A guide dog association yesterday filed a petition with the Control Yuan calling for an investigation into a Banciao District Court judge who is said to have insulted a blind man by not allowing his guide dog to enter the courtroom.
The visually impaired man, Vincent Chiu (邱文昇), said that his troubles began when he moved into an new apartment in June.
Soon afterward, the unit managing the apartment building said it did not allow medium or large-sized dogs to use the main hall and it posted a message saying Chiu and his guide dog were “harming the environment.”
Chiu filed a defamation suit against the management unit, which led to a court appearance on Nov. 25.
At the hearing, the presiding judge told court police that he would let Chiu enter the courtroom, but he would not allow Chiu’s dog, Journey, to enter.
After Chiu’s attorney told the judge that a guide dog should always accompany its owner in a public place, the judge allowed the dog to enter, but said: “If that dog barks, it will be kicked out.”
Chiu told reporters the judge’s remarks had hurt his feelings and added that all guide dogs are well trained and extremely well behaved.
Chiu and the Taiwan Guide Dog Association filed a petition asking the Control Yuan to launch an investigation into the case and into how guide dogs and their owners are treated in public.
Control Yuan member Liu -Hsing-shan (劉興善), who accepted the petition, allowed the petitioners and their guide dogs to enter the Control Yuan.
Taiwan Guide Dog Association secretary--general William Chen (陳長青) said that the judge’s behavior violated the People with Disabilities Rights Protection Act (身心障礙者權益保障法) and that the judge should be fined.
Chiu said that he went to the US to be trained how to handle a guide dog in 2006 and meet Journey.