Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Bank loses court case against family

BITTER END After 50 years of illegal occupation by the Chen family, the Land Bank of Taiwan demolished the site -- but had to pay the family's 30-month morgue fee

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan High Court ruled against the Land Bank of Taiwan yesterday and the bank has been forced to pay a 30-month morgue fee to the family who illegally occupied a piece of its land for 50 years.

"The bank basically took advantage of the wrong article of the law, so the court decided to rule in favor of the defendant," read the Taiwan High Court's verdict.

The verdict said that to win the case, the bank should have taken advantage of "law enforcement regulations" instead of the "offences of misappropriation" that it filed against the family's occupation of the site.

As a result, the bank will not be able to retrieve a morgue fee -- NT$1,500 a day for the past 30 months -- from the defendant ? the Chen family.

The family illegally occupied a two-story building on a piece of its land, located in Taipei City's Kangting Rd., since 1952.

The Chens said that they had negotiated with the bank many times to see if they could lease or buy the land instead of occupying it illegally. However, all the negotiations led to dead ends.

The Chens filed a lawsuit against the bank in 1986 for ownership of the land, a site of approximately 100 pings.

The court decided that the land belonged to the bank and the Chen family should move out immediately.

However, the Chens kept ignoring the court sanction.

After owner Chen Yueh-nien's (陳月年) mother passed away in 1995, the Chens decided to store her coffin in the living room to block and fight the eviction order from the court, which could have been carried out at any time.

The family had been living at the address with their mother's body ever since.

eviction

On July 26, 2002, Taipei Civil Judge Cheng Li-yan (鄭麗燕) led a team of workers and police officers to enforce the law by evacuating the Chens and tearing down the building.

The coffin was relocated to Taipei's First Municipal Morgue.

The bank has had to pay the morgue fee of NT$1,500 a day to the Taipei Mortuary Services Office ever since.

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