Does telling someone "F*** your mother" necessarily amount to a public insult? Not according to a Taipei prosecutor.
On Nov. 15 last year, two taxi drivers, Chen Wen-hui (
When the light turned to green, both drivers tried to go first, with the result that they kept blocking each other, so at the next crossing, they stopped to have it out.
In the ensuing exchange, both drivers used the phrase "F*** your mother" and both thought they had been publicly insulted by the other, thus turning what should have been a simple matter of one car overtaking another into a potential lawsuit for offenses against personal reputation.
When police submitted the case to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office, Chen Wen-hui refused to appear before the court, while Chen Chun-jung told prosecutors that he was not an educated man, and often used the phrase when he got upset, saying that it was simply an "auxiliary phrase to indicate my mood" and not at all intended to damage the reputation of the other party.
Although most cases where the phrase "F*** your mother" is used lead to prosecution, the prosecutor handling the case followed the reasoning of Chen Chun-jung and said that the decision to prosecute must take intent into consideration, and since the two drivers had simply lost control of their emotions at the time, none of the two had really intended to damage the other's reputation.
* A man surnamed Su (蘇) arrested after making an illegal left turn when riding a scooter under the influence of alcohol was sentenced to a 50-day detention for telling the police officer to "F*** your mother."
* A man surnamed Ou (歐) was sentenced to a 10-day detention for using the phrase against a Nigerian national outside a pub. * A man surnamed Chen (陳) was sentenced to a 30-day detention after using the phrase against police officers responding to a report that Chen was fighting with a friend. * A junior-high school student who used the phrase against a female classmate was sentenced to protective custody in juvenile court and a fine of NT$30,000 in a civil court case.
* A man surnamed Chang (張) was sentenced to a 10-day detention for using the phrase against the director of the apartment complex's management committee for not listening to Chang's protest.