August 24, 2007

Recent Legal Decision

A recent decision of the Mexican Supreme Court holds that public authorities not designated as responsible parties in a constitutional
amparo lawsuit are obligated to take all actions necessary to enforce the terms of an amparo lawsuit judgment. In this manner, even
though a governmental authority has not been included as a party in an amparo lawsuit, such authority will be obligated to follow the
amparo decision. The change yields significant practical value and efficiency. This important decision must be taken into consideration
by those individuals and companies who file amparo lawsuits, or who are enforcing amparo judgments, as this decision confirms prior
Supreme Court holdings and interpretations in this area. Such prior interpretations sought to provide more complete remedies to amparo
lawsuit parties and to Mexican federal courts to enforce amparo decisions. The new case broadens this concept to include “all”
authorities, whether or not such authorities were designated as responsible parties and not included as participants in the amparo lawsuit
itself. To cite a practical example, in recent lawsuits filed by taxpayers against the tax known as the Public Utility Tax (Derecho de
Alumbrado Publico or “DAP”), the judge could hold an amparo decision invalid as against the Federal Electricity Commission or
municipal authorities. However, thanks to the new decision and the other prior decisions of the court, these authorities may now be
mandated to follow amparo court decisions in their various areas of competency, such as suspending collection of specific taxes or fees
and reimbursing such payments to taxpayers, even though the authorities taking such actions were not named parties in the amparo
lawsuit. See Decision LVII/2007