Chapter 12 Petition, Complaint, and Litigation
The prison's execution of disposition or management measure on inmates shall not be suspended in response to the filing of a petition or complaint. However, where the prison deems it necessary, it may suspend the execution.
A prison may not render discriminatory treatment or unreasonable punishment in response to an inmate’s petition, complaint, or initiation of legal remedy.
An inmate may file a written or verbal petition to the prison, inspection team, or other inspectors.
The prison shall set up an opinion box at an appropriate place for inmates to file petitions or voice opinions.
The prison shall process the petitions or opinions of inmates in an appropriate manner.
Where an inmate has one of the following situations during imprisonment, the inmate may file a written or verbal complaint to the prison:
1. The inmate disagrees with the prison's disposition or management measure, believing it undermines his/her personal rights and interests.
2. The prison refuses the inmate’s request made in accordance with this Act or does not render a decision on the request within two months and the inmate believes that his/her rights or legal interests are damaged.
3. Disputes involving payment of property arising from the imprisonment based on public laws.
Complaints associated with disposition or management measure under Subparagraph 1 of the preceding paragraph or denied requests in accordance with Subparagraph 2 or Subparagraph 3 of the preceding paragraph shall be filed within the ten (10) days starting from the next day following inmate’s receipt or awareness of the disposition or management measure. Complaints associated with the failure to render a decision on a request under Subparagraph 2 or Subparagraph 3 of the preceding paragraph shall be filed within ten (10) days starting from the next day following the elapse of two months after the inmate made the request.
Where the prison deems the inmate’s complaint to have merit, it shall immediately suspend, revoke, or change the original disposition or the execution of disposition or management measure or render a decision based on the inmate's request or complaint.
When the respondent of a disposition or management measure rendered in a manner other than writing has legitimate reasons to request the disposition or measure be rendered in writing, the prison may not refuse such a request.
The aforementioned document shall specify the reasons, remedies available, deadline for requesting remedies, and authority-in-charge.
An inmate may appoint a lawyer to act as his/her agent for filing complaints in accordance with the preceding article and initiating legal remedy in accordance with Paragraph 2 of Article 111. The lawyer shall provide a power of attorney to the prison or the court.
With the approval of the prison or the court, the inmate or the agent may be present with an assistant.
Where the prison or the court deems it necessary, it may order the inmate or the agent to be present with an assistant.
Where the prison or the court deems the qualifications of assistant specified in the two preceding paragraphs to be unfit, it may revoke the approval for the assistant or prevent the assistant from making statements.
Statements made by the assistant to which the inmate or agent does not immediately object shall be regarded as their own statements.
A prison shall set up a complaint review panel (hereinafter referred to as the “review panel”) to handle complaints. The review panel shall have nine members which must be approved by the supervisory authority. The review panel shall be composed of three representatives assigned by the prison superintendent and six scholars, experts, or impartial community members. A member assigned by the superintendent shall serve as the chair. Neither gender shall constitute less than one-third of all members.
Where a complaint is filed in a written format, the complainant shall fill out a complaint form, state thereon the following information, and then sign or affix a seal on the form:
1. Name of the complainant; the name and address of the appointed agent or assistant, if applicable;
2. Facts of the complaint and the time of occurrence;
3. Reasons for filing the complaint;
4. Date of the complaint.
Where a complaint is filed verbally, a complaint form must be filled out by the correctional officer on behalf of the complainant. After the complaint form is read to the complainant or reviewed by the complainant to confirm its contents, the complaint form shall be signed or sealed by the complainant.
Where the review panel deems the complaint form is non-conforming to the prescribed formality and the deficiency is amendable, it shall notify the complainant to complete an amendment within five (5) days.
Meetings of the review panel shall be convened only if more than half of the total members attend the meeting. Decisions shall be made only with the consent of more than half of the members present in the meeting. Where the consenting and dissenting votes are the same, the decision shall be made by the chair.
When the review panel makes a decision, the number of recused members shall not be included in the calculation of the number of members in attendance.
A review panel member having any of the following situations should recuse himself/herself in a complaint case and may not participate in voting on a decision:
1. The review panel member is or was the spouse, blood relative within fourth degree of kinship, relative-in-law within third degree of kinship, parent, or family member of the complainant;
2. The review panel member is or was the agent, defense attorney, or assistant of the complainant;
3. The review panel member is the complainant or the subject of complaint, or was the subject of a complaint previously filed by the complainant.
Where there are specific facts proving that the review panel member may be biased in regards to the complaint, the complainant may apply to the review panel for recusal of the member from the case by citing reasons and facts.
The application in the preceding paragraph shall be determined by the review panel. Where the complainant disagrees with the review panel’s decision to reject the application, the complainant may file a request to the supervisory authority for review and decision within five (5) days. Except where there is a legitimate reason, the supervisory authority shall take appropriate actions within ten (10) days.
Where the complainant disagrees with the supervisory authority’s decision in its review, it may only state his/her objection when initiating an administrative litigation against the substantial decision.
Where a review panel member has a situation described in Paragraph 1 but fails to recuse himself/herself and the complainant has not applied for the member’s recusal, the prison should order the recusal of the member based on its authority.
The complainant may withdraw a complaint after filing it but before a decision is delivered to the complainant. Where a complaint is withdrawn, the complainant may not file another complaint based on the same reasons and facts.
The review panel shall render a decision within thirty days starting from the next day following the acceptance of the complaint. Where necessary, the review period may be extended for ten (10) days and the complainant shall be notified.
Where a notice for amendment is issued in accordance with Article 97, the period in the preceding paragraph shall be calculated from the next day following the receipt of amendment.
Where the review panel fails to reach a decision before the stated deadline, the original disposition shall be deemed as revoked.
The review panel shall notify the complainant, appointed agent, and assistant to attend and state opinions when reviewing the complaint.
Where the complainant is being housed at another institution, the complainant’s statement may be presented in a written format, by video or audio, video conference, telephone, or other means.
Where statements in the preceding paragraph are presented in a manner other than written format, the prison shall make a record and ask the complainant to sign or affix seal thereon after the statement is read to the complainant or reviewed by the complainant to confirm its contents. Where the complainant refuses to sign or affix seal thereon, his/her reasons for refusal should be documented. Where the complainant objects to the record, the record should be corrected.
The complaint under review may not contain information on offenses, term of imprisonment, number of offenses, or previous violation records which were unrelated to the complaint.
The review panel should investigate evidence based on its vested authority and shall not be bound by the claims of the complainant. It shall pay attention to all matters that are favorable and unfavorable to the complainant.
The complainant may request the review panel to investigate facts and evidence in the complaint process. Where the review panel deems the investigation unnecessary, it shall specify the reasons for not conducting an investigation in the complaint decision.
The review panel should produce meeting minutes.
The meeting minutes in the preceding paragraph shall include the summary of statements made by those present in the meeting and the documents and evidences they provided.
Where a member has different opinions on the decision made in the review, such opinions may be included in the minutes record if so requested by the dissenting member.
The prison shall render a decision to reject the complaint if the review panel deems that complaint meets one of the following conditions:
1. The complaint does not concern matters specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 93.
2. The complaint is filed past the deadline specified in Paragraph 2 of Article 93.
3. The complaint does not conform to the prescribed formality and the deficiency is not amendable or the complainant is notified to make amendment in accordance with Article 97 but fails to do so within the prescribed period.
4. The complaint is filed based on the same reasons and facts for a complaint for which a decision has been made or a complaint that had been withdrawn.
5. The complainant is not subject to the disposition or management measure specified in Subparagraph 1, Paragraph 1 of Article 93 or not the person making the request specified in Subparagraph 2 or Subparagraph 3, Paragraph 1 of Article 93.
6. The prison has already suspended, revoked, or changed the original disposition or execution of the disposition or management measure or rendered a decision based on the inmate's request or complaint in accordance with Paragraph 3 of Article 93.
Where the review panel deems the complaint to have merit, it shall suspend, revoke, or change the original disposition or execution of disposition or management measure or render a decision based on the inmate's request or complaint. However, the review panel must not make changes or impose disposition or management measure that is more unfavorable to the complainant.
Where the review panel deems a complaint meritless, the prison shall render a decision to dismiss the complaint.
Where the reason for the original disposition or management measure is inappropriate but such disposition or management measure is justified based on other reasons, the complaint shall be deemed meritless.
A prison shall make a decision based on the decision rendered by the review panel in accordance with the two preceding articles.
The decision shall specify the following particulars:
1. The name, date of birth, address, and ID number of the complainant.
2. The name and address of the appointed agent or assistant, if applicable.
3. Main text, facts and reasons; facts may be omitted if a decision is rendered to dismiss the complaint.
4. Where a suit may be filed in a court in accordance with this Act, the remedial measures, time period for filing, and authority-in-charge shall be specified.
5. The decision-making authority and its chief.
6. The date.
The decision in the preceding paragraph shall be delivered to the complainant and its appointed agent; a copy shall be delivered to the supervisory authority.
After receiving the decision specified in the preceding paragraph, the supervisory authority shall carefully read its contents, and supervise the prison to make improvement if it deems that there are deficiencies in the prison’s original disposition or management measure.
If the time period for filing administrative litigation noted in the complaint decision is erroneous, the prison shall make correction and notify the parties concerned, and recalculate the statutory period starting from the delivery date of the correction notice.
Where the decision does not specify information stipulated in Subparagraph 4 of Paragraph 2 or where there is an error in the information that is not corrected in accordance with the preceding paragraph that causes the inmate to miss the deadline for filing administrative litigation period, an administrative litigation filed within three months from the delivery date of the complaint decision shall be deemed as filed within the statutory period.
Where matters specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 93 occur between the inmate and the supervisory authority due to the imprisonment, the inmate may file a complaint to the supervisory authority in writing. The provisions of Article 90, Paragraph 2 to Paragraph 5 of Article 93, Paragraph 1 of Article 94, Article 95, Paragraph 1 of Article 96, Article 97 to Article 101, Paragraph 2 and Paragraph 3 of Article 102, Article 105 to Article 108, and Paragraph 1 to Paragraph 3, Paragraph 5, and Paragraph 6 of the preceding article shall apply mutatis mutandis to the complaint.
Articles 111 to 114 shall apply mutatis mutandis to cases where the inmate files a complaint in accordance with the preceding paragraph and disputes the decision, where a decision is not made within thirty days after the complaint is filed, or where the complaint decision is extended for more than thirty days and a decision has not been made.
Unless otherwise stipulated by law, administrative litigation for public law disputes derived from the imprisonment of inmates shall be filed in accordance with this Act.
Where an inmate files a complaint in accordance with this Act and disagrees with the decision render, the inmate may file a suit specified in any of the following subparagraphs with the administrative litigation division of the district court at where the prison is located:
1. Where the inmate believes that the prison’s disposition has exceeded the necessary extent for achieving correctional objectives of imprisonment and unlawfully infringes upon his/her basic rights protected by the Constitution, and where such infringement is evidently significant, the inmate may file a suit to revoke the disposition.
2. Where the inmate believes that the disposition in the preceding subparagraph is illegal and the status quo ante cannot be restored or is extinguished due to the execution of the disposition, but the inmate has a legal interest in obtaining a declaratory judgment from the court, the inmate may file a suit for court declaration of illegal disposition.
3. Where the prison rejects the inmate’s request made in accordance with this Act or fails to render a decision on the request within two months of the request and the inmate believes that his/her rights or legal interests are harmed; or where there is a dispute involving payment of property arising from the imprisonment based on public laws, the inmate may file a payment suit. The same shall apply where the inmate believes that the prison’s punishment has exceeded the necessary extent for achieving correctional objectives of imprisonment and unlawfully infringes upon his/her basic rights enshrined in the Constitution, and where such infringement is evidently significant.
The suits filed in accordance with the subparagraphs in the preceding paragraph shall be filed in a written format.
The suit specified in the preceding article may not be filed in combination with other suits, nor may it claim for damages.
The suits specified in the preceding article shall be filed within the thirty (30) days after the delivery of the complaint decision.
Where the review panel fails to render a decision within thirty (30) days or where a decision is not made after the review period has been extended for more than ten (10) days,
the inmate may file a suit specified in Subparagraph 2 or Subparagraph 3, Paragraph 2 of the preceding article after the deadline for a decision. However, a suit may not be filed after six months have elapsed since the expiry of the deadline for a decision.
Where an inmate submits a written suit to a senior prison official within the filing period or submits a request to withdraw a suit to a senior prison official before the court renders a judgment, it shall be deemed as a suit filed within the filing period or a withdrawn before the court renders a judgment.
Where the inmate cannot prepare a written suit, a correctional officer shall prepare it for the inmate.
Once a senior prison official receives a written suit or request to withdraw a suit, he/she shall note the time, date, month, and year of receipt and forward it to the court as quickly as possible.
Where an inmate’s written suit or a request to withdraw a suit is not filed through a senior prison official, the court clerk should notify the senior prison official immediately after receiving the written appeal or the request to withdraw a suit.
The prison shall deliver documents and evidences related to the complaint to the court based on its authority or in accordance with the court notice.
Suits filed in accordance with Article 111 shall be tried through summary proceeding. Unless otherwise stipulated in this Act or other laws, the provisions of the Administrative Litigation Act on summary proceeding apply to such suits, and their court costs will be reduced by half.
The judgment in the preceding paragraph may be rendered without oral arguments whereas the facts, evidences, and reasons stated in the complaint decision may be cited. Where there are important matters regarding the case that are not included in the complaint decision, or where the inmate’s claims or evidences favorable to the inmate are not accepted, the reasons shall be given in the judgment.