The Supreme Court rendered the 106-Tai-Shang-116 Civil Decision of January 5, 2017 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that since roads in private lands provided under construction laws and regulations and the Civil Code for public access are different from existing roads formed due to statute of limitation, it is necessary to conduct respective investigation for determination.
According to the facts underlying the Decision, the Appellant asserted that he was the owner of the land at issue which was not provided for public use and only allowed access by households on both sides of the land, and that since this was different from the criteria for existing roads, there was no relationship of public easement. Without his consent, the Appellee, i.e. Miaoli County Government, which had no right to occupy the land, constructed an asphalt road in the land at issue. Therefore, a complaint was filed to compel the Appellee to remove the asphalt road, pay damages equivalent to the rent of the land, and return the land at issue.
According to the Decision, since roads in private lands provided under construction laws and regulations and the Civil Code for public access are different from existing roads in private lands which are formed due to a statute of limitation, the former are not existing roads in private lands which are formed due to a statute of limitation pursuant to Judicial Interpretation No. 400.
It was further pointed out in the Decision that the Appellant was the developer of such housing project. Initially when the land at issue was provided for access, the owners at that time did not indicate their objection, and the Appellant also facilitated access. These were facts determined by the original trial court. In reference to the conclusions reached during the first review session of the Existing Lane and Road Review Task Force of Miaoli County in 2013, the land at issue did not meet the requirement for “lanes and roads provided for public access with public easement relationship” under Article 1, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1 of the Construction Administration Autonomy Statute. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate whether the land at issue became an existing road due to public easement relationship created due to statute of limitation or a road for public access pursuant to construction laws or regulations or the Civil Code. The original trial court rejected the claims of the Appellant on the ground that the land at issue was an existing road. Therefore, this Decision reversed and remanded the original decision on the ground of inappropriateness.