The Taiwan High Court rendered the 107-Shang-Kuo-Yi-10 Civil Decision of December 25, 2018 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that when the victim’s rights in a national compensation case is violated, if the victim’s right of family relationship is not undermined, no party may claim consolation money simply because of any family relationship with the victim.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellants filed a complaint alleging as follows. They were the parents of Victim A, who had served as a home room teacher in a certain school which had violated the prohibition imposed by the Ministry of Education against classification of students into classes based on their scholastic performance and assigned Victim A to be the home room teacher of a class consisting of students with inferior scholastic performance. Obviously aware that Victim A had suffered from severe depression, a director of the school still scolded Victim A in public on several occasions, ultimately resulting the victim’s charcoal burning suicide. Since the agency of New Taipei City Government which is in charge of educational administration failed to investigate the truth of Victim A’s suicide and fulfill the duty of the competent authority and its obligation as a good administrator, it should be liable for national compensation. The original trial court rendered a decision against the Appellants. Dissatisfied, the Appellants filed this appeal.
According to the Decision, the legislative reason for Article 195, Paragraph 3 of the Civil Code indicates that it is not appropriate to provide overbroad protection of the right of family relationship. Since the relationship between the parents or spouse and an individual is the most intimate, when the right of family relationship arising from such intimate relationship is violated, the spiritual suffering is the greatest. Therefore, it is specifically provided that protection is available only “in case of illegal and material violation of another person’s right of family relationship arising from a parental or spousal relationship.” For example, if an underage child is kidnapped, the spiritual suffering will be significant since the parents’ custodial right is violated. Therefore, the provision concerning mutatis mutandis application is added to Paragraph 3 in order to be comprehensive. Therefore, if compensation is sought pursuant to the above requirement, this is only limited to the circumstances where a party’s right is also violated based on the right of family relationship with the victim. If the victim’s right is violated but the right of family relationship is not, a party shall not claim consolation money simply because of any family relationship with the victim.
It was further pointed out that even if the Appellants were affected due to the administrative inaction of the Appellee for failing to fulfill its investigation duty as the Appellants alleged (which is a hypothetical rather than true situation), such administrative inaction did not violate the Appellants’ right of family relationship with Victim A. Therefore, the Applicants’ request that consolation money be paid by the Appellee in accordance with the last part of Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the National Compensation Law and Article 195, Paragraphs 1 and 3 of the Civil Code was obviously groundless, and their appeal was rejected.