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  • Interpretation
  • No.236
  • Date
  • 1989/03/17
  • Issue
    • According to the legal requirements of Article 219 of the Land Act, shall the timely use of lands condemned in accordance with an approved plan be judged from the progress of use for the entire package of land or from the use of discrete parcels in a piecemeal fashion?
  • Holding
    •        Article 219 of the Land Act prescribes: “If, after condemnation of privately owned land, a government agency does not use said land in accordance with an approved plan, or does not carry out the plan within a year, the original owner is entitled to buy back his/her land by paying said agency the same amount he/she received as compensation. “Not use in accordance with an approved plan” or “not carry out the plan” shall be determined by the scheme of use to achieve the condemnation goal, taking the entire condemnation package as a whole into account. Where there is clear evidence to support a finding that the land in question belongs to an integral plan, the determination ought to be made discretely in order to conform to the legislative intent of eminent domain. The Precedent P.T. No.52 (Ad. Ct., 1979) and the Executive Order No.T.53 N.4534 (Executive Yuan, June 30, 1964) agree with the foregoing in spirit and are not contrary to Article 15 of the Constitution.
      
  • Reasoning
    •        The right of property shall be guaranteed to the people, which is made explicit in Article 15 of the Constitution, whereas the state can condemn private land for public purpose under the authority of Article 23, Article108-I (14), and Article 143-I (first part) of the Constitution. After such condemnation, the agency that has acquired the land shall, within the specified time frame, use said land in accordance with an approved plan to prevent abuse of eminent domain and to protect private ownership. Hence, Section 219 of the Land Act prescribes: “After condemnation of private land, if the agency that acquired the land does not use said land in accordance with an approved plan, or does not carry out the plan within a year, the original owner is entitled to buy back his/her land by paying said agency the same amount he/she received as compensation. The aforementioned requirements “not use in accordance with an approved plan” or “not carry out the plan” shall be determined by the scheme of use to achieve the expropriation goal, taking the entire condemnation package as a whole into account. Where there is clear evidence to support a finding that the land in question belongs to an integral plan, the determination ought to be made discretely in order to conform to the legislative intent of eminent domain. The Precedent P.T. No.52 (Ad. Ct., 1979, erroneously cited as 1980 in the Final Judgment) states: “The stipulation - not use in accordance with an approved plan after condemnation of private land - prescribed in Article 219 of the Land Act is for violation of approved use of the entire condemnation package. Where the land has been put into use gradually in accordance with an approved plan but the process has not been completed, it cannot reasonably be deemed a violation for non-use and said Article shall have no application.” Executive Order No.T.53 N.4534 (Executive Yuan, June 30, 1964) states: “Whether the agency that acquired the land has carried out the plan within one year of condemnation shall be judged from the use of the entire condemnation package and not from the use of discrete parcels in a piecemeal fashion.” These statements are consistent with the spirit of the legislation and not contrary to Article 15 of the Constitution. 
      
    •        Whether the condemnation complies with legal requirements, as well as whether the size of the condemnation package exceeds the actual need are questions concerning the legality of condemnation action; and under what circumstances the use of the condemned land is deemed an integral use of the approved plan is an ad hoc factual determination. The abovementioned issues and the issue of whether there is a statute of limitation to preclude the original owner from reclaiming property under Article 219 of the Land Act are all beyond the scope of this Interpretation.
      
    • *Translated by Huai-Ching Tsai, Esq.
      
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