Estimated reading time (in minutes)
Discretion of the Judge in Appointing a Representative in Co-Ownership Disputes
Disputed Co-Ownership The judge in chambers holds the authority to designate a representative among the co-owners or even outside their ranks, and the presence of a dispute among the co-individuals does not automatically prevent the appointment of one of them as the agent for joint ownership. The Court of Cassation grants the judge in chambers broad discretion in the selection of the representative and rejects the notion that co-ownership disputes serve as an impediment to such appointments. While the judge’s power is not absolute, the Court of Cassation pays close attention to the reasoning of the judges on the merits, considering factors such as the previous procedure and the involvement of the contested co-owner in safeguarding social interests, which can ensure the defense of the joint ownership’s interests.
Addressing the Argument of Over-Representation in Co-Ownership
The Court of Cassation dismisses the argument that appointing the contested co-owner as the special representative of joint ownership, to represent it at the extraordinary general meeting of the company, leads to an over-representation and grants them greater power of representation than their share in the joint ownership. The Court clarifies that if the legal mandate given to the co-owner falls within a legal framework, even if it results in a power of representation exceeding their share in the co-ownership, the trial judges cannot be criticized for disregarding the principle of shareholder equality.
This approach highlights the discretionary power vested in the judge in chambers when it comes to appointing a representative in cases involving co-ownership disputes. By considering the overall circumstances, including the previous procedure and the potential for safeguarding social interests, the Court of Cassation ensures that the appointment promotes the best interests of joint ownership. Furthermore, the Court emphasizes that as long as the legal mandate adheres to the relevant legal framework, concerns of over-representation or inequality among co-owners should not invalidate the appointment. This stance maintains the integrity of the decision-making process within co-ownership disputes and upholds the principles of fairness and effective representation.