The Supreme Court rendered the 104-Tai-Shang-2419 Civil Decision of December 17, 2015 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that if disputes about a self-organized urban rezoning case remain unresolved even after a preliminary mediation procedure conducted by the competent authority is concluded, the party may seek a court adjudication.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant asserted as follows. The Appellant was a self-organized urban rezoning association established with the approval of Taichung City Government. Building A, which is located on a land where specific urban roads pass by, was jointly owned by the Appellee, while Building B, which is located on two lands adjacent to a road in the urban plan was solely owned by the Appellee. The Appellee had refused to demolish the buildings, making road construction and land preparation impossible and undermining the construction of the rezoning project. Negotiations were conducted and failed. Application was subsequently filed with the competent authority, Taichung City Government, for mediation, which also failed. As a result, a court judgment was sought in accordance with Article 31, Paragraph 2 of the Rules for Encouragement to Urban Rezoning by Land Owners (hereinafter, the “Rules”) to demand that the Appellant demolish the buildings.
According to the Decision, the Rules, as formulated in accordance with the Statute for the Equalization of Land Rights, stipulate that a rezoning association consisting of all land owners within the self-organized urban rezoning area shall be set up to handle all kinds of rezoning matters in the spirit of autonomy. A rezoning association handles rezoning matters such as land improvements or compensation for tomb relocation within the rezoned area and acts on resolutions adopted by in a general members’ meeting, instead of being commissioned by government authorities to exercise government power. Therefore, if the distribution of rezoned lands within the self-organized rezoning area or the compensation for demolition of structures in the lands in the course of construction is disputed, it is not true that an ordinary court judgment cannot be sought. In particular, if a land improvement owner or tomb owner objects to the amount of compensation or refuses to relocate under Article 31, Paragraph 2 of the Rules, the governing body of the association may coordinate. If the coordination fails, the governing body of the association will refer this matter to the competent authority on the level of the municipality under the jurisdiction of the Executive Yuan or county (city) for mediation. If the outcome of mediation is not satisfactory, a complaint shall be filed with a judicial agency within 30 days for adjudication. If the complaint is not filed within the required period, the governing body of the association shall follow the outcome of the mediation. The preliminary mediation procedure conducted by the competent authority seeks to reduce the time for resolving disputes over compensation for relocation of structures in self-organized urban rezoning area in order to effectively resolve disputes between a rezoning association and land owners. If the mediation procedure is concluded without resolving the disputes, the parties can certainly file a complaint with a judicial agency for adjudication.
In the original decision, it was held that since disputes over compensation for demolition of surface structures which undermine the distribution of rezoned lands or construction within a self-organized urban rezoning area are public law disputes, a competent authority shall render an administrative disposition concerning the mediation and a rezoning association has no private law right to request demolition by owners of surface structures. Since the original decision was an illegal decision against the Appellant, such decision was reversed and remanded.