Table of Contents
TITLE III - OF CONTRACTS AND OF CONVENTIONAL OBLIGATIONS IN GENERAL
CHAPTER I - PRELIMINARY DISPOSITIONS
Art. 1. A contract is an agreement by which one or more persons oblige themselves to one or more other persons, to give, to do, or not to do a certain thing.
Art. 2. A contract is synallagmatic or bilateral, when the contracting parties reciprocally obligate themselves to each other.
Art. 3. It is unilateral, when one or more persons have entered into an obligation towards one or more other persons, without the latter's being under any engagement.
Art. 4. It is commutative, when each of the parties engages to give or do a thing that is deemed an equivalent for what is given to him or done for him.
When the equivalent consists in the chance of gain or loss of each of the parties, from an uncertain event, the contract is aleatory.
Art. 5. The contract of beneficence, is that in which one of the parties procures to the other, an advantage purely gratuitous.
Art. 6. The onerous contract is that which subjects each of the parties, to give or to do a certain thing.
Art. 7. Contracts whether they have or have not, an appropriate denomination, are subject to general rules which are the subject of the present title.
The rules peculiar to certain contracts, are established under the titles relative to each of them respectively, and the rules peculiar to commercial transactions are established by the laws relating to commerce.
CHAPTER II - OF THE CONDITIONS ESSENTIAL TO THE VALIDITY OF AGREEMENTS
Art. 8. To the validity of an agreement four conditions are essential:
The consent of the party who obligates himself;
The capacity to contract;
A determinate object forming the matter of an engagement;
A lawful purpose in the obligation.
SECTION I - OF CONSENT
Art. 9. That is no valid consent that is given through error, or is extorted by violence or surprised by fraud.
Art. 10. Error is a cause of nullity in an agreement, only when it falls on the very substance of the thing that is the object of it.
It is not a cause of nullity, when it falls only on the person with whom one intended to contract, unless the consideration of that person be the principal cause of the agreement.
Art. 11. Violence exercised against the person who has contracted an obligation, is a cause of nullity, though it has been exercised by a different person from him for whose advantage the agreement has been made.
Art. 12. Violence is that which naturally tends to make an impression on a person possessing sound judgment, and to inspire him with the fear of exposing his person, or fortune to a considerable and immediate evil.
In a question of violence, regard must be had to the age, sex and condition of the person.
Art. 13. Violence is a cause of nullity of a contract, not only when it has been exercised on the contracting party, but also when it has been exercised on the wife, the husband, the descendants or ascendants of the party.
Art. 14. The mere reverential fear of a father, a mother or other ascendants, when no violence has been exercised, does not suffice to annul a contract.
Art. 15. A contract cannot be attacked on account of violence, if after the violence has ceased, the contract has been approved, either expressly or tacitly or by suffering to elapse the time of restitution fixed by law.
Art. 16. Fraud is a cause of nullity in a contract, when the artifices practised by one of the parties, are such that it is evident that but for these artifices, the other party would not have contracted.
It is not presumed and must be proved.
Art. 17. An engagement contracted by error, violence or fraud, is not of itself void, but voidable by an action of nullity or of rescission, in the case and after the manner explained in the 7th section of the fifth chapter of the present title.
Art. 18. Lesion vitiates agreements only in certain contracts, or with regard to certain persons, as will be explained in the same section.
Art. 19. In general a person can engage or stipulate in his own name for none but himself.
Art. 20. Yet A. may engage B. promising that B. shall ratify, but A. becomes liable to indemnify the person with whom he engages for B. if B. refuses to ratify and abide by the engagement.
Art. 21. A person may, in like manner, stipulate for the advantage of a third person, when such is the condition of a stipulation that he makes for himself, or of a donation that he makes to another.
He who has made such a stipulation, can no longer revoke it, if the third person has declared himself willing to avail himself of it.
Art. 22. A person is deemed to have stipulated for himself, his heirs and assigns, unless the contrary be expressed, or result from the nature of the agreement.
SECTION II - OF THE CAPABILITY OF THE PARTIES CONTRACTING
Art. 23. Every person may contract unless declared incapable by law.
Art. 24. Persons incapable of contracting are:
Persons under interdiction;
Married women, in cases expressed by law; and generally all those to whom the law has interdicted certain contracts.
Art. 25. Neither a minor, a person under interdiction, nor a married woman can attack their respective engagements on the plea of incapacity, unless in cases provided by law.
Persons capable of engaging, cannot plead the incapacity of a minor, a person under interdict, or a married woman, with whom they have contracted.
SECTION III - OF THE OBJECT AND THE MATTER OF CONTRACTS
Art. 26. Every contract has for its object a thing which one of the parties obliges to give or which one of the parties obliges to do or not to do.
Art. 27. The mere use or the mere possession of a thing, may be, as well as the thing itself, the object of a contract.
Art. 28. Nothing but what is an object of commerce, can be the object of an agreement.
Art. 29. An obligation must have for its object, something determinate, at least as to its species.
The quantity of a thing may be uncertain, provided it be capable of being ascertained.
Art. 30. Future things may be the object of an obligation.
One cannot however renounce the succession of an estate not yet devolved, nor can any stipulation be made with regard to such a succession, even with the consent of him whose succession is in question.
SECTION IV - OF THE CAUSE
Art. 31. An obligation without a cause, or with a false or unlawful cause, can have no effect.
Art. 32. An agreement is not the less valid, though the cause be not expressed.
Art. 33. The cause is illicit when it is forbidden by law, when it is contra bonos mores (contrary to moral conduct) or to public order.
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