To enhance the settlement of illegally occupied national land, maintain fairness and justice, and enrich the treasury, according to Paragraph 1 of Point 6 the “Disposal Directions for Occupied National Non-Public Use Real Estate”, before the occupant acquires the sources of legal right to use of or vacates and returns the occupied property, a NPA branch or office will claim from the actual occupant the compensation for use according to the “undue enrichment” regulations in the Civil Code and request the occupant to vacate the illegally occupied national property or apply for the sources of legal right to use.
Legal liabilities for illegal occupation
1. According to Article 767 of the Civil Code: “The owner of a thing has the right to demand its return from anyone, who possesses it without authority or who seizes it. Where his ownership is interfered, he is entitled to claim the removal of the interference; and where the ownership might be interfered, he is entitled to claim the prevention of such interference. The provision of the preceding paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to the rights in rem other than ownership.” Therefore, illegal occupants unwilling to vacate and return national property by a time limit or to apply for the sources or legal right to use national property must vacate and return such national land according to Article 767 of the Civil Code.
2. According to Article 320 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China: “A person who for purpose to exercise unlawful control over other’s property for himself or for a third person unlawfully takes movable property of another commits larceny and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years, short-term imprisonment, or a fine of not more than five hundred thousand dollars.” Therefore, citizens who occupy national land without acquiring the sources of legal right to use it will be considered as “exercising unlawful control over other’s property for themselves”. Based on the above provision, such an act has constituted the offense of occupying real property. Therefore, apart from vacating the occupied national land and paying the compensation for use during the occupancy, occupants will face penalties including imprisonment for not more than five years, short-term imprisonment, or an administrative fine for a maximum of NT$500,000.
3. If the illegally occupied national land is forest lands or slopelands degraded as a result of the occupant’s illegal use, this will constitute an offence of Articles 34 and 35 of the Slopeland Conservation and Utilization Act and Articles 32 and 33 of the Soil and Water Conservation Act. The penalties for violating the Slopeland Conservation and Utilization Act and the Soil and Water Conservation Act will be much harsher than that of the offense of occupying real property as specified in Article 320 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China. As occupants will be charged according to the Slopeland Conservation and Utilization Act and the Soil and Water Conservation Act for such offences, citizens are strongly advised not to occupy national land.