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Thu, Mar 15, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Girl lashes out at dad in court

CHILD SUPPORT CASE A 13-year-old girl who camped out in front of the Taipei District Court seeking child support testified that her father is a wealthy womanizer

By Irene Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Thirteen-year-old Chi Hsiao-tsu, center, and her mother Chia Kuan-yu, right, are mobbed by the press on their way into court yesterday morning.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

A 13-year-old girl who is suing her biological father for not supporting her told a Taipei court yesterday that her father is a wealthy "womanizer" who pretends to be flat broke.

"He's got money to play around with women, but he said he can't afford to support me -- a child of his," said Chi Fu-tsu (紀馥慈), nicknamed Hsiao-tsu (小慈).

Amid much media hype, the Taiwan High Court heard appeals from both the 13-year-old and her biological father, against a previous district court decision that ordered the father to pay NT$26,000 per month to the daughter.

Hsiao-tsu, born out of wedlock, is claiming NT$15 million from her father, Chi Min-hsi (紀民喜), who owns a fashion company and keeps a family of four children in Vancouver, Canada.

She was not able to give reasons for claiming this amount when asked by the presiding judge, but insisted she should be treated the same as her father's other children.

"I just want to live a life like his other children live," she said, dressed in her junior high school uniform. "I don't know what their lives are like, but you [the judge] can go see what their lives are like in Canada before you decide how much I deserve."

It should have been an ordinary civil case but the girl's radical approach, against her father and against the legal system, has made it unusual.

Two years ago, as a sixth-grade student, she filed the suit against her father, filling out the legal documents on her own, she said.

To further protest against lengthy legal proceedings, the girl has also written to President of the Judicial Yuan Weng Yueh-sheng (翁岳生).

In addition to the monthly payment of NT$26,000, the Taipei District Court had ordered the father to give the daughter an initial payment of NT$370,000 to make up for money that he owed for previous months.

However, since the case is still on appeal the father has not yet given any money to his daughter.

The girl and her mother, Chia Kuan-yu (賈關榆), staged a sit-in outside the Taipei District Court from March 9 to March 12, protesting that the district court judge presiding over her case had failed to order provisional execution of the payments before a final decision is made on the case.

The father's lawyer told the court yesterday that her client did not attend the hearing for fear that there would be confrontation between him and his daughter, something that had occurred at previous hearings.

Gloria Jan (詹翠華), the lawyer, insisted that the father cannot afford to pay the money on his own as he still has other children to raise.

She said the father would not dodge his responsibility to raise Hsiao-tsu but could only afford to pay her NT$13,000 a month.

The lawyer also called attention to the responsibilities of the mother, who has been unemployed and living on social welfare for the last 10 years, saying she should have worked to earn some money to share the parental responsibility for supporting the child.

The mother told the court that she has been unfit for work due to a physical ailment.

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