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Old 13.12.2016, 11:05
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Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

Hello,

Hope this is in the right section - as I am not sure.

Can someone tell if &/or where I can find confirmation on the following...?
I can't afford a lawyer hence the post.

Via email..."send me the invoice and I will pay half"...would this be seen as a legally binding agreement in CH?

What can I do about getting the unpaid money back?

As I said I cannot afford a lawyer, so is there a department or type of claims court that would handle such a thing (even at a small cost)?

I paid in full as time was a factor. And now they are refusing to pay the "agreed" half.

Thanks for any helpful insight.
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Old 13.12.2016, 11:12
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

You could threaten them with a Betreibung/Poursuite, which might make them more cooperative.

See this thread for more information
Betreibung any experiences of the process.
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Old 13.12.2016, 12:06
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

Depends on the amount and whether it is worth pursuing.

Easy enough to get a betreibung against them - but they can contest it, at which point you'll need either a lawyer or to argue (in court) that the contract is valid.

It might be easier to unfriend them and/or tell all mutual friends they're dishonourable.
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Old 13.12.2016, 13:15
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

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Hello,

Hope this is in the right section - as I am not sure.

Can someone tell if &/or where I can find confirmation on the following...?
I can't afford a lawyer hence the post.

Via email..."send me the invoice and I will pay half"...would this be seen as a legally binding agreement in CH?

What can I do about getting the unpaid money back?

As I said I cannot afford a lawyer, so is there a department or type of claims court that would handle such a thing (even at a small cost)?

I paid in full as time was a factor. And now they are refusing to pay the "agreed" half.

Thanks for any helpful insight.
According to this, email contracts are binding. Sorry, it's in German and I don't know what google translator will do with it
Still, difficult to pursue. If the other side has a funny email-address (lola_123 or so) even more so.
Sure you can do a "Betreibung" (You'll spend an other Fr. 50.00 on that ... if less it's really not worth the hassle), the other side will "Rechtsvorschlag erheben" (found no English word for that, maybe someone else knows) and that will be it. It will be pending for ever ...
Or you can save the energy and just learn your lesson ....
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Old 13.12.2016, 13:32
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

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Depends on the amount and whether it is worth pursuing.

Easy enough to get a betreibung against them - but they can contest it, at which point you'll need either a lawyer or to argue (in court) that the contract is valid.

It might be easier to unfriend them and/or tell all mutual friends they're dishonourable.

Thanks dodgyken - this would just be an email on top of/in addition to COURT documents of various unpaids.

Definitely worth it as is =50,000CHF's...I have tried various "social help" type departments but as I don't speak any German they are not too helpful. And I don't seem to be getting many concrete answers - so I do appreciate the feedback here.
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Old 13.12.2016, 13:38
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

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According to this, email contracts are binding. Sorry, it's in German and I don't know what google translator will do with it
Still, difficult to pursue. If the other side has a funny email-address (lola_123 or so) even more so.
Sure you can do a "Betreibung" (You'll spend an other Fr. 50.00 on that ... if less it's really not worth the hassle), the other side will "Rechtsvorschlag erheben" (found no English word for that, maybe someone else knows) and that will be it. It will be pending for ever ...
Or you can save the energy and just learn your lesson ....

Thanks for link Curley - still useful in German (even if I don't understand it)...I can print it off and go get some concrete answers hopefully.

Definitely worth chasing (and believe me I have been trying, but getting the run around.) The person knows I do NOT want the stress of court/lawyers, nor can I afford it....


I looked up "Rechtsvorschlag erheben" and came up with a translation of "make a formal objection". I think I have to go down this road any to try.
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Old 13.12.2016, 13:40
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

Can anyone confirm the following also pls??

I have to raise the claim in the canton where the person resides, right?

Also, does the "claim" stay on a persons 'record'? Maybe this would be an incentive to pay...?
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Old 13.12.2016, 13:42
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

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Can anyone confirm the following also pls??

I have to raise the claim in the canton where the person resides, right?

Also, does the "claim" stay on a persons 'record'? Maybe this would be an incentive to pay...?
Yes,

Possibly
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Old 13.12.2016, 13:55
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

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I have to raise the claim in the canton where the person resides, right?
At the pursuit office which is responsible for the address where the person resides. You can look it up here.
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Old 13.12.2016, 15:27
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Re: Email Legally binding in Switzerland?

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I looked up "Rechtsvorschlag erheben" and came up with a translation of "make a formal objection". I think I have to go down this road any to try.
The consequence of a Rechtsvorschlag is that you'll have to provide evidence supporting your claim.

If you have strong reason to assume that the other guy is who he claims to be, for instance because previous arrangements were honored, or that the same address you used is used on his business web site, I would think that e-mails to and from the same address can be used as evidence.

After all, contracts need not be in written form in order to be binding, neither do they require a signature. What is needed is the clear consent by both/all parties. For instance if someone picks up some item at a retailer and walks out with it this concludes a contract to buy said item - which makes him/her a thief if s/he walks out without paying.
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