The Supreme Court rendered the 105-Tai-Shang-1790 Civil Decision of October 20, 2016 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that the division method of co-owned property shall take into account the willingness of all co-owners, the nature and economic efficacy of the co-owned property, and the interest of all co-owners in order to arrive at appropriate and fair division.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the land at issue was jointly owned by both parties. The Plaintiff filed a complaint to divide the land by a method set forth under either Option A or Option B. The original trial court concluded that the land at issue should be divided by the method set forth under Option B with mutual monetary compensation between the parties. However, the other party was dissatisfied and filed this appeal.
According to the Decision, although the division method for co-owned property can be decided by a court at its discretion, still the willingness of the co-owners, the nature and economic efficacy of the co-owned property, and the interest of all co-owners to arrive at appropriate and fair division should be considered.
It was further pointed out that one of the parties contended during the original trial that if the division was made under Option B, it was likely that a certain co-owner would receive a larger area of land, thus eroding the area of land received by the other co-owners. However, the original trial court failed to indicate the reasons why such contention was not accepted. Therefore, the original decision was illegal for insufficiency of grounds. The original trial court held that since some of the 11 co-owners owned very tiny portions, no land would be distributed to them. However, except for special circumstances, the area of a distributable land basically should be distributed to the other co-owners based on their percentage of ownership for the sake of fairness. Since the original trial court had violated the law for ignoring this fact, the original decision was reversed and remanded.