Chapter Five - Handling Consumer Disputes
Section Two - Consumer Litigation
Consumer litigation may be subject to the jurisdiction of the court where the consumer relationship happens.
The high courts, district courts and branches thereof may establish a tribunal for consumer claims or designate a magistrate dedicated to the hearing of consumer litigations.
If a court makes a judgment against traders, the court may at its own discretion declare provisional execution without security or with reduced security.
A consumer advocacy group, which has been established for more than 2 years after its approval, maintains special staffs dealing with consumer protection, and has a rating of excellence by the Executive Yuan, may bring suit in its own name for consumers in accordance with Article 50 or initiate an action for injunctive relief prohibiting specific acts in accordance with Article 53.
If a consumer advocacy group brings litigation in accordance with the preceding paragraph, it shall keep an attorney on retainer. The engaged lawyer may require advance payment, or the reimbursement of any necessary expenses.
If a consumer advocacy group has committed any unlawful conduct in connection with the litigation brought by it in accordance with the first paragraph, the competent authorities shall revoke its approval of establishment.
Regulations governing the rating of consumer advocacy groups shall be separately proclaimed by the Executive Yuan.
Where numerous consumers are injured as a result of the same incident, a consumer advocacy group may take assignment of claims from 20 or more consumers and bring litigation in its own name. Consumers may terminate such assignment before the close of oral arguments, in which they shall notify the court.
If some consumers terminate their assignment of claims and thus the aforesaid litigation results in less than 20 consumers, the authority over consumer advocacy group will not be affected.
The assignment of claims referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include non-pecuniary damages set forth in Articles 194 and 195, paragraph 1, of the Civil Code.
The time limit for the claims referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be separately determined for each consumer who has made such assignment.
After taking an assignment of the claims of damages set forth in the third paragraph, the consumer advocacy group shall deliver the balance of compensation received as a result of the litigation by deducting the litigation fees and the necessary expenses for the lawyer set forth in second paragraph of the preceding Article, to consumers who have made such assignment of claims.
Consumer advocacy groups shall not claim rewards from consumers for litigation referred to in the first paragraph.
Where a litigation brought in accordance with this act, the consumers may claim for a punitive damage up to 5 times the amount of actual damages as a result of injuries caused by the willful misconduct of traders; if such injuries are caused by gross negligence, a punitive damage up to 3 times the amount of the actual damages may be claimed; if such injuries caused by negligence, a punitive damage up to one time the amount of the actual damages may be claimed.
If a consumer advocacy group brings litigation in accordance with Article 50 in its own name, the court fees for the portion of the claim exceeding NT$600,000 shall be exempted.
Where a trader has a serious illegal act that breach the provisions of this act, consumer ombudsmen or consumer advocacy groups may file a petition for injunction with the court to discontinue or prohibit.
Court fees for a litigation referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be exempted.
Where a mass of parties injured out of the same consumer relationship, the court may announce by public a notice, after obtaining the consent of the representative(s) selected by other injured parties in accordance with Article 41 of the Code of Civil Procedure, whereby other injured parties may file a demand for judgment in the same litigation procedure within a time limit, containing the facts, evidences and the declaration of claims in writing. Persons making such filing shall be deemed to have made the selection in accordance with Article 41 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Copies of the filing in writing concerning the same litigation set forth in the preceding paragraph shall be sent to both the plaintiffs and the defendants.
The time limit referred to in the first paragraph shall be not less than 10 days. The public notice shall be attached to the bulletin board of the courthouse and shall be published in newspapers with expenses to be paid for by the National Treasury.
Articles 48 and 49 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to litigations referred to in the preceding Article.