My wife was born in Taiwan my children are also Taiwanese citizens. I’m here on a spouse ARC. We decided to visit to Taiwan for a couple of years so our kids could perfect their Mandarin while they’re still young.
We rented a nice apartment near Da An. Everything went well for the first 6 months. Kids were getting fluent in language and making local friends. We were all happy. Then it started.
Downstairs contacted our leasing agent to do a “noise experiment” because they claimed the apartment’s timber floor was causing too much noise for them. I refused to let them in. I told the agent this was a matter they need to take up with the landlord. Besides I really wanted nothing to do with them because it smelled like trouble. We’d been there for 6 months without a single complaint.
Our family live a quiet life, we didn’t have any parties, we rarely stay up past 10pm. Never have loud music or tv. From the first noise complaint we instructed our kids to “walk quietly”. However our next door neighbor constantly had parties, and the other next door neighbor had screaming matches with his wife (in Taiwanese).
Then downstairs started having the concierge to call us repeatedly via the intercom and phone to complain of footsteps. They were also complaining of hearing “Taiwanese voices”, none of us speak Taiwanese, but our neighbors do. I eventually disconnected the intercom and told the concierge that they were not to contact us about noise complaints. The concierge told us downstairs comes down to scream at them every night for a good 30 minutes, and that the staff didn’t like the downstairs neighbor.
After all this trouble, one of my kids (aged 12) started sneaking down the fire stairs and pressing downstairs’ doorbell. As far as I know he pressed the doorbell about 7 times over a period of two weeks. Downstairs put up a security camera and recorded my child pressing their doorbell. The video was sent to us via the agent. We wrote a short apology letter to them for our son’s childish actions.
One month later the police turn up asking for a statement. We politely refused to give any statement. Downstairs had gone to a lawyer and are filing criminal and civil charges against my wife. As far as I know the criminal charges are Article 304:
A person who by violence or threats causes another to do a thing which he has no obligation to do or who prevents another from doing a thing that he has the right to do shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than three years, short-term imprisonment, or a fine or not more than three hundred yuan.
I can only guess that via some really screwed up logic that they are equating the doorbell pressing with a “threat” that prevented them living in their apartment. And how it involves my wife I’m not sure.
Now my wife and kids have a subpoena to be interrogated by the prosecutor’s office.
Downstairs also have a civil case tacked onto the criminal case. If the criminal case wins, so does the civil. This is apparently a common legal tactic in Taiwan, because it’s easier to win a criminal case, the burden of proof is lower. The police said downstairs are claiming nearly 1 million NT for all their damages. Including staying at a hotel and emotional stress … etc.
Throughout all this we have never actually met downstairs. We have never spoken to them. I wouldn’t know what they looked like if they were standing in front of me. The only interaction we’ve had is to send an apology letter, and that was sent via the rental agent.
Next year we were planning on migrating to another country where my wife doesn’t have citizenship. Obviously a criminal record might prevent her entering that country.
Does anyone have any experience being interrogated by a Taiwanese prosecutor?