The Hualien branch of the Taiwan High Court rendered the 106-Shang-Guo-Yi-4 Decision of February 27, 2018 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that the two-year statute of limitation under the National Compensation Law shall commence upon knowledge of the claimant concerning the damage and causes and facts associated with the national compensation and is not preconditioned by the confirmation of illegality through the prosecution, a guilty court decision or an administrative litigation.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Plaintiff filed a complaint asserting that Individual A forcefully molested the Plaintiff four times during his employment at the Defendant’s organization. Since Individual A was a civil servant with statutory duties and authority who had served in the Defendant’s military organization, his four counts of tort at issue committed by leveraging the opportunities afforded to him during the discharge of his duty constitute illegal infringmentof a citizen’s freedom or rights out of willfulness or negligence during the civil servant discharged of duty and exercised of government authority under the first part of Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the National Compensation Law. Therefore, a complaint was filed on the ground that the Defendant shall be liable for damages. The original decision was rendered against the Plaintiff. Dissatisfied, the Plaintiff appealed.
According to the Decision, Article 8, Paragraph 1 of the National Compensation Law provides that the right to claim national compensation shall lapse if not exercised in two years after the claimant becomes aware of the damage. Article 3-1 of the Enforcement Rules of the National Compensation Law specifically provides that the so-called awareness of damage requires knowledge of the fact of damage and the causes and facts about national compensation. The above two-year statute of limitation shall commence upon knowledge of the claimant concerning the fact of the damage and causes and facts associated with the national compensation and is not preconditioned by the confirmation of illegality through the prosecution, a guilty court decision or an administrative litigation.
It was further pointed out in this Decision that the Plaintiff had become aware of the fact of the damage and the causes and facts associated with national compensation when she reported to the Defendant’s ombudsman that she had been subject to four counts of tort by Individual A. However, the Plaintiff did not file this lawsuit until October 2016. For reasons of expiration of the two-year statute of limitation, The Decision held the original decision, which had rejected the Plaintiff’s complaint, was not legally inappropriate, and the Plaintiff’s appeal was further rejected with the original decision upheld.