries that of delivering the thing and of keeping it until
delivery, on pain of damages to the creditor.

Art. 1137

An obligation to watch over the preservation of a thing, whether the agreement has as its
object the profit of one party, or it has as its object their common profit, compels the one who is
responsible to give it all the car e of a prudent administrator.

That obligation is more or less ex tensive as regards certain contracts, whose effects, in
this respect, are explained under the Titles which relate to them.

Art. 1138

An obligation of delivering a thi ng is complete by the sole consent of the contracting
parties.

It makes the creditor the owner and places the thing at his risks from the time when it
should have been delivered, alt hough the handing over has not been made, unless the debtor has
been given notice to deliver; in which case, th e thing remains at the risk of the latter.

Art. 1139

A debtor is given notice of defa ult either through a demand or other equivalent act “such
as a letter missive, where a sufficien t requisition results from its terms” (Act n° 91-650 of 9 July
1991), or by the effect of the agreement where it provides that the debtor will be put in default
without any notice and through th e mere expiry of time .

Art. 1140

The effects of an obligation to convey or deliver an immovable are regulated in the Title
Of Sales and in the Title Of Prior Charges and Mortgages.

Art. 1141

Where a thing which one is bound to transfer or deliver to two persons successively is
purely movable, the one of the two who has b een put in actual possession is preferred and
remains owner of it, although his title is subseq uent as to date, provided however that the
possession is in good faith.

Section III – Of the Obligati on to Do or not to Do

Art. 1142

Any obligation to do or not to do resolves itself into damages, in case of non-
performance on the part of the debtor.

Art. 1143

Nevertheless, a creditor is entitle d to request that what has been done through breach of
the undertaking be destroyed; and he may have himself authorized to destroy it at the expense of
the debtor, without prejudice to da mages, if there is occasion.

Art. 1144

A creditor may also, in case of non-performance, be authorized to have the obligation
performed himself, at the debtor’s expense . “T he latter may be ordered to advance the sums
necessary for that performance ” (Act n° 91-650 of 9 July 1991) .

Art. 1145

Where there is an obligation not to do, he who violates it owes damages by the mere fact
of the violation.

Section IV – Of Damages Resulting from the Non-Performance of Obligations

Art. 1146

Damages are due only where a debtor is given notice to fulfil his obligation, except
nevertheless where the thing whic h the debtor has bound himself to transfer or to do could be

transferred or done only within a certain time whic h he has allowed to elapse. “Notice of default
may follow from a letter missive where a sufficien t requisition results from it” (Act n° 91-650 of
9 July 1991).

Art. 1147

A debtor shall be ordered to pay damages, if there is occasion, either by reason of the
non-performance of the obligation, or by reason of delay in performing, whenever he does not
prove that the non-performance comes from an exte rnal cause which may not be ascribed to him,
although there is no bad faith on his part.

Art. 1148

There is no occasion for any dama ges where a debtor was prevented from transferring or
from doing that to which he was bound, or did wh at was forbidden to him, by reason of force
majeure or of a fortuitous event.

Art. 1149

Damages due to a creditor are, as a rule, for the loss which he has suffered and the profit
which he has been deprived of, subject to the exceptions and modifications below.

Art. 1150

A debtor is liable only for damages which were foreseen or which could have been
foreseen at the time of the cont ract, where it is not through his ow n intentional breach that the
obligation is not fulfilled.

Art. 1151

Even in the case where the non- performance of the agreement is due to the debtor’s
intentional breach, damages may include, with resp ect to the loss suffered by the creditor and the
profit which he has been deprived of, only what is an immediate and direct consequence of the
non-performance of the agreement.

Art. 1152

Where an agreement provides that he who fails to perform it will pay a certain sum as
damages, the other party may not be awarded a greater or lesser sum.

(Act n° 75-597 of 9 July 1975) Nevertheless, the judge may “even of his own motion”
(Act n° 85-1097 of 11 Oct. 1985) moderate or in crease the agreed penalty, where it is obviously
excessive or ridiculously low. Any stipulation to the contrary shall be deemed unwritten.

Art. 1153

(Act n° 75-619 of 11 July 1975) In obligations which are restricted to the payment of a
certain sum, the damages resulting from delay in performance shall consist only in awarding
interests at the statutory rate, except for special rules for commerce and suretyship.

(Ord. n° 59-148 of 7 Jan. 1959) Those damages are due without the creditor having to
prove any loss.

(Act n° 75-619 of 11 July 197 5) They are due only from the day of a demand for
payment “or of another equivalent act such as a letter missive where a sufficient requisition
results from it” (Act n° 92-644 of 13 July 1992) , except in the case where the law makes them
run as a matter of right.

(Act of 7 April 1900) A creditor to whom his debtor in delay has caused, by his bad faith,
a loss independent of that delay may obtain damage s distinct from the interest on arrears of the
debt.

Art. 1153-1

(Act n° 85-677 of 5 July 1985)

In all matters, the award of a compensation involves interest at the statutory rate even
failing a claim or a specific provisi on in the judgment. Save as otherwise provided by legislation,
that interest runs from the ha nding down of the judgment unless the judge otherwise rules . In
case a udgment allowing an indemnity for compensa tion of a loss is unreservedly affirmed by an
appellate judge, the determinati on as a matter of law produces interest as from the judgment of
first instance. In the other cases, an indemnity allowed on appeal produces interest from the
judgment given in appeal. The appellate judge may always derogate from the provisions of this
paragraph.

Art. 1154

Interests due on capital may produce interest, either by a judicial claim, or by a special
agreement, provided that, either in the claim, or in the agreement, the interest concerned be owed
at least for one whole year.

Art. 1155

Nevertheless, the revenue owed, such as farm rents, rents, arrearages of perpetual or life
annuities, produce interest from the day of the claim or of the agreement.

The same rule shall apply to the rest itution of fruits and to interest paid by a third party to
a creditor on behalf of the debtor .

Section V- Of the Interpretation of Agreements

Art. 1156

One must in agreements seek wh at the common intention of the contracting parties was,
rather than pay attention to th e literal meaning of the terms.

Art. 1157

Where a clause admits of two meanings, one shall rather understand it in the one with
which it may have some effect, than in th e meaning with which it could not produce any.

Art. 1158

Terms which admit of two meanings shall be taken in the meaning which best suits the
subject matter of the contract.

Art. 1159

What is ambiguous shall be interpre ted by what is in use in the region where the contract
was made.

Art. 1160

Terms which are customary shall be supplemented in the contract, even though they are
not expressed there.

Art. 1161

All the clauses of an agreement are to be interpreted with reference to one another by
giving to each one the meaning which results from the whole instrument.

Art. 1162

In case of doubt, an agreement shall be interpreted against the one who has stipulated,
and in favour of the one who has contracted the obligation .

Art. 1163

However general the terms in wh ich an agreement is phrased may be, it shall include
only the things upon which the parties a ppear to have intended to contract.

Art. 1164

Where in a contract one case wa s expressed for explaining the obligation, it shall not be
deemed that it was thereby intended to reduce th e scope of the agreement which extends as of
right to cases not expressed.

Section VI – Of the Effect of Agreements with Respect to Third Parties

Art. 1165

Agreements produce effect only betw een the contracting parties; they do not harm a third
party, and they benefit him only in the case provided for in Article 1121.

Art. 1166

Nevertheless, creditors may exercise their debtor’s rights and actions, except those which
are exclusively dependent on the person.

Art. 1167

They may also, on their own behalf , attack transactions made by their debtor in fraud of
their rights .

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965) They shall nevertheless, as to those of their rights which
are laid down in the Title Of Ante-nuptial Agreem ent and of Matrimonial Regimes, comply with
the rules therein prescribed .

CHAPTER IV – OF THE VARI OUS KINDS OF OBLIGATIONS

Section I – Of Conditional Obligations

§ 1 – Of Condition in Genera l and of its Various Kinds

Art. 1168

An obligation is conditional wh ere it is made to depend upon a future and uncertain
event, either by suspending it unt il the event happens, or by cancelling it, according to whether
the event happens or not.

Art. 1169

A casual condition is one which depends upon chance and whic
h is in no way in the
power of the creditor or of the debtor.

Art. 1170

A potestative condition is one which makes the fulfilment of the agreement depend upon
an event which one or the other of the contract ing parties has the power to make happen or to
prevent.

Art. 1171

A mixed condition is one which depends at the same time upon the wish of one of the
contracting parties, and upon the wish of a third party.

Art. 1172

Any condition relating to an impossi ble thing, or contrary to public morals, or prohibited
by law, is void, and renders void the agreement which depends upon it.

Art. 1173

A condition not to do an impossi ble thing does not render void the obligation contracted
upon that condition.

Art. 1174

An obligation is void where it wa s contracted subject to a potestative condition on the
part of the one who binds himself.

Art. 1175

Every condition must be fulfilled in the manner in which the parties have in all likelihood
wished and intended that it should be.

Art. 1176

Where an obligation is contracted subject to the condition that an event will happen
within a fixed time, that condition is deemed fa iled where the time has elapsed without the event
having happened . Where there is no time fixed, th e condition may always be fulfilled; and it is
deemed failed only when it has become certain that the event will not happen .

Art. 1177

Where an obligation is contracted subject to the condition that an event will not happen in
a fixed time, that condition is fulfilled when that time has expired without the event having
happened: it is so too when, before the term, it is certain that the event will not happen; and
where there is no determined time, it is fulfilled only when it is certain that the event will not
happen.

Art. 1178

A condition is deemed fulfille d where it is the debtor, bound under that condition, who
has prevented it from being fulfilled.

Art. 1179

A condition which is fulfilled has a retroactive effect to the day when the undertaking
was contracted. Where the creditor dies before the condition is fulfilled, his rights pass to his
heir.

Art. 1180

A creditor may, before the conditi on is fulfilled, take all steps to preserve his right.

§ 2 – Of Condition Precedent

Art. 1181

An obligation contracted under a condition precedent is one which depends either on a
future and uncertain event, or on an event ha ving presently happened, but still unknown to the
parties.

In the first case, the ob ligation may be performed only after the event.

In the second case, the obligation takes effect as from the day when it was contracted.

Art. 1182

Where an obligation was contr acted under a condition precedent, the thing which is the
subject matter of the agreement remains at th e risk of the debtor who has bound himself to
deliver it only in the case of the occurrence of the condition.

Where the thing perishes entirel y, without the fault of the debtor, the obligation is
extinguished.

Where the thing has been deteriorat ed without the fault of the debtor, the creditor has the
choice either to avoid the obligation, or to demand the thing in the condition in which it is,
without any price reduction.

Where the thing has been deteri orated through fault of the debtor, the creditor has the
right either to avoid the obligati on, or to demand the thing in the condition in which it is, with
damages.

§ 3 – Of Condition Subsequent

Art. 1183

A condition subsequent is one whic h, when it is fulfilled, brings about the revocation of
the obligation, and which puts things back in th e same condition as if the obligation had not
existed.

It does not suspend the fulfilment of the obligation; it only compels the creditor to return
what he has received, in the case where th e event contemplated by the condition happens.

Art. 1184

A condition subsequent is always implied in synallagmatic contracts, for the case where
one of the two parties does not carry out his undertaking.

In that case, the contract is not avoided as of right. The party towards whom the
undertaking has not been fulfilled has the choice either to compel the other to fulfil the
agreement when it is possible, or to request its avoidance with damages.

Avoidance must be applied for in court, and the defendant may be granted time according to
circumstances.

Section II – Of Obligations with a Term

Art. 1185

A term differs from a condition, in that it does not suspend the undertaking, of which it
only delays the fulfilment.

Art. 1186

What is due only with a term may not be claimed befo re the expiry of the term; but what
was paid in advance may not be recovered.

Art. 1187

A term is always presumed stipul ated in favour of the debtor, unless it follows from the
stipulation, or from the circumstances, that it was also agreed in favour of the creditor.

Art. 1188

(Act n° 85-98 of 25 Jan. 1985)

A debtor may no longer claim the benefit of a term where by his own act he has lessened
the guarantees which he had given his creditor by the contract.

Section III – Of Alternative Obligations

Art. 1189

The debtor of an alternative oblig ation is discharged by the delivery of one of the two
things which were included in the obligation.

Art. 1190

The choice belongs to the debtor , where it was not expressly granted to the creditor.

Art. 1191

A debtor may discharge himself by delivering one of the things promised; but he may not
compel the creditor to receive a part of one and a part of the other.

Art. 1192

An obligation is outright, although contracted in an alternative manner, where one of the
two things promised could not be the subject matter of the obligation.

Art. 1193

An alternative obligation becomes outright, where one of the things promised perishes
and may no longer be delivered, even through the fau lt of the debtor. The price of that thing may
not be offered in its place.

Where both have perished, and the de btor is at fault as to one of them, he shall pay the
price of the one which has perished last.

Art. 1194

Where, in the cases provided for in the preceding Article, the choice was conferred to the
creditor under the agreement,

Either one of the things only has peri shed; and then, if it is without fault of the debtor, the
creditor shall have the one which remains; if the debtor is at fault, the creditor may demand the
thing which remains, or the pric e of the one which has perished;

Or both things have perished; and the n, if the debtor is at fault as to both, or even only as
to one of them, the creditor may demand the pr ice of one or the other, at his choice.

Art. 1195

Where both things have perished w ithout the fault of the debtor, and before he was put in
default, the obligation is extingu ished, in accordance with Article 1302.

Art. 1196

The same principles shall apply in case there are more than two things included in the
alternative obligation.

Section IV – Of Joint and Several Obligations

§ 1 – Of Joint and Several Creditors

Art. 1197

An obligation is joint and several between several creditors, where the instrument of title
expressly gives to each of them the right to demand payment of the whole claim, and payment
made to one of them discharges the debtor, a lthough the benefit of the obligation is to be
partitioned and divided between the various creditors.

Art. 1198

It is at the choice of the debtor to pay one or anot her of joint and several creditors , so
long as he is not prevented by legal pro ceedings instituted by one of them.

Nevertheless, a release given by onl y one of the joint and several creditors discharges the
debtor only for the shar e of that creditor .

Art. 1199

An act which interrupts the running of the statute of limitation with respect to one of the
joint and several creditors benefits the other creditors.

§ 2 – Of Joint and Several Debtors

Art. 1200

There is joint and several liabili ty on the part of debtors where they are bound for a same
thing, so that each one may be compelled for the whole, and payment made by one alone
discharges the others towards the creditor.

Art. 1201

An obligation may be joint an d several although one of the debtors is bound differently
from another for payment of the same thing; for instance, where one is bound only conditionally,
whereas the other’s undertaking is outright, or where one has been given time which has not
been granted to the other.

Art. 1202

Joint and several liability may not be presumed: it must be expressly stipulated.

This rule only ceases in the case s where joint and several liability exists as a matter of
right, under a st atutory provision.

Art. 1203

A creditor of an obligation contra cted jointly and severally may apply to the one of the
debtors he wishes to choose, without the latter being allowed to set up the benefit of division.

Art. 1204

Proceedings brought against one of the debtors do not prevent the creditor from
instituting similar ones against the others.

Art. 1205

Where a thing due has perished thr ough the fault of one or several of the joint and several
debtors or after they were given notice of defaul t, the other debtors are not discharged from the
obligation to pay the price of the thing; but they are not liable for damages.

The creditor may only recover damages from the debtors through whose fault the thing
has perished or from those who were under notice of default.

Art. 1206

Proceedings instituted against one of the joint and several debtors interrupts the running
of the statute of limitation with respect to all.

Art. 1207

A demand for interest brought against one of the joint and several debtors causes interest
to run with respect to all.

Art. 1208

A joint and several co-debtor su ed by the creditor may set up all the defences which
result from the nature of the obligation, and all those which are personal to him, as well as those
which are common to all the co-debtors.

He may not set up defences which are purely personal to some of the other co-debtors.

Art. 1209

Where one of the debtors becomes the sole heir of the creditor, or where the creditor
becomes the sole heir of one of the debtors, th e merger extinguishes the joint and several claim
only for the share and portion of the debtor or of the creditor.

Art. 1210

A creditor who consents to a divisi on of the debt with respect to one of the co-debtors
retains his joint and several acti on against the others, but only unde r deduction of the share of the
debtor whom he has discharged fr om the joint and several liability.

Art. 1211

A creditor who receives severally the share of one of his debtors, without reserving in the
receipt the joint and several liabil ity or his rights in general, renounces joint and several liability
only with respect to this debtor.

A creditor is not deemed to releas e the debtor from the joint and several liability where
he receives from him a sum equal to the por tion for which he is bound, where the receipt does
not mention that it is for his share .

It shall be likewise as to a mere claim brought against one of the debtors for his share,
where the latter has not admitted the claim, or where no compensatory judgment has been
handed down .

Art. 1212

A creditor who receives severally and without reservation from one the co-debtors his
portion in the arrears or interest on the debt, loses the joint and several liability only for the
arrears or interest due, not for those to become due or for the ca pital, unless the several payment
has been continuing for ten consecutive years.

Art. 1213

An obligation contracted jointly and severally towards a creditor is divided by operation
of law between the debtors, who are liable betw een themselves only each one for his share and
portion.

Art. 1214

The co-debtor of a joint and severa l obligation, who paid it in full, may recover from the
others only the share and portion of each one of them .

Where one of them is insolv ent, the loss occasioned by his insolvency shall be
apportioned pro rata between all the other solven t co-debtors and the one who made the payment
.

Art. 1215

In case the creditor waives the join t and several action with respect to one of the debtors,
if one or several of the other co -debtors become insolvent, the por tion of those insolvent shall be
apportioned pro rata between all th e debtors, even between those previously discharged from the
joint and several liability by the creditor.

Art. 1216

Where the affair for which the debt was contracted jointly and severally concerns only
one of the joint and several co-obligors, the latter are liable for the whole debt towards the other
co-debtors, who must be cons idered with regard to him only as his sureties .

Section V – Of Divisible a nd Indivisible Obligations

Art. 1217

An obligation is divisible or indivi sible according to whether its object is a thing which in
its delivery, or an act which in its performance, is or not susceptible of a division either physical
or intellectual .

Art. 1218

An obligation is indivisible, alt hough the thing or act which is its object is divisible by its
nature, where the way in which it is considered in the obligation does not render it susceptible to
part performance .

Art. 1219

A stipulated jo int and several liability doe s not give the character of indivisibility to an
obligation.

§ 1 – Of the Effects of Divisible Obligations

Art. 1220

An obligation which is susceptib le of being divided must be performed between the
creditor and the debtor as though it were indivisible. Divisibility operates only as to their heirs,
who may claim the debt or are bound to pay it only for the shares which they receive or for
which they are liable as represen ting the creditor or the debtor .

Art. 1221

The principle established in the preceding Article is subject to exceptions, with regard to
the heirs of a debtor:

1° Where the debt is secured by a mortgage;

2° Where it is of a thing certain;

3° Where it is a question of an alte rnative debt of things at the choice of the creditor, of
which one is indivisible;

4° Where one of the heirs is ma de alone responsible, by the instrument of title, of the
performance of the obligation;

5° Where it results, either from the nature of the undertaking, or from the thing which is
the object of it, or from the purpose intended in th e contract, that the intention of the contracting
parties was that the debt shoul d not be partially discharged.

In the first three cases, the heir who possesses the thing due or the tenement mortgaged
for the debt may be sued for the whole on the thi ng due or on the tenement mortgaged, subject to
his remedy against his co-heirs. In the fourth case, the heir who is alone responsible for the debt,
and in the fifth case, each heir, may also be sued for the whole, subject to his remedy against his
co-heirs .

§ 2 – Of the Effects of Indivisible Obligations

Art. 1222

Each one of those who have jointly contracted an indivisible debt is liable for the whole,
although the obligation was not cont racted jointly and severally.

Art. 1223

It shall be likewise with regard to the heirs of a person who has contracted such an
obligation.

Art. 1224

Each heir of the creditor may demand performance of an indivisible obligation in whole.

He may not release alone the whol e debt; he may not receive alone the price instead of
the thing. Where one of the heirs has alone released the debt or received the price of the thing,
his co-heir may claim the indivisible thing only by taking into account the portion of the co-heir
who has given the release or received the price.

Art. 1225

An heir of the debtor, who is sued for the whole obligation, may request time for joining
his co-heirs in the action, unless the debt is of su ch a nature that it can be discharged only by the
sued heir, against whom judgment may then be given, subject to his remedy for compensation
against his co-heirs.

Section VI – Of Obligati ons with Penalty Clauses

Art. 1226

A penalty is a clause by which a pe rson, in order to ensure performance of an agreement,
binds himself to something in case of non-performance.

Art. 1227

Nullity of the principal obligation involves that of the penalty clause.

Nullity of the latter does no involve that of the principal obligation.

Art. 1228

A creditor, instead of claiming the penalty stipulated against the debtor who is under
notice of default, may proceed with the pe rformance of the principal obligation .

Art. 1229

A penalty clause is a compensa tion for the damages which the creditor suffers from the
non-performance of the principal obligation.

He may not claim at the same tim e the principal and the penalty, unless it was stipulated
for a mere delay.

Art. 1230

Whether the or iginal obligation contains, or not a term within which it must be
performed, the penalty is incurred only where the one who is bound either to deliver, or to take,
or to do, is under notice of default.

Art. 1231

(Act N° 75-597 of 9 July 1975)

Where an undertaking has been perf ormed in part, the agreed penalty may “, even of his
own motion,” (Act n° 85-1097 of 11 Oct. 1985) be lessened by the judge in proportion to the
interest which the part performance has procur ed for the creditor, without prejudice to the
application of Article 1152. Any stipulation to the contrary shall be deemed not written.

Art. 1232

Where an original obligation contra cted with a penalty clause relates to an indivisible
thing, the penalty is incurred by the breach of only one of the heirs of the debtor, and it may be
claimed, either for the whole against the person in breach, or against each of the co-heirs for their
share and portion, and by mortgage for the whol e, subject to their remedy against the one who
caused the penalty to be incurred.

Art. 1233

Where an original obligation contracted under a penalty is divisible, the penalty is
incurred by the one of the debtor’s heirs who c ontravenes that obligation, and for the share only
for which he was bound in the principal obligation, without there being any action against those
who have performed it.

An exception is made to this ru le where the penalty clause having been added for the
purpose that payment may not be made partially, a co-heir has prevented the performance of the
obligation in whole. In that cas e, the entire penalty may be clai med against him, and against the
other co-heirs for their portion only, and subject to their remedy.

CHAPTER V – OF THE EXTING UISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS

Art. 1234

Obligations are extinguished:

By payment;

By novation;

By voluntary release;

By set-off;

By merger;

By the loss of the thing;

By nullity or rescission;

By the effect of a condition subs equent, as was explained in the preceding Chapter; and

By the running of the statute of limitation, which will be the subject matter of a special
Title.

Section I – Of Payment

§ 1 – Of Payment in General

Art. 1235

Any payment supposes a debt: what has been paid without being owed is subject to

restitution.

Restitution is not allowed with respect to natura l obligations which were voluntarily
discharged.

Art. 1236

An obligation may be discharged by any person having an interest therein, such as a co-
obligee or a surety.

An obligation may even be di scharged by a third party who has no interest therein,
provided that party acts in the name and on behalf of the debtor, or, where he acts in his own
name, he is not subrogated to the rights of the creditor.

Art. 1237

An obligation to do may not be discharged by a third party against the wish of the
creditor, where the latter has an interest in having it performed by the debtor himself .

Art. 1238

In order to pay validly, one must be the owner of the thing given in payment, and be
capable of transferring it.

Nevertheless, the payment of a su m of money or of some other thing which is consumed
by use, may not be recovered from a creditor who has consumed it in good faith, although the
payment of it was made by a person who was not the owner or who was not capable of
transferring it.

Art. 1239

Payment must be made to the creditor, or somebody having authority from him, or
authorized by the court or by statute to receive for him.

Payment made to a person who ha s no authority to receive for the creditor, is valid,
where the latter ratifies it or has profited by it.

Art. 1240

Payment made in good faith to one who was in possession of the claim is valid, even if
the possessor is afterwards dispossessed.

Art. 1241

Payment made to a creditor is not valid, where he was incapable of receiving it, unless
the debtor proves that the thing paid has tu rned to the advantage of the creditor.

Art. 1242

Payment made by a debtor to his creditor, notwithstanding an attachment or a
garnishment is not valid, with respect to the attaching or garnishing creditors: the latter may,
according to their rights, compel him to pay agai n, subject, in that case only, to his remedy
against the creditor.

Art. 1243

A creditor may not be compelled to receive a thing different from the one which is owed
to him, although the value of the thin g offered is equal or even greater.

Art. 1244

(Act n° 91-650 of 9 July 1991)

A debtor may not compel a creditor to receive payment in part of a debt, even divisible.

Art. 1244-1

(Act n° 91-650 of 9 July 1991)

However, taking into account the debtor’s position and in consideration of the creditor’s
needs, a judge may, within a two-year limit, defer or spread out the payment of sums due.

By a special judgement, setting out the grounds on which it is based,

, the judge may order that the su ms corresponding to the deferred due dates carry interest at a
reduced rate which may not be lower than the stat utory rate or that the payments be appropriated
first to the capital.

Furthermore, he may subordinate those measures to the performance, by the debtor, of
acts appropriate for facilitating or gu aranteeing the payment of the debt.

The provisions of this Ar ticle shall not apply to debts for maintenance.

Art. 1244-2

(Act n° 91-650 of 9 July 1991)

The judgment handed down under Article 1244-1 stays, the enforcement proceedings
which may have been instituted by the creditor. Increases of interest or penalties incurred
because of delay cease to be due during the period fixed by the judge.

Art. 1244-3

(Act n° 91-650 of 9 July 1991)

Any stipulation contrary to the provisions of Articles 1244-1 and 1244-2 shall be
deemed not written.

Art. 1245

The debtor of a thing certain and determined is discharged by the delivery of the thing in
the condition in which it is at the time of deliv ery, provided that deteriorations which happened
to it did not come from his act or his fault, or fr om that of persons for whom he is responsible, or
that before those deteriorations he was not under notice of default.

Art. 1246

Where a debt is of a thing determin ed only as to its kind, a debtor is not obliged to give it
in the best of its kind; but he may not offer it in its worst.

Art. 1247

(Ord. n° 58-1298 of 23 Dec. 1958)

Payment must be made in the place designated by the agreement . Where a place is not
designated, payment, if it is for a thing certain and determined, mu st be made at the place where
the thing forming the object of the obliga tion was at the time of that obligation.

Periodical payments ordered for maintenance must be made, subject to a contrary order
of the judge, at the domicile or at the resi dence of the person who is to receive them.

Apart from those cases, payment must be made at the domicile of the debtor.

Art. 1248

The costs of payment are borne by the debtor.

§ 2 – Of Payment with Subrogation

Art. 1249

Subrogation to the rights of a creditor for the benef it of a third person who pays him is
either conventional or statutory.

Art. 1250

Such subrogation is conventional:

1° Where a creditor receiving his payment from a third person subrogates him to his
rights, actions, prior charges or mortgages against the debtor: th at subrogation must be express
and made at the same time as the payment;

2° Where a debtor borrows a su m for the purpose of paying his debt, and of subrogating
the lender to the rights of the cr editor. In order that this subrogation be valid, the instrument of
loan and the receipt must be drawn up before notai res ; in the instrument of loan there must be
declared that the sum was borrowed in order to ma ke the payment, and in the receipt, there must
be declared that the payment has been made from the funds furnished for this purpose by the new
creditor. That subrogation has its effect without the concurrence of the wish of the creditor.

Art. 1251

Subrogation takes place by operation of law:

1° For the benefit of the person who, being himself a creditor, pays another creditor who
is preferred to him by reason of his prior charges or mortgages;

2° For the benefit of the purch aser of an immovable, who employs the price of his
purchase for the payment of the creditors to whom that property was mortgaged;

3° For the benefit of the person who, being bound with others or for others to the
payment of a debt, was interested in discharging it;

4° For the benefit of a benefici ary heir who paid from his own funds the debts of a
succession.

Art. 1252

The subrogation established by the pr eceding Articles takes place, as well against sureties
as against debtors: it may not pr ejudice a creditor where he has onl y been paid in part; in that
case, he may enforce his rights, for what remain s due to him, in preference to the person from
whom he received only part payment.

§ 3 – Of Appropriation of Payments

Art. 1253

A debtor of several debts has the ri ght to declare, when he pays, what debt he intends to
discharge .

Art. 1254

A debtor of a debt which bears in terest or produces arrears , may not, without the consent
of the creditor, appropriate the payment which he makes to the capital in preference to the arrears
or interest: a payment made on capital and interest, but which is not in full, shall be appropriated
first to interest.

Art. 1255

Where a debtor of various de bts has accepted a receipt by which the creditor has
appropriated what he received to one of thos e debts in particular, the debtor may no longer
request appropriation to a different debt, unless there has been deception or trick on the part of
the creditor.

Art. 1256

Where a receipt does not bear any appropriation, the payment shall be appropriated to the
debt which the debtor had at that time the great est interest in discharging among those which are
likewise due; otherwise, to the debt due, although less burdensome than those which are not.

Where the debts are of equal nature , appropriation shall be made to the oldest; all things
being equal, it shall be made proportionately.

§ 4 – Of Tenders of Payment and of Deposit

Art. 1257

Where a creditor refuses to re ceive his payment, the debtor may make him an actual
tender, and upon the refusal of the creditor to accept it, deposit the sum or the thing tendered.

Actual tenders followed by a depos it discharge the debtor; they take the place of payment
with respect to him, where they are validly made , and the thing thus deposited remains at the risk
of the creditor.

Art. 1258

In order that an actual tender be valid, it is necessary:

1° That it be made to a creditor having capacity to receive, or to the one who has authority to
receive for him;

2° That it be made by a person capable of paying;

3° That it be for the entire sum due, for the arrears or interest due, for liquidated costs,
and for a sum for non-liquidated costs, subject to its being made up;

4° That the term have elapse d, where it was stipulated in favour of the creditor;

5° That the condition under which the debt has been contracted has happened;

6° That the tender be made at the place agreed upon for payment and that, where there is
no special agreement as to the place of payment, it be made either to the person of the creditor,
or at his domicile, or at the domicile elected for performance of the agreement;

7° That the tender be made by a ministerial officer having capacity for such acts.

Art. 1259 [repealed]

Art. 1260

The costs of an actual tender a nd of a deposit are borne by the creditor, where they are
valid;

Art. 1261

So long as the deposit has not be accepted by the creditor, the debtor may withdraw it;
and where he withdraws it, his co-debtors or his sureties are not discharged .

Art. 1262

Where a debtor has himself obtaine d a judgment become res judicata, which has declared
his tender and deposit good and va lid, he may no longer, even with the consent of the creditor,
withdraw his deposit to the detriment of his co-debtors or of his sureties .

Art. 1263

A creditor who has consented to th e debtor’s withdrawing his deposit after it had been
declared valid by a judgment become res judicata , may no longer, for the payment of his claim,
enforce the prior charges and mort gages which attached thereto: he has only a mortgage from the
day when the act by which he has consented to th e withdrawal of the deposit has been clothed
with the forms required to establish a mortgage.

Art. 1264

Where the thing owed is a thing certain which must be delivered at the place where it is,
the debtor must demand of the creditor that he removes it, by notice served upon him personally
or to his domicile or to the domicile elected fo r the performance of the agreement. That demand
made, where the creditor does nor remove the thi ng and the debtor needs the place in which it is
set, he may obtain from the court perm ission to deposit it in some other place.

Art. 1265 to 1270 [repealed]

Section II – Of Novation

Art. 1271

Novation is brought about in three ways:

1° Where a debtor contracts toward s his creditor a new debt which is substituted for the
old one, which is extinguished;

2° Where a new debtor is substituted for the old one who is discharged by the creditor;

3° Where, by the effect of a new undertaking, a new creditor is substituted for the old
one, towards whom the debtor is discharged.

Art. 1272

Novation may be brought about only between persons capable of contracting.

Art. 1273

Novation may not be presumed; th e wish to bring it about must clearly result from the
instrument.

Art. 1274

Novation by substitution of a new debtor may be brought about without the assistance of
the first debtor.

Art. 1275

A delegation by which a debtor gives a creditor another debtor who binds himself
towards the creditor, does not bring about a nova tion, unless the creditor has expressly declared
that he intended to discharge hi s debtor who made the delegation.

Art. 1276

A creditor who has discharged a debtor by whom a delegation was made, has no remedy
against that debtor, where the delegate becomes insolvent, unless the instrument contains an
express reserve or the delegate was already [under a judicial arra ngement], or insolvent at the
time of the delegation.

Art. 1277

A mere indication, made by a debt or, of a person who is to pay in his stead, does not
bring about a novation.

It shall be likewise as to a me re indication made by a creditor, of a person who is to
receive for him.

Art. 1278

Prior charges and mortgages of a former claim do not pass to the one which is substituted
to it, unless the creditor has expressly reserved them.

Art. 1279

Where novation is brought about by substitution of a new debtor, the original prior
charges and mortgages of the claim do not pass on the property of the new debtor.
(Act n° 71-579 of 16 July 1971) The original prior charges and mortgages of the claim
may be reserved with the consent of the owners of the encumbered property, for the guarantee of
the performance of the undert aking of the new debtor .

Art. 1280

Where novation is brought about between a creditor and one of the joint and several
debtors, the prior charges and mortgages of the former claim may be reserved only on the
property of the person who contracts the new debt.

Art. 1281

Co-debtors are released by a nova tion made between a creditor and one of the joint and
several debtors.

A novation brought about with resp ect to a principal debtor discharges the sureties.

Nevertheless, where a creditor in the first case, has required adhesion of the co-debtors
or, in the second case, that of th e sureties, the former claim subsists, where the co-debtors or the
sureties refuse to agree to the new arrangement.

Section III – Of Remission of Debt

Art. 1282

A voluntary remittance of the origin al instrument under private signature, by a creditor to
a debtor, is proof of discharge.

Art. 1283

A voluntary remittance of the ex ecutory copy of the instrument of title establishes a
presumption of remission of the debt or of paym ent, without prejudice to proof of the contrary.

Art. 1284

A voluntary remittance of the original instrument under private signature, or of the
executory copy of the instrument of title, to one of the joint and several debtors, has the same
effect for the benef it of his co-debtors.

Art. 1285

A remission or agreed discharge for the benefit of one of the joint and several co-debtors
releases all the others, unless the creditor has ex pressly reserved his rights against the latter.

In that last case, he may rec over the debt only after deducting the share of the one to
whom he has made the remission.

Art. 1286

A remittance of a thing given as pledge does not suffice to establish a presumption of
remission of debt.

Art. 1287

A remission or agreed discharge granted to a principal debtor releases the sureties;
That granted to a su rety does not release the principal debtor;

That granted to one of the sureties does not release the others.

Art. 1288

What a creditor has received from a surety to discharge his security shall be appropriated
to the debt, and turn to the discharge of th e principal debtor and of the other sureties.

Section IV – Of Set-Off

Art. 1289

Where two persons are debtors towards each other, set-off is brought about which
extinguishes both debts, in the manner and in the cases hereafter laid down.

Art. 1290

Set-off is brought about as of ri ght by the sole operation of the law, even without the
knowledge of the debtors; the tw o debts are reciprocally extinguished, from the moment when
they happen to exist at the same time, to the extent of their respective amounts.

Art. 1291

Set-off takes place only between tw o debts which have likewise as their object a sum of
money or a certain quantity of fungibles of the same kind and which are likewise liquid and due.

Undisputed performances in crops or commodities, and whose price is fixed by market
lists, may be set off against liquid and due sums.

Art. 1292

Days of grace are not a bar to set-off.

Art. 1293

Set-off takes place whatever the origin of either debt may be, except in the case:

1° Of a claim for restitution of a thing of which the owner has been unjustly deprived;

2° Of a claim for restitution of a deposit or of a loan for use;

3° Of a debt due for ma intenance declared not liable to attachment.

Art. 1294

A surety may raise set-off for what the creditor owes to the principal debtor.

But a principal debtor may not raise set-off of what the creditor owes to the surety.

Similarly, a joint and several debtor may not raise set-off of what the creditor owes to his
co-debtor.

Art

1295

A debtor who has accepted outright the assignment which a creditor made of his rights to
a third party may no longer raise against the as signee a set-off which he might have raised
against the assignor before the acceptance.

As regards an assignment which was not accepted by the debtor, but notice of which has
been served upon him, it prevents only set-off as to claims subsequent to that notice.

Art. 1296

Where two debts are not payable at the same place, set-off may be raised only by giving
satisfaction as to th e costs of delivery.

Art. 1297

Where several debts due by the sa me person may be set off , the same rules are followed
as to set-off as those establis hed for appropriation by Article 1256.

Art. 1298

Set-off does not take place to the de triment of the vested rights of third parties. Thus, a
person who, being a debtor, has become a creditor after an attachment has been made in his
hands by a third party may not raise set-off to the detriment of the attaching party.

Art. 1299

He who has paid a debt which was extinguished as of right by set-off may no longer, by
enforcing the claim for which he has not raised set-off, avail himself of the prior charges or
mortgages attached thereto, to th e detriment of third parties, unless he had good reason for not
being aware of the claim which would have set off his debt.

Section V – Of Merger

Art. 1300

Where the capac ities of creditor and debtor are un ited in the same person, a merger is
made as of right which extinguishes both claims.

Art. 1301

A merger which is brought about in the person of a principal debtor benefits his sureties;

That which is brought about in th e person of a surety does not involve extinguishment of
the principal obligation ;

That which is brought about in the person of a creditor, benefits his joint and several co-
debtors only as to th e share and portion of which he was debtor.

Section VI – Of the Loss of a Thing Due

Art. 1302

Where a thing certain and determ ined which was the object of an obligation perishes,
may no longer be the subject matter of legal transac tions between private individuals, or is lost in
such a way that its existence is absolutely unkno wn, the obligation is extinguished if the thing

has perished or has been lost without the fault of the debtor, and before he was under notice of
default.

Even where the debtor is under noti ce of default, if he has not assumed fortuitous events,
the obligation is extinguished in the case where the thing would al so have perished in the hands
of the creditor if it had been delivered to him.

The debtor is obliged to prove the fortuitous event which he alleges.

In whatever manner a thing which has been stolen may have perished, or been lost, its
loss does not excuse the person who took it away from restitution of its price.

Art. 1303

Where a thing perishes, may no longe r be the subject matter of legal transactions between
private individuals, or is lost, without the fault of the debtor, he is obliged, if there are any rights
or actions for indemnity with respect to th at thing, to assign them to his creditor.

Section VII – Of the Action for Annu lment or Rescission of Agreements

Art. 1304

(Act n° 68-05 of 3 Jan . 1968)

In all cases where an action for annul ment or rescission of an agreement is not limited to
a shorter time by a special statute, that action lasts five years.

In case of duress, that time runs only from the day when it has ceased; in case of error or
deception, from the day when they were discovered.

As regards transactions entere d into by a minor, the time runs only from the day of
majority or emancipation; and as regards transact ions entered into by a protected adult, from the
day when he had knowledge of them, while being in a situation to validly redo them. It runs
against the heirs of a person under a disability only from the day of the death, unless it has begun
to run previously.

Art. 1305

(Act n° 64-1230 of 14 Dec. 1964)

A mere loss gives rise to rescission in favour of a non-emancipated minor, with respect to
all kinds of agreements.

Art. 1306

A minor is not entitled to resc ission on the ground of loss, where it results only from a
casual and unforeseen event.

Art. 1307

-A mere declaration of majority, made by a minor, is not a bar to rescission.

Art. 1308

(Act n° 74-631 of 5 July 1974)

A minor who practises a profe ssion is not entitled to rescission against undertakings
which he has taken upon himself in the practice thereof.

Art. 1309

A minor is not entitled to resc ission against the terms contained in his ante-nuptial
agreement where they were made with the cons ent and assistance of those whose consent is
required for the validity of his marriage.

Art. 1310-

He is not entitled to rescission against the obligations resulting from his intentional or
unintentional wrongs.

Art. 1311

He is no longer allowed to repudi ate an undertaking which he had entered into during his
minority where he has ratified it when an adult, whether that undertaking was void in its form, or
only subject to rescission.

Art. 1312

(Act of 18 Feb. 1938)

Where minors or adults in guardi anship are entitled in those capacities to rescission
against their undertakings, the repayment of what may have been paid during the minority or the
guardianship of adults in consequence of those undertakings, may not be demanded, unless it is
proved that what has been paid has turned to their benefit.

Art. 1313

Adults are entitled to rescission for loss only in the cases and subject to the conditions
specially laid down in this Code.

Art. 1314

Where the forma lities required with regard to minors or adults in guardianship either for
the conveyance of an immovable, or for the par tition of a succession, have been fulfilled, they
shall be, in relation to those transactions, c onsidered as though they had made them during
majority or before the guardianship of adults.

CHAPTER VI – OF THE PROOF OF OBLIGATIONS AND OF PAYMENT

Art. 1315

A person who claims the performance of an obligation must prove it.

Reciprocally, a person who claims to be released must substantiate the payment or the
fact which has produced the exti nguishment of his obligation.

Art. 1315-1

(Act n° 2000-230 of 13 March 2000)

The rules relating to documentary evidence, oral evidence, presumptions, admissions of
parties and oaths are explained in the following Sections .

Section I – Of Documentary Evidence

§ 1 – General Provisions

(Act n° 2000-230 of 13 March 2000)

Art. 1316

Documentary evidence, or evid ence in writing, results from a sequence of letters,
characters, figures or of any other signs or symbols having an intelligible meaning, whatever
their medium and the ways and m eans of their transmission may be.

Art. 1316-1

A document in electronic form is admissible as evidence in the same manner as a paper-
based document, provided that the person from whom it proceeds can be duly identified and that
it be established and stored in conditi ons calculated to secure its integrity.

Art. 1316-2

Where a statute has not fixed ot her principles, and failing a valid agreement to the
contrary between the parties, th e judge shall regulate the conflicts in matters of documentary
evidence by determining by every means the most cr edible instrument, whatever its medium may
be.

Art. 1316-3

An electronic-based document has the same probative value as a paper-based document .

Art. 1316-4

The signature necessary to the execution of a legal transaction identifies the person who
apposes it. It makes clear the c onsent of the parties to the obligations wh ich flow from that
transaction. When it is apposed by a public officer, it confers au thenticity to the document.

Where it is electronic, it consists in a reliable process of identifying which safeguards its
link with the instrument to which it relates. The reliability of that process shall be presumed,
until proof to the contrary, where an electronic signa ture is created, the identity of the signatory
secured and the integrity of the instrument sa feguarded, subject to the conditions laid down by
decree in Conseil d’État .

§ 2 – Of Authentic Instruments

Art. 1317

An authentic instrument is one which has been received by public officers empowered to
draw up such instruments at the place where th e instrument was written and with the requisite
formalities.

(Act n° 2000-230 of 13 March 2000) It may be drawn up on an electronic medium where
it is established and stored in conditi ons fixed by decree in Conseil d’État .

Art. 1318

An instrument which is not authen tic because of the lack of power or incapacity of the
officer, or of a defect in form, has the value of a private instrument, if it was signed by the
parties.

Art. 1319

An authentic instrument is conclusive evidence of the agreement it contains between the
contracting parties and their heirs or assigns.

Nevertheless in case of a criminal complaint for forgery, the execution of the instrument
allegedly forged is suspended by the indictmen t; and in case of allegation of forgery made
incidentally, the courts may, according to the circumstances, suspend temporarily the execution
of the instrument.

Art. 1320

An instrument, either authenti c, or under private signature, is evidence between the
parties, even of what is expressed only in decl aratory terms, provided the declaration has a direct
connection with the operative part . Declarations irrelevant to the operative part may only be used
as a commencement of proof.

Art. 1321

Counter letters may be effective only between the contracting parties; they may not be
effective against third parties.

§ 3 – Of Instruments under Private Signature

Art. 1322.-An instrument under private signature, acknowledged by the person against whom it
is set up, or statutorily held as acknowledged, is, between those who have signed it and between
their heirs and assigns, as conclusi ve as an authentic instrument.

Art. 1323

A person against whom an instru ment under private signature is set up is obliged to
formally admit or disclaim hi s handwriting or his signature.

His heirs or assigns may confine themselves to declare that they are not aware of the
handwriting or the signature of their predecessor in title.

Art. 1324.-In the case where the party disclaims hi s handwriting or his signature, and in the case
where his heirs or assigns declare that they are not aware of them, a verification shall be ordered
in court.

Art. 1325

Instruments under private signat ure which contain synallagmatic agreements are valid
only insofar as they have been made in as many originals as there are parties having a distinct
interest.

One original suffices for all the persons who have the same interest.

Each original must indicat e the number of originals which have been made.

Nevertheless, a failure to men tion that the originals have been made in duplicate,
triplicate, etc., may not be se t up by the party who has perfor med on his part the agreement
entered on the instrument.

Art. 1326

(Act n° 80-525 of 12July 1980)

The legal transaction by which one party alone undertakes towards another to pay him a
sum of money or to deliver him a fungible must be ascertained in an instrument which carries the
signature of the person who subscribes that und ertaking as well as the mention, written “by
himself” (Act n° 2000-230 of 13 March 2000), of the sum or of the quantity in full and in
figures. In case of difference, the instrument under private signature is valid for the sum written
in full.

Art. 1327 [repealed]

Art. 1328

Instruments under private signatur e have a date against third parties only from the day
when they have been registered, from the day of the death of the one or one of those who have
signed them, or from the date when their gist is established in instruments drawn up by public
officers, such as memoranda of sealing or of inventory.

Art. 1329

The registers of merchants are not evidence of the supplies therein mentioned against
persons who are not merchant, except for what will be stated with regard to oaths.

Art. 1330

The books of merchants are eviden ce against them; but he who wishes to take advantage
from them may not separate from them wh at they contain contrary to his claim.

Art. 1331

Family registers and papers do not constitute an instrument of title for the one who wrote
them. They are evidence against him: 1° in all cases where they formally state a payment

received ; 2° where they contain an express mention that the en try has been made to make good a
defect of the instrument in favour of the pe rson in whose benefit they state an obligation.

Art. 1332

A writing made by a creditor at the end, in the margin or on the back of an instrument
who has always remained in his possession, is ev idence, although not signed or dated by him,
where it tends to establish the discharge of the debtor.

It shall be likewise with a writing made by a creditor on the back, or in the margin, or at
the end of the duplicate of an inst rument or of a receipt, provided th at duplicate is in the hands of
the debtor.

§ 4 – Of Tallies

Art. 1333

Tallies corresponding to their samples are evidence between persons who are in the
practice of thus establishi ng the supplies they furnish or receive in retail.

§ 5 – Of Copies of Instruments

Art. 1334

Where the original instrument is still extant, copies are evidence only of what is
contained in the instrument, whos e production may always be required.

Art. 1335

Where the original instrument no longer exists, copies are evidence according to the
following distinctions:

1° Executory or first office copies are evidence as the original is: it shall be likewise with
the copies which have been made under the author ity of the court, the parties being present or
duly summoned, or with those which have been ma de in the presence of the parties and by their
mutual consent.

2° Copies which, without the aut hority of the court or without the consent of the parties
and since the delivery of the executo ry or first office copies, have been made from the original of
the instrument by the notaire who received it, or by one of his successors, or by public officers
who, in such capacity, are depositar ies of the originals, may, in case or loss of the original, be
evidence when they are ancient.

They shall be deemed ancient where they are more than thirty years old.

Where they are less than thirty y ears old, they may only be used as a commencement of
proof in writing.

3° Where the copies made from the original of an instrument were done by the notaire
who received it, or by one of his successors, or by public officers who, in such capacity, are
depositaries of the originals, they may be used, however ancient they may be, only as a
commencement of proof in writing.

4° Copies of copies may, accord ing to the circumstances, be considered as mere
information.

Art. 1336

The registration of an inst rument on public registers may only be used as a
commencement of proof in writing; and even for that purpose it shall be necessary :

1° That it be certain that all the originals of the notaire, of the year in which the
instrument appears to have been made, are lost, or that one proves that the loss of the original
occurred through a particular accident;

2° That there exist an orderly list of the notaire, which establishes that the instrument was
made at the same date.

Where, owing to the concurren ce of these two circumstances oral evidence is admitted,
those who were witnesses to th e instrument shall be heard, if they are still alive .

§ 6 – Of Instruments of Recognition and of Confirmation

Art. 1337.-Instruments of recognition do not reli eve from the production of the original
instrument, unless its terms are specially stated therein.

What they may contain in addition to the original instrument, or what is different therein,
has no effect.

Nevertheless, where there are several consistent recognitions, supported by possession,
and of which one dates back thirty years, th e creditor may be relieved from producing the
original instrument.

Art. 1338

An instrument of confirmation or ratification of an obligation against which legislation
allows an action for annulment or rescission is va lid only where are found therein the gist of that
obligation, mention of the ground of the action for rescission, and the intention to cure the defect
upon which that action is based.

Failing an instrument of confirmati on or ratification, it is sufficient that the obligation be
performed voluntarily after the time when the oblig ation might be validly performed or ratified.

Confirmation, ratification, or voluntary performance in the forms and at the time
determined by law, implies waiver of the grounds and exceptions which might be raised against
that instrument, without prejudice however to the rights of third parties.

Art. 1339

A donor may not cure by any act of confirmation the defects of a gift inter vivos, void as
to form: it must be remade in the form prescribed by law.

Art. 1340

Confirmation or ratification, or vol untary performance of a gift by the heirs or assigns of
a donor, after his death, implies that they waive their right to raise either the defects in form or
any other defences.

Section II – Of Oral Evidence

Art. 1341

(Act n° 80-525 of 12 July 1980)

An instrument before notaires or under private signature must be executed in all matters
exceeding a sum or value fixed by decree1, even for voluntary deposits, and no proof by witness
is allowed against or beyond the contents of instrume nts, or as to what is alleged to have been
said before, at the time of, or af ter the instruments, although it is a question of a lesser sum or
value.

All of which without prejudice to wh at is prescribed in the statutes relating to commerce.

1 D. n° 80-533 of 15 July 1980 : 5 000 F (800 €)

Art. 1342

(Act n° 80-525 of 12 July 1980)

The above rule shall apply where an action contains, in addition to a claim for capital, a
claim for interest which, added to the capital, ex ceeds the figure provided for in the preceding
Article.

Art. 1343

(Act n° 80-525 of 12 July 1980)

A person who has brought a clai m exceeding the figure provided for in Article 1341 may
no longer be allowed to produce oral eviden ce, even by reducing his original claim.

Art. 1344

(Act n° 80-525 of 12 July 1980)

Oral evidence may not be allowed on a claim for a sum even lesser than that which is
provided for in Article 1341, where that sum is decl ared to be the balance or to form part of a
larger claim which is not proved in writing.

Art. 1345

(Act n° 80-525 of 12 July 1980)

Where, in the same proceedings , a party asserts several claims for which he has no
written instrument, and where, joined together, they exceed the sum provided for in Article 1341,
oral evidence of them may not be allowed, alth ough the party alleges that those claims come
from different origins and that they were fo rmed at different times, unless those rights are
derived from succession, gift or ot herwise, from different persons.

Art. 1346

All claims, whatever their ground may be, which are not fully justified in writing, shall
be brought by the same process, after which th e other claims of which there is no written
evidence may not be received .

Art. 1347

The above rules are subject to ex ception where there exists a commencement of proof in
writing.

Is so called any instrument in writing which emanates from the person against whom a
claim is brought, or from the person he repres ents, and which makes probable the alleged fact.

(Act n° 75-596 of 9 July 1975) May be considered by the judge as equivalent to a
commencement of proof in writing the declaratio ns made by a party at the time of his personal
examination, his refusal to answer or his absence at the examination .

Art. 1348

(Act n° 80-525 of 12 July 1980)

The above rules are also subject to exceptions where the obligation arises from a quasi-
contract, an intentional or unint entional wrong, or where one of th e parties either did not have
the material or moral possibility to procure a written proof of a legal transaction, or has lost the
instrument which served him as written proof in consequence of a fortuitous event or of force
majeure.

They are also subject to exceptions where a party or a depositary has not kept the original
instrument and presents a copy which is a repr oduction that is not only faithful but also
enduring. Is deemed enduring an indelible repr oduction of the original which involves a non-
reversible alteration of the medium.

Section III – Of Presumptions

Art. 1349

Presumptions are the consequences that a statute or the court draws from a known fact to
an unknown fact.

§ 1 – Of Presumptions Established by Statute

Art. 1350

A statutory presumption is on e which is attached by a special statute to certain
transactions or to ce rtain facts; such as:

1° The transactions which a stat ute declares void, as presumed made in fraud of its
provisions, from their nature alone;

2° The cases in which a statute de clares ownership or discharge to result from certain
determined circumstances;

3° The author ity which law gives to res judicata;

4° The force which law attach es to an admission of a party or to his oath.

Art. 1351

The force of res judicata takes place only with respect to what was the subject matter of a
judgment. It is necessary that the thing claimed be the same; that the claim be based on the same
grounds; that the claim be between the same partie s and brought by them and against them in the
same capacity.

Art. 1352

A statutory presumption disp enses from any proof him in whose favour it exists.

No proof is allowed against a statutory presumption, where, on the basis of such
presumption, the law annuls certain transactions or denies a right of action, unless it reserves
contrary evidence and subject to what will be said on judicial oath and admissions.

§ 2 – Of Presumptions Which are not Established by Statute

Art. 1353

The presumptions which are not established by a statute are left to the insight and
carefulness of the judges, who shall only admit serious, precise and concurrent presumptions,
and in the cases only where statutes admit oral evidence, unless a transaction is attacked for
reason of fraud or deception.

Section IV – Of Admissions of a Party

Art. 1354

An admission which is set up agai nst a party is either extra-judicial or judicial.

Art. 1355

An allegation of an extra-judicial admission which is purely verbal is useless whenever
the claim is one in which oral evidence would not be admissible.

Art. 1356

A judicial admission is a declara tion which a party or his special agent makes in court.

It is conclusive evidence against him who made it;

It may not be divided against him;

It may not be revoked, unless it is pr oved that it was the result of an error of fact. It might
not be revoked under the pret ext of an error of law.

Section V – Of Oaths

Art. 1357

A judicial oath is of two kinds :

1° The one which a party tenders to the other in order to make the judgment of the case
depend upon it: it is called decisive ;

2° The one which is tendered by the judge of his own motion to one or another of the
parties.

§ 1 – Of Decisive Oaths

Art. 1358

A decisive oath may be tendered in any kind of controversies whatsoever.

Art. 1359

It may be tendered only as to a fact which is personal to the party to whom it is tendered.

Art. 1360

It may be tendered at all stag es of the case and although there exists no commencement
of proof in writing of the claim or of the de fence in relation to which it is instigated.

Art. 1361

A person to whom an oath is te ndered, who refuses it or does not consent to tender it
back to his opponent, or an opponent to whom it ha s been tendered back and who refuses it, shall
be defeated in his claim or in his defence.

Art. 1362

An oath may not be tendered back where the fact to which it relates does not concern
both parties, but is purely personal to th e one to whom the oath was tendered.

Art. 1363

Where an oath tendered or tendere d back has been taken, the opponent is not admitted to
prove the falsity of it.

Art. 1364

The party who has tendered or tendered back an oath may no longer retract where the
opponent has declared that he is ready to take the oath.

Art. 1365

An oath is evidence only for the be nefit of the person who has tendered it or against him,
and for the benefit of his heir s and assigns or against them.

Nevertheless an oath tendered by one of the joint and several creditors to a debtor
discharges the latter only for the share of that creditor;

An oath tendered to a principal debtor discharges also the sureties;

The one tendered to one of th e joint and several debtors benefits the co-debtors;

And the one tendered to a surety benefits the principal debtor.

In the last two cases, the oath of a joint and several co-debtor or of a surety benefits the
other co-debtors or the principa l debtor only where it has been tendered in connection with the
debt, and not with the circumst ance of the joint and several liability or of the security.

§ 2 – Of Oaths Tendered by a Judge of his Own Motion

Art. 1366

A judge may tender an oath to one of the party, in order either to make the decision of the
case depend upon it, or only to fix the amount of the order.

Art. 1367

A judge may tender an oath of hi s own motion, with reference either to a claim or to a
defence set up against it, only subject to th e following two conditions; it is necessary:

1° That the claim or the defence be not fully substantiated;

2° That it be not wholly deprived of proof.

Outside those two cases, the judge must either admit or dismiss the claim outright.

Art. 1368

An oath tendered by the judge of his own motion to one of the parties may not be
tendered back by that party to the other.

Art. 1369

An oath as to the value of a th ing claimed may be tendered by the judge to the plaintiff
only where it is otherwise impossi ble to establish that value.

Even in that case, the judge must determine the sum up to the amount of which the
plaintiff shall be believed on his oath.

TITLE IV

OF UNDERTAKINGS FORMED WITHOUT AN AGREEMENT

Art. 1370

Certain undertakings are formed w ithout the intervention of any agreement, either on the
part of him who binds himself, or on th e part of him towards whom he is bound.

Some of them result from the sole authority of legislation; others arise from an act
personal to the one who is obligated.

The former are the undertakings formed involuntarily, such as those between
neighbouring owners, or those of guardians and other administrators who may not refuse the
duties which are imposed upon them.

Undertakings arising from an act personal to him who is bound result either from quasi-
contracts, or from intentional or unintentional wrongs; they constitute the subject-matter of this
Title .

CHAPTER I – OF QUASI-CONTRACTS

Art. 1371

Quasi-contracts are purely voluntary acts of man, from which there results some
undertaking towards a third part y, and sometimes a reciprocal undertaking of both parties.

Art. 1372

Where one voluntarily manages a nother’s business, whether the owner is aware of the
management, or whether he is not, he who manage s contracts a tacit undertaking to continue the
management which he has embarked on, and to co mplete it until the owner is in a position to
look after it himself; he must al so take charge of all the continuations of that business.

He is then subject to all the obligations which would result from an express authority
which the owner might have confided to him.

Art. 1373

He is bound to continue his mana gement, although the owner happens to die before the
business is achieved , until a heir is able to take over the business.

Art. 1374

He is bound to bring to the ma nagement of the business all the care of a prudent
administrator.

Nevertheless, the circumstances which have led him to take the responsibility of the
business may authorize the judge to restrain the damages which would result from the faults or
negligent conduct of the manager.

Art. 1375

The owner whose business has been well managed must fulfil the undertakings which the
manager has contracted in his name, indemnify him for all the personal undertakings into which
he has entered and reimburse him for all the useful or necessary expenses which he has incurred.

Art. 1376

He who receives by error or knowingly what is not owed to him is bound to make
restitution to the person from wh om he has unduly received it.

Art. 1377

Where a person who, by error, believ ed himself to be the debtor, pays a debt, he has the
right to recovery against the creditor.

Nevertheless, that right ceases wher e the creditor has cancelled his instrument of title in
consequence of the payment, subject to the reme dy of the person who has paid against the true
debtor.

Art. 1378

Where there has been bad faith on the part of the person who received, he is bound to
make restitution, of the capital as well as of interest or fruits, from the day of payment.

Art. 1379

Where the thing unduly received is an immovable or a tangible movable, the person who
has received it binds himself to make restitution in kind, if it exists, or of its value, if it has
perished or deteriorated through his fault; he is even guarantor of its loss by fortuitous event, if
he received it in bad faith.

Art. 1380

Where the person who received in good faith has sold the thing, he must make restitution
only of the proceeds of the sale.

Art. 1381

The person to whom a thing is rest ored must account, even to a possessor in bad faith, of
all the necessary and useful expenses which have been incurred for the preservation of the thing.

CHAPTER II OF INTENTIONAL AND UNINTENTIONAL WRONGS

[OF TORTS]

Art. 1382

Any act whatever of man, whic h causes damage to another, obliges the one by whose
fault it occurred, to compensate it.

Art. 1383

Everyone is liable for the damage he causes not only by his intentional act, but also by
his negligent conduct or by his imprudence.

Art. 1384

A person is liable not only for th e damages he causes by his own act, but also for that
which is caused by the acts of pers ons for whom he is responsible, or by things which are in his
custody.

(Act of 7 Nov. 1922) However, a person who possesses, regardless of the basis thereof,
all or part of a building or of movable propert y in which a fire has originated is not liable

towards third parties for damages caused by that fire unless it is proved that the fire must be
attributed to his fault of to the fault of persons for whom he is responsible.

(Act of 7 Nov. 1922) This pr ovision may not apply to the landlord and tenant
relationship, which remains governed by Articles 1733 and 1734 of the Civil Code.

(Act n° 70-459 of 4 June 1970) The fa ther and mother, in so far as they exercise “parental
authority” (Act n° 2002-305 of 4 March 2002), are jointly and severally liable for the damage
caused by their minor childre n who live with them.

Masters and employers, for the damage caused by their servants and employees in the
functions for which they have been employed;

Teachers and craftsmen, for the damage caused by their pupils and apprentices during the
time when they are under their supervision.

(Act of 5 April 1937) The above lia bility exists, unless the father and mother or the
craftsmen prove that they could not prevent the act which gives rise to that liability.

(Act of 5 April 1937) As to teachers, the faults, imprudence or negligent conducts
invoked against them as having caused the damagi ng act must be proved by the plaintiff at the
trial, in accordance with the general law.

Art. 1385

The owner of an animal, or the person using it, during the period of usage, is liable for
the damage the animal has caused, whether the an imal was under his custody, or whether it had
strayed or escaped .

Art. 1386

The owner of a building is liable for the damage caused by its collapse, where it happens
as a result of lack of maintenance or of a defect in its construction .

TITLE IV bis

OF LIABILITY FOR DEFECTIVE PRODUCTS

(Act n° 98-389 of 19 May 1998)

Art. 1386-1

A producer is liable for damages caused by a defect in his product, whether he was bound
by a contract with the injured person or not.

Art. 1386-2

The provisions of this Title shall apply to a damage resulting from an injury to the person
or to a property other than the defective product.

Art. 1386-3

A product is any movable, even though incorporated into an immovable, including the
products of the soil, of stock-farming, of hunti ng and fishing. Electricity shall be deemed a
product.

Art. 1386-4

A product is defective within th e meaning of this Title where it does not provide the
safety which a person is entitled to expect.

In order to appraise the safety whic h a person is entitled to expect, regard shall be had to
all the circumstances and in particular to the presentation of the product, the use to which one
could reasonably expect that it would be put, and the time when the product was put into
circulation.

A product shall not be considered defective for the sole reason that a better product is
subsequently put into circulation.

Art. 1386-5

A product is put into circulation when the producer has voluntarily parted with it.

A product is put into circulation only once.

Art. 1386-6

Is a producer, the manufacturer of a finished product, the producer of a raw material, the
manufacturer of a component part, where he acts as a professional.

For the implementation of this Title, shall be treated in the same way as a producer any
person acting as a professional:

1° Who presents himself as the producer by putting his name, trade mark or other
distinguishing feature on the product;

2° Who imports a product into the European Community for sale, hire, with or without a
promise of sale, or any ot her form of distribution.

Shall not be deemed producers, within the meaning of this Title, the persons whose
liability may be sought on the basi s of Articles 1792 to 1792-6 and 1646-1.

Art. 1386-7

A seller, a hirer, with the excepti on of a finance lessor or of a hirer similar to a finance
lessor, or any other professional su pplier is liable for the lack of safety of a product in the same
conditions as a producer .

The remedy of a supplier against a producer is subject to the same rules as a claim
brought by a direct victim of a de fect. However, he must take action within the year following
the date of his being summoned .

Art. 1386-8

In case of damage caused by a product incorporated into another, the producer of the
component part and the one who has effected the incorporation are jointly and severally liable .

Art. 1386-9

The plaintiff is required to prove the damage, the defect and the causal relationship
between defect and damage.

Art. 1386-10

A producer may be liable fo r a defect although the product was manufactured in
accordance with the rules of the trade or of existing standards or although it was the subject of an
administrative authorization.

Art. 1386-11

A producer is li able as of right unless he proves:

1° That he di d not put the product into circulation;

2° That, having regard to the circ umstances, it is probable that the defect which caused
the damage did not exist at the time when the produc t was put into circulation by him or that this
defect came into being afterwards;

3° That the product was not for the purpose of sale or of any other form of distribution;

4° That the state of scientif ic and technical knowledge, at the time when he put the
product into circulation, was not such as to enable the existence of the defect to be discovered;
or

5° That the defect is due to compliance with mandatory provisions of statutes or
regulations.

The producer of a component part is not liable either where he proves that the defect is
attributable to the design of the product in wh ich the component has been fitted or to the
directions given by the producer of that product.

Art. 1386-12

A producer may not invoke the exonerating circumstance provided for in Article 1386-
11, 4°, where damage was caused by an elemen t of the human body or by products thereof.

A producer may not invoke the exonerating circumstance provided for in Article 1386-11, 4° and
5°, where, faced with a defect which has revealed itself within a period of ten years after the
product has been put into circulation, he did not take the appropriate steps to avoid its damaging
consequences.

Art. 1386-13

The liability of a producer may be reduced or disallowed where, having regard to all the
circumstances, the damage is caused both by a de fect in the product and by the fault of the
injured person or of a person for whom the injured person is responsible.

Art. 1386-14

The liability of a producer toward s an injured person shall not be reduced where the act
or omission of a third party contribu ted to the production of the damage.

Art. 1386-15

The clauses which tend to exempt fr om or to limit the liability for defective products are
forbidden and shall be deemed not written.

Nevertheless, as to damages cause d to property not used by the injured party mainly for
his own private use or consumption, the clauses stipulated between professionals are valid .

Art. 1386-16

Except for fault of the producer, the liability of the latter, based on the provisions of this
Title, shall be extinguished on the expiry of a period of ten years after the actual product which
caused the damage was put into circulation, unless the injured person has in the meantime
instituted proceedings.

Art. 1386-17

An action for the recovery of damages based on the provisions of this Title is time-barred
after a period of three years from the date on which the plaintiff knew or ought to have known
the damage, the defect and the identity of the producer.

Art. 1386-18

The provisions of this Title may not affect any rights which an injured person may have
according to the rules of contractual or tort liability or of a special liability system.

A producer remains liable for the c onsequences of his fault or for that of the persons for
whom he is responsible.

TITLE V

OF ANTE-NUPTIAL AGREEMENTS A ND OF MATRIMONIAL REGIMES

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

CHAPTER I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 1387

Legislation regulates conjugal asso ciation, with respect to property, only in default of
special agreements, which the spouses may enter in to as they deem proper, provided they are not
contrary to public morals and to the following provisions.

Art. 1388

Spouses may derogate neither to the duties and rights which result for them from
marriage, nor to the rules of parental author ity, statutory administration and guardianship.

Art. 1389

Without prejudice to gratuitous transfers which may take place according to the forms
and in the cases provided for by this Code, s pouses may not make any agreement or waiver
whose object would be to change th e statutory order of successions.

Art. 1390

They may, however, stipulate that , at the dissolution of the marriage by the death of one
of them, the survivor will have the power to acquire or, should the occasion arise, to have
allotted to him or her certain pe rsonal property of the first to die, on condition that he or she
accounts for it to the succession, according to the value which they have on the day when that
power is exercised.

Art. 1391

An ante-nuptial agreement shall de termine the property to which the power granted to the
survivor will relate. It may fix methods of appr aisal and terms of payment, except abatement in
favour of beneficiary heirs where th ere is an indirect advantage.

Taking into account those clauses and failing an agreement between the parties, the value
of the property shall be fixed by th e tribunal de grande instance .

Art. 1392

The power granted to the survivor lapses where he did not exercise it, by notice served
upon the heirs of the predeceased, within a period of one month after the day when the latter
gave him notice to come to a de cision. That notice may not take place before the expiry of the
period provided for in the Title Of Succession s for making an inventory and deliberating .

Where served within that period, the notic e generates a sale on the day when the power is
exercised or, where appropriate, constitutes a process of partition.

Art. 1393

Spouses may declare, in a gene ral way, that they intend to marry under one of the
regimes provided for by this Code.

In the absence of special st ipulations derogating from the community regime or
modifying it, the rules established in the first Part of Chapter II shall constitute the ordinary law
of France.

Art. 1394

All matrimonial agreements shall be drawn up in an instrument before notaire, in the
presence and with the simultaneous consent of all the persons who are parties thereto or of their
agents.

At the time of the signature of th e agreement, the notaire shall deliver to the parties a
certificate on unstamped paper and without costs, stating his name and place of residence, the
names, first names, occupations and residences of the future spouses, as well as the date of the
ante-nuptial agreement . Th at certificate shall state that it must be lodged with the officer of civil
status before the celebration of the marriage .

Where the reco rd of marriage mentions that an ante-nuptial agreement was not made, the
spouses shall be, with regard to third parties, deemed married under the regime of general law,
unless, in the transactions entered into with those third parties, they have declared that they made
an ante-nuptial agreement.

(Act n° 94-126 of 11 Feb. 1994) In addition, where one of the spouses is a merchant at
the time of the marriage or becomes so later, the ante-nuptial agreement and its amendments
shall be given public notice, at his or her initiative and on his or her own responsibility, subject
to the conditions and under the sanctions pr ovided for by the provisions of statutes and
regulations relating to the regi ster of trade and companies.

Art. 1395

An ante-nuptial agreement must be drawn up before the celebration of the marriage and
may take effect only on the day of that celebration.

Art. 1396

Amendments made in ante-nuptial agreements before the celebration of the marriage
must be established by an instrument drawn up in the same forms. Furthermore, no change or
counter-letter is valid without the presence and the simultane ous consent of all the persons who
were parties to the ante-nuptial agreement, or of their agents.

Any amendments or counter-lette rs, even provided with the forms prescribed by the
preceding Article, shall be without effect with respect to third parties, unless they were drawn up
at the end of the original of the ante-nuptial agreement; and a notaire may deliver neither an
executory nor an office copy of the ante-nuptia l agreement without transcribing the amendment
or counter-letter at the end.

After the celebration of the ma rriage, there may be no amendment to the matrimonial
regime except by the effect of a judgment, either on the application of one of the spouses, in the
case of separation of property or of other judicial protective measures, or on joint petition of both
spouses, in the case of the following Article.

Art. 1397

After two years of application of a matrimonial regime, either conventional or statutory,
the spouses may agree in the interest of the family to amend it or even to change it entirely, by a
notarial instrument, which shall be submitted to the approval of the court of their domicile.

All persons who were parties to the modified agreement shall be summoned in the
proceedings in approval; but not th eir heirs, if they have died.

An approved change has effect be tween the parties from the judgment and, with regard to
third parties, three months after mention of it has been entered in the margin of both copies of the
record of marriage. However, even failing that mention, an amendment is effective against third
parties where, in the tr ansactions entered into with them, th e spouses have declared that they
have amended their matrimonial regime;

Mention of the judgment of appr oval shall be made on the original of the amended ante-
nuptial agreement .

The application and the decision of approval shall be published on the terms and subject
to the penalties provided for in the Code of Civil Procedure; furthermore, where one of the
spouses is a merchant, the decision shall be publi shed on the terms and subject to the penalties
provided for by the regulations rela ting to the commercial register.

Where there has been a fraud on their rights, creditors may resort to a third party
application for revocation of the judgment of approval in the way provided for in the Code of
Civil Procedure.

Art. 1397-1

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975).-The provisions of the preceding Article shall not apply to the
agreements entered into by spouses in the cour se of divorce proceedings with the view of
liquidating their matrimonial regime.

Articles 1450 and 1451 shall apply to those agreements.

Art. 1397-2

(Act n° 97-987 of 28 Oct. 1997)

Where spouses specify the la w applicable to their matrimonial regime under the
Convention on the law applicable to matrimoni al regimes, made in The Hague on 14 March
1978, Articles 1397-3 and 1397-4 shall apply.

Art. 1397-3

(Act n° 97-987 of 28 Oct. 1997)

Where the speci fication of the applicable law is ma de before the marriage, the future
spouses shall present to the officer of civil stat us either the instrument through which they have
operated that specification, or a certificate delivered by the comp etent person to establish that
instrument. A certificate shall state the names a nd first names of the future spouses, the place
where they are living, the date of the instru ment of specification, as well as the names,
qualifications and residence of th e person who has established it.

Where the specifi cation of the applicable law is made in the course of a marriage, the
spouses shall have the measures or public notice relating to the specificati on of the applicable
law made subject to the conditions and forms provided for in the new Code of Civil Procedure.

On the occasion of the specification of the applicable law, before the marriage or in its
course, the spouses may specify the nature of the matrimonial regime they choose.

Where one of the spouses is a merchant at the time of the marriage or becomes so
afterwards, the instrument of sp ecification of the applicable law, drawn up before the marriage or
in its course shall be given pub lic notice on the terms and subject to the penalties provided for by
the provisions relating to the regi ster of commerce and companies.

Art. 1397-4

(Act n° 97-987 of 28 Oct. 1997)

Where the specifi cation of the applicable law is made in the course of a marriage, that
specification takes effect between the parties from the establishment of the instrument of
specification and, with respect to th ird parties, three months after the formalities of public notice
provided for in Article 1397-3 have been fulfilled.

However, even failing fulfilment of those formalities, the specification of the applicable
law is effective against third parties where, in the transactions entered into with them, the
spouses have declared which law is a pplicable to their matrimonial regime.

Art. 1397-5

(Act n° 97-987 of 28 Oct. 1997)

Where a change in the matrimoni al regime takes place in accordance with a foreign law
which governs the effects of the marriage, the sp ouses shall have public notice made as provided
for in the new Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 1397-6

(Act n° 97-987 of 28 Oct. 1997)

A change of matrimonial regime ta kes effect between the parties from the judgment or
from the instrument which provides for it and, with respect to third parties, three months after the
formalities of notice provided for in Article 1397-5 have been fulfilled.

However, even failing fulfilment of those formalities, the change of matrimonial regime
is effective against third parties where, in the transactions entered into with them, the spouses
have declared that they have amended their matrimonial regime.

Art. 1398

A minor having capacity to co ntract marriage has capacity to consent to all the
agreements of which that contract is suscepti ble and the agreements and gifts he has made
therein are valid, provided he had, in making the agreement, the assistance of all the persons
whose consent is necessary for the validity of the marriage.

Where matrimonial conventions have been entere d into without that assistance, the annulment
thereof may be sued for by the minor or by th e persons whose consent was required, but only up
to the expiry of the year following the coming of age.

Art. 1399

An adult in guardianship or curatorship may not enter into matrimonial conventions
unless assisted, at the co ntract, by those who must consent to his marriage.

Failing that assistance, annulment of the agreements may be sought within the year of the
marriage, either by the person under a disabili ty himself, or by those whose consent was
required, or by the guardian or the curator.

CHAPTER II – OF THE REGIME OF COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY

PART I – OF THE STATUTORY COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY

Art. 1400

Community of property which is established failing an agreement or by a simple
declaration of being married unde r the community of property regime, is subject to the rules
explained in the following three Sections.

Section I – Of What a Community is Composed as to Assets and Liabilities

§ 1 – Of the Assets of the Community

Art. 1401

The assets of the community co mprise acquisitions made by the spouses together or
separately during the marriage, and coming both from their personal activity and from savings
made on the fruits and incomes of their personal property.

Art. 1402

Any property, movable or immovabl e, shall be deemed an acquisition of the community
where it is not proved that it is a separate property of one of th e spouses in accordance with a
provision of law.

Where a property is one of those which do not disp lay proof or mark of their origin,
personal ownership of a spouse, if disputed, shall be established in writing. Failing an inventory
or other contemporaneously constituted proof, the judge may take into consideration all writings,
in particular family instruments of title, regi sters and papers, as well as bank documents and
invoices. He may even admit testimonial or pres umptive evidence, where he observes that it was
materially or morally impossible for one spouse to obtain a writing.

Art. 1403

Each spouse retains full ownership of his or her separate property.

The community is entitled on ly to fruits collected and not consumed. But a
reimbursement may be due to it, at the time of the dissolution of the community, for fruits which
a spouse failed to collect or has fraudulently consumed, without, however, any inquiry being
admissible further than the last five years.

Art. 1404

Constitute separate property by their nature, even where they have been acquired during
the marriage, clothes and belongings for the personal use of one of the spouses, actions for
compensation for bodily or moral harm, inalienabl e claims and pensions, and, more generally, all
property which has a personal character and a ll rights exclusively attached to the person.

Constitute also separate property by their nature, but subject to a reimbursement if there
is occasion, implements necessary to the occ upation of one of the spouses, unless they are
accessory to business assets or to an enterprise forming part of the community.

Art. 1405

Remain separa te property the items of property of which the spouses had ownership or
possession on the day of the celebration of th e marriage, or which they acquire, during the
marriage, through succession, gift or legacy.

A gratuitous transfer may stipul ate that the property which is its subject-matter will
belong to the community. Property falls into co mmunity, unless otherwise stipulated, where a
gratuitous transfer is ma de jointly to both spouses.

Property surrender ed or transferred by the father, mother or other ascendant to one of the
spouses, either in order to disc harge what he owes to him or her, or under the obligation of
paying debts of the donor to outsiders, remain separate property, subject to reimbursement.

Art. 1406

Constitute separate property, subj ect to reimbursement if there is occasion, property
acquired as accessory to a separate property as well as new securities and other increases
connected with securities whic h are separate property.

Constitute also separate prope rty, through the effect of real subrogation, claims and
indemnities which take the place of separate proper ty, as well as property acquired in investment
or reinvestment, in accord ance with Articles 1434 and 1435.

Art. 1407

Property acquired in exchange fo r a property which belonged separately to one of the
spouses is itself separate pr operty, subject to reimbursement due to the community or by it,
where there is a balance.

However, where the balance charged to the community is greater than the value of the
transferred property, the property acquired in exchange falls into the common stock, subject to
reimbursement for the benefit of the transferor.

Art. 1408

An acquisition, made by auction or ot herwise, of a part of a property of which one of the
spouses was an undivided owner, does not c onstitute an acquisition, subject to the
reimbursement due to the community for the sum it may have supplied.

§ 2 – Of the Liabilities of the Community

Art. 1409

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

The liabilities of the community comprise:

– definitively, maintenance due by the spouses a nd debts incurred by them for the support of the
household and the education of children, under Article 220;

– definitively or subject to reimbursement, accord ing to the circumstances, other debts arising
during the community.

Art. 1410

Debts which the spouses owed on the day of the celebration of the marriage, or with
which the successions and gratuitous transfers fa lling to them during the marriage are burdened,
remain personal to them, both as to capital and to arrears or interest.

Art. 1411

In the case of the preceding Article, creditors of either spouse may only enforce payment
on the separate property “and the income” (Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) of their debtor.

They may also, however, seiz e property of the community where the movables which
belonged to their debtor on the day of the ma rriage or which fell to him by succession or
gratuitous transfer have been merged into the common patrimony and can no longer be identified
under the rules of Article 1402.

Art. 1412

Reimbursement is due to the comm unity which has paid a personal debt of a spouse.

Art. 1413

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985).-Payment of de bts which either spouse owes, for whatever
reason, during the community, may always be en forced on community property, unless there was
fraud of the debtor spouse and bad faith of the cr editor, and subject to reimbursement due to the
community, if there is occasion.

Art. 1414

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

The earnings and wages of a spouse may be attached by the creditors of his or her spouse
only where the obligation was contracted for th e support of the household or the education of
children, under Article 220.

Where the earnings and wages are paid into a current or deposit account, the latter may
be attached only under the condi tions determined by decree.

Art. 1415

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Each spouse may obligate only his separate property and his income, by surety or loan,
unless they have been contracted with the expres s consent of the other spouse, who, in that case,
does not obligate his separate property.

Art. 1416

A community which has discharged a debt for which it may have been sued under the
preceding Articles, is neverthe less entitled to reimbursement, whenever that undertaking had
been contracted in the personal interest of one of the spouses, for example for the acquisition,
preservation or improvement of a separate property.

Art. 1417

A community is entitled to reim bursement, deduction being made, if there is occasion, of
the benefit derived for it, where it paid fines incurred by one spouse by reasons of criminal
offences, or damages and costs for which he or she had been held liable in tort.

It is likewise entitled to reimbursement where the debt which it discharged was
contracted by one of the spouses in contempt of the duties which the marriage prescribed to him
or her.

Art. 1418

Where a debt has become a comm unity debt in only one spouse’s right, it may not be
enforced on the separate property of the other.

Where it is joint and several, a debt is deemed to become a community debt in both
spouses’ right. [repealed]

Art. 1419 and 1420. [repealed]

Section II – Of the Administration of the Community and of the Separate Property

Art. 1421

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Each spouse has the power to administer alone the common property and to dispose of it,
subject to being accountable for faults committe d in his or her management. Transactions
entered into without fraud by a spouse are enforceable against the other.

A spouse who follows a separate profession, has alone the power to perform acts of
administration and disposition necessary for it.

All of whic h is subject to Articles 1422 to 1425.

Art. 1422

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

One spouse may not, without the ot her, dispose inter vivos, gratuitously, of the common
property.

Art. 1423

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985).-A legacy made by one spouse may not exceed his or her share
in the community.

Where a spouse has bequeathed a property of the community, the legatee may claim it in
kind only if, by the effect of partition, the property falls into the share of the testator’s heirs; if
the property does not fall into the share of those he irs, the legatee is entitled to reimbursement of
the total value of the property bequeathed, on th e share, in the community, of the heirs of the
testator spouse and on the sepa rate property of the latter.

Art. 1424

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

One spouse may not, without the other, transfer or encumber with rights in rem
immovables, business assets and enterprise s depending on the community, or non-negotiable
rights in a firm and tangible movables whose alienation requires public notice. One spouse may
not, without the other, collect the capital coming from those operations.

Art. 1425

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

One spouse may not, without the ot her, give on lease a rural tenement or an immovable
for commercial, industrial or craft use depending on the comm unity. Other leases on common
property may be entered into by one spouse alon e and are subject to the rules provided for
regarding leases made by a usufructuary.

Art. 1426

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where one of the spouses is, in an enduring way, unable to express his or her wish, or if
his or her management of the community re veals unfitness or fraud, the other spouse may
request in court to be substituted for him or her in the exercise of those powers. The provisions
of Articles 1445 to 1447 sha ll apply to that request.

A spouse thus entitled by court ha s the same powers which the spouse whom he or she
replaces would have had; he or she may, with the authorization of the court, enter into
transactions for which his or her consent would ha ve been required if a substitution had not taken
place.

A spouse deprived of his or her powers may, later on, request their restitution to the
court, by establishing that their transfer to the other spouse is no longer justified.

Art. 1427

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where one of the spouses has gone beyond his or her powers on common property, the
other may apply for annulment of it, unle ss he has ratified the transaction.

An action for annulment may be brought by the spouse during two years after the day when he
had knowledge of the transaction, without never be ing admissible more that two years after the
dissolution of the community.

Art. 1428

Each spouse has the administrati on and enjoyment of his or her separate property and
may dispose of it freely.

Art.1429.

-Where one of the spouses is, in an enduring way, unable to express his or her wish, or if he or
she imperils the interests of the family, either by allowing his or her separate property to waste
away or by dissipating or embezzling the inco me withdrawn from them, he or she may, on
application of the other spouse, be divested of the rights of administration and enjoyment
attributed by the preceding Ar ticle. The provisions of Article 1445 to 1447 shall apply to that
application.

Unless the appointment of a judici al administrator appears necessary, the judgment shall
grant to the plaintiff spouse the power to administ er the separate property of the divested spouse,
as well as to collect the fruits thereof, which shall be appropriated to the marriage expenses and
the excess used for the be nefit of the community.

From the application, the deprived spouse may dispose alone of the bare ownership of his
or her property only.

He or she may, later on, request the re stitution of his or her rights to the court, if he or she
establishes that the causes which had jus tified the divesting no longer exist.

Art. 1430 [repealed]

Art. 1431

Where, during the marriage, one of the spouses grants to the other the administration of
his or her separate property, the rules of agen cy shall apply. The agent spouse is, however,
dispensed from accounting for fruits, where the powe r of attorney does not expressly so require.

Art. 1432

Where one of the spouses takes in hand the management of the separate property of the
other, with the knowledge of the latter but ne vertheless without opposition on his or her part,
there is deemed to be an implied agency, with authority to make acts of administration and
enjoyment, but not acts of disposition.

That spouse shal l be responsible for his or her manage ment towards the other as would an
agent. However, he or she must account only for ex isting fruits; as regards those which he or she
failed to collect or fraudulently consumed, he or she may be sued only within a limitation of the
last five years.

Where one of the spouses has interf ered in the management of the separate property of
the other in contempt of an esta blished opposition, he or she is liable for all the results of his or
her interference and accountable without limitati on for all the fruits which he or she has
collected, failed to collect or fraudulently consumed.

Art. 1433

The community owes reimbursemen t to the owner spouse whenever it has drawn benefit
from separate property.

It shall be so, notably, where it has collected funds which were separate property or
which came from the sale of a separate property, without there having been made investment or
re-investment.

Where a controversy arises, proof that community drew benefit from separate property
may be adduced by any means, including testimony and presumptions.

Art. 1434

Investment or re-investment is d eemed made with regard to a spouse, whenever, at the
time of an acquisition, it is declar ed that it was made from separate funds, or from funds coming
from the disposal of a separate property, and in order to take its place as investment or re-

investment. Failing such declaration in the instrument, investment or re-investment takes place
only through agreement of the spouses and produces effect only in their reciprocal relationships.

[repealed]

Art. 1435

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where investment or re-investm ent is made in anticipation, the property acquired is
separate, provided that the sums expected from the separate patrimony be paid to the community
within five years after the date of the transaction.

Art. 1436

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where the price and expenses of the acquisition exceed the sum from which investment
or re-investment was made, the community is en titled to reimbursement for the excess. Where,
however, the share of the community is greater than that of the acquiring spouse, the property
acquired falls into community, subject to reimbursement due to the spouse.

Art. 1437

Whenever a sum is taken from th e community, either to discharge the personal debts or
charges of one of the spouses, such as the price or part of the price of a separate property of his
or her own, or the redemption of land services, or for the recovery, preservation or improvement
of his or her personal property, and generally whenever one of the two spouses draws a personal
profit from the community property, he or she owes reimbursement therefor.

Art. 1438

Where the father and mother jointly make a gift in favour of a common child without
specifying the portion for which they intended to contribute thereto, they are deemed to have
contributed each for one half, whether the gift was provided or promised from community
property, or whether from personal property of one of the spouses.

In the second case, the spouse fr om whose personal property the gift was made has, on
the property of the other, an acti on for compensation for half of the said gift, having regard to the
value of the property donate d at the time of the gift.

Art. 1439

A gift made to a common child from community property is charged to the community.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1 985) It is borne by each spouse for one half on the
dissolution of the community, unless one of them, in making it, expressly declared that he or she
would take charge of it for the whol e or for a share exceeding one half.

Art. 1440

Warranty of the gift is due from any person who made it; and interest runs as from the
day of the marriage, although th ere is a term for the payment, unless otherwise stipulated.

Section III – Of the Dissolution of the Community

§ 1 – Of the Causes for Dissoluti on and of Separation of Property

Art. 1441

A community is dissolved:

1° By the death of one of the spouses;

2° “By declared absence” (Act n° 77-1447 of 28 Dec. 1977);

3° By divorce;

4° By judicial separation;

5° By separation of property;

6° By change of matrimonial regime.

Art. 1442

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

No continuance of a community may take place, notwithstanding any agreement to the
contrary.

Either spouse may request, if there is occasion, that, in their mutual relations, the effect of
the dissolution be carried back to the date when they ceased to live together and collaborate. The
one upon whom the wrongs of separation chiefl y fall may not obtain that carrying back .

Art. 1443

Where through the disorder of the affairs, misadministration or misconduct of one
spouse, it appears that th e upholding of the community imperils the interest of the other spouse,
the latter may sue in court for separation of property.

Any voluntary separation is void.

Art. 1444

Separation of property, although or dered in court, is void where the proceedings tending
to liquidate the rights of the parties have not be initiated within three months after the judgment
has become res judicata or where the final settle ment has not occurred within the year of the
opening of the process of liquidation. The period of one year may be extended by the president
of the court in the form of interim relief proceedings.

Art. 1445

The application and judgment of separation of property shall be given public notice on
the terms and subject to the pena lties provided for by the Code of Civil Procedure, as well as by
the regulations relating to commerce wher e one of the spouses is a merchant.

A judgment ordering a separation of property extends back as to its effect to the day of
the application.

Mention of the judgment shall be ma de in the margin of the record of marriage as well as
on the original of the ante-nuptial agreement.

Art. 1446

Creditors of a spouse may not a pply for a separation of property in his or her right.

Art. 1447

Where an action for separation of property has been brought, creditors may demand from
the spouses, by paper served in the courthouse, to have the application and supporting documents
communicated to them. They may even intervene in the case for the preservation of their rights.

Where separation has been ordered in fraud of their rights, they may appeal against it by
way of third party application for revocation of judgment, under the conditions provided for in
the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 1448

The spouse who has obtained the se paration of property shall contribute, in proportion to
his or her means and to those of the other spous e, both to the household expenses and to those
relating to the edu cation of children.

He or she shall bear entirely those expenses, where nothing is left to the other.

Art. 1449

A separation of property judicially ordered has the effect of putting the spouses under the
regime of Articles 1536 and following.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1 985) The court, where it pronounces separation, may order
that one of the spouses shall pay his or her cont ribution into the hands of the other spouse, who
shall assume alone thenceforth with regard to thir d parties the payment of all the liabilities of the
marriage.

Art. 1450

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

During divorce proceedings, spouses may enter into any agreements for the liquidation
and partition of the community.

Those agreements shall be made through a notarial instrument, except in case of joint
petition.

Art. 1451

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

The agreements thus entered into are suspended, with regard to their effects, until the
pronouncement of the divorce; they may be enfor ced, even in the relations between spouses,
only where the judgment has gained force of res judicata.

One of the spouses may request that the judgment of divorce modify the agreement
where the consequences of divorce fixed by that judgment call into question the bases of the
liquidation and partition.

Art. 1452 to 1466 [repealed]

§ 2 – Of Liquidation and Pa rtition of the Community

Art. 1467

After the dissolution of the community, each spouse shall retake that of his or her
property which did not fall into the community, where it exists in kind, or the property
subrogated thereto.

Then shall take place the liquida tion of the common stock, as to assets and liabilities.

Art. 1468

Shall be established in the name of each spouse an account of the reimbursement which
the community owes to him or her and of the reimbursement which he or she owes to the
community, in accordance with the rules prescribed in the preceding Sections.

Art. 1469

Reimbursement shall be, in gene ral, equal to the smaller of the two sums which the
expenditures made and the prof it still extant represent.

However, it may not be less than the expenditure made where the latter was necessary.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) It may not be less than the profit still extant where the
value borrowed was used to acquire, preserve or improve a property which is found, on the day
of the liquidation of the community, in the borrower patrimony. Where the property acquired,
preserved or improved has been alienated before the liquidation, the profit shall be appraised on
the day of the alienation; where a new property ha s been subrogated to the alienated property, the
profit shall be appraised with regard to that new property.

Art. 1470

Where, after the balance is ma de, the account presents a residue in favour of the
community, the spouse shall return the amount thereof to the common stock.

Where it presents a residue in favour of a spouse, the latter has the option either to
require payment or to appropriate co mmon property up to the amount due.

Art. 1471

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Appropriations shall be enforced first on ready money, next on the movables and
subsidiarily on the immovables of the comm unity. A spouse who makes the appropriation is
entitled to choose the movables and immovables wh ich he or she appropriates. He or she may
not, however, prejudice by that op tion the rights which the other spouse may have to request the
continuation of the undivided property or the prefer ential allotment of certain items of property.

Where the spouses wish to appropriate the same property, one shall proceed by drawing
lots.

Art. 1472

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

In case the community is not adequate, the appropriations of each spouse shall be in
proportion to the amount of the reimbursement which are due to him or her.

However, where the inadequacy of the community is imputable to the fault of one of the
spouses, the other spouse may make appropriatio n before him or her on the whole of common
property; he or she may make them subsidiarily on the separate property of the liable spouse.

Art. 1473

Reimbursement due by the community or to the community bears interest by operation of
law from the day of the dissolution.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) However, where a reimbursement is equal to the profit
still extant, interest runs from the day of liquidation.

Art. 1474

Appropriations in common property constitute an operation of partition. They do not
confer on the spouse who enforces them any right to be preferred to the creditors of the
community, except the priority resulting from legal mortgage, where there is occasion.

Art. 1475

After all appropriations have been carried out on the stock, the excess shall be divided by
halves between the spouses.

Where an immovable of the co mmunity is an annex of another immovable belonging
separately to one of the spouses, or where it is contiguous to that building, the owner spouse has
the power to have it allotted to him or her by de duction from his or her share or subject to a
balance, according to the value of the propert y on the day when allotment is requested.

Art. 1476

Partition of a community, as to ev erything relating to its forms, continuation of undivided
ownership and preferential allo tment, auction of property, effects of partition, warranty and
balances is subject to all the rules establishe d in the Title Of Successions with respect to
partitions between coheirs.

However, as to communities disso lved by divorce, judicial separation or separation of
property, preferential allotment is never as of righ t, and it may always be ordered that the whole
of a balance which may be due shall be payable cash.

Art. 1477

The spouse who has diverted or concealed any articles of the community, shall be
deprived of his or her sh are in said articles.

Art. 1478

After a partition is closed, where one of the spouses is the personal creditor of the other,
for instance because the proceeds of his or her property have been used to pay a personal debt of
the other spouse, or for any other cause, he or she may enforce the claim against the share of the
community coming to the other or agai nst the other’s separate property.

Art. 1479

The personal claims which the spouses have to enforce against each other do not give rise
to appropriation and bear interest only from the day of the demand.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, they shall be
appraised according to the rules of Article 1469, paragraph 3, in the cases for which it provides;
interest then runs from th e day of the liquidation.

Art. 1480

Gifts which one of the spouses ma y have made to the other shall be enforced only on the
share of the donor in th e community and on his or her separate property.

Art. 1481 [repealed]

§ 3 – Obligation and of Contributi on to Liabilities after Dissolution

Art. 1482

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Each spouse may be sued for th e whole of the debts existing on the day of dissolution,
which had entered into the community in his or her own right.

Art. 1483

Each spouse may be sued only for half of the debts which had entered into the
community in the other spouse’s right.

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) After partition, and save the case of concealment, he or
she is liable for them only up to the share of the assets which he or she receives, provided there
was an inventory, and under the ob ligation to account both for the contents of that inventory and
for what he or she has received through the pa rtition, as well as for the common liabilities
already discharged.

Art. 1484

The inventory provided for in the preceding Article shall be made in the forms regulated
by the Code of Civil Procedure, adversarily with the other spouse or the latter having been duly
summoned. It shall be closed within nine months after the day when the community was
dissolved, except for extension of time granted by an interim relief judge. It shall be asserted
genuine and true before the pub lic officer who received it.

Art. 1485

Each spouse shall contribut e by halves to the community debts for which a
reimbursement was not due, as well as to the co sts of sealing, inventory, sale of movables,
liquidation, auction and partition.

He or she bears alone th e debts which had become common only subject to
reimbursement chargeable to him or her.

Art. 1486

The spouse who may take advantag e of the benefit of Article 1483, paragraph 2, does not
contribute for more than the share of the assets which he or she receives to the debts which had
entered into the community in the other spouse’s ri ght, unless it is a question of debts for which
he or she owed reimbursement.

Art. 1487

The spouse who paid above the portion for which he or she was liable under the
preceding Articles has a remedy for the excess against the other.

Art. 1488

He or she has not, for that excess, any recovery against the creditor, unless the receipt
states that he or she intends to pay only within the limit of his or her obligation.

Art. 1489

The spouse who, by the effect of a mortgage enforced on an immovable which he
received in partition, is sued fo r the whole of a community debt has as of right a remedy against
the other for half of that debt.

Art. 1490

The provisions of the preceding Articles are not a bar to a clause of the partition which,
without prejudicing the rights of th ird parties, obliges either spouse to pay a portion of the debts
other than that which is fixed above, or ev en to discharge the liabilities in full.

Art. 1491.

-The heirs of the spouses exercise, in case of di ssolution of the community, the same rights as the
spouse whom they represent and are subjec t to the same obligations. [repealed]

Art. 1492 to 1496 [repealed]

PART II –
OF CONVENTIONAL COMMUNITY

Art. 1497

Spouses may, in their ante-nuptia l agreement, modify statutory community by any kinds
of agreement not contrary to Article 1387, 1388 and 1389.

They may, especially, agree:

1° That the community shall include movables and acquisitions;

2° That it will be derogated to the rules relating to administration;

3° That one of the spouse wi ll have the power to appropriate certain property on
condition of an indemnity;

4° That one of th e spouses will have an appropriation clause;

5° That the spouses will have unequal shares;

6° That there will be a universal community between them.

The rules on statutory community sh all remain applicable on all questions which have not
been the subject of the agr eement of the parties.

Section I – Of the Community of Movables and Acquisitions

Art. 1498

Where spouses agree that there will be between them a community of movables and
acquisitions, the common assets comprise, in add ition to property which would form part of it
under the regime of statutory community, the movable property of which the spouses had
ownership or possession on the day of the marri age or which has fallen to them afterwards
through succession or gratuitous tr ansfer, unless the donor or testator has stipulated the contrary.

Remains separate property, neverthe less, that of the movable property which would have
formed separate property by its nature by virtue of Article 1404, under the statutory regime, if it
had been acquired during the community.

Where one of the spouses acquire s an immovable after the ante-nuptial agreement, which
contained a stipulation of community of movabl es and acquisitions, and before the celebration
of the marriage, the immovable acquired during that interval enters the community, unless the
acquisition was made in performance of some cl ause of the ante-nuptial agreement, in which
case it is regulated according to the agreement.

Art. 1499

Form part of the liabilities of the community, under that regime, other than the debts
which would form part of it under the statutor y regime, a fraction of those with which the

spouses were already burdened when they married, or with which successions and gratuitous
transfer which fall to them dur ing the marriage are burdened.

The fraction of liabilities which the community bears is proportionate to the fraction of
assets which it receives, according to the rule s of the preceding Article, either from the
patrimony of the spouse on the day of the marriage, or from the whole of property which is the
subject of the succession or gratuitous transfer.

In order to establish that prop ortion, the consistency and value of the assets shall be
proved in accordance with Article 1402.

Art. 1500

The debts to which the community is liable, as a counterpart of the property it receives,
are its final responsibility.

Art. 1501

The apportionment of liabilities prior to the marriage or burdening successions and
gratuitous transfers may not prejudi ce the creditors. They keep, in all cases, the right to seize
property which previously const ituted their security. They may even enforce their payment
against the whole of the community, where the movable property of their debtor has been
merged into the common patrimony and may no l onger be identified under the rules of Article
1402.

Art. 1502 [repealed]

Section II – Of the Clause of Joint Administration

Art. 1503

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Spouses may agree that they will administer jointly the community.

In that case, the acts of administration and of disposition of community property shall be
made under the joint signature of both spouses, a nd they involve as of right joint and several
liability of the spouses.

Acts of preserva tion may be done separately by each spouse.

Art. 1504 to 1510 [repealed by implication]

Section III – Of the Clause of A ppropriation on Condition of Indemnity

Art. 1511

Spouses may stipulate that the surviv or or one of them if he or she survives, or even one
of them in all the cases of dissolution of th e community, will have the power to appropriate
certain common property, with the responsibil ity of accounting for it to the community
according to the value it has on the day of partition, unless otherwise agreed.

Art. 1512

An ante-nuptial agreement may fix the bases of appraisal and the terms of payment of a
possible balance. Having regard to those clause s and failing an agreement between the parties,
the value of that property shall be fi xed by the tribunal de grande instance.

Art. 1513

A power of appropriation laps es where the benefiting spouse does not exercise it by
notice served upon the other spouse or his or her heirs within a period of one month after the day
when the latter have served upon him or her not ice to come to a decision. That notice may not
itself be served before the expiry of the pe riod provided for in the Title Of Successions for
making an inventory and deliberating.

Art. 1514

Appropriation is an operation of partition: property appropriated is deduced from the
share of the benefiting spouse; where its value ex ceeds that share, there is occasion for payment
of a balance.

Spouses may agree that the inde mnity owed by the maker of an appropriation will be
deduced subsidiarily from his or her rights in the succession of the predeceased spouse.

Section IV – Of the Appropriation Clause

Art. 1515

It may be agreed in an ante-nuptia l agreement, that the survivor of the spouses, or one of
them if he or she survives, will be authorized to appropriate from the common stock, before any
partition, either a specified sum, or a specified property in kind, or a specified quantity of a
determined kind of property.

Art. 1516

Appropriation is not considered as a gift, either as to substance, or as to form, but as a
agreement relating to marriage and between partners.

Art. 1517 [repealed]

Art. 1518

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where community is dissolved in the lifetime of the spouses, there is no occasion for the
making of an appropriation; but th e spouse, to whose benefit it was stipulated, keeps his or her
right for the case of survival, unle ss matrimonial advantages have been lost as of right or revoked
following a divorce or judicial se paration order, without prejudice to the application of Article
268. He or she may require surety from the ot her spouse in warranty of those rights.

Art. 1519

Creditors of the community are always entitled to have the articles appropriated sold,
subject to the remedy of the spouse agai nst the remainder of the community.

Section V – Of the Stipul ation of Unequal Shares

Art. 1520

Spouses may derogate from the partition established by law.

Art. 1521

Where it has been stipulated that a spouse and his or her heirs will have only a certain
share in the community, such as a third or a fourth, the spouse thus limited or his or her heirs are
liable for the debts of the community only in prop ortion to the share which they take from the
assets.

The agreement is void where it comp els the spouse thus limited or his or her heirs to bear
a larger part, or where it exempts them from bear ing a share of the debts equal to that which they
take from the assets.

Art. 1522 and 1523 [repealed]

Art. 1524

Allotment of the entire community may be agreed only for the case of survival, either for
the benefit of a specified spouse, or for the be nefit of whoever survives. The spouse who thus
retains the whole of the community is obliged to pay all its debts.

It may also be agreed, for the case of survival, that one of the spouses will have, in
addition to his or her half, the usufruct of the pr edeceased’s share. In that case, he or she shall
contribute to the debts, as to the usufru ct, according to the rules of Article 612.

The provisions of Article 1518 shall apply to those clauses when the community is
dissolved in the lifetime of the two spouses.

Art. 1525

A stipulation of unequal shares and a clause of full allotment are not deemed a gift,
neither as to substance nor as to form, but simp ly agreements relating to marriage and between
partners.

Unless otherwise stipulated, they may not prevent the heirs of the predeceased spouse to
take back the contributions and capital having fall en into the community in the right of their
predecessor in title.

Section VI – Of Universal Community

Art. 1526

Spouses may by their ante-nuptia l agreement establish a universal community of their
property, movable and immovable, present and future. However, unless otherwise stipulated,
property which Article 1404 declares separate by its nature does no fall into that community.

A universal community bears definiti vely all the debts of the spouses, present and future.

PROVISIONS COMMON TO THE TWO PARTS OF CHAPTER II

Art. 1527

The advantages which either spouse may draw from the clauses of a conventional
community, as well as those which may result from a mingling of movables or of debts, are not
deemed gifts.

(Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001) However, in the case where there are children who
are not born of the two spouses , any agreement having the conse quence of donating to one of the
spouses beyond the portion regulated by Article 1094-1, in the Title Of Gifts Inter Vivos and of
Wills is ineffective as to the whole excess; but mere gains resulting from common business and
from savings made out of the respective al though unequal incomes of both spouses are not
considered as an advantage made to the prejudice of the children of another bed.

Art. 1528 to 1535 [repealed]

CHAPTER III – OF THE REGIME OF SEPARATE PROPERTY

Art. 1536

Where spouses have stipulated in their ante-nuptial agreement that their property will be
separate, each of them keeps the administrati on, enjoyment and free disposal of his or her
personal property.

Each remains alone liable for th e debts arising in his or her self, before or during
marriage, except in the case of Article 220.

Art. 1537

The spouses shall contribute to th e expenses of the marriage in accordance with the terms
of their agreement; and where none exists in this regard, in the proportion determined by Article
214.

Art. 1538

With respect both to the other spouse and to third parties, a spouse may prove by any
means that he or she has the ex clusive ownership of a property.

The presumptions of ownership established in the ante-nuptial agreement are effective
with respect to third parties, as well as in th e relations between spouses, unless otherwise agreed.

Counter proof is as of right, and may be made by any means appropriate to establish that the
property does not belong to the spouse designate d by the presumption, or even, where it belongs
to him or her, that it was acquired through a gr atuitous transfer from the other spouse.

Property on which neither spouse may establish an exclusive ownership is deemed to
belong to them in undivided ownership, to each by half.

Art. 1539

Where, during the marriage, one of the spouses entrusts to the other the administration of
his personal property, the rules of agency shal l apply. The agent spouse is however exempted
from accounting for the fruits, if the power of a ttorney does not expressly oblige him or her to do
so.

Art. 1540.-Where one of the spouses takes the mana gement of the other’s business in hand, with
the knowledge of the latter and ne vertheless without opposition on his or her part, she or he is
deemed to have an implied agency, with authorit y to make acts of administration and enjoyment,
but not acts of disposition.

That spouse is responsible for his or her management to the other as an agent. However,
he or she is accountable only for the existing fruits; as regards those which he has failed to
collect or fraudulently consumed, he may be sued only within the limit of the last five years.

Where one of the spouses has inte rfered in the management of the other’s property in
contempt of an established opposit ion, he or she is responsible for all the consequences of that
interference, and accountable wit hout limitation for all the fruits which he or she has collected,
failed to collect or fraudulently consumed.

Art. 1541

One of the spouses is not the warra ntor of a failure to invest or reinvest the other’s
property, unless he or she has inte rfered in operations of alienation or collection or unless it is
proved that the funds were received by him or her, or he or she has profited by them.

Art. 1542

(Act n° 75-617 of 11 July 1975)

After dissolution of a marriage by the death of one of the spouses, the partition of the
undivided property between spouses w ith separate property, as to all that relates to its forms,
maintenance of undivided ownership and preferentia l allotment, auction of property, effects of
partition, warranty and balances, is subject to all the rules which are established in the Title Of
Successions for partitions between co-heirs.

The same rules shall apply afte r divorce or judicial separation. However, preferential
allotment shall never be as of right. It may alwa ys be decided that the whole of a balance which
may be owed shall be payable cash.

Art. 1543

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

The rules of Article 1479 shall appl y to the claims which one spouse may have to enforce
against the other.

Art. 1544 to 1568 [repealed]

CHAPTER IV – OF THE REGIME OF PARTICIPATION IN ACQUISITIONS

Art. 1569

Where the spouses have declared th at they married under the regime of participation in
acquisitions, each of them keeps the administrati on, enjoyment and free disposal of his or her
personal property, without distinguishing between that which belonged to him or her on the day
of the marriage or which has come to him or he r after by succession or gratuitous transfer and
that which he or she has acquired for value durin g the marriage. During the marriage, that regime
operates as if the spouses were married under the regime of separation of property. At the
dissolution of the regime, each spouse is entitled to participate by halves in value in the net
acquisitions found in the patrimony of the other, and estimated owing to the double appraisal of
the original patrimony and of the final patrimony.

The right to participate in the ac quisitions may not be assigned as long as the matrimonial
regime is not dissolved. Where dissolution occurs through the deat h of one spouse, his or her
heirs have, on the net acquisitions made by the other, the same rights as their predecessor in title.

Art. 1570

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

An original patrimony includes the property which belonged to the spouse on the day of
the marriage and those which he or she has acq uired afterwards by succession or gratuitous
transfer, as well as all property which, in the regime of communit y, constitutes separate property
by its nature without giving rise to reimbursement. Account shall not be taken of the fruits of that
property nor of the parts of that property which would have been in the nature of fruit or of
which the spouse has disposed through gift inter vivos during the marriage.

The composition of the original patrimony shall be proved by a descriptive statement,
even under private signature, esta blished in the presence of the other spouse and signed by him
or her.

Failing a descriptive statement, or where it is incomplete, proof of the composition of the
original patrimony may be adduced onl y through the means of Article 1402.

Art. 1571

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Original property shall be apprai sed according to its condition on the day of the marriage
or of the acquisition and according to its valu e on the day when the matrimonial regime is
liquidated. Where it has been alienated, one shall retain its value on the day of the alienation.
Where new property has been subrogated to proper ty alienated, one shall take into consideration
the value of that new property.

From the original assets shall be deducted the debts with which they were burdened, re-
evaluated, if there is occasion, according to the rules of Article 1469, paragraph 3. Where the
liabilities exceed the assets, that excess shall be fictitiously united to the final patrimony.

Art. 1572

Form part of the final patrimony all the property which belongs to a spouse on the day
when the matrimonial regime is dissolved, includ ing, where appropriate, that of which he or she
may have disposed of mortis cau sa and without excluding the sums of which he or she may be
creditor against the other spouse. Where there is a divorce, judicial separation or anticipated
liquidation of the acquisitions, the matrimonial re gime is deemed dissolved on the day of the
application.

The composition of the final patr imony shall be proved by a descriptive statement, even
under private signature, which a spou se or his or her heirs must establish in the presence of the
other spouse or of his or her he irs, or they having been duly su mmoned. That statement shall be
drawn up within nine months after the disso lution of the matrimonial regime, except for
extension of time granted by the president of the court in the form of interim relief proceedings.

Proof that the final patrimony would have included other property may be adduced by
any means, even by testimony and presumptions.

Each spouse may, as to the prope rty of the other, require the fixing of seals and an
inventory in accordance with the rules provide d for in the Code of Civil Procedure.

Art. 1573

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

To the existing property shall be fi ctitiously joined the property which is not included in
the original patrimony and of which a spouse has di sposed by gift inter vivos without the consent
of the other spouse, as well as that which he or she has fraudulently alienated. An alienation on

condition of a life annuity or non-repayable shall be presumed to have been made in fraud of the
spouse’s rights, unless the latter agreed.

Art. 1574

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Existing property shall be ap praised according to its condition at the time of the
dissolution of the matrimonial regi me and to its value on the day of the liquidation of the latter.
Property alienated by gifts inter vivos, or in fr aud of the rights of the other spouse shall be
appraised according to its condi tion on the day of the alienation and to the value which it would
have had, if it had been kept , on the day of the liquidation.

From the assets thus replenished shall be deducted all the debts which are not yet
discharged, including the sums which may be owed to the other spouse.

The value, on the day of a lienation, of the improvements brought about during the
marriage in an original propert y donated by one spouse without th e consent of the other before
the dissolution of the matrimonial regime shall be added to the final patrimony.

Art. 1575

Where the final patrimony of a spouse is less than his or her original patrimony, the
deficit is borne entirely by that spouse. Wh ere it is greater, the increase constitutes the net
acquisitions and gives rise to participation.

Where there are net acquisitions on bot h sides, they shall first be set off. Only the excess
shall be partitioned: the spouse whose gain is the lesser is creditor with regard to the other spouse
for half of that excess.

To a claim for participation, one shall add, in order to put them under the same
settlement, the sums of which a spouse may in ot her respects be creditor towards the other, for
values provided during the marriage and ot her indemnities, deduction being made, where
necessary, of what that spouse may be debtor towards the other.

Art. 1576

A claim for participation gives ri se to payment in money. Where a debtor spouse meets
serious difficulties in making it entirely as soon as the liquidation is closed, the judges may grant
him or her a time which may not exceed five years, subject to the condition of giving security
and paying interest.

A claim for participation may however give rise to a settlement in kind, either by consent
of both spouses, or under an order of the j udge where the debtor spouse proves serious
difficulties which prevent him or her from discharging it in money.

The settlement in kind provided for in the preceding paragraph is considered as an
operation of partition where the pr operty allotted was not included in the original patrimony or
where the allottee spouse shares in the succession of the other.

The liquidation is not effective agai nst creditors of the spouses: they retain the right to
seize property allotted to th e spouse of their debtor.

Art. 1577

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

A creditor spouse shall enforce payment of his or her claim for participation first on
existing property and subsidiarily, beginning w ith the most recent alienations, on the property
mentioned in Article 1573 which had been alienate d by gifts inter vivos or in fraud of the rights
of the other spouse.

Art. 1578

Upon dissolution of the matrimonial regime, where the parties do not agree to proceed to
liquidation through agreement, one of them may a pply to the court for having it proceeded to in
court.

The rules prescribed for reachi ng a judicial partition of successions and communities
shall apply to that application, as may be thought proper.

The parties shall communicate re ciprocally to each other and shall communicate to the
experts designated by the judge, all information a nd documents appropriate to the liquidation.

A claim for liquidation is time-b arred after three years from the dissolution of the
matrimonial regime. Claims lying against third parties “under Article 1167” (Act n° 85-1372 of
23 Dec. 1985) are time- barred after two y ears from the close of the liquidation.

Art. 1579

Where applic ation of the rules of appraisal provided for by Articles 1571 and 1574 above
would lead to a result obviously contrary to equity, the court may derogate from them on the
application of one of the spouses.

Art. 1580

Where the disorder of the affair s, misadministration or misconduct of one spouse, give
rise to fearing that the continuance of the matrimon ial regime imperils the interest of the other,
the latter may apply for the anticipated liquida tion of his or her claim for participation.

The rules of separation of property shall apply to that application.

Where the application is entertained, the spouses shall be placed under the system of
articles 1536 to 1541.

Art. 1581

When stipulating participatio n in acquisitions, the spouses may adopt any term not
contrary to Articles 1387, 1388 and 1389.

They may in particular agree on a clause of unequal partition, or stipulate that the
survivor of them or one of them if he or she survives, will be entitled to the whole of the net
acquisitions made by the other.

It may also be agreed between th e spouses that the one who, at the time of the dissolution
of the regime, has against the other a claim for participation, may demand the giving in payment
of certain property of the other spouse, if he or she establishes an essential interest in having it
attributed to him or her.

TITLE VI

OF SALES

CHAPTER I – OF THE NATURE AND FORM OF SALES

Art. 1582

A sale is an agreement by which one person binds himself to deliver a thing, and another
to pay for it.

It may be made by an authentic instrument or by an instrument under private signature.

Art. 1583

It is complete between the parties, and ownership is acquired as of right by the buyer with
respect to the seller, as soon as the thing and the price have been agreed upon, although the thing
has not yet been delivere d or the price paid.

Art. 1584

A sale may be made outright or subject to a condition either precedent or subsequent.

It may also have as its object two or more alternative things.

In all these cases, its effect is regulated by the general principles relating to agreements.

Art. 1585

Where goods are not sold in bul k but by weight, number or measure, a sale is not
complete, in that the things sold are at the ri sk of the seller until they have been weighed,
counted or measured; but the buyer may claim eith er the delivery or damages, if there is
occasion, in case of non-perfor mance of the undertaking.

Art. 1586

Where, on the co ntrary, the goods have been sold in bulk, the sale is complete although
the goods have not yet been we ighed, counted or measured.

Art. 1587

With respect to wine, oil and ot her things which it is customary to taste before buying
them, there is no sale so long as the b uyer has not tasted and accepted them.

Art. 1588

A sale made upon trial shall always be deemed made under a condition precedent.

Art. 1589

A promise of sale is the same as a sale, where there is reciprocal consent of both parties
as to the thing and the price.

(Act of 30 July 1930) Where that prom ise relates to plots already in lots or to be in lots,
its acceptance and the agreement that will result therefrom shall be established by the payment of
an instalment on the price, whatever the name given to that instalment may be, and by the
vesting with possession of the plot.

The date of the agreement, even put into legal form afterwards, is that of the payment of
the first instalment.

Art. 1589-1

(Act n° 2000-1208 of 13 Dec. 2000)

Is rendered void any unilateral unde rtaking entered into for the purpose of acquiring an
immovable property or right for which a payment is required or received from the person who
binds himself, whatever the cause and the form thereof may be.

Art. 1590

Where a promise to sell was made w ith an earnest, each contracting party is at liberty to
withdraw.

The one who has given it, by losing it.

And the one who has received it, by returning twice the amount.

Art. 1591

The price of a sale must be determined and stated by the parties.

Art. 1592

It may however left to the estimation of a third person; where that person is unwilling or
unable to make an estimate, there is no sale.

Art. 1593

The costs of instruments and other accessory to a sale shall be charged to the buyer.

CHAPTER II – OF THOSE WHO MAY BUY OR SELL

Art. 1594

All those to whom legisl ation does not forbid to do so may buy or sell.

Art. 1595 [repealed]

Art. 1596

May not, either by themselves or through intermediaries, become purchasers, on pain of
annulment:

Guardians, as to th e property of those under their guardianship;

Agents, as to the pr operty which they have charge of selling;

Administrators, as to that of th e communes or public institutions entrusted to their care;

Public officers, as to nati onal property whose sale is made through their duties.

Art. 1597

Judges, [repealed by implication], members of the judiciary acting as Government
procurators, registrars, baili ffs, avoués, counsels, advocates and notaires may not become
assignees of suits, contested rights and actions wh ich are within the jurisdiction of the court in
the territory within which they exercise their duties, on pain of annulment, and of costs and
damages.

CHAPTER III – OF THINGS WHICH MAY BE SOLD

Art. 1598

Everything which may be the subj ect of legal transactions between private individuals
may be sold, where special statutes do not prohibit their alienation.

Art. 1599

The sale of a thing belonging to another is void: it may give rise to damages where the
buyer did not know that the th ing belonged to another.

Art. 1600 [repealed]

Art. 1601

Where, at the time of the sale, the thing sold has wholly perished, the sale is void.

Where only a part of the thing ha s perished, the buyer has the choice to waive the sale or
to claim the part saved, by having the price determined proportionally.

CHAPTER III-1 – OF THE SALES OF BUILDINGS TO BE ERECTED

(Act n° 67-3 of 3 Jan. 1967)

Art. 1601-1

The sale of a building to be erected is that by which the seller binds himself to erect a
building within a period determined by the contract.

It may be concluded for future delivery or in a future state of completion.

Art. 1601-2

A sale for future delivery is th e contract by which the seller undertakes to deliver the
building on its completion, and the buyer undertakes to take delivery of it and to pay the price of
it at the date of delivery. The transfer of ownership is achieved by operation of law by the
acknowledgement of the completion of the build ing through an authentic instrument; it is
effective retroactively on the day of the sale.

Art. 1601-3

A sale in a future state of comple tion is the contract by which a seller transfers at once to
the buyer his rights in the ground as well as the ownership of the existing structures. The works
to come become the property of the buyer as they proceed; the buyer is bound to pay the price of
them as the work proceeds.

The seller keeps the powers of a building owner until approval of the work.

Art. 1601-4

An assignment by a purchaser of the rights arising from a sale of a building to be erected
substitutes by operation of law th e assignee in the obligations of the buyer towards the seller.

Where the sale was united with an agency, the latter continues between the seller and the
assignee.

Those provisions shall apply to any transfer inter vivos, voluntary or compulsory, or by
reason of death.

CHAPTER IV – OF THE OBLI GATIONS OF THE SELLER

Section I – General Provisions

Art. 1602

The seller is obliged to explain clearly what he binds himself to.

Any obscure or ambiguous agr eement shall be interpreted against the seller.

Art. 1603

He has two main obligations, that to deliver and that to warrant the thing which he sells.

Section II – Of Delivery

Art. 1604

Delivery is the transfer of th e thing sold into the power and possession of the buyer.

Art. 1605

The obligation to deliver immovabl es is fulfilled on the part of the seller where he has
handed over the keys, in case of a building, or wher e he has handed over the instruments of title.

Art. 1606

Delivery of movable effects is the outcome :

Either of a real delivery;

Or of the handing over of the keys of the buildings which contain them;

Or even of the sole consent of the parties, where the transfer cannot take place at the time
of the sale, or where the buyer already had them in his power on another basis.

Art. 1607

Delivery of intangible rights is made either by handing over the instruments of title, or by
the use which the purchaser makes of th em with the consent of the seller.

Art. 1608

The expenses of delivery shall be charged to the seller, and those of removal to the buyer,
unless otherwise agreed.

Art. 1609

Delivery shall be made at the place where the thing sold was at the time of the sale,
unless otherwise agreed.

Art. 1610

Where the seller fails to make de livery within the time agreed upon between the parties,
the purchaser may, at his choice, apply for avoida nce of the sale, or for his being vested with
possession, if the delay results only from an act of the seller.

Art. 1611

In all cases, the seller shall be ordered to pay damages, where the purchaser has suffered
a loss because of the failure to deliver at the agreed time .

Art. 1612

The seller is not obliged to deliv er the thing where the buyer does not pay the price of it
unless the seller has granted him time for the payment.

Art. 1613

Nor is he obliged to deliver, even if he has allowed time for the payment, where, since
the sale, the buyer [is under a judicial arrangement] or insolvent, so that the seller is in imminent
danger of losing the price; unless the buyer gi ves him security to pay at the time-limit.

Art. 1614

The thing must be delivered in the condition in which it is at the time of the sale.

From that day, all the fruits belong to the purchaser.

Art. 1615

The obligation to deliver the thi ng includes its accessories and all that was designed for
its perpetual use.

Art. 1616

The seller is obliged to deliver the capacity such as it is specified in the contract, subject
to the modifications hereinafter expressed.

Art. 1617

Where the sale of an immovable wa s made with indication of the capacity, at the rate of
so much for a measure, the seller is obliged to de liver to the purchaser, if the latter so requires,
the quantity stated in the contract;

And if he cannot do so, or if the purchaser does not so require, the seller is obliged to
suffer a proportionate reduction in price.

Art. 1618

Where, on the contrary, in the cas e or the preceding Article, the capacity is greater than
the one stated in the contract, the purchaser has th e choice to provide the surplus of the price, or
to repudiate the contract, if the excess is one-twentieth above the capacity declared.

Art. 1619

In all other cases,

Whether the sale is made of a definite and limited thing,

Whether it has as its object distinct and separate tenements,

Whether it begins with the measur e, or by the designation of the property sold followed
by the measure,

The expression of that measure does not give rise to any increase of price, in favour of
the seller for the excess of measure, or in favour of the purch aser, to any diminution in price for
lesser measure, unless the difference between th e actual measure and the one expressed in the
contract is of one-twentieth more or less, with regard to the value of all the things sold, unless
otherwise stipulated.

Art. 1620

In the case where, under the preceding Article, it is necessary to raise the price for excess
of measure, the purchaser has the choice either to repudiate the contract or to provide the surplus
of the price, with interest if he has kept the immovable.

Art. 1621

In all cases in which the purchase r is entitled to repudiate the contract, the seller is bound
to return to him, besides the price, if he has received it, the costs of the contract.

Art. 1622

An action for an increase of price, on the part of the seller, and that for a diminution in
price or for termination of the contract, on the pa rt of the buyer, must be brought within the year,
after the day of the contr act, on pain of lapse.

Art. 1623

Where two tenements have been so ld by the same contract for one and the same price,
with the designation of the measur es of each of them, and where there is less capacity in the one,
and more in the other, set-off is made up to th e amount due; and an action, either for an increase,
or for a diminution in price, takes place only in accordance with the rules above laid down.

Art. 1624

The question of ascertaining upon whom, between the seller and the purchaser, falls the
loss or deterioration of the thing sold before its delivery, shall be decided according to the rules
prescribed in the Title Of Contracts or of Conventional Obligations in General.

Section III – Of Warranty

Art. 1625

The warranty which the seller owes to the purchaser has two objects: the first is the
peaceful possession of the thing sold; the second, the latent defects of that thing, or redhibitory
vices.

§ 1 – Of Warranty against Dispossession

Art. 1626

Although no stipulation as to warranty has been made at the time of the sale, the seller is
obliged as of right to warrant the purchaser against a dispossessi on of the thing sold which he
may suffer in whole or in part, or against encumbrances alleged on that thing, and not declared at
the time of the sale.

Art. 1627

The parties may, by particular agreem ents, add to this obligation of right or diminish its
effect; they may even agree that the se ller may not be subject to any warranty.

Art. 1628

Although it be said that the selle r may not be subject to any obligation, he nevertheless
remains liable to that which results from an act which is his own; any agreement to the contrary
is void.

Art. 1629.-In the same case of stipulation of no wa rranty, the seller, in case of dispossession, is
bound to return the price, unless the purchaser knew , at the time of the sale, of the danger of
dispossession, or unless he bought at his own risk.

Art. 1630

If a warranty has been promised, or if no stipulation was made in this respect, where the
purchaser is dispossessed, he is en titled to claim against the seller:

1° The return of the price;

2° That of the fruits where he is obliged to return them to the owner who dispossesses
him;

3° The expenses incurred in rela tion with the warranty claim of the buyer, and those incurred by
the original plaintiff;

4° Finally, damages, as well as the expe nses and proper costs of the contract.

Art. 1631

Where, at the time of disposse ssion, the thing sold has decreased in value or has been
significantly damaged, either owing to the negl igent conduct of the buyer, or by accidents of
force majeure, the seller nevertheless is bound to return the whole price.

Art. 1632

But if the purchaser has derive d some profit from the dilapidations made by him, the
seller is entitled to retain from th e price a sum equal to that profit.

Art. 1633

Where the thing sold has incr eased in price at the time of the dispossession, even
independently from an act of the purchaser, the seller is obliged to pay him what it is worth
above the price of the sale.

Art. 1634

A seller is bound to repay the pur chaser or to make the person who dispossesses him
repay him for all the useful repairs and improvements which he has made on the tenement.

Art. 1635

Where a seller has sold the tenement of another in ba d faith, he is obliged to repay the
purchaser for all the expenses, even for luxury or pleasure, which the latter may have made on
the tenement.

Art. 1636

Where a purchaser is dispossesse d from only part of the thing, which is of such
importance, in proportion to the whole, that the purchaser would not have bought without the
part of which he is dispossessed, he may have the sale terminated.

Art. 1637

Where, in case of dispossession of part of a tenement sold, the sale is not terminated, the
value of the part of which the purchaser is di spossessed shall be reimbursed to him according to
an appraisal at the time of the dispossession, and not in proportion to the total price of the sale,
whether the thing sold has incr eased or decreased in value.

Art. 1638

Where a property sold is, with out any declaration having been made, encumbered with
non-apparent servitudes which are of such importance that it is to be presumed that the purchaser
would not have bought if he had known of them, he may apply for termination of the contract,
unless he prefers to content himself with an indemnity.

Art. 1639

The other questions to which damages resulting for the purchaser from the non-
performance of the sale may give rise shall be decided in accordance with the general rules
established in the Title Of Contracts and of Conventional Obligations in General.

Art. 1640.

-A warranty against dispossession ceases where the purchaser has allowed a final judgment, or a
judgment no longer appealable, to be handed down against him without joining his seller in the
proceedings, if the latter proves that there were sufficient grounds to have the action dismissed.

§ 2 – Of Warranty against th e Defects of the Thing Sold

Art. 1641

A seller is bound to a warranty on account of the latent defects of the thing sold which
render it unfit for the use for which it was intende d, or which so impair that use that the buyer
would not have acquired it, or w ould only have given a lesser pri ce for it, had he known of them.

Art. 1642

A seller is not liable for defects which are patent and which the buyer could ascertain for
himself.

Art. 1642-1

(Act n° 67-547 of 7 July 1967)

The seller of a building to be erec ted may not be discharged, either before approval of the
work, or before the expiry of a period of one month after the vesting of the purchaser into
possession, for defects of construction then patent.

There may be no occasion for avoida nce of the contract or for diminution in price where
the seller binds himself to repair the defect.

Art. 1643

He is liable for latent defects, even though he did not know of them, unless he has
stipulated that he would not be boun d to any warranty in that case.

Art. 1644

In the cases of Articles 1641 and 1643, the buyer has the choice either of returning the
thing and having the price repaid to him or of ke eping the thing and having a part of the price
repaid to him, as appraised by experts.

Art. 1645

Where the seller knew of the defects of the thing, he is liable, in addition to restitution of
the price which he received from him, for all damages towards the buyer.

Art. 1646

Where the seller did not know of the defects of the thing, he is only liable for restitution
of the price and for reimbursing the buye r for the costs occasioned by the sale.

Art. 1646-1

(Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978)

The seller of a building to be er ected is liable, from the approval of the work, for the
obligations for which the architects, contract ors and other persons bound towards the building
owner by a contract of hiring of industry and services are themselves liable under Articles 1792,
1792-1, 1792-2 and 1792-3 of this Code.

Those warranties bene fit the successive owners of the building.

There may be no occasion for avoidance of the sale or diminution in price where the
seller binds himself to repair the damages specified in Arti cles 1792, 1792-1 and 1792-2 of this
Code and to take upon himself the warra nty provided for in Article 1792-3.

Art. 1647

Where the thing which had defect s perishes because of its bad quality, the loss falls upon
the seller who is liable to the buyer for restitution of the pr ice and other compensations explained
in the two preceding Articl es [Articles 1645 and 1646].

But a loss occasioned by a fortuitous event falls upon the b
uyer.

Art. 1648

The action resulting from redhib itory vices must be brought by the buyer within a short
time, according to the nature of the redhibitory vices and the usage of the place where the sale
was made.

(Act n° 67-547 of 7 July 1967) In the case provided for in Article 1642-1, the action must
be brought, under pain of being time-barred, with in the year following the date on which the
seller may be discharged from patent defects.

Art. 1649

It does nor take place with regard to sales made by order of the court.

CHAPTER V – OF THE OBLI GATIONS OF THE BUYER

Art. 1650

The main obligation of the buyer is to pay the price on the day and at the place fixed by
the sale.

Art. 1651

Where nothing has been fixed in this regard at the time of the sale, the buyer must pay at
the place and at the time where and when delivery is to be made.

Art. 1652

The buyer owes interest on the price of the sale up to the time of the payment, in the three
following cases:

Where it has been so agreed at the time of the sale;

Where the thing sold and delivered produces fruits or other incomes;

Where the buyer is under notice to pay.

In that last ca se, interest runs only from the notice.

Art. 1653

Where the buyer is disturbed or ri ghtly fears that he will be disturbed by an action, either
for a mortgage or for recovery of property, he may suspend the payment of the price until the
seller has caused the disturbance to cease, unless the latter prefers to give security, or unless it
was stipulated that the buyer will pay notwithstanding a disturbance.

Art. 1654

Where the buyer does not pay the pr ice, the seller may apply for avoidance of the sale.

Art. 1655

The avoidance of a sale of immova bles shall be ordered at once where the seller is in
danger of losing the th ing and the price.

Where that danger does not exist, the judge may grant the purchaser a period more or less
long according to the circumstances.

Where that period expires without the buyer having paid, the avoidance of the sale shall
be ordered.

Art. 1656

Where it has been stipulated at the time of the sale of immovables that, failing payment
within the period agreed upon, the sale will be avoided by operation of law, the purchaser may
nevertheless pay after the expiry of the period, so long as he is not given notice by a demand for
payment; but, after that demand, the j udge may not grant him any period.

Art. 1657

In matters of sale of commoditie s and movable effects, the avoidance of the sale takes
place by operation of law, and without any demand, fo r the benefit of the seller, after the expiry
of the period agreed upon for the removal.

CHAPTER VI – OF AVOIDANCE AND RESCISSION OF SALES

Art. 1658

Independently of the grounds for a nnulment or avoidance already explained in this Title,
and of those which are common to all agreements, a contract of sale may be avoided through the
exercise of a power of redemption and on account of the cheapness of the price.

Section I – Of Power of Redemption

Art. 1659

A power of redemption or repurchase is an agreement by which the seller reserves to
himself the taking back of the thing sold, thr ough restitution of the purchase price, and the
reimbursement which Article 1673 deals with.

Art. 1660

A power of redemption may not be stipulated for a time exceeding five years.

Where it has been stipulated for a longer time, it shall be reduced to that time.

Art. 1661

The time fixed is of the essence and may not be extended by the judge.

Art. 1662

Where the seller has not exerci sed his power of redemption within the time fixed, the
purchaser remains the irrevocable owner.

Art. 1663

The time runs against all persons, even against a minor, subject to a remedy against those
whom it may concern, if there is occasion.

Art. 1664

The seller under a clause of redemption may exercise his power against a second
purchaser, even when the power of redemption ha s not been declared in the second contract.

Art. 1665

The purchaser under a clause of redemption exercises all the rights of his seller; he may
acquire ownership by prescription both against th e true owner and against those who claim rights
or mortgages on the thing sold.

Art. 1666

He may oppose the benefit of se izure and sale against the creditors of his seller.

Art. 1667

Where the purchaser under a clause of redemption of an undivided part of a property
becomes the successful bidder for the whole in an auction sale induced against him, he may
compel the seller to take back the whole when th e latter wishes to make use of the clause.

Art. 1668

Where several persons have jo intly sold, and by a same contract, a common property,
each may exercise the power of redemption only for the share which he had in it.

Art. 1669

It shall be the same where the person who ha s sold a property alone has left several heirs.

Each one of these co-heirs may make use of the power of redemption only for the share
he takes in the succession.

Art. 1670

But, in the case of the two preceding Articles, the purchaser may demand that all the co-
sellers or all the co-heirs be joined in the proc eedings in order to agree between them as to the
redemption of the whole property; and where they do not agree, their action shall be dismissed.

Art. 1671

Where the sale of a property bel onging to several persons has not been jointly made and
of the whole property together, and where each has only sold the share which he had therein,
they may exercise separately the power of re demption on the portion which belonged to them;

And the purchaser may not compel the one who enforces it in that way to redeem the
whole.

Art. 1672

Where the purchaser has left se veral heirs, the power of redemption may be exercised
against each of them only for his share, in the cas e where it is still undivided, and in that where
the thing sold has been partitioned between them.

But, where a partition of the su ccession has taken place, and the property sold has fallen
to the share of one of them, the power of redemption may be exercised against him for the
whole.

Art. 1673

A seller who makes use of a clause of redemption shall reimburse not only the purchase
price, but also the expenses and fair costs of th e sale, the necessary repairs and those which have
increased the value of the tenement, up to the am ount of that increase. He may be vested into
possession only after having discha rged all those obligations.

(Ord. n° 59-71 of 7 Jan. 1959) Where the seller comes into his property again through the
effect of a clause of redemption, he retakes it fr ee of all encumbrances and mortgages with which
the purchaser may have burdened it , provided that the clause has been duly registered at the land
registry, before the registration of the said encumbrances and mortgages. He is bound to carry
out the leases made without fraud by the purchaser.

Section II – Of Rescission of Sales because of Loss

Art. 1674

Where a seller has suffered a loss greater than seven-twelfths of the price of an
immovable, he is entitled to apply for the re scission of the sale, even though he may have
expressly renounced in the contract the faculty of applying for that rescission and have declared
to donate the surplus.

Art. 1675

In order to ascertain whether there has been a lo ss of the seven-twelfths, the immovable
must be appraised according to its condition and its value at the time of the sale.

(Act of 28 Nov. 1949) In the case of a unilateral promise of sale, the loss is appraised on
the day of its execution.

Art. 1676

The claim is no longer admissible afte r the expiry of two years, after the day of the sale.

That time runs against [married women, repealed by implication], and against absentees,
adults in guardianship and minors coming in the right of an adult who has sold.

That time also runs and is not suspended during the period stipulated for a clause of
redemption.

Art. 1677

Proof of loss may be allowed only through judgment, and in the case only where the facts
alleged are probable and serious enough to induce a presumption of loss.

Art. 1678

That proof may be adduced only through a report drawn by three experts who are obliged
to make a single joint memorandum, and to give but a single opinion by a plurality of votes.

Art. 1679

Where there are different opini ons, the memorandum shall contain the reasons thereof,
but it shall not be allowed to di sclose the opinion of each expert.

Art. 1680

The three experts shall be appo inted by the court, unless the parties have agreed to
appoint all three jointly.

Art. 1681

In the case where the action for re scission is entertained, the purchaser has the choice,
either to return the thing while taking back the pr ice which he paid for it, or to keep the tenement
while paying the balance of the fair price, after deducting one-tenth of the total price.

A third party in possession has th e same right, save his warranty against his seller.

Art. 1682

Where the purchaser prefers to keep the thing by paying the balance specified by the
preceding Article, he owes the inte rest of that balance, from the day of the claim for rescission.

Where he prefers to return it and to take back the price, he shall return the fruits from the
day of the claim.

Interest on the price which he has paid is also counted for him from the day of the same
claim, or from the day of payment, where he has not collected any fruits.

Art. 1683

Rescission for loss does not take place in favour of the buyer.

Art. 1684

It does not take place in any sale which, according to law, may only be made by order of
the court.

Art. 1685

The rules explained in the preceding Section for cases in which several persons have sold
jointly or separately, and for the one in which the purchaser has left several heirs, shall likewise
be complied with when bringi ng an action for rescission.

CHAPTER VII – OF AUCTION

Art. 1686

Where a thing common to severa l persons cannot be partitioned conveniently and without
loss;

Or where, in a partition of pr operty in common made amicably, there is any property
which none of the coparceners can or wishes to take,

A sale thereof shall be made by au ction and the proceeds shall be distributed between the
co-owners.

Art. 1687

Each co-owner is at liberty to reque st that outsiders be given notice of the sale: they shall
necessarily be given notice where on e of the co-owners is a minor.

Art. 1688

The method and formalities to be complied with for an auction are explained in the Title
Of Successions and in the C ode of Civil Procedure.

CHAPTER VIII – OF ASSIGNMENT OF CLAIMS AND OF OTHER INCORPOREAL
RIGHTS

Art. 1689

In case of assignment of a clai m, or of a right or of an action against a third party,
delivery takes place between the assignor and th e assignee by handing over the instrument of
title.

Art. 1690

An assignee is vested with regard to third parties only by notice of the assignment served
upon the debtor.

Nevertheless, the assignee may lik ewise be vested by acceptance of the assignment given
by the debtor in an authentic act.

Art. 1691

Where, before the debtor has been given notice by the assignor or the assignee, the debtor
has paid the assignor, he is lawfully discharged.

Art. 1692

The sale or assignment of a claim includes the accessories of the claim, such as security,
prior charges and mortgages.

Art. 1693

A person who sells a claim or any other incorporeal right must warrant its existence at the
time of the assignment, even though it is made without warranty.

Art. 1694

He is responsible for the solven cy of the debtor only where he has bound himself thereto,
and only up to the amount of the price wh ich he has received for the claim.

Art. 1695

Where he has promised the solv ency of the debtor, that promise only relates to the
present solvency, and does not extend to the future, unless the assignor has expressly so
stipulated.

Art. 1696

A person who sells an inheritance without specifying its contents in detail, is bound to
warrant only his capacity as heir.

Art. 1697

If he had already benefited by fr uits of some tenement or received the amount of some
claim belonging to that inheritance, or sold so me effects of the succession, he is bound to
reimburse the purchaser therefor, unless he has expressly reserved them at the time of the sale.

Art. 1698

The purchaser must on his part reimburse the seller for what the latter has paid for the
debts and charges of the succession, and recomp ense him for everything for which he was
creditor, unless othe rwise stipulated.

Art. 1699

A person against whom a litigious right has been assigned may have himself released by
the assignee by reimbursing him for the actual price of the assignment with the expenses and fair
costs, and with interest from the day when th e assignee has paid the price of the assignment
made to him.

Art. 1700

A matter is deemed litigious as soon as there is a case and controversy as to the merits of
the right.

Art. 1701

The provision laid down in Article 1699 shall not apply:

1° In the case where the assignment has been made to a co-heir or co-owner of the right
assigned;

2° Where it has been made to a creditor in payment of what is due to him;

3° Where it has been made to the possessor of the property to which the litigious right
relates.

TITLE VII

OF EXCHANGES

Art. 1702

An exchange is a contract by which the parties give to each other one thing for another.

Art. 1703

An exchange is the outcome of th e sole consent of the parties, in the same manner as a
sale.

Art. 1704

Where one of the exchangers has already received the thing given to him in exchange and
he proves afterwards that the other contracting part y is not the owner of that thing, he may not be
compelled to deliver the thing that he has promis ed in mutual exchange, but only to return the
thing which he has received.

Art. 1705

The exchanger who is dispossessed of the thing which he has received in exchange has
the choice between claiming damage s or claiming back his thing.

Art. 1706

Rescission on account of loss does not take place in contracts of exchange.

Art. 1707

All the other rules laid down for contracts of sale shall apply to exchanges as to other
issues.

TITLE VIII

OF HIRING

CHAPTER I – GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 1708

There are tw o kinds of contracts of hiring:

One for things,

And one for work.

Art. 1709

The hiring of things is a contract by which one of the parties binds himself to have the
other enjoy a thing during a certain time, and at a charge of a certain price which the latter binds
himself to pay him.

Art. 1710

The hiring of work is a cont ract by which one of the parties binds himself to do
something for the other, at a charge of a price agreed between them.

Art. 1711

These two modes of hiring are further subdivided into several particular kinds:

The hiring of houses and movables is called a lease for rent;

That of rura l property, an agricultural lease;

That of work or of service, a hire;

That of animals of which the pr ofits are divided between the owner and the one to whom
he entrusts them, a livestock lease;

Estimates, contracts or fixed ba rgains, for the undertaking of a work at a charge of a
determined price, are also hiring, where the materi al is provided by the one for whom the work is
done.

These last three kinds have special rules.

Art. 1712

Leases of national property, of the property of communes and public institutions are
subject to special rules.

CHAPTER II – OF THE RENTAL OF THINGS

Art. 1713

One may rent all ki nds of property, movables and immovables.

Section I – Of the Rules Common to Leas es of Houses and of Rural Property

Art. 1714

(Ord. of 17 Oct. 1945; Act n°46-682 of 13 April 1946)

One may lease either in writing or verbally, except, as regards rural property, for the
application of the rules particular to agricultural leases and sharecropping.

Art. 1715

Where a lease made without any writing has not yet been carried out, and one of the
parties denies it, proof may not be adduced thro ugh witnesses, however moderate the price may
be, and although it is alleged that a deposit was paid.

Oath may be tender ed only to the one who denies the lease.

Art. 1716

Where there is a controversy as to the price of a verbal lease which is being carried out,
and there is no receipt, the owne r shall be believed upon his oath, unless the tenant prefers to
apply for an appraisal by experts; in which case, the costs of the appraisement shall be charged to
him, if the appraisal exceeds the price which he has declared.

Art. 1717

A lessee has the right to sublet or even to assign his lease to another person, unless that
faculty has been forbidden to him.

It may be forbidden wholly or in part.

Such a clause is always strict.

Art. 1718

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

The provisions of Article 595 , paragraphs 2 and 3, relating to leases made by
usufructuaries shall apply to leases made by a guardian without authorization of the family
council.

Art. 1719

A lessor is bound, by the nature of the contract, and without need of any particular
stipulation:

1° To deliver the thing leased to the lessee “and, where the main dwelling of the latter is
concerned, a decent lodging” (A ct n° 2000-1208 of 13Dec. 2000);

2° To maintain that thing in or der so that it can serve the use for which it has been let;

3° To secure to the lessee a peaceful enjoyment for the duration of the lease;

4° (Act n°46-682 of 13 April 1946) To secure also the permanence and quality of
plantings.

Art. 1720

A lessor is bound to deliver the thing in good repair of whatever character.

He must, during the term of the lease, make all the repairs which may become necessary,
other than those incumbent upon lessees.

Art. 1721

A warranty is due to the tenant fo r all vices or defects of the thing leased which prevent
use of it, although the lessor did not know of them at the time of the lease.

Where any loss results to the less ee from those vices or defects, the lessor is obliged to
indemnify him.

Art. 1722

Where, during the term of the leas e, the thing leased is wholly destroyed by a fortuitous
event, the lease is terminated by operation of law; where it is destroyed only in part, the lessee

may, according to the circumstances, apply either for a reduction in price, or even for
termination of the lease. In eith er case, no compensation is owed.

Art. 1723

A lessor may not, during the term of the lease, change the form of the thing leased.

Art. 1724

Where, during the lease, the thing leased needs ur gent repairs which cannot be postponed
until its end, the lessee must bear them, whatev er inconvenience they cause him and although he
is deprived of a part of the thing leased while they are being made.

But where those repairs last more than forty days, the rent shall be reduced in proportion
to the time and to the part of the thing leased of which he has been deprived.

Where the repair s are of such a nature that they re nder uninhabitable what is required for
the lodging of the lessee and his famil y, he may have the lease terminated.

Art. 1725.-A lessor is not bound to warrant the le ssee against disturbance which third persons
cause to his enjoyment by assault, without claimi ng in other respects any right to the thing
leased; but the lessee may proceed against them in his own name.

Art. 1726

Where, on the cont rary, the tenant or the farmer have been disturbed in their enjoyment in
consequence of an action relating to the owners hip of the tenement, they are entitled to a
proportionate reduction of the rent of the lease or agricultural lease, provided that a notice of the
disturbance and of the impediment has been served upon the owner.

Art. 1727

Where those who have committed a ssault claim to have some right to the property leased,
or where the lessee himself is summoned in court to be ordered to relinquish all or part of that

thing, or to suffer the exercise of some servitude, he must have the lessor made a party to
warranty proceedings and shall be left out of th e action, if he so demands, by naming the lessor
on whose behalf he possesses.

Art. 1728

A lessee is bound to two main obligations:

1° To make use of the thing l eased as a prudent administrator and according to the
purposes intended by the lease, or according to those presumed under the circumstances, failing
an agreement;

2° To pay the rent at the agreed times.

Art. 1729

Where the lessee uses the thi ng leased for another use than the one for which it was
intended, or from which damage may result to the lessor, the latter may, according to the
circumstances, have the lease terminated.

Art. 1730

Where an inventory of fixtures ha s been made between the lessor and the lessee, the latter
must return the thing such as he received it, a ccording to that inventory, except for what has
perished or has been deteriorated through decay or force majeure.

Art. 1731

Where no inventory has been made, the lessee is presumed to have received the premises
in a good state of repairs incumbent upon lessees, and must return them in the same state, except
for proof to the contrary.

Art. 1732

He is answerable for the deteriorations or losses occurring during his enjoyment, unless
he proves that they took place without his fault.

Art. 1733

He is answerable for fire, unless he proves:

That the fire happened by a fo rtuitous event or force majeure, or by a defect of
construction, or

That the fire wa s communicated through a neighbouring house.

Art. 1734

(Act of 5 Jan. 1883)

Where there are several tenants, th ey are all liable for a fire in proportion to the rental
value of the part of the building which they occupy;

Unless they prove that the fire ha s originated in the dwelling of one of them, in which
case, that one alone is liable; or

Unless some of them prove that th e fire could not have started with them, in which case
those ones are not liable.

Art. 1735

A lessee is responsible for the de teriorations and losses which occur through the act of
persons of his house or of his sub-tenants.

Art. 1736

Where a lease was made without writing, one of the parties may give the other notice to
quit only by observing the period fixe d by the usage of the place.

Art. 1737

A lease ceases by operation of law at the expiry of the term fixed, where it has been made
in writing, without it being neces sary to give notice to quit.

Art. 1738

Where, at the expiry of written leases, the lessee remains and is left in possession, a new
lease takes place, whose effect is regulated by the Ar ticle relating to leases made without writing.

Art. 1739

Where a notice to quit has be en served, the lessee, although he has continued his
enjoyment, may not invoke a tacit renewal.

Art. 1740

In the case of the two preceding Ar ticles, a security given for a lease does not extend to
the obligations resulti ng from an extension.

Art. 1741

A contract of lease is terminat ed by the loss of the thing leased and by the respective
failure of the lessor a nd the lessee to perfor m their undertakings.

Art. 1742

A contract of lease is not terminated by the death of the lessor or by that of the lessee.

Art. 1743

(Ord. n° 45-2380 of 17 Oct. 1945; Act n°46-682 of 13 April 1946)

Where a lessor sells a thing leas ed, the purchaser may not evict the agricultural tenant,
sharecropper or tenant who has an authentic lease or one whose date is undisputable.

He may, however, evict a tenant of non-rural property where he has reserved that right by
the contract of lease.

Art. 1744

(Ord. n° 45-2380 of 17 Oct. 1945)

Where it was agreed at the time of the lease that in case of sale, the purchaser would be
allowed to evict the lessee and no stipulation was made as to damages, the lessor is bound to
indemnify the tenant in the following manner;

Art. 1745

In case of a house, apartment or shop, the lessor shall pay to the evicted tenant, as
damages, a sum equal to the price of the rent du ring the time which, according to the usage of the
place, is allowed between the noti ce to quit and the departure.

Art. 1746

In case of rural property, the inde mnity which the lessor must pay shall be one-third of
the price of the lease for the w hole time which remains to run.

Art. 1747

Where manufactures, factories or other establishments which require large advances are
concerned, the indemnity shall be fixed by experts.

Art. 1748

(Ord. n° 45-2380 of 17 Oct. 1945)

A purchaser who wishes to make us e of the faculty reserved by the lease to evict a tenant
in case of sale is also bound to inform him within the period custom ary in the place for notices to
quit.

Art. 1749

(Ord. n° 45-2380 of 17 Oct. 1945)

Tenants may not be evicted unless the damages explained above have been paid to them
by the lessor or, in his default, by the new purchaser.

Art. 1750

Where a lease is not made by auth entic instrument or has not an undisputable date, the
purchaser is not liable for any damages.

Art. 1751

(Act n° 62-902 of 4 Aug. 1962)

The right to a lease of premises, without professional or commercial character, which is
actually used for the dwelling of two spouses and even where the lease was concluded before the
marriage, is, whatever their matrimonial regime may be and notwithstanding any agreement to
the contrary, considered to belong to both spouses.

In case of divorce or judicial se paration, that right may be allotted by the court seized of
the application for divorce or judicial separation, on account of the social and family interests
concerned, to one of the spouses, subject to th e rights to reimbursement or indemnity for the
benefit of the other spouse.

(Act n° 2001-1135 of 3 Dec. 2001) In case of death of one of the spouses, the surviving
spouse co-lessee has an exclusive right on it, ex cept where he or she expressly renounces it.

Section II Of the Special Rules for Leases of Houses

Art. 1752

A tenant which does not garnis h the house with sufficient furniture may be evicted,
unless he gives sufficient security to answer for the rent.

Art. 1753

A sub-tenant is liable to the ow ner only up to the amount of the price of his sub-lease
which he may owe at the time of the seizure, with out his being allowed to set off payments made
in advance.

Payments made by a sub-tenant eith er under a stipulation contained in his lease, or as a
consequence of the usage of the place, are not deemed to be made in advance.

Art. 1754

Repairs incumbent upon the tenant or those of routine maintenance for which a tenant is
responsible, unless otherwise stipul ated, are those which are considered as such by the usage of
the place and, among others, the repairs to be made :

To fireplaces, back-plates, mantelpieces and mantelshelves;

To the plastering of the bottom of walls of flats and other places of dwelling, to the
height of one metre;

To pavements and tiles of rooms, where only a few are broken;

To panes of glass, unless they ar e broken by hail, or other accidents, extraordinary and by
force majeure, for which a tenant may not be made responsible;

To doors, windows, boards for part itioning or closing shops, hinges, bolts and locks.

Art. 1755

None of the repairs deemed as incumbent upon a tenant may be charged to tenants, where
they are occasioned only through decay or force majeure.

Art. 1756

The cleaning of wells and that of cesspools are charged to the lessor, unless there is a
clause to the contrary.

Art. 1757

A lease of furniture supplied to garnish a whole house, a whole main building, a shop, or
all others flats, is deemed made for the usual duration of leases of houses, main buildings, shops
or other flats, according to the usage of the place.

Art. 1758

A lease of a furnished apartment is deemed made by the year where it has been made for
so much a year;

By the month, where it has been made for so much a month;

By the day, where it has been made for so much a day.

Where nothing shows that the lease was made for so much a year, a month or a day, the
tenancy is deemed made according to the usage of the place.

Art. 1759

Where the tenant of a house or a fl at continues his enjoyment after the expiry of the lease
in writing, without objection on the part of the lessor, he shall be deemed to occupy them under
the same conditions, for the term fixed by the us age of the place, and he may not leave nor be
evicted except after a notice to quit serv ed according to the usage of the place.

Art. 1760

In case of termination owing to the fault of the lessee, the latter is bound to pay the price
of the rent during the time necessary for re-re nting, without prejudice to damages which may
have resulted from the abuse.

Art. 1761

A lessor may not terminate the te nancy, although he declares that he wishes to occupy
himself the house leased , unless there is a stipulation to the contrary.

Art. 1762

Where it was agreed, in the cont ract of lease, that the lessor may come and occupy the
house, he is bound to give notice to quit in advance, at the times fixed by the usage of the place.

Section III – Of the Special Rules for Agricultural Leases

Art. 1763 [repealed]

Art. 1764

In case of breach, the owner is entitled to re-enter into enjoyment and the lessee shall be
ordered to pay the damages resulting fr om the non-performance of the lease.

Art. 1765

Where, in an agricultural lease, tenements are given a lesser or greater capacity than the
one they really have, there is oc casion for an increase or a decrease in price for the farmer only
in the cases and under the conditions expressed in the Title Of Sales.

Art. 1766

Where the lessee of a rural pr operty does not furnish it with cattle and implements
necessary for its farming, where he abandons cultivating, where he does not cultivate as a
prudent owner, where he makes of the thing l eased a use other than that for which it was
intended, or, in general, where he does not comp ly with the terms of the lease and the lessor
suffers a loss thereby, the lessor may, according to the circumstances, have the lease terminated.

In case of termination owing to an ac t of the lessee, he is liable for damages, as is stated
in Article 1764.

Art. 1767

Any lesser of rural property is bound to store the crops in the place provided for that
purpose according to the lease.

Art. 1768

A lessee of rural property is b ound to give notice to the owner of all encroachments
which may be committed against the tenements, on pain of all costs and damages.

That notice must be given within the same period as that fixed for the case of an
originating claim according to the distance between places.

Art. 1769

Where the lease is made for several years, and, during the term of lease, the whole or half
of a crop at least is carried off by fortuitous events, the farmer ma y ask for a rebate of the price
of the lease, unless he is co mpensated by the preceding crops.

Where he is not compensated, the appraisal of the rebate may take place only at the end
of the lease, at which time, a set-off sha ll be made of all the years of enjoyment;

And nevertheless the judge may te mporarily exempt the lessee from paying a part of the
price by reason of the loss suffered.

Art. 1770

Where a lease is only for one year, and the loss is of the whole or at least of half the
fruits, the lessee is discharged from a pr oportionate part of the price of the rent.

He may not claim any reba te where the loss is of less than one-half.

Art. 1771

A farmer may not obtain any rebate where the loss of the fruits occurs after they have
been separated from the ground, unless the lease gi ves the owner a share of the crop in kind; in
which case, the owner must bear his share of th e loss, provided the lessee was not under notice to
deliver his share of the crop to him.

Neither may a farmer ask for a rebate, where the cause of the damage existed and was
known at the time when the lease was made.

Art. 1772

A lessee may be made responsible for fortuitous events by an express stipulation.

Art. 1773

That stipulation shall only apply to ordinary fortui tous events, such as hail, lightning,
frost or failure of the crop.

It may not extend to extraordinar y fortuitous events, such as the ravages of war, or a
flood, to which the country is not ordinarily subject, unless the lessee has been made responsible
for all the fortuitous events, foreseen or unforeseen.

Art. 1774

An unwritten lease of a rural tene ment, is deemed made for the time which is necessary
in order that the lessee collects all the fruits of the property farmed.

Thus an agricultural lease of a field, of a vineyard, and of any other tenement whose
fruits are collected in whole during the course of a year, is deemed made for one year.

A lease of arable lands, where they are divided by break or season, is deemed made for as
many years as there are breaks.

Art. 1775

(Act of 15 July 1942)

A lease of rura l properties, although unwritten, ceases at the expiry of the time specified
by the preceding Article only through the effect of a written notice to quit given by one of the
parties to the other, six months at least before that time.

Failing a notice to quit given in the time above specified, a new lease takes place whose
effect is regulated by Article 1774.

It shall be the same where, at the expiry of written leases, the lessee remains and is left in
possession.

Art. 1776 [repealed]

Art. 1777

A departing farmer must leave to the one who succeeds him in the cultivation, suitable
lodging and other facilities for the work of the following year; and reciprocally, the entering
farmer must provide the one who is departing with suitable lodging and other facilities for the
consumption of fodder and for harvests which remain to be made.

In either case, the usage of the place must be complied with.

Art. 1778

A departing farmer must also leave the straws and manure of the year, where he has
received them on entering into possession; and even where he did not receive them, the owner
may retain them according to his appraisal.

CHAPTER III – OF THE HIRING OF INDUSTRY AND SERVICES

Art. 1779

There are three main kinds of hiring of industry and services:

1° The hiring of workers who enter the service of someone;

2° That of carriers, as well by land as by water, who undertake to carry persons or goods;

3° (Act n° 67-3 of 3 Jan. 1967) Th at of architects, contractors for work and technicians
following research, estimates or contracts.

Section I – Of the Hiring of Servants and Workers

Art. 1780

One person may engage his services only for a time , or for a specified undertaking.

(Act of 27 Dec. 1890) The hiring of services made without determination of duration may
always cease through the wish of one of the contracting parties.

Nevertheless, the termination of the contract through the wish of one only of the
contracting parties may give rise to damages.

To fix the compensation to be gr anted, if any, account shall be taken of usages, of the
nature of the services hired, of the time elap sed, of the deductions made and of the payments
made in view of a retirement pension, and, in general, of all the circumstances which may
establish the existence and determine the extent of the loss caused.

The parties may not renounce in a dvance the contingent right to claim damages under the
above provisions.

The controversies to which the a pplication of the preceding paragraphs may give rise,
when they are brought before civil courts and before courts of appeal, shall be prepared for trial
as summary proceedings and tried as emergencies.

Art. 1781 [repealed]

Section II – Of Carriers by Land and by Water

Art. 1782

Carriers by land and by water are s ubject, for the custody and preservation of the things
which are entrusted to them, to the same obligatio ns as innkeepers who are dealt with in the Title
Of Deposits and of Sequestration.

Art. 1783

They answer not only for what they have already received in their boat or carriage, but
also for what has been delivered to them in port or in warehouse, to be placed in their boat or
carriage.

Art. 1784

They are liable for the loss and damages of the things which are entrusted to them, unless
they prove that they have been lost or da maged by fortuitous event or force majeure.

Art. 1785

Common carriers by land or by wate r, and public haulage contractors, must keep account
books for the money, the articles and pa rcels which they take charge of.

Art. 1786

Common carriers and directors of public carriage and haulage, masters of boats and
ships, are in addition subject to particular regul ations which constitute the law between them and
other citizens.

Section III – Of Estimates and of Works

Art. 1787

Where one instructs a person to do a work, it may be agreed that he will furnish his work
or his industry only, or that he will also furnish the material.

Art. 1788

Where, in case the worker furnishe s the material, the thing happens to perish, in whatever
manner, before it is delivered, the loss falls upon the worker, unless the master was given notice
to receive the thing.

Art. 1789

In case the worker furnishes his work only, if the thing happens to perish, the workman is
liable for his fault only.

Art. 1790

Where, in the case of the precedi ng Article, the thing happens to perish, although without
any fault on the worker’s part, before the work was received, and without the master being given
notice to check it, the worker may not claim a ny wages, unless the thing has perished through
defect of the material.

Art. 1791

Where a work for several pieces or by measure is concerned, it may be checked by parts:
checking is deemed to have been made for all th e parts paid, if the master pays the worker in
proportion to the work done.

Art. 1792

(Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978)

Any builder of a work is liable as of right, towards the building owner or purchaser, for
damages, even resulting from a defect of th e ground, which imperil the strength of the building
or which, affecting it in one of its constituent part s or one of its elements of equipment, render it
unsuitable for its purposes.

Such liability does not take place where the builder proves that the damages were
occasioned by an extraneous event.

Art. 1792-1

(Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978)

Are deemed builders of the work:

1° Any architect, contractor, technician or other person bound to the building owner by a
contract of hire of work;

2° Any person who sells, after completion, a work which he built or had built;

3° Any person who, although acti ng in the capacity of agent for the building owner,
performs duties similar to those of a hirer out of work.

Art. 1792-2

(Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978)

The presumption of liability established by Article 1792 also extends to damages
affecting the strength of the elements of equipm ent of a building, but only where the latter are an
indissociable and integral part of the works of development, foundation, ossature, close or cover.

An element of equipment is deemed to be an indissociable part of one of the works listed
in the preceding Article where the demounting, disassembling or replacing thereof cannot be
effected without deterioration or rem oval of material from that work.

Art. 1792-3

(Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978)

Other elements of equipment of a building are the subject of a warranty of good running
for a minimum period of two years after the approval of the work.

Art. 1792-4

(Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978)

The manufacturer of a work, of a part of a work or of an element of equipment designed
and produced for meeting precise and predetermi ned requirements when in working order, is
jointly and severally liable for the obligati ons placed by Articles 1792, 1792-2 and 17923 on
the hirer out of work who made use, without mo dification and in compliance with the directions
of the manufacturer, of the work, part of work or element of equipment concerned.

For the purpose of this Article, shall be treated in the same way as manufacturers:

A person who imported a work, a pa rt of work or an element of equipment manufactured
abroad;

A person who presented it as his own work by having his name, his trade mark or any
other distinguishing sign appear on it.

Art. 1792-5

(Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978)

Any clause of a contract having the purpose, either of excluding or limiting the liability
provided for in Articles 1792, 1792-1 and 1792-2, or of excluding “the warranties provided for in
Articles 1792-3 and 1792-6” (Act n° 90-1129 of 19 Dec. 1990) or of limiting their extent, or
setting aside or limiting the joint and several li ability provided for in Article 1792-4, shall be
deemed not written.

Art. 1792-6

(Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978)

Approval is the act by which the build ing owner declares that he accepts the work with or
without reservation. It occurs at the suit of the first requesting party, either amicably or, failing
which, judicially. In any case, it shall be pronounced adversarily.

The warranty of perfected comple tion, to which a contractor is held during a period of
one year, after the approval, extends to the repa irs of all shortcomings indicated by the building
owner, either through reservations mentioned in the memorandum of approval, or by way of
written notice as to those re vealed after the approval.

The periods requ ired for the carrying out of the works of repair shall be fixed by common
agreement by the building owner a nd the contractor concerned.

Failing such an agreement or in case of non-carrying out within the period fixed, the
works may, after a notice of default remained ineff ective, be carried out at the expenses and risks
of the defaulting contractor.

The carrying out of the works re quired under the warranty of perfected completion shall
be established by common agreement or, failing which, judicially.

The warranty does not extend to the works required to remedy the effects of normal wear
or of use.

Art. 1793

Where an architect or a contractor has undertaken to erect a building at a fixed price,
according to a plan settled and agreed with the owner of the ground, he may not ask for any
increase in the price, either unde r the pretext of increase in labour or material, or under that of
changes or additions made in the plan, unless thos e changes or additions have been authorized in
writing and the price agreed with the owner.

Art. 1794.

-A master may, by his wish alone, terminate a c ontract at a fixed price, although the work has
already begun, by compensating the contractor for al l his expenses, for all his works, and for all
that he could have earne d in that undertaking.

Art. 1795

A contract of hiring of work is di ssolved by the death of the worker, of the architect or of
the contractor.

Art. 1796

But the owner is bound to pay to their succession, in proportion to the price given in the
agreement, the value of the works done and that of the materials prepared, only where those
works or materials can be useful to him.

Art. 1797

A contractor is responsible for the acts of the persons whom he employs.

Art. 1798

Masons, carpenters and other work ers who have been employed in the construction of a
building , or of other works made under a contra ct to do work, have an action against the person
for whom the works have been done only up to the amount for which that person is debtor
towards the contractor, at the time when their action is instituted.

Art. 1799

Masons, carpenters, locksmiths and other workers who enter directly into contracts for a
definite lump sum, are subject to the rules prescrib ed in this Section: they are contractors as to
the part they undertake.

Art. 1799-1

(Act n° 94-475 of 10 June 1994)

A building owner who enters into a private constructional works contract referred to in
Article 1779, 3°, must warrant to the contractor the payment of the sums owed when they exceed
a threshold fixed by decree in Conseil d’État 1.

Where a building owner has recour se to a specific credit for financing the works, the
credit institution may not pay the amount of the loan to a person different from the ones
mentioned in Article 1779, 3°, so long as the la tter have not received payment of the whole of
the claim arising from the contract correspondi ng to the loan. Payments shall be made by a
written order and under the exclusive responsibilit y of the building owner into the hands of the
person or of an agent appointed for that purpose.

Where a building owner does not ha ve recourse to a specific credit or where he has
recourse to it only in part, and failing a guarantee resulting from a particular stipulation, payment
shall be warranted by a joint and several suretysh ip agreed to by a credit institution, an insurance
company or an institutio n of collective guarantee, according to terms fixed by decree in Conseil
d’État. So long as no guarantee has been given and the contractor is not paid for the works

carried out, the latter may suspend performance of the contract after a notice of default remained
ineffective at the end of a period of fifteen days.

(Act n° 95-96 of 1 Feb. 1995) Th e provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not apply
where the building owner enters into a construc tional works contract on his own behalf and to
meet needs which do not belong to an o ccupation relating to that contract.

The provisions of this Articl e shall not apply to the contracts concluded by a body
referred to in Article L. 411-2 of the Building and Housing Code or by a semi-public company,
for lodgings to be rented which have received an aid of the State and have been carried out by
that body or company.

1 D. n°99-658 of 30 July 1999: 79 000 F (12 000 €)

CHAPTER IV – OF LEASES OF LIVESTOCK

Section I – General Provisions

Art. 1800

A lease of livestock is a contract by which one of the parties gives the other a stock of
cattle to be kept, fed and cared for, under the terms agreed between them.

Art. 1801

There are several kinds of leases of livestock:

Simple or ordinary lease of livestock,

Lease of livestock by halves,

Lease of livestock given to a farmer or sharecropper.

There is also a fourth ki nd of contract improperly named lease of livestock.

Art. 1802

A lease of livestock may be made for any kind of animals capable of increase or of profit
for agriculture or trade.

Art. 1803

Failing special agreement, thos e contracts are regulated by the following principles.

Section II – Of Ordinary Leases of Livestock

Art. 1804

An ordinary lease of livestock is a contract by which one person gives another cattle to be
kept, fed and cared for, on condition that the less ee will profit from half the increase in stock and
will also bear one-half of the loss.

Art. 1805

(Act of 9 June 1941)

The statement of the number, de scription and appraisal of the animals delivered, which
appears in the lease, does not tr ansfer ownership of them to the lessee. It has no other purpose
than to be used as basis for the settlement to o ccur on the day when the contract comes to an end.

Art. 1806

A lessee is bound to give the care of a prudent owner to the preservation of the livestock.

Art. 1807

He is liable for a fortuitous event only where it was preceded by some fault on his part,
without which the loss would not have occurred.

Art. 1808

In case of dispute, the lessee is bound to prove the fortuitous event, and the lessor is
bound to prove the fault which he ascribes to the lessee.

Art. 1809

A lessee who is discharged by a fortuitous event is always bound to account for the hides
of the animals.

Art. 1810

(Act of 5 Nov. 1941)

Where the livestock perishes in whole without a fault of the lessee, the loss falls on the
lessor.

Where only a part of it perishes, the loss is borne jointly, according to the price of the
original appraisal and that of the appr aisal at the expiry of the lease.

Art. 1811

It may not be stipulated:

That the lessee shall bear th e total loss of the livestock, although occurred through a
fortuitous event and without his fault;

Or that he shall bear in the loss a greater share than in the profits;

Or that the lessor shall, at the end of the lease, set apart something more than the
livestock which he has furnished.

Any agreement of this kind is void.

The lessee shall alone benefit from milk, manure and work of the animals leased.

The wool and th e increase in stock shall be divided.

Art. 1812

A lessee may not dispose of any anim al of a herd or flock, either from the stock or from
the increase, without th e consent of the lessor who himself may not dispose of it without the
consent of the lessee.

Art. 1813

Where livestock is given to the tenant of another, notice of it must be given to the
landlord from whom that tenant holds; otherwise, he may seize it and have it sold for what his
tenant owes him.

Art. 1814

A lessee may not shear without the consent of the lessor.

Art. 1815

Where no time has been fixed by th e agreement for the duration of a lease, it is deemed
made for three years.

Art. 1816

The lessor may claim its termination sooner, where the lessee does not fulfil his
obligations.

Art. 1817

(Act of 9 June 1941)

At the end of the lease or at th e time of its termination, the lessor shall set apart animals
of each kind in order to obtain a st ock of cattle similar to that which he delivered, in particular as
to number, breed, age, weight and quality of th e animals; the excess shall be partitioned.

Where there are not enough animal s to replenish the stock of cattle such as defined
above, the parties shall account to each other for the loss on the basis of the value of the animals
on the day when the contract comes to an end.

Any agreement under which, at the e nd of the lease or at the time of its termination, the
lessee shall leave a stock of cattle of a value equa l to the price of the appraisal of the one which
he received, is void.

Section III – Of Leases of Livestock by Halves

Art. 1818

A lease of livestock by halves is a firm in which each contracting party furnishes one half
of the cattle, which remain in common for profits or for loss.

Art. 1819

A lessee shall alone profit from mil k, manure and works of the animals, as in an ordinary
lease of livestock.

A lessor shall be entitled only to one half of the wool and of the increase.

Any agreement to the contrary is void, unless the lessor is the owner of the farm of which
the lessee is farmer or sharecropper.

Art. 1820

All the other rules of an ordinary lease of livestock shall apply to a lease of livestock by
halves.

Section IV – Of Leases of Livestock Grante d by an Owner to his Farmer or Sharecropper

§ 1 – Of Livestock Leased to a Farmer

Art. 1821

(Act of 9 June 1941)

Such lease (also called iron l ease of livestock) is one by which the owner of an
agricultural holding gives it on lease on condition that at the expi ry of the lease, the farmer shall
leave the same stock of cattle as that which he received.

Art. 1822

(Act of 9 June 1941)

The statement of the number, de scription and appraisal of the animals delivered, which
appears in the lease, does not tr ansfer ownership of them to the lessee. It has no other purpose
than to be used as basis for the settlement to o ccur on the day when the contract comes to an end.

Art. 1823

All profits belong to the farmer during the period of his lease, unless otherwise agreed.

Art. 1824

In leases of livestock leased to a farmer, the manure is not among the personal profits of
the lessees, but belongs to the farm, for the cultiv ation of which it must be exclusively used.

Art. 1825

(Act of 5 Oct. 1941)

Loss, even total and by fortuitous event, falls wholly upon the farmer, unless otherwise
agreed.

Art. 1826

(Act of 9 June 1941)

At the end of the lease or at th e time of its termination, the lessee shall leave animals of
each kind composing a stock of cattle similar to th at which he received, in particular as to
number, breed, age, weight and quality of the animals.

Where there is an excess, it belongs to him.

Where there is a deficit, settleme nt between the parties shall be made on the basis of the
value of the animals on the day when the contract comes to an end.

Any agreement under which, at the e nd of the lease or at the time of its termination, the
lessee shall leave a stock of cattle of a value equa l to the price of the appraisal of the one which
he received, is void.

§ 2 – Of Livestock Leased to a Sharecropper

Art. 1827

(Act of 5 Oct. 1941)

Where the livestock perishes in whole without a fault of the sharecropper, the loss falls
on the lessor.

Art. 1828

It may be stipulated that the sh arecropper shall surrender to the lessor his part of the
fleece at a price below the ordinary value;

That the lessor sh all have a larger share of the profit;

That he shall have half of the milk;

But it may not be stipulated that the sh arecropper shall bear the whole loss.

Art. 1829

Such lease comes to an end with the lease of the farm.

Art. 1830

As to other issues, it shall be subj ect to all the rules of an ordinary lease of livestock.

Section V – Of the Contract Impr operly Named Lease of Livestock

Art. 1831

Where one or several cows are given to be sheltered and fed, the lessor keeps ownership
over them; he has only the profit of th e calves which are born of them.

TITLE VIII bis

OF THE CONTRACT OF REAL ESTATE PROMOTION

(Act n° 71-579 of 16 July 1971)

Art. 1831-1

A contract of real estate promoti on is an agency for the joint interest of both parties by
which a person said “real estate promoter” binds himself towards a building owner to have the
carrying out of a program of cons truction of one or several buildings undertaken for an agreed
price and by way of contracts of hiring of services, as well as to undertake himself or have
undertaken, for an agreed remuneration, all or part of the legal, administrative and financial
formalities or transactions concurring for the same purpose. That promoter is the warrantor of the
performance of the obligations placed on the pers ons with whom he has dealt on behalf of the
building owner. “He is in particular responsible for the obligations resulting from Articles 1792,
1792-1, 1792-2 and 1792-3 of this Cod e” (Act n° 78-12 of 4 Jan. 1978).

Where a promoter binds himself to perform personnaly part of the operations of the
program, he is bound, as to those operations, for the obligations of a hirer out of works.

Art. 1831-2

As to the promoter, the contract involves authority to conclude contracts, approve the
works, close agreements and generally, do in the na me of the building owner, all the transactions
required by the carrying out of the program, up to the amount of the lump-sum agreed.

However, a promoter binds the building owner, by the loans he contracts or the acts of
disposal he enters into, only under a special agency contained in the contract or in a subsequent
instrument.

The building owner is bound to pe rform the undertakings contracted on his behalf by the
promoter within the authority which the latt er holds under a statute or the agreement.

Art. 1831-3

Where, before the completion of the program, the building owner assigns the rights he
has on it, the assignee is substituted to him by operation of law, as to assets and liabilities, for the
whole of the contract. “The assignor is warrantor of the performance of the obligations placed on
the building owner by the c ontract assigned” (Act n° 72-649 of 11 July 1972).

Special agencies given to the promoter continue be tween the latter and the assignee.

The promoter may not substitute a third party for himself in the performance of the
obligations which he has contract ed with the building owner without the cons ent of the latter.

A contract of real estate promoti on is effective against third parties only from the date of
its entry on the land register.

Art. 1831-4

The task of a promoter comes to an end with the delivery of the work only where the
accounts for construction have been definitely settled between the building owner and the
promoter, all of which without prejudicing th e actions for damages which may belong to the
building owner against the promoter.

Art. 1831-5

Judicial arrangement or liquida tion does not involve as of right the termination of a
contract of real estate promoti on. Any stipulation to the contrary shall be deemed not written.

TITLE IX

OF FIRMS AND COMPANIES

(Act n° 78-9 of 4 Jan. 1978)

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS

Art. 1832

(Act n° 85-697 of 11 July 1985)

A firm is established by two or several persons which agree by a contract to appropriate
property or their industry for a common venture with a view to sharing the benefit or profiting
from the saving which may result therefrom.

It may be established, in the cases provided for by statute, through an act of will of one person
alone.

The members bind themselves to contribute to losses.

Art. 1832-1

“Even where they use only community property for the contributions to a firm or for the
acquisition of shares of a firm, two spouses alon e or with other persons may be members of a
same firm and participate togeth er or not in the management of the firm” (Act n° 82-596 of 10
July 1982).

The advantages and gratuitous transfers result ing from a firm agreement between spouses may
not be avoided because they would constitute di sguised gifts, where their terms have been
regulated by an auth entic instrument.

Art. 1832-2

(Act n° 82-596 of 10 July 1982)

One spouse may not, under the penalty provided for in Article 1427, make use of
community property in order to make a contribution to a firm or acquire non-negotiable shares of
a firm without the other spouse being informed thereof and proof of it being adduced in the
instrument.

The capacity of member is acknowledged to th e spouse who makes the contribution or the
acquisition.

The capacity of member is also acknowledged, for half of the shares subscribed or acquired, to
the spouse who gave notice to the firm of his or her intention to be personally a member. Where
he or she gives notice of his or her intention at the time of the contribution or acquisition, the
acceptance or agreement of the memb ers is effective as to both spouses. Where the notice is after
the contribution or acquisition, th e clauses requiring approval provi ded for this purpose in the
articles of association or of pa rtnership are available as agains t the spouse; at the time of the
resolution on approval, the member spouse does not participate in the vote and his or her shares
are not taken into account in calcul ating the quorum and the majority.

The provisions of this Article sh all apply only to firms whose shares are not negotiable and only
until dissolution of the community.

Art. 1833

Every firm must have lawful objects and be formed in the common interest of the
members.

Art. 1834

The provisions of this Chapter sh all apply to all firms and companies, unless otherwise
provided for by statute by reason of their form or of their objects.

Art. 1835

The memorandum and the articles of association or of partnership must be drawn up in
writing. They shall determine, in addition to th e contributions of each member, the form, the

objects, the name, the registered place of business, the capital of the firm, the duration of the firm
and its rules of functioning.

Art. 1836

Unless otherwise stipulated, th e memorandum and the articles may be amended only by
unanimous agreement of the members.

In no case may the commitments of a member be increased without his consent.

Art. 1837

Every firm whose registered place of business is located on the French territory is subject
to the provisions of French law.

Third parties may avail themselves of the register ed place of business determined in the articles,
but the latter is not available as against them where the actual place of business is located
elsewhere.

Art. 1838

The duration of a firm may not exceed ninety-nine years.

Art. 1839

Where the memorandum and the ar ticles do not contain all the statements required by
legislation or where a formality prescribed by it for the formation of a firm was omitted or
irregularly completed, any person concerned may a pply to the court for having the regularization
of the formation ordered, by the imposition of a periodic penalty payment. The Government
procurator’s office is entitled to sue for the same purposes.

The same rules shall apply in case of amen dment of the memorandum and of the articles.

The action for purposes of regulariz ation provided for in paragraph 1 is time-barred after three
years from the registration of the firm or from the recording of the instrument amending the
memorandum or the articles.

Art. 1840

The promoters, as well as the first members of the management, direction and
administrative organs, are jointly and severally liable for the loss caused either by the want of a
compulsory statement in the memorandum or th e articles, or by the omission or irregular
completion of a formality prescribed for the formation of the firm.

In case of amendment of the memorandum or of the articles, the provisions of the preceding
paragraph shall apply to the members of the ma nagement, direction and administrative organs
then in office.

The action is time-barred after ten years from th e day when one or the other, according to the
circumstances, of the formalities provided for in Article 1839, paragraph 3, has been completed.

Art. 1841

Firms which have not been ther eto authorized by statute are prohibited to make public
offerings or to issue negotiable securities, on pain of invalidity of the contracts concluded or of
the securities issued.

Art. 1842

Firms other than the undisclosed pa rtnerships referred to in Chapter III enjoy juridical
personality from their registration.

Until registration the relations between members are governed by the firm agreement and by the
general principles of law which a pply to contracts and obligations.

Art. 1843

Persons who have acted on behalf of a firm in the making before registration are liable
for the obligations arising from the acts so perf ormed, jointly and severally where the firm is a
merchant, jointly in the other cases. A firm regularly registered may take upon itself the
undertakings entered into, which are then deemed to have been contracted by it as from the
outset.

Art. 1843-1

A contribution of property or of a right subject to registration in order to be effective as
against third parties may be registered before the registration of the firm and on condition that
the latter takes place. From the latter, the effects of the formality retroact to the date of its
fulfilment.

Art. 1843-2

The rights of each member in the capital of the firm are in proportion to his contribution
at the time of the formation of the firm or in the course of its existence.

(Act n° 82-596 of 10 July 1982) C ontributions in industry do not take part in the formation of the
capital of the firm but give rise to an assigning of shares which en titles to the partition of profits
and net assets, on condition that the losses are contributed to.

Art. 1843-3

Each member is debtor towards the fi rm for all that he has promised to contribute to it in
kind, in money or in industry.

Contributions in kind shall be executed by transfer of the corre sponding rights and by the actual
availability of the property.

Where a contribution relates to ow nership, the contributor is warrantor towards the firm in the
same way as a seller towards his buyer.

Where it relates to enjoyment, the contributor is warrantor towards the firm in the same way as a
lessor towards his lessee. However, where a cont ribution relating to enjoyment concerns generic
things or any other property bound to be renewed during the durat ion of the firm, the contract
transfers to the latter the owne rship of the property contribute d, on condition that he returns a
same quantity, quality and value thereof; in that case, the contributor is warrantor in the way
provided for in the preceding paragraph.

The member who was to contribute a sum to th e firm and has not done so, becomes by operation
of law and without notice, debtor for interests on that sum from the day when it should have been
paid and without prejudice to greater damages, if there is occasion. “Furthermore, where calls for
funds in order to pay up the full amount of capita l have not been made within a statutory period,
any person concerned may apply to the president of the court who shall decide by way of interim

relief proceedings either to order the administrators, directors and managers to carry out those
calls for funds by imposing a periodic penalty paym ent, or to appoint an agent in charge of
carrying out that formality” (A ct n° 2001-420 of 15 May 2001).

The member who has bound himself to contribute his industry to the firm shall account to it for
all the profits which he has gained through the activity which is the subject matter of his
contribution.

Art. 1843-4

In all cases considering the assignment of a member’s rights in the firm, or the
redemption of those rights by the firm, the value of those rights shall be determined, in case of
dispute, by an expert appointed, either by the pa rties, or failing an agreement between them, by
order of the president of the court who shall decide by way of interim relief proceedings and
whose judgment shall be final.

Art. 1843-5

(Act n° 88-15 of 5 Jan. 1988)

In addition to an action for co mpensation for the loss personally suffered, one or several
members may institute an action on behalf of the firm against the directors. The claimants are
entitled to seek compensation for the loss suffe red by the firm; in case of award, the damages
shall be allocated to the firm.

Shall be deemed not written any clause of th e memorandum or of the articles leading to
subordinate the bringing of an action on behalf of a firm to a preliminary opinion or to the
authorization of the meeting of the members or which would im ply anticipated waiver of the
bringing of that action.

No decision of a meeting of members may lead to extinguish an action for compensation against
the directors for fault committed in the fulfilment of their duties.

Art. 1844

Every member has the right to participate in collective decisions.

The co-owners of an undivided share of the capital shall be represented by a single proxy, chosen
among the undivided owners or outside. In case of disagreement, the proxy shall be designated in
court, at the suit of th e first requesting party.

Where a share is burdened with a usufruct, the right to vote belongs to the bare-owner, except for
decisions relating to the allocation of profits, in which case it is reserved for the usufructuary.

The memorandum or the articles may der ogate from the two preceding paragraphs.

Art. 1844-1

Unless otherwise agreed, the share of each member in the profits and his contribution to
losses are determined in proportion to his hare in the capital of the firm and the share of a
member who has contributed onl y his industry is equal to that of the member who has
contributed the least.

However, a stipulation by which a member is allo tted the whole of the profit gained by the firm,
or is released for the whole of the losses, the one by which a member is excluded in whole from
the profit or is liable for the whole of th e losses shall be deemed not written.

Art. 1844-2

(Act n° 78-753 of 17 July 1978)

A mortgage or any other security in rem on property of the firm may be given by virtue
of powers resulting from resolutions or dele gations established under private signatures,
although the mortgage or of the security mu st be granted by an authentic instrument.

Art. 1844-3

The proper transformation of a firm into a firm of another type does not involve the
creation of a new juridical person. It shall be the same as to extension of duration or any other
amendment of the memorandum or articles.

Art. 1844-4

A firm, even in liquidation, may be absorbed by another firm or participate in the
formation of a new firm, by way of merger.

It may also transfer its pa trimony by way of split-off to existing or new firms.

Those dealings may occur between firms of different types.

They shall be decided, by each fi rm concerned, in the way provided for as to amendment
of the memorandum or articles.

Where the dealing involves the cr eation of new firms, each of them shall be formed in
accordance with the rules appropriate to the type of firm adopted.

Art. 1844-5

“The reuniting of all the shares of the capital into a single hand does not involve the
dissolution of the firm by opera tion of law. Any person concerne d may apply for that dissolution
where the situation has not been regularized with in the period of one year. The court may grant
the firm a maximum period of six months to regularize the situation. It may not rule for
dissolution where, on the day when it decides, that regularization has occurred” (Act n° 81-1161
of 30 Dec. 1981).

The fact that the usufruct of a ll the shares of capital belongs to the same person has no
consequence as to the existence of the firm.

“In case of di ssolution, it involves the uni versal transfer of the patrimony of the firm to
the sole member, without there being occasion for liquidation. The creditors may object to the
dissolution within a period of thirty days after the recording of the latter. A judicial decision shall
dismiss the objection or order either the payment of the claims, or the constitution of warranties
where the firm offers any and where they are cons idered sufficient. The transfer of the patrimony
is carried out and the juridical pe rson vanishes only at the end of the period for objection or, if
there is occasion, where the objection has been di smissed in first instance or where the payment
of the claims has been made or the warrant ies constituted” (Act n° 88-15 of 5 Jan. 1988)

“The provisions of paragraph 3 sh all not apply to firms whose sole member is a natural
person” (Act n° 2001-420 of 15 May 2001).

Art. 1844-6

An extension of the duration of a firm must be decided by a unanimous vote of the
members, or, where the memorandum or articles so provide, by the majority required for their
amendment.

One year at least before the date of the expiry of the firm, the opinion of the members
must be taken for the purpose of deciding whethe r the duration of the firm must be extended.

Failing which, any member may appl y to the president of the court ruling by interim ex
parte order, for the appointment of a judicial agent in charge of instituting the consultation
provided for above.

Art. 1844-7

A firm comes to an end:

1° By the expiry of the time for which it was fo rmed, except for an extension of duration decided
in accordance with Article 1844-6;

2° By the achievement or th e extinction of its objects;

3° By annulment of the firm agreement;

4° By anticipat ed dissolution decided by the members;

5° By anticipated dissolution orde red by the court on application of a member for just
reasons, notably in case of non-performance of hi s obligations by a member, or of disagreement
between members which paralyses the running of the firm;

6° By anticipated dissolution ordered by the court in the case provided for in Article 1844-5;

7° “By the effect of a judgment or dering the winding-up or total transfer of the assets of
the firm” (Act n° 88-15 of 5 Jan. 1988);

8° For any other reas on specified in the memorandum or articles.

Art. 1844-8

The dissolution of a firm involve s its liquidation, except for the cases provided for by
Article 1844-4 “and by Artic le 1844-5, paragraph 3” (Act n° 88- 15 of 5 Jan. 1988). It is effective
against third persons only after it has been recorded.

A liquidator shall be appointed in accordance with the provisions of the memorandum or of the
articles. Where they are silent, he shall be appointed by the me mbers or, where the latter were
unable to make that appointment, by order of th e court. A liquidator may be dismissed in the
same manner. The appointment and the dismissal are effective against third persons only after
they have been recorded. Neither the firm nor third persons may, in order to elude their

undertakings, avail themselves of an irregularity in the appointment or dismissal of a liquidator,
where the latter has been duly recorded.

The juridical personality of a fi rm still exists for the needs of liquidation until recording
of its closing.

Where the closing of a liquidation has not happene d within three years after the dissolution, the
Government procurator’s office or any person co ncerned may refer the matter to the court which
shall have the liquidation institut ed or completed, where it has begun.

Art. 1844-9

After paying the debts and reimbursi ng the capital of the firm, the partition of the assets
shall be made among the members in the same pr oportion as their participation in the profits,
except for clause or agreement to the contrary.

The rules relating to the partition of successions, including preferen tial allotment, shall apply to
partitions between members of a firm or company.

However, the members may lawfully decide, ei ther in the memorandum or articles, or by a
separate resolution or instrument, that certain property shall be allotted to certain members.
Failing which, any property contribu ted which is found in kind in the assets to be partitioned
shall be allotted, on his request and on condition of adjustment , if there is occasion, to the
member who had contributed it. That faculty sh all be exercised before any other right to a
preferential allotment.

All members, or some of them only, may also rema in in undivided ownership of all or part of the
property of the firm. Their relationships as to that property shall be then regulated, at the close of
the liquidation, by the provisions re lating to undivided ownership.

Art. 1844-10

Annulment of a firm may result onl y from the infringement of the provisions of Articles
1832, 1832-1, paragraph 1, and 1833 or from one of the grounds for annulment of contracts in
general.

Any clause of the memorandum or of the articles contrary to a mandatory provision of
this Title, the sanction of whose infringement is not annulment of the firm, shall be deemed not
written.

Annulment of transactions or resolutions of the organs of a firm may result only from the
infringement of a mandatory provision of this Ti tle or from one of the grounds for annulment of
contracts in general.

Art. 1844-11

An action for annulment is extinguished where the ground for annulment has ceased to
exist on the day when the court rules on the merits in first instance, unless that annulment is
based on the wrongfulness of the objects of the firm.

Art. 1844-12

In case of annulment of a firm or of transactions or resolutions subsequent to its
formation, based on a defect in consent or on the disability of a member, and where
regularization may take place, any person having an interest therein may put on notice the person
who is able of doing so, either to regularize, or to sue for annulment within a period of six
months on pain of being time-barred. The firm shall be informed of that putting on notice.

The firm or a member may submit to the court seized within the period provided for in the
preceding paragraph, any measure appropriate to clear away the interest of the plaintiff,
particularly through the redemption of his rights in the firm. In that case the court may, either
rule for annulment or make compulsory the prop osed measure where they have been previously
adopted by the firm in the conditions provided fo r the amendments of the memorandum or of the
articles. The vote of the member whose redemption of the rights is applied for is of no effect on
the decisions of the firm.

In case of dispute, the value of the rights in the firm to redeem from a member shall be
determined in accordance with the provisions of Article 1843-4.

Art. 1844-13

A court to which an action for annulment has been referred, may, even of its own motion,
fix a period to allow for the remedy of the invalid ities. It may not order annulment less than two
months after the date of the originating process.

Where, in order to remedy an i nvalidity, a meeting must be convened, or a consultation
of the members take place, and where proof is given of a proper notice convening that meeting
or of the sending to the members of the text of the proposed resolutions with the documents
which must be communicated to them, the court shall grant by judgment the period necessary for
the members to come to a decision.

Art. 1844-14

The actions for annulment of a firm or of transactions or resolutions subsequent to its
formation are time-barred after three years from the day when annulment was incurred.

Art. 1844-15

Where annulment of a firm is ordered, it puts an end, without retroactivity, to the
performance of the contract.

As regards the juridical person which may have come into being, it produces the effects
of a judicially ordered dissolution.

Art. 1844-16

Neither the firm nor the members may avail themselves of an annulment with regard to
third parties in good faith. However, annulment re sulting from a disability or from one of the
defects in consent is available even against third parties by the person under a disability and his
statutory representatives, or by the member w hose consent was abused by error, deception or
duress.

Art. 1844-17

An action for compensation based on the annulment of the firm or of transactions and
resolutions subsequent to the formation is time-barred after three years from the day when the
judgment of annulment has become res judicata.

The vanishing of the ground for a nnulment is not a bar to the bringing of an action for
damages for the purpose of compensating the loss caused by the defect by which the firm, the
transaction or the resolution was vitiated. That action is time-barred after three years from the
day when the invalidity was remedied.

CHAPTER II – OF PARTNERSHIP FOR NON-COMMERCIAL PURPOSES

Section I – General Provisions

Art. 1845

The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to all firms for non-commercial purposes,
unless they are derogated from by the particular statutory status to which some of them are
subject.

Have non-commercial character all firms to wh ich legislations does not attribute another
character by reason of their form, nature or objects.

Art. 1845-1

The capital of a part nership shall be divided into equal shares.

(Act n° 2001-1168 of 11 Dec. 2001) Th e provisions of Chapter I of Title III of Book II of
the Commercial Code relating to the variable capita l of companies shall apply to partnerships for
non-commercial purposes.

Section II – Of Management

Art. 1846.-A partnership shall be managed by one or several persons, partners or not, appointed
either by the articles of partnership, or by a special act, or by a resolution of the partners.

The articles shall fix the rules for the designation of the manager or managers and the method of
organization of the management.

Unless otherwise provided in the articles, a mana ger shall be appointed by a resolution of the
partners representing more than half of the shares of the partnership.

Where the articles are silent, and where the partne rs have not decided otherwise at the time of the
appointment, the managers shall be deemed a ppointed for the duration of the partnership.

Where, for whatever reason, a part nership is deprived of a manager, any partner may apply to the
president of the court deciding by interim relief order for the designation of a judicial agent in
charge of convening a meeting of the partners for the purpose of appointing one or several
managers.

Art. 1846-1

Apart from the cases referred to in Article 1844-7, a partnership comes to an end through
anticipated dissolution which a co urt may order on application of any person concerned, where it
has been devoid of manager for more than one year.

Art. 1846-2

The appointment and cessatio n of duties of the managers must be recorded.

Neither a partnership nor third par ties may avail themselves of an irregularity in the appointment
of managers or in the cessation of their duties in order to elude their undertakings, where those
decisions have been duly recorded.

Art. 1847

Where a juridical person carries on the management, its managers are subject to the same
conditions and obligations and incur the same ci vil and penal liabilities as though they were
managers on their own behalf, without prejudice to the joint and several liability of the juridical
person which they direct.

Art. 1848

In the relationships between partners, a manager may do all the acts of management
which the interest of th e partnership requires.

Where there are several managers, they exercise those powers separately, except for the right
which belongs to each of them to object to a transaction before it is concluded.

All of which failing a special provision in th e articles on the method of administration.

Art. 1849

In the relationships with th ird parties, a manager binds the partnership through
transactions which fall under th e objects of the partnership.

In case of plurality of managers, they possess separately the powers provided for in the
preceding paragraph. An objection made by one mana ger to the transactions of another manager
is of no effect with regard to third parties, unle ss it is proved that they have had knowledge of it.

Clauses of the articles limiting the powers of the managers may not be invoked against third
parties.

Art. 1850

Each manager is liable individua lly towards the partnership and towards third parties,
either for violations of statutes and regulations, or for an infringeme nt of the articles, or for faults
committed in his management.

Where several managers have participated in the same acts, their liability is joint and several
towards third parties and partners.

However, in their relationships between them, th e court shall determine the contributory share of
each in the compensation for the loss.

Art. 1851

Unless the articles provide otherw ise, a manager may be dismissed by a resolution of the
partners representing more than half of the sh ares of the partnership. Where a dismissal is
decided without just reason, it may give rise to damages

A manager may also be dismissed by the courts for a legitimate cause, on application of any
partner.

Unless otherwise provided, the dismissal of a manage r, whether he is a partner or not, does not
involve dissolution of the partne rship. Where the dismissed manager is a partner, he may, unless
the articles provide otherwise, or the other pa rtners decide anticipated dissolution of the
partnership, withdraw from it in the way provided for in Article 1869, paragraph 2.

Section III – Of Collective Resolutions

Art. 1852

Resolutions which exceed the powers conferred upon managers shall be passed according
to the provisions of the articles or, failing such provisions, by the partners unanimously.

Art. 1853

Resolutions shall be passed by th e partners convened in a meeting. The articles may also
provide that they will resu lt from a written consultation.

Art. 1854

Resolutions may also result fr om the consent of all the partners expressed in an
instrument.

Section IV- Of Notice to Partners

Art. 1855

The partners are entitled to obtain, at least once a year, notice of the books and
documents of the partnership, and to ask quest ions in writing on the management of the
partnership, to which a reply must be made in writing within the period of one month.

Art. 1856

The managers must, at least on ce in the year, account for their management to the
partners. That statement of acc ounts must include a comprehensiv e written report on the activity
of the partnership during the year or the account ing period elapsed including a statement of the
profits realized or foreseeable and of the losses incurred or foreseen.

Section V – Of the Liability of Part ners with Regard to Third Parties

Art. 1857

With regard to third parties, partners are liable indefinitely for debts of the partnership in
proportion to their share in the capital of the pa rtnership on the date when falling due or on the
day of cessation of payments.

A partner who has contributed only his industry is liable like the one whose contribution in the
capital is the smallest.

Art. 1858

Creditors may sue a partner for pa yment of the debts of the partnership only after suing
first and vainly the juridical person.

Art. 1859

All actions against partners who are not liquidators or their heirs and assigns are time-
barred after five years from the time when the diss olution of the partnership has been recorded.

Art. 1860

Where there is insolvency, pe rsonal bankruptcy, judicial liquidation or judicial
arrangement befalling a partner, unl ess the others unanimously decide to dissolve the partnership
by anticipation or that dissolution is provided fo r by the articles, reimbursement shall be made,
subject to the conditions set out in Article 1843-4, of the rights in the partnership of the party
concerned, who then loses the status of partner.

Section VI – Of the Transfer of Shares of the Capital

Art. 1861

Shares of the capital may be tran sferred only with the approval of all the partners.

The articles may however agree that the approval will be obtained by a majority which they fix,
or that it may be granted by the managers. They may also dispense from approval the transfers
made to partners or to the spouse of one of them. Unless otherwise provided by the articles,
transfers made to ascendants or descendants of the transferor are not subject to approval.

Notice shall be given of the planne d transfer, with request for approval, to the partnership and to
each one of the partners. Notice shall be given only to the partnership where the articles provide
that the approval may be granted by the managers.

Where two spouses are simultaneously members of one partnership, the transfers made by one of
them to the other must, in order to be valid, result from a notarial instrument or from an
instrument under private signatu re having acquired an undisputable date otherwise than by the
death of the transferor.

Art. 1862

Where several part ners express their wish to acquire, th ey are, unless there is a clause or
an agreement to the contrary, deemed purchaser s in proportion to the number of shares which
they held previously.

Where no partner stands as purchaser, the partne rship may have the shares acquired by a third
person designated by the other partners unanimous ly or according to the methods provided for
by the articles. The partnership ma y also initiate the redemption of the shares for the purpose of
cancelling them.

The transferor shall be given notice of the names of the propos ed purchaser or purchasers,
partners or third persons, or of the offer of re demption by the partnership, as well as of the price
offered. In case of dispute on the price, the latter shall be fixed in accordance with the provisions
of Article 18434, the whole withou t prejudice to the right of the transferor to keep his shares.

Art. 1863

Where no offer of redemption is ma de to the transferor within a period of six months
after the last of the notifications provided for in Artic le 1861, paragraph 3, approval of the
transfer shall be deemed granted, unless the othe r partners decide, within the same period, the
anticipated dissolution of the partnership.

In the latter case, the transf eror may cause that decision to lapse by making it known that he
waives the transfer within a period of one month after the said decision.

Art. 1864

The provisions of the two preceding Articles may be derogated from only in order to
modify the period of six months stared in Article 1863, paragraph 1, and provided the period
stated in the articles be not over one year or below one month.

Art. 1865

A transfer of shares of capital must be drawn up in writing. It shall be made invokable
against the partnership under the forms provided for in Article 1690 or, where the articles so
stipulate, by transfer on the registers of the partnership.

It may be invoked against third persons only after completion of those formalities and after
recording.

Art. 1866

Shares of the capital may be the subject of a pledge attested, either by an authentic
instrument, or by an instrument under private si gnature served upon the partnership or accepted
by it in an authentic instrument and giving rise to a recording whose date determines the rank of
the pledgee creditors. Those whose instrument s are recorded on the same day rank equally.

The prior charge of a pledgee cr editor stands on the pledged rights on the capital through the sole
fact of recording the pledge.

Art. 1867

Any partner may obtain from the ot her partners their approval of a plan of pledge under
the same conditions as their appr oval of a transfer of shares.

A consent given to a plan of pledge involves appr oval of the transferee in case of forced sale of
the shares of capital on conditi on that notice of the sale be given to the partners and the
partnership at least one month before the sale.

Each partner may substitute himsel f for the purchaser within a period of five clear days
from the sale. Where several partners exercise that faculty, they shall be, unless there is a clause
or an agreement to the contrary, deemed purchaser s in proportion to the number of shares which

they held previously. Where no partner exercises that faculty, the partnership may redeem the
shares itself, for the purpose of cancelling them.

Art. 1868

Notice must be given likewise of a forced sale which does not result from a pledge to
which the other partners have give n their approval, one month before the sale to the partners or
to the partnership.

The partners may, within that period, decide to dissolve the pa rtnership or to acquire the shares
in the way provided for in Articles 1862 and 1863.

Where a sale has taken place, the partners or the partnership may exercise the faculty of
substitution which is theirs under Article 1867. The non-exercise of that faculty involves
approval of the purchaser.

Section VII – Of the Withdraw al or Death of a Partner

Art. 1869

Without prejudice to the rights of third persons, a partner may withdraw totally or
partially from the partnership, su bject to the conditions laid down in the articles or, failing
which, after authorization given by a unanimous resolution of the other partners. That
withdrawal may also be authorized by a judicial decision for just reasons.

Unless Article 1844-9, paragraph 3, applies, th e partner who withdraws is entitled to
reimbursement of the value of his rights in the partnership, fixed in accordance with Article
1843-4, failing an amicable agreement.

Art. 1870

A partnership is not dissolved by th e death of a partner, but continues with his heirs or
legatees, unless the articles provide that th ey must be approved of by the partners.

It may however be agreed that the death will invo lve dissolution of the partnership or that it will
continue with only the surviving partners.

It may also be agreed that the partnership will continue either with the surviving spouse, or with
one or several of the heirs, or with any other pe rson designated by the articles or where the latter
so authorize, by a testamentary disposition.

Unless the articles provide otherwise, where the succession devolves upon a juridical person, the
latter may become a partner only with the appr oval of the other partners, granted under the
conditions provided for by the articles, or failin g which, by unanimous agreement of the partners.

Art. 1870-1

Heirs or legatees who do not become partner are entitled only to the value of the shares in
the capital of their predece ssor in title. That value must be paid to them by the new holders of the
shares or by the partnership its elf where it has redeemed them for the purpose of cancelling
them.

The value of these shares in the capital shall be determined on the day of death in the
conditions provided for in Article 1843-4.

CHAPTER III – OF UNDI SCLOSED PARTNERSHIP

Art. 1871

Partners may agree that the partne rship will not be registered. The partnership is then
called “undisclosed partnership”. It is not a juridical person and is not subject to registration.

The partners freely agree upon the objects, opera tion and methods of the undisclosed partnership,
provided that the mandatory provisions of Articles 1832, 1832-1, 1833, 1836, paragraph 2, 1841,
1844, paragraph 1 and 1844-1, paragraph 2, be not derogated from.

Art. 1871-1

Unless a different organization has been provided for, the relationships between partners
are governed, as may be thought proper, either by the provisions which apply to partnerships for
non-commercial purposes, where the firm is of a non-commercial character, or, where it is of a
commercial character, by those which apply to partnerships for commercial purposes.

Art. 1872

With regard to third parties, each partner remains owner of the property which he placed
at the disposal of the partnership.

Shall be deemed undivided between the partners the property acquired by investment or re-
investment of undivided funds dur ing the partnership and that which was undivided before being
placed at the disposal of the partnership.

It shall be likewise for that which the partners have agreed to place in undivided ownership.

It may furthermore be agreed that one of the partne rs is, with regard to the others, owner of all or
part of the property which he acquires with a vi ew to the carrying out of the objects of the
partnership.

Art. 1872-1

Each partner contracts in his own name and is alone bound with regard to third parties.

However, where the undisclosed part ners act as partners to third parties’ knowledge, each one of
them is bound with regard to the latter for the obligations arising from acts performed in that
capacity by one of the others, join tly and severally where the partnership is a merchant, jointly,
in the other cases.

It shall be the same as to a pa rtner who, through his interference, has led the contracting party to
believe that he intended to bind himself towards him or of whom it is proved that the undertaking
has turned to his benefit.

In all cases, as to property deemed undivided under Article 1872, paragraph 2 and 3, shall apply
in the relationships with third parties, either th e provisions of Chapter VI of Title I of Book III of
this Code, or, where the formalities provided for in Article 1873-2 have been completed, those of
Title IX bis of this B ook, all the partners being then, unless otherwise agreed, deemed managers
of the undivided ownership.

Art. 1872-2

Where an undisclosed partnership is of indefinite duration, its dissolution may result at
any time from a notice served by one of them on a ll the partners, provided that the notice be in
good faith and not made inopportunely.

Unless otherwise agreed, no partner may reque st partition of the undivided property under
Article 1872 so long as the pa rtnership is not dissolved.

Art. 1873

The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to de facto partnerships.

TITLE IX bis

OF AGREEMENTS RELATING TO THE EXERCISE OF UNDIVIDED RIGHTS

(Act n° 76-1286 of 31 Dec. 1976)

Art. 1873-1

The persons having rights to be exercised on undivided property, as owners, bare owners
or usufructuaries may enter into agreements relating to the exercise of those rights.

CHAPTER I – OF AGREEMENTS RELATING TO THE EXERCISE OF UNDIVIDED
RIGHTS IN THE ABSENCE OF A USUFRUCTUARY

Art. 1873-2

Where they all consent theret o, undivided co-owners may agree to remain in undivided
ownership.

On pain of annulment, the agreement must be drawn up in an instrument including the
description of the undivided prope rty and indication of the shares belonging to each undivided
owner. Where the undivided property includes clai ms, the formalities of Article 1690 shall take
place; where it includes immovables, the formaliti es of land registration shall take place.

Art. 1873-3

The agreement may be concluded for a determined duration which may not exceed five
years. It may be renewed by an express decision of the parties. A partition may be instigated
before the agreed term only where there are proper reasons for it.

The agreement may also be concluded for an inde terminate duration. In that case, a partition may
be instigated at any time, provided it is not in bad faith or inopportune.

It may be decided that an agreement for a determined duration will be renewed by tacit extension
of the period, for a determined or indeterminate duration. Failing such agreement, the undivided
ownership shall be governed by Articles 815 and fo llowing at the expiry of the agreement for a
determined duration.

Art. 1873-4

The capacity or power to dispose of the undivided property is required for an agreement
designed to maintain undivided ownership.

The agreement may, however, be concluded on beha lf of a minor, by his statutory representative
alone; but in that case, the minor, become of age, may put an end to it, whatever its duration may
be, within the year following his majority.

[repealed]

Art. 1873-5

The undivided co-owners may a ppoint one or several managers, chosen from among
themselves or not. The methods of appointing a nd dismissing a manager may be determined by a
unanimous decision of the undivided owners.

Failing such an agreement, a manager taken fr om among the undivided owners may be dismissed
from his duties only by a unanimous deci sion of the other undivided owners.

A manager who is not an undivided owner may be dismissed in the way agreed upon among his
principals or, failing which, by a decision taken by a majority of the undivided owners as to
number and shares.

In all cases, dismissal may be ordered by the co urt on application of one undivided owner where
the manager, through his mismanagement, imper ils the interests of the undivided ownership.

Where a dismissed manager is an undivided owner, the agreement shall be deemed concluded for
an indeterminate duration from his dismissal.

Art. 1873-6

A manager represents the undivided owners within his authority, either for transactions of
civil life, or in court as plain tiff or defendant. He shall give, in a merely declaratory way, the
names of all the undivided owners in the first procedural document.

A manager shall administer the undivided owners hip and exercises for this purpose the powers
“conferred on each spouse” (Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985) on community property. He may,
however, dispose of tangible movables only for the needs of a normal use of the undivided
ownership, or also where things difficult to pr eserve or subject to decay are concerned. Any
clause extending the authority of a ma nager shall be deemed not written.

Art. 1873-7

A manager shall exercise the aut hority given by the preceding Article even where there is
a person under a disability among the undivided owners.

Nevertheless, Article 456, paragraph 3, shall appl y to leases granted in the course of an
undivided ownership.

Art. 1873-8

Decisions which exceed the aut hority of a manager shall be passed unanimously, except
for the manager, where he is himself an undivi ded owner, to avail himself of the remedies
provided for by Articles 815-4, 815-5 and 815-6.

Where there are minors or adults under a disa bility among the undivided owners, the decisions
referred to in the preceding paragraph give rise to the application of the rules of protection
provided for in their favour.

It may be agreed between the undivided owners th at in the absence of persons under a disability
certain categories of decisions will be pa ssed otherwise than unanimously. However, no
undivided immovable may be transferred without the agreement of all the undivided owners
unless it is under Articl es 815-4 and 815-5 above.

Art. 1873-9

An agreement of undivided ownership may regulate the methods of administration in
case of a plurality of managers. Failing special stipulations, the latter hold separately the
authgority provided for by Article 1873-6, subject to the right of each to object to any transaction
before it is concluded.

Art. 1873-10

Unless otherwise agreed, a manager is entitled to remuneration for his work. The terms of
it shall be fixed by the undivided owners, to th e exclusion of the party concerned, or, failing
which, by the president of the tribunal de gran de instance who shall give a provisional ruling.

A manager is liable as an agent for the faults he commits in his management.

Art. 1873-11

Each undivided owner may require notice of all documents relating to the management.
A manager must, once a year, account for his ma nagement to the undivided owners. On that
occasion, he shows in writing the profits made and the losses incurred or foreseeable.

Each undivided owner is obliged to participate in the expenses for preservation of the undivided
property. Failing a special agreemen t, Articles 815-9, 815-10 and 815-11 of this Code shall apply
to the exercise of the right of use and enjoyment, as well as to the sharing of profits and losses.

Art. 1873-12

In case of transfer of all or pa rt of the rights of an undivided owner in the undivided
property, or in one or several ite ms of that property, the undivided co-owners enjoy the rights of
pre-emption and substitution provided for by Ar ticles 815-14 to 815-16 and 815-18 of this Code.

The agreement shall be deemed concluded for an indeterminate duration where, for any reason
whatever, an undivided share devolves upon a pe rson not belonging to the undivided ownership.

Art. 1873-13

The undivided owners may agree that upon the death of one of them, each survivor may
acquire the share of the deceased or that the surviving spouse, or any other designated heir may
have it allotted to him “on condition that he ac counts for it to the succession according to its
value at the time of the acquisition or of th e allotment” (Act n° 78-627 of 10 June 1978).

Where several undivided owners or several heir s simultaneously exercise their faculty of
acquisition or allotment, they shall be deemed, unless otherwise agreed, to acquire together the
share of the deceased in proporti on to their respective rights in the undivided ownership or the
succession.

The provisions of this Article ma y not prejudice the application of the provisions of Articles 832
to 832-3.

Art. 1873-14

A faculty of acquisition or allo tment lapses where its beneficiary has not exercised it
through notice served on the surv iving undivided owners or on the heirs of the predeceaser
within the period of one month after the day when he has been given notice to come to a
decision. That notice may not itself take place befo re the expiry of the period provided for in the
Title Of Successions for making an inventory and deliberating.

Where no faculty of acquisition or allotment has been provided for, or where it has lapsed, the
share of the deceased falls to his heirs or lega tees. In such case, the agreement of undivided
ownership shall be deemed concluded for an i ndeterminate duration from the day of the opening
of the succession.

Art. 1873-15

Art. 815-17 shall apply to credito rs of an undivided ownership, as well as to personal
creditors of the undivided owners.

However, the latter may instigate partition only in the cases where their debtor could himself
instigate it. In the other cases, they may sue for se izure and sale of the share of their debtor in the
undivided ownership by complying with the formalities provided for by the Code of Civil
Procedure. The provisions of Ar ticle 1873-12 shall then apply.

CHAPTER II – OF AGREEMENTS RELATING TO THE EXERCISE OF UNDIVIDED
RIGHTS IN THE PRESENCE OF A USUFRUCTUARY

Art. 1873-16

Where undivided property is burdened with a usufruct, agreements, subject as a rule to
the provisions of the preceding Chapter, may be concluded, either between the bare owners, or
between the usufructuaries, or be tween the ones and the others. There may also be an agreement
between those who are in undivided ownership as to enjoyment and the one who is bare owner of
the whole property, as well as between a unive rsal usufructuary and the bare owners.

Art. 1873-17

Where the usufructuaries were not parties to the agreement, third parties who have dealt
with the manager of an undivided ownership ma y not avail themselves of the powers which
would have been granted to him by the bare owners to the prejudice of the rights of usufruct.

Art. 1873-18.-Where an agreement concluded betw een usufructuaries and bare owners provides
that decisions will be passed by a majority in numbe r and in shares, the rights to vote attaching to
shares is divided by halves between the usufru ct and the bare ownership, unless the parties
agreed otherwise.

Any expense exceeding the obligatio ns of a usufructuary, such as defined in Articles 582 and
following, binds him only with his consent give n in the agreement itself or through a later
instrument.

The transfer of full ownership of the undivided pr operty may not be made without the consent of
the usufructuary, except for the case where it is i nduced by the creditors entitled to sue for sale.

TITLE X

OF LOANS

Art. 1874

There are two kinds of loans:

That of things which can be used without being destroyed,

And that of things which are consumed by the use which is made of them.

The first kind is called lo an for use or commodate;

The second is called loan for consumption , or simply loan.

CHAPTER I – OF LOANS FOR USE OR COMMODATES

Section I – Of the Nature of a Loan for Use

Art. 1875

A loan for use or commodate is a contract by which one of the parties delivers to the
other a thing to be used, on c ondition that the borrower return s it after making use of it.

Art. 1876

Such loan is essentially gratuitous.

Art. 1877

The lender remains the owner of the thing loaned.

Art. 1878

Everything which may be the subj ect of legal transactions between private individuals,
and which is not consumed by use may be the object of such an agreement.

Art. 1879

Undertakings which are formed by a commodate pass to the heirs of the person who
lends, and to the heirs of the person who borrows;

But where a loan was made only on account of the borrower, and to him personally, then his
heirs may not continue to enjoy the thing loaned.

Section II – Of the Undert akings of the Borrower

Art. 1880

The borrower is bound to take care of the keeping and preser
vation of the thing loaned
like a prudent owner. He may use it only for the use determined by its nature or by the
agreement; all of which, on pain of damages, if there is occasion.

Art. 1881

Where the borro wer employs the thing for another use, or for a longer time than he ought,
he is liable for the loss occurred, even through a fortuitous event.

Art. 1882

Where the thing loaned perishes through a fortuitous event of which the borrower could
have preserved it by making use of his own, or wher e, being able to save only one of them, he
preferred his own, he is liable for the loss of the other.

Art. 1883

Where the thing has been apprai sed when loaned, the loss which happens, even through a
fortuitous event, falls on the bo rrower, unless otherwise agreed.

Art. 1884

Where the thing deteriorates through the sole effect of the use for which it was borrowed,
and without any fault on the part of the borrowe r, he is not liable for the deterioration.

Art. 1885

The borrower may not retain the thing to offset what the lender owes him.

Art. 1886

Where the borrower has made some expense in order to use the thing, he may not reclaim
it.

Art. 1887

Where several persons have jo intly borrowed the same thing, they are jointly and
severally liable towards the lender.

Section III – Of the Undertakings of One who Lends for Use

Art. 1888

The lender may take back the thing loaned only after the term agreed upon or, failing an
agreement, after it has served th e use for which it was borrowed.

Art. 1889

Nevertheless, where, during that period, or before the need of the borrower has ceased,
the lender happens to be in a pressing and unforeseen need of the thing, the judge may, according
to the circumstances, compel the borrower to return it to him.

Art. 1890

Where, during the term of the loan, the borrower has been compelled, for the
preservation of the thing, to so me extraordinary expense, necessary and so urgent that he was no
able to inform the lender thereof, the latter is liable to reimburse him.

Art. 1891

Where the thing loaned has such defects that it may cause harm to the person who uses
it, the lender is liable, wher e he knew of the defects and did not warn the borrower.

CHAPTER II – OF LOANS FOR C ONSUMPTION OR SIMPLE LOANS

Section I – Of the Nature of the Loan for Consumption

Art. 1892

A loan for consumption is a cont ract by which one of the parties delivers to the other a
certain quantity of things which are consumed by us e, on condition that the latter shall return as
much to him in the same kind and quality.

Art. 1893

Through such a loan, the borrowe r becomes the owner of the thing loaned; and the loss
falls upon him, in whatever manner it occurs.

Art. 1894

Things which, although of the same kind, differ individually, such as animals, may not be
given by way of loan of consumption: it is then a loan for use.

Art. 1895

The obligation which results from a loan of money is always for the numerical sum stated
in the contract.

Where there is a rise or a fall in currency before the time of payment, the debtor must return the
numerical sum loaned, and must do so only in the currency having legal tender at the time of the
payment.

Art. 1896

The rule laid down in the preced ing Article shall not apply, where the loan was made in
bullions.

Art. 1897

Where bullions or commodities have been loaned, whatever the rise or fall in their price
may be, the debtor shall always return the same quantity and quality, and return only that.

Section II – Of the Obligations of the Lender

Art. 1898

In a loan for consumption, the le nder is held to the liability established by Article 1891
for a loan for use.

Art. 1899

The lender may not claim the things loaned back before the agreed time.

Art. 1900

Where no time has been fixed for restitution, the judge may allow the borrower a period
according to the circumstances.

Art. 1901

Where it has only been agreed th at the borrower would pay when he could, or he had the
means, the judge shall fix a time for the payment, according to the circumstances.

Section III – Of the Undertakings of the Borrower

Art. 1902

The borrower is bound to return the things loaned, in the same quantity and quality and at
the time agreed.

Art. 1903

Where he is unable to do so, he is bound to pay their value taking into account the time
and the place where the thing was to be returned according to the agreement.

Where those time and place have not been regulated, payment shall be made at the price of the
time and the place where the loan was made.

Art. 1904

(Act of 7 April 1900)

Where the borrower does not return the things loaned or their value at the agreed time,
he owes interest thereon from the day of the notice or of the judicial claim.

CHAPTER III – OF LOANS AT INTEREST

Art. 1905

It is lawful to stipulate interest for a simple loan, either of money, or of commodities, or
of other movable things.

Art. 1906

The borrower who has paid interest which was not stipulated may neither reclaim it, nor
appropriate it to the capital.

Art. 1907

Interest is st atutory or conventional. St atutory interest is fixed by statute1. Conventional
interest may exceed statutory interest whenever a statute does not so prohibit2.

The rate of conventi onal interest must be fixed in writing.

1 Monetary and Financial Code Art. L. 313-2

2 Consumer Code Art. L. 313-1 to L. 313-3

Art. 1908

A receipt for capital given without reservations as to the interest gives rise to a
presumption of payment of the latt er and operates discharge of it.

Art. 1909

Interest may be stipulated upon a capital which the lender undertakes not to reclaim.

In that case, the loan takes the na me of settlement of an annuity.

Art. 1910

That annuity may be se ttled in two ways, perpetually or for life.

Art. 1911

A perpetual annuity is essentially redeemable.

The parties may agree only that the redemption will not take place before a time which may not
exceed ten years, or without notification has be en given to the creditor at the period of notice
which they have determined.

Art. 1912

The debtor of an annuity se ttled as perpetual may be compelled to redeem it:

1° Where he ceases to perform hi s obligations during two years;

2° Where he fails to furnish the lender w ith the security promised by the contract.

Art. 1913

The capital of an annuity settled as perpetual becomes also due in case of [judicial
arrangement] or insolv ency of the debtor.

Art. 1914

The rules relating to life annuities are laid down in the Title Of Aleatory Contracts.

TITLE XI

OF DEPOSITS AND OF SEQUESTRATIONS

CHAPTER I – OF DEPOSIT IN GENE RAL AND OF ITS DIFFERENT KINDS

Art. 1915

As a rule, a deposit is a transa ction by which one receives the thing of another, on
condition of keeping it and returning it in kind.

Art. 1916

There are two kinds of deposits: actual deposit and sequestration.

CHAPTER II – OF ACTUAL DEPOSITS

Section I – Of the Nature and E ssence of the Contract of Deposit

Art. 1917

An actual deposit is a contract essentially gratuitous.

Art. 1918

It may have as its object only movable things.

Art. 1919

It is complete only by the actu al or symbolic handing over of the thing deposited.

A symbolic handing over is sufficient where the depositary is already in possession, in some
other capacity, of the thing which one ag rees to leave with him as a deposit.

Art. 1920

Deposit is voluntary or necessary.

Section II – Of Voluntary Deposits

Art. 1921

A voluntary deposit is conclude d by the reciprocal consent of the person who makes the
deposit and of the one who receives it.

Art. 1922

A voluntary deposit may only be made by the owner of the thing deposited or with his
express or tacit consent.

Art. 1923 [repealed]

Art. 1924

“Where a deposit which exceeds the figure provided for in Article 1341 is not proved in
writing” (Act n° 80-525 of 12 July 1980), the one w ho is sued as depositary is believed on his
declaration, either as to the fact itself of the deposit, or as to the thing which was its object, or as
to the fact of its restitution.

Art. 1925

A voluntary deposit may take place only between persons capable of contracting.

Nevertheless, where a person capable of contra cting accepts a deposit made by a person under a
disability, he is liable for all the obligations of a true depositary; he may be sued by the guardian
or administrator of the person who made the deposit.

Art. 1926

Where a deposit was made by a pers on who is capable to a person who is not, the person
who made the deposit has only a clai m for the recovery of the thing deposited, so long as it exists
in the hands of the depositary, or a claim in restitution up to the amount of the benefit derived by
the latter.

Section III – Of the Oblig ations of a Depositary

Art. 1927

A depositary must take, in the keeping of the thing deposited, the same care as he does in
the keeping of the things which belong to him.

Art. 1928

The provision of the pre ceding Article shall be applied more strictly:

1° Where the depositary has volunteered for receiving the deposit;

2° Where he has stipulated a salary for the keeping of the deposit;

3° Where the deposit has been made sole ly in the interest of the depositary;

4° Where it has been expressly agre ed that the depositary would be liable for any kind of fault.

Art. 1929

A depositary is not, in any case, liable for the accidents of force majeure, unless he was
given notice to return the thing deposited.

Art. 1930

He may not make use of the th ing deposited, without the express or implied permission
of the depositor.

Art. 1931

He may not attempt to know what the things are which have been deposited with him,
when they have been entrusted to him in a closed chest or under a sealed cover.

Art. 1932

A depositary must return the exact same thing which he has received.

Thus, a deposit of sums of mone y must be returned in the same coins in which it was made,
either in the case of increase or in the case of decrease of their value.

Art. 1933

A depositary is only bound to return the thing deposited in the condition in which it is at
the time of restitution. Deteriorations which di d not occur through his act shall be borne by the
depositor.

Art. 1934

A depositary from whom the th ing was taken away through a force majeure , and who
has received a price or something in its place, mu st restore what he has receive in exchange.

Art. 1935

An heir of the depositary, who has sold in good faith the thing of whose deposit he was
not aware, is only bound to return the price which he has received, or to assign his action against
the buyer, where he has not received the price.

Art. 1936

Where a thing deposited has produced fruits which were collected by the depositary, he is
obliged to return them. He ow es no interest on money deposited, except from the day when he
has been given notice to make the restitution.

Art. 1937

A depositary must return the thing deposited only to the one who has entrusted it to him,
or to the one in whose name the deposit was made , or to the one who has been designated to
receive it.

Art. 1938

He may not require the one who ma de the deposit to prove that he was the owner of the
thing deposited.

Nevertheless, where he discovers that the thing has been stolen, and who the true owner is, he
must give the latter notice of the deposit which was made to him, with demand to claim it within
a determined and sufficient period. Where the one to whom notice has been given fails to claim
the deposit, the depositary is lawf ully discharged by the handing ove r of it to the one from whom
he received it.

Art. 1939

In case of […] death of the person who made the deposit, the thing deposited may be
returned only to his heir.

Where there are several heirs, it must be return ed to each of them for their share and portion.

Where the thing deposited is indivisible, the heirs must agree between them to receive it.

Art. 1940

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where the person who has made the deposit has been deprived of his powers of
administration, the deposit may be returned only to the one who has the administration of the
property of the depositor.

Art. 1941

(Act n° 85-1372 of 23 Dec. 1985)

Where a deposit has been made by a guardian or an administrator, in one of these
capacities, it may be returned onl y to the person whom the guardia n or administrator represented,
if their management or administration has come to an end.

Art. 1942

Where the contract of deposit specifies the place where the restitution must be made, the
depositary is bound to bring the thing deposited to that place. Where there are transport costs,
they shall be charged to the depositor.

Art. 1943

Where the contract does not speci fy the place of restitution, it must be done in the very
place of the deposit.

Art. 1944

A deposit must be returned to the depositor as soon as he claims it, even where the
contract has fixed a determined period for the re stitution; unless there is in the hands of the
depositary an attachment or a forbidding to return and remove the thing deposited.

Art. 1945 [repealed by implication]

Art. 1946

All the obligations of a depositary come to an end where he happens to discover and
prove that he is himself the owner of the thing deposited.

Section IV – Of the Obligations of the Person by Whom a Deposit was Made

Art. 1947

The person who made a depo sit is bound to reimburse the depositary for expenses
incurred for the preservation of the thing deposite d, and to indemnify him for all the losses which
the deposit may have occasioned him.

Art. 1948

A depositary may retain the depos it until full payment of what is owed him by reason of
the deposit.

Section V – Of Necessary Deposits

Art. 1949

A necessary deposit is one which was forced by some accident, such as a fire, ruin,
pillage, shipwreck or other unforeseen event.

Art. 1950

(Act n° 80-525 of 12 July 1980)

Proof by witnesses may be ad mitted as to a necessary deposit, although the amount
concerned exceeds the figure provided for by Article 1341.

Art. 1951

As to other issues, a necessary deposit shall be governed by all the rules previously laid
down.

Art. 1952

(Act n° 73-1141 of 24 Dec. 1973)

Innkeepers or hotel-keepers are li able, as depositaries, for clothes, luggage and various
effects brought into their busin ess premises by a traveller lodging with them; the deposit of
effects of that kind shall be cons idered as a necessary deposit.

Art. 1953

(Act n° 73-1141 of 24 Dec. 1973)

They are liable for theft or for damage to those effects, whether the theft was committed
or the damage caused by their servants or employees, or by strangers going to and fro in the
hotel.

That liability is unlimited, notwithstanding any cl ause to the contrary, in case of theft or
deterioration of all kinds of eff ects deposited within their hands or which they refused to receive
without rightful reason.

In all other cases, damages due to a traveller are, to the exclusion of any agreed lower limitation,
limited to the equivalent of one-hundred times the price of rental of lodging per day, except
when the traveller proves that th e damage he has suffered results from a fault of the person who
shelters him or of the persons for whom the latter is responsible.

Art. 1954

(Act n° 73-1141 of 24 Dec. 1973)

Innkeepers or hotel-keepers are not liable for thefts or damage which happen through
force majeure, nor for the loss which results from the nature or from a defect of the thing, on
condition that they prove the fact which they allege.

In derogation to the provisions of Article 1953, innkeepers or hotel-keepers are responsible for
the objects left in vehicles parked on a place of which they have private enjoyment up to the
amount of fifty times the price of rental of lodging per day.

Articles 1952 and 1953 shall not apply to living animals.

CHAPTER III – OF SEQUESTRATIONS

Section I – Of the Vari ous Kinds of Sequestration

Art. 1955

Sequestration is either conventional or judicial.

Section II – Of Conventional Sequestration

Art. 1956

Conventional sequestration is a de posit made by one or several persons, of a thing in
contest, into the hands of a thir d party who binds himself to retu rn it, after the controversy is
over, to the person who will be judged entitled to obtain it.

Art. 1957

Sequestration need not be gratuitous.

Art. 1958

Where it is gratuitous, it is governed by the rules of an actual deposit, subject to the
differences hereinafter stated.

Art. 1959

Sequestration may have as its obj ect not only movable effects, but also immovables.

Art. 1960

A depositary in charge of a se questration may be discharged, before the end of the
controversy, only by consent of all the interested parties, or for a reason judged rightful.

Section III – Of Judicial Sequestration or Deposit

Art. 1961

A court may order sequestration:

1° Of movables seized on a debtor;

2° Of an immovable or of a movable thing whos e ownership or possession is in contest between
two or several persons;

3° Of things which a debtor tende rs in order to be discharged.

Art. 1962

The appointment of a judicial custodian produces reciprocal obligations between the
attaching party and the custodia n. A custodian must give the care of a prudent owner for the
preservation of the things seized.

He must present them, either to the attaching party for being discharged in case of sale, or to the
party against whose property execu tion has been levied, in case of cancellation of the seizure.

The obligation of an attaching party consists in paying the custodian the salary fixed by law.

Art. 1963

Judicial sequestration shall be given, either to a person agreed upon by the parties
concerned, or to a person appointed by the judge of his own motion.

In either case, the one to whom a thing is entr usted is subject to all the obligations which a
conventional sequestration involves.

TITLE XII

OF ALEATORY CONTRACTS

Art. 1964

An aleatory contract is a recipro cal agreement whose effects, as to advantages and to
losses, either for all th e parties, or for one or several of them, depend upon an uncertain event.

Such are:

Insurance contracts;

Bottomry contracts;

Gaming and betting;

Contracts for life annuity.

The first two are governed by maritime law.

CHAPTER I – OF GAMING AND BETTING

Art. 1965

Legislation does not grant any action for a gaming de bt or for the payment of a bet.

Art. 1966

Games proper to train in the use of arms, foot or horse races, chariot races, tennis and
other games of the same kind which involve ski ll and bodily exercise, are excepted from the
precedent provision.

Nevertheless, the court may dismiss the complaint where the sum seems excessive.

Art. 1967

In no case may the loser recover what he has voluntarily paid, unless there was, on the
part of the winner, deception, fraud or swindling.

CHAPTER II – OF CONTRACT FOR LIFE ANNUITY

Section I – Of the Requisites fo r the Validity of the Contract

Art. 1968

A life annuity may be settled for value, for a sum of money or for a valuable movable
thing, or for an immovable.

Art. 1969

It may also be settled, purely gratu itously, by gift inter vivos or by will. It must then bear
the forms required by legislation.

Art. 1970

In the case of the preceding Article, a life annuity may be abated, where it exceeds what
one is allowed to dispose of; it is void, where it is for the benefit of a person incapable of
receiving it.

Art. 1971

A life annuity may be settled either on the head of the one who furnishes the price of it,
or on the head of a third pers on, who has no right to enjoy it.

Art. 1972

It may be settled on one or several heads.

Art. 1973

It may settled for the benefit of a third person, although the price is paid by another
person.

In the latter case, although it has the character of a gratuitous transfer, it is not subject to the
forms required for gifts; except for the cases of abatement and avoidance stated in Article 1970.

(Act n° 63-1092 of 6 Nov. 1963) Where, settled by spouses or one of them, an annuity is
stipulated to be rever tible in favour of the surviving spous e, the clause which imports that
property is to revert to him or her may have the character of a gr atuitous transfer or that of a
transaction for value. In that latter case, the reimbursement or the indemnity owed by the
beneficiary of the reversion to the community or to the succession of the predeceaser is equal to
the value of the reversio n of the annuity. Except for contrary intention of the spouses, an annuity
is deemed to have been granted gratuitously.

Art. 1974

A contract for life annuity created on the head of a person who was dead at the day of the
contract does not produce any effect.

Art. 1975

It shall be the same for a cont ract by which an annuity was created on the head of a
person suffering from an illness of which he died within twenty days after the date of the
contract.

Art. 1976

A life annuity may be settle d at the rate which it please the parties to fix.

Section II – Of the Effect s of the Contract between the Contracting Parties

Art. 1977

The one in whose favour a life annuity was settled for a pr
ice may apply for the
termination of the contract where the grantor do es not give the guarantees stipulated for its
performance.

Art. 1978

The mere failure to pay the in come of the annuity does not entitle the one in whose
favour it is settled to apply for the reimbursement of the capital or to re-enter into the tenement
transferred by him: he only has the right to seize and have the property of his debtor sold and to
have ordered or agreed that, out of the proceeds of the sale, a sufficient sum be invested for the
payment of the income.

Art. 1979

A grantor may not exonerate himself from paying the annuity, by offering to reimburse
the capital, and waiving recovery of the income paid; he is bound to pay the annuity during the
whole life of the person or persons on whose heads the annuity was settled, whatever the
duration of the life of those pe rsons may be and however onerous the payment of the annuity
may have become.

Art. 1980

A life annuity is acquired by the annuitant only in proportion to the number of days he
has lived.

Nevertheless, where it was agreed that it would be paid in advance, the instalment which ought
to be paid is acquired from the day when its payment ought to be made.

Art. 1981

A life annuity may be stipulated to be exempt from execution only where it was settled
gratuitously.

Art. 1982 [repealed by implication]

Art. 1983

The annuitant of an annuity ma y claim income only by proving his existence, or that of
the person on whose head it was settled.

TITLE XIII

OF AGENCY

CHAPTER I OF THE NATURE AND FORM OF AGENCY

Art. 1984

An agency or power of attorney is a transaction by which a person gives to another the
authority to do something for the principal and in his name.

An agency is formed only through acceptance of the agent.

Art. 1985

“An agency may be given by an authentic instrument or by an instrument under private
signature, even by letter. It may al so be given verbally, but proof of it by witness is received only
in accordance with the Title Of Contracts or of Conventional Obligations in General “(Act n° 80-
525 of 12 July 1980).

Acceptance of an agency may be only tacit and re sult from the performance of it effected by the
agent.

Art. 1986

An agency is gratuitous, unless there is an agreement to the contrary.

Art. 1987

It is either special and for one or several deals only, or general and for all the affairs of
the principal.

Art. 1988

An agency worded in ge neral terms includes only acts of administration.

Where it is intended to transfer or mortgage, or do some other transaction relating to ownership,
the agency must be express.

Art. 1989

An agent may do nothing beyond what is expressed in his agency: the authority to
compromise does not include that to en ter into an arbitration agreement.

Art. 1990

(Act n° 65-570 of 13 July 1965)

A non-emancipated minor may be chosen as an agent; but the principal has an action
against him only in accordance wi th the general rules relating to the obligations of minors.

CHAPTER II – OF THE OBLIGATIONS OF THE AGENT

Art. 1991

An agent is bound to perform the agen cy so long as he responsible for it, and is liable for
the damages which may result from his non-performance.

He is also bound at the death of the principal to complete a matter initiated, where there is danger
in delay.

Art. 1992

An agent is liable not only for intentional breach, but also for faults committed in his
management.

Nevertheless, the liability for faults is implemented less rigorously against the one whose agency
is gratuitous than against the one receiving a salary.

Art. 1993

Every agent is bound to account for hi s management, and to return to the principal all that
he received by virtue of his power of attorney, even where what he received was not owed to the
principal.

Art. 1994

An agent answers for the one whom he has substituted for himself in his management: 1°
where he did not receive the authority to substitu te someone; 2° where that authority was granted
to him without designation of a person and th e one whom he has chosen was notoriously
incompetent or insolvent.

In all cases, a principal may directly sue the pe rson whom the agent has substituted for himself.

Art. 1995

Where there are several proxies or agents appointed by the same instrument, there is no
joint and several liability between them, unless it is expressed.

Art. 1996

An agent owes interest on sums em ployed for his own use, from that use; and on those of
which he is debtor for the balance, fr om the day when he is given notice.

Art. 1997

An agent who has given the party with whom he contracts, in that capacity, a sufficient
knowledge of his authority is not held to any warr anty for what has been made outside the scope
of that authority, unless he has personally taken charge of it.

CHAPTER III – OF THE OBLIGAT IONS OF THE PRINCIPAL

Art. 1998

A principal is bound to perform th e undertakings contracted by the agent, in accordance
with the authority granted to him.

He is bound for what may have been done outside its scope, only where he has expressly or
tacitly ratified it.

Art. 1999

A principal must reimburse the agent for the advances and expenses which the latter
made for the performance of the agency, and pa y him his salary where it has been promised.

Where no fault may be ascribed to the agent, th e principal may not dispense with making those
reimbursements and payments, even if the matte r did not succeed, and he may not have the
amount of the expenses and advan ces reduced on the pretext that they could have cost less.

Art. 2000

A principal must also compensate the agent for the losses which the latter has incurred on
the occasion of his manageme nt, without an imprudent act being ascribable to him.

Art. 2001

Interest on the advances made by the agent is owed to him by the principal, from the day
of the advances which are proved.

Art. 2002

Where an agent has been appointed by several persons, for a common affair, each of
them is jointly and severally liable towards him for all the effects of the agency.

CHAPTER IV – OF THE DIFFERENT WAYS IN WHICH AN AGENCY COMES TO AN
END

Art. 2003

An agency comes to an end:

By the revocation of the agent;

By the renunciation of the agency by the latter;

By the [..] death, guardianship of a dults or insolvency, either of the principal, or of the agent.

Art. 2004

A principal may revoke his power of attorney when he pleases and compel, if there is
occasion, the agent to return to him, either the instrument under private signature which contains
it, or the original of the power of attorney, where it has been deliv ered without being recorded, or
the office copy, where the or iginal has been kept.

Art. 2005

A revocation of which only the ag ent has been given notice is not effective against third
parties who have dealt without knowing of that revocation, except for the remedy of the principal
against the agent.

Art. 2006

The appointment of a new agent for the same affair involves revocation of the first one,
from the day when notice of it has been given to the latter.

Art. 2007

An agent may renounce the agency by giving notice of his renunciation to the principal.

Nevertheless, where that renunciation prejudices the principal, he must be compensated by the
agent, unless the latter is unabl e to continue the agency without himself suffering a considerable
loss.

Art. 2008

Where an agent has no knowledge of the death of the principal or of one of the other
causes which make an agency come to an end, wh at he has done in that ignorance is valid.

Art. 2009

In the above cases, the undertakings of the agent shall be performed with regard to third
parties who are in good faith.

Art. 2010

In case of death of an agent, his heirs must give notice of it to the principal, and, in the
meantime, attend to what the circumstances may require in the interest of the latter.

TITLE XIV

OF SURETYSHIP

CHAPTER I – OF THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF SURETYSHIP

Art. 2011

A person who makes himself surety for an obligation binds himself towards the creditor
to perform that obligation, if the debtor does not perform it himself.

Art. 2012

A suretyship may exist only on a valid obligation.

One may nevertheless stand surety for an oblig ation, although it may be avoided by a defence
purely personal to the obligor; fo r instance, in case of minority.

Art. 2013

A suretyship may not exceed what is owed by the debtor, nor be contracted under more
onerous conditions.

It may be contracted for a part of the debt only, and under less onerous conditions.

A suretyship which exceeds the debt, or which is contracted under more onerous conditions, is
not void: it is only reducible to the extent of the principal obligation.

Art. 2014

One may become surety without an order of the person for whom one becomes bound,
and even without his knowledge.

One may also become surety, not only of the pr incipal debtor, but also of the person who has
given security for him.

Art. 2015

Suretyship is not presumed; it must be express, and one may not extend it beyond the
limits within which it was contracted.

Art. 2016

Indefinite suretyship of a principa l obligation extends to the accessories of the debt, even
to the costs of the first claim , and to all those su bsequent to the notice given of it to the surety.

(Act n° 98-657 of 29 July 1998) Where that su retyship is contracted by a natural person, the
latter shall be informed by th e creditor of the evolution of th e amount of the claim guaranteed
and of those accessories at least once a year at the date agreed between the parties or, failing
which, at the anniversary date of the contract, on pain of forfeiture of all the accessories of the
debts, costs and penalties.

Art. 2017

The undertakings of the sureties pass to their heirs [..].

Art. 2018

A debtor compelled to give a surety must present one who has capacity to contract,
sufficient property to answer fo r the object of the obligation, and whose domicile is in the
territory of the cour d’appe l where it must be given.

Art. 2019

The solvency of a surety is appreci ated only with regard to his landed property except in
matters of commerce and where the debt is moderate.

Regard shall not be had to immovables in disput e or whose seizure and forced sale would be too
difficult because of remote ness of their location.

Art. 2020

Where a surety received by the creditor, voluntarily or in court, becomes afterwards
insolvent, a new one must be given.

The sole exception to that rule takes place wher e the surety was given only under an agreement
by which the creditor has require d such a person as surety.

CHAPTER II – OF THE EFFECTS OF SURETYSHIP

Section I – Of the Effect of Suretyship between the Creditor and the Surety

Art. 2021

A surety is bound towards the creditor to pay him only upon the debtor’s failure, whose
property must be previously exhausted, unless th e surety has renounced the benefit of seizure
and sale, or unless he is bound join tly and severally with the debtor, in which case the effect of
his undertaking is governed by the principles established for joint and several debts.

Art. 2022

A creditor is bound to exhaust the main debtor’s property only where the surety requires
him to do so, on the institution of proceedings against the latter.

Art. 2023

A surety who requires seizure and sale must point out to the creditor the property of the
principal debtor and furnish a sufficient su m to have the proceedings carried out.

He may not point out property of the principal debtor situated out of the arrondissement of the
cour d’appel of the place where payment must be made, nor property which is in litigation, nor
that which is mortgaged for the debt and no longer in the possession of the debtor.

Art. 2024

Whenever the surety has pointed out the property authorized by the preceding Article
and has furnished a sufficient sum to have the seiz ure and sale carried out, the creditor is, to the
extent of the property pointed out, liable toward s the surety for the insolvency of the principal
debtor which has occurred in consequence of his failure to institute proceedings. “In any case,
the amount of the debts resulting fr om a suretyship may not have the effect of depriving a natural
person who stood as surety of a minimum income fixed by Article L. 331-2 of the Consumer
Code” (Act n° 98-657 of 29 July 1998).

Art. 2025

Where several persons have become surety of the same debtor for a same debt, each one
is liable for the whole debt.

Art. 2026

Nevertheless, each one, unless he has renounced the benefit of division, may demand that
the creditor previously divide his action and reduce it to the part and portion owed by each
surety.

Where, at the time when one of the sureties had the division effected, some of them were
insolvent, that surety is propor tionately liable for those insolv encies; but he may no longer be
sued for insolvencies happening after the division.

Art. 2027

Where a creditor has himself and voluntarily divided his action, he may not go back on
that division, although there were insolvent sureties even before the time when he consented
thereto.

Section II – Of the Effect of Suretyship between the Debtor and the Surety

Art. 2028

A surety who has paid has his remedy against the principal debtor, whether the suretyship
has been given with or without the knowledge of the debtor.

That remedy takes place both for the principal and for the interest and costs; nevertheless, the
surety has a remedy only for the costs he has incu rred since he has given notice to the principal
debtor of the proceedings instituted against him.

He also has a remedy for damages, if there is occasion.

Art. 2029

A surety who has paid the debt is subrogated to all the rights which the creditor had
against the debtor.

Art. 2030

Where there were several principal debtors, jointly and severally liable for a same debt,
he who stood as surety for them all has, against each of them, a remedy for the recovery of the
whole debt.

Art. 2031

A surety who has paid a first ti me has no remedy against a principal debtor who has paid
a second time, where he has not informed him of his paying; except for his remedy for recovery
against the creditor.

Where a surety has paid without being sued and without informing the principal debtor, he has
no remedy against him in the case where, at the ti me of payment, that debtor would have had
arguments to have the debt declared extinct; except for his remedy for recovery against the
creditor.

Art. 2032

Even before paying, a surety may bring suit against the debtor to be indemnified by him:

1° Where he is sued in court for payment;

2° Where the debtor is [under a ju dicial arrangement] or insolvent;

3° Where the debtor was bound to disc harge him within a certain time;

4° Where the debt has become due by the expi ry of the term for which it was contracted;

5° At the end of ten years, where the principal obligation has no fixed term of maturity, unless
the principal obligation, such as a guardianship, is not extinguishable before a determinate time.

Section III – Of Effect of Su retyship between Co-Sureties

Art. 2033

Where several persons have been su reties for the same debtor in regard to the same debt,
a surety who has satisfied the debt has a reme dy against the other sureties, for the share and
portion of each of them.

But this remedy only takes place where the surety has paid in one of the cases mentioned in the
preceding Article.

CHAPTER III – OF THE EXTING UISHMENT OF SURETYSHIP

Art. 2034

The obligation which results from a suretyship is extinguished by the same causes as
other obligations.

Art. 2035

A merger which takes place in the persons of a principal debtor and his surety, where
they become heirs one to the other, does not extinguish the action of the creditor against the
person who has stood as surety for the surety.

Art. 2036

A surety may set up against the creditor all the defences which belong to the principal
debtor, and which are in herent to the debt.

But he may not set up the defences which are purely personal to the debtor.