The Supreme Court rendered the 107-Tai-Shang-2136 Decision of June 5, 2019 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that whether the main objective of exercising a right is to injure others should be determined after the benefits received by the rights holder and the losses sustained by others and the country and society are considered.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellee inherited the land at issue, which was partially occupied by electrical equipment set up by Taipower Co., and Appellant A occupied the rest of the land and constructed a building in the land. Appellant B leased the building from Appellant A for business operation. Taipower Co. should be responsible for removing the electrical equipment and the Appellants’ building and returning such portion of the land, while Appellant B should be responsible for moving out of the occupied land. In addition, the Appellants should also return the unjust enrichment since they benefitted from the land at issue, which they had no right to occupy. Therefore, the Appellee sought an order to compel the Appellants to move out or demolish the building, return the occupied land and pay the monthly payable amount based on the quasi-joint legal relationship under Article 767, Paragraph 1 and Article 179 of the Civil Code.
According to the Decision, whether the main objective of exercising a right is to injure others should be determined after the benefits received by the rights holder and the losses sustained by others and the country and society are compared and considered. If the exercise of a right will bring very few benefits to the rights holder but considerable harms to others and the country and society, it is not true that the exercise cannot be deemed to be primarily oriented towards harming others. This is an interpretation necessitated by the essence of the socialization of rights.
In addition, according to the this Decision, Taipower Co. indicated that the electrical equipment was set up for use by 43 households in the neighborhood in 1979 under a pedestrian overpass which was accessed by the public. In addition, after the Appellee’s inheritor inherited the land, no right was asserted for over 30 years. Therefore, Taipower Co. contended that the Appellee’s request to demolish the electrical equipment at issue is an abuse of right. Without exploring this matter in detail, the original trial court merely held that the Appellee’s request for the demolition of the building by Taipower Co., was a lawful exercise of rights as a joint owner of the land and elected to concluded that there was no abuse of right when comparing and weighing the benefits which could be obtained from the land at issue by the Appellee against the losses sustained by local residents due to a lack of electricity after the electrical equipment is demolished by Taipower Co. This decision is unlawful for insufficiency of grounds. In addition, the land at issue has been paved with pedestrian tiles and marked with parking spaces for scooters and used as sidewalks and parking spaces for scooters, and the location where the electrical equipment used to be located has become sidewalks under public servitude. Is it true that Taipower Co.’s installation of the electrical equipment in the land at issue involved occupation without right? When jumping to a conclusion unfavorable to Taipower Co., the original trial court failed to ascertain if the land at issue had been paved with pedestrian tiles and marked as parking spaces for scooters, if the land at issue was provided for the passage or use of unspecific individuals and when and for what reason were the pedestrian tiles paved. Since the original decision was rash, the gist of Taipower Co.’s appeal was not groundless.