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Notice of Civil Litigation for Foreigners and the People of the Mainland Area

Civil Litigation refers to the procedure which, following the actions from the parties (including plaintiffs, defendants, and intervenors; hereinafter referred to as "parties"), uses the court (including civil divisions and summary divisions) to resolve civil disputes (including but not limited to sales, leases, hire of services, mandates, guaranty, bid society, travel, ownership or other rights in rem of real property, notes, insurance, tort damages, etc.). Pursuant to Taiwan’s Code of Civil Procedure, parties shall note the following instructions when filing or taking a civil lawsuit. (Detailed information, please refer to the official website of Judicial Yuan (http://www.judicial.gov.tw).

▍1.  Initiating an Action

Initiation of an action means that the plaintiff files his/her complaint to the court with jurisdiction, attaching the copies of the complaint according to the number of defendants. There are different format requirements of complaint briefs for each type of civil dispute. There are sample briefs for reference at the court information desk. You might also consult a court staff at the information desk if you need any help.

▍2. Responding to an Action

When receiving a court proceeding notice, parties shall appear with their personal identifications on the date specified therein. Plaintiffs shall bring required litigation documents as stated in the note column of notice such as Household Registration Transcript or the original of the evidence, for investigation. Defendants may serve the answers and the copies before at least five days earlier than the day on which the court session begins. The number of copies is up to the number of counterparties.

▍3. Litigation Aid

Plaintiffs shall pre-pay litigation fees (multiple payment methods are available, and you are encouraged to use them) when filing a civil lawsuit. Notwithstanding, indigent plaintiffs who are not unlikely to win the case may apply for litigation aid according to Taiwan’s Code of Civil Procedure. (Relevant templates of motion can be found at the official website of Judicial Yuan (http://www.judicial.gov.tw, Chinese version only).

▍4. Delegation/ Retaining Advocate

Parties can delegate advocates to attend court sessions when they cannot do so personally.  An advocate, under the delegation of parties or their statutory agents, has the authority to conduct all litigation acts, except for the actions mentioned below that require a special authorization: (i) abandoning the claim; (ii) admitting the claim; (iii) voluntarily dismissing the action; (iv) settling the case; (v) initiating counterclaims; (vi) appealing; (vii) initiating a rehearing action; or (ix) appointing another advocate. In principle, the advocate shall be an attorney; but with the permission of the presiding judge, parties may also retain a non-attorney to serve as an advocate.

▍5. Compliance with Court Session and Time

Parties and their advocates are obliged to comply with the designated date or time related to the action, especially the “peremptory period” which cannot be delayed. Delays of the peremptory period may cause loss of the right to conduct litigation. That is said, where a party or his/her agent does not comply with the peremptory period due to a force majeure or any other unimputable (blameless) reasons, such party or agent may move for a restoration to status quo ante within ten days after the reasons terminate.

▍6. Presenting Evidence

A party bears the burden of proof with regard to the facts which he/she alleges in his/her favor. A party is likely to lose the case if he/she fails to prove the facts he/she alleges or argues for.

▍7. Oral Argument

(1) A party shall clarify the evidence presented by him/her in detail. A party can admit, negate, or defend the fact stated by the counterparties. A party may also refute the evidence presented by the counterparties. However, the admission, negation, and objection shall be raised in time before the oral argument is concluded. A delayed litigation act can be rejected by the court.

(2) Both parties shall answer the presiding judge’s questions to issue. A party shall start answering after the counterparty completes his/her statement without creating noise or argumentation that may interfere with the proceeding of oral argument. The presiding judge may prohibit the party which interferes with the court order from speaking, order him/her to leave the courtroom, or monitor him/her until the end of the court session when necessary.

▍8. Adjudication

(1) Judgments for which oral arguments were conducted shall be announced. In cases adjudicated by a single judge, the announcement date shall be no later than two weeks from the date of the conclusion of the oral argument. In cases a panel of judges, the date shall be no later than three weeks. Cases which are complex or exist special circumstances, however, may be excepted.

(2) Where one of the parties, upon legal notification, fails to appear at the oral-argument session without justification, the court may, on the appearing party's motion, enter a default judgment based on the appearing party's arguments. Where the party who failed to appear is notified and fails to appear again, the court may also, on its own initiative, enter a default judgment based on the appearing party's arguments.

▍9. Appeal of Judgments or Rulings

Parties who are unsatisfied with court decisions may file an appeal against the judgments rendered by the court that heard the case within twenty days following the service of such judgment. Also, you can file an appeal against rulings issued by the court within ten days following the service of such ruling.

▍10. Voluntary Dismissal

Appellants may voluntarily dismiss his/her appeal prior to a final judgment (including a final judgment of remanded cases). Appellants who voluntarily dismiss his/her appeal may move for reimbursing two-thirds of the paid court cost within three months.

▍11. Settlement

(1) When both parties reach a consensus of settlement during the litigation, the presiding judge shall produce the settlement transcript in the court session. A settlement shall have the same effect as a final judgment. Parties reaching the settlement may move for reimbursing two-thirds of the paid court cost within three months since the day on which the settlement is reached.

(2) Where grounds exist for nullifying or revoking the settlement, a party may move for continuing the court proceedings.

▍12. Mediation

(1) Apart from the cases provided in Article 403 of the Code of Civil Procedure that shall be mediated by the court before an action is initiated, parties of other cases may move for mediation before an action begins. During the whole trial of the first instance, cases may be moved for mediation upon the consent of both parties/ all parties.

(2) Mediation can be conducted by the judge or by the selected mediator.

(3) A successful mediation shall take the same effect as a settlement in litigation. Parties may move for reimbursing two-thirds of the paid court cost within three months since the day on which the mediation is concluded.

(4) Where grounds exist for nullifying or revoking the mediation, a party may initiate an action for a nullification declaration or for revoking the mediation.

▍13. Legal Aid

For the instructions in seeking legal aid or for the information on local branches of Legal Aid Foundation, please refer to the appendix.

  • Release Date : 2020-08-12
  • Update : 2020-08-17