【Plaintiff】 Guo XX
【Defendant】 X Limited Company
【Key Issues】 During the contract dispute lawsuit, are there sufficient grounds to allow one party in a contract dispute to suspend its current contract dispute relying on the reason that its own agent in the contract dispute is already on trial for economic crime?
【Court of First Instance】The Xiqing District People’s Court of Tianjin Municipality: No!
【Court of Second Instance】No. 1 Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin Municipality: No!
【Grounds for Court Ruling】According to Article 1 of the Provisions on Certain Issues Related to Contract Disputes Involving Suspected Economic Crimes issued by the Supreme People’s Court, whenever the same citizen, legal person, or any other economic organization is involved in an economic dispute and a suspected economic crime on account of different legal facts, that case involving economic dispute shall be tried separately from the case involving suspicion of economic crime. Therefore, in regards to the current contract dispute, when one party’s agent was detained for suspicion of economic crime, within the scope of its agency, the principal shall assume civil liability for the acts of the representing agent. Because the agent is not an essential part of the contract in dispute, the issue of the agent participating in suspected economic crime and the issue of having a contract dispute are separate questions in fact. Thus, any judgment made in the trial regarding the agent’s suspected economic crime will have no bearing on the outcome for the current contract dispute. Thus, one party of a contract dispute cannot rely on its agent of the contract whom economic crime is suspected as grounds to suspend the current contract dispute lawsuit and should not be supported by the courts.