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Supreme Court Opinion Summaries (1/2552)

Note concerning Thailand Supreme court opinions: Thailand is a civil law jurisdiction that also has elements of the common law system. Accordingly, the principle law sources are acts, statutes and regulations. However, published Supreme court decisions are an important part of the legal development of Thailand and are frequently used as a secondary authority. (Summaries sponsored by Chaninat & Leeds)


1/2552 Thailand Supreme Court Opinion (No. 994) 2009
Mr. Vicharn Punboonnak Plaintiff v. Mrs. Aroonrat Punboonnak Defendant

Re: Civil Law: Grounds for Divorce (Section 1516(4))

The Defendant sent a letter of complaint to the Plaintiff’s superior and instructor that the Plaintiff committed adultery with another woman. This matter is regarded as the personal behavior of the Plaintiff. The Defendant, who is the wife of the Plaintiff, has the right to express her love and jealousness upon her husband. Her request to the Plaintiff’s superior and instructor to admonish the Plaintiff to think of his family is not regarded as humiliating the Plaintiff’s reputation. No severe disciplinary punishment was executed. It is reasonable for the Defendant to express her right to protect the family from conflict status which was caused by the other woman. The act of the Defendant is not a severe hostility for husband and wife, therefore, the Plaintiff has no legal right to lodge the complaint to divorce the Defendant, under Thailand divorce law.


1/2552 Thailand Supreme Court Opinion (No. 461) 2009
Ms. Suwanna Sae-heur Plaintiff v. Mr. Komrat Maliwongse and party Defendant

Civil Law: Sublet agreement: Transfer of leased property (Section 544, 569)
Civil Procedure New Issue on Appeal (Section 249 1st paragraph)

The 30-year Thailand property lease contract indicated that the lease was for construction of buildings and there was no tea money for the lease. T, the former less or, and the three Defendants did not designate the construction period and the amount of buildings that the three Defendants were going to build up on the leased land. From the contract, it is clear that the three Defendants have right to construct buildings in any quantity and at any time during the leased period. And in settling the new agreement on the construction period, T and the three Defendants have to hold a discussion; it is not applicable for T to reset the construction period alone. The Plaintiff who takes over the land and ownership from T, therefore, has no right to solely set the construction period and to require the three Defendants to start constructing the building. The plaintiff sent a letter to inform the three Defendants about the construction matter and stated that the leased terms have already been in effect for over an 8 year period but the three Defendants neglected the informing letter. The court considered the copy of the 30 year land lease contract and noticed that the three Defendants did not breach the contract; and the three Defendants have the right to sublease. The contract did not prohibit the three Defendants from subleasing the building – no wording prohibiting this was found. Up to this point, the three Defendants had no rights to sublease the disputed land; if they constructed a building, they also have the right to sublet the land and the building. Presently, the three Defendants have not started the construction but the land was already subleased to the sublessee. The three Defendants did not breach the contract, therefore, the Plaintiff has no right to cancel the contract before the due date.

The three Defendants appealed to the Supreme Court claiming that the Plaintiff should pay damages to the three Defendants. But as the three Defendants did not lodge the appeal to the Court of Appeal, section 7, after the Court of the First Instance dismissed the counter claim, the request failed. It is barred from appeal to the Supreme Court if the question has not been discussed in the lower court as prescribed under the Civil Procedure Code Section 249 in the 1st paragraph.


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