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Organization

Organization of District Courts

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Presently, in the Taiwan-Penghu and Kinmen-Matsu areas, there are twenty-one District Courts allocated in Taipei, Panchiao, Shihlin, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Nantou, Changhua, Yunlin, Chaiyi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Taitung, Hualien, han, Keelung, Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang. Each District Court may establish one or more summary divisions for the adjudication of cases suitable to summary judgments. Currently, there are a total of forty-five such divisions in Taiwan. Additionally, there is the Taiwan Kaohsiung Juvenile Court established in accordance with the Law Governing the Disposition of Juvenile Cases.

The court is divided into civil, criminal, juvenile, traffic, public peace, and finance divisions. A civil execution department is also attached to the court. The special divisions are based on their special nature. Each division consists of a divisional chief and several judges. The president, administrative chief judge and divisional chiefs of the court are appointed from the senior judges. The assignment of cases are made by the lot and has already been computerized. Cases tried by the court are generally heard before a single judge. Serious or complicated cases and election suits are heard before three judges sitting in council¡X one of them is presiding judge. Anyone, including judge's superiors, is prohibited from interfering with the trial. The judge conducts the trial independently. Every judge responsible for the trial has one record clerk, but a judge for execution has several clerks and process-servers.

District Courts have jurisdiction over the following cases:

  1. Ordinary or summary civil and criminal cases as well as civil small claim cases as courts of the first instance;
  2. Civil and criminal appeals or interlocutory appeals from decisions rndered by the summary divisions;
  3. Juvenile matters;
  4. Family matters;
  5. Traffic cases;
  6. Civil compulsory execution cases;
  7. Non-contentious matters;
  8. Civil protection writs;
  9. Rehabilitation of delinquents;
  10. Labor-management disputes;
  11. Elections and recalls;
  12. Violations of the Statute for the Maintenance of Social Order;
  13. Other cases prescribed by law.

One judge at each District Court is appointed to serve concurrently as President of his or her Court and to supervise that Courts administrative affairs. Each of the District Courts has civil, criminal and summary divisions and may establish specialized divisions to handle cases involving juveniles, family, traffic, and labor matters as well as motions to set aside rulings on violations of the Statute for the Maintenance of Social Order. Each division has a Division Chief Judge who supervises and assigns the business of the division. Additionally, each District Court has a Civil Execution Department, a Public Defenders' Office, a Notarization Department, a Registration Department, a Lodgment Office and a Probation Officers' Office. Each District Court also has a Clerical Office headed by a Chief Clerk who assists the President with administrative affairs and which is divided into Sections for Civil Recording, Criminal Recording, Juvenile Recording, Documents, General Affairs, Research and Evaluation, Data and Legal Assistance. There is also a Judicial Police Office and each District Court maintains Offices for Personnel, Accounting, Statistics, Information and Government Ethics.

A single judge hears and decides cases in ordinary and summary proceedings as well as in small claims cases. A panel of three judges decides cases of great importance in ordinary proceedings as well as appeals or interlocutory appeals from the summary and small claims proceedings. Criminal cases are decided by a panel of three judges, except summary proceedings can be held by a single judge. The Juvenile Court hears and decides only cases involving juveniles, and the provisions of the organization of the District Court apply mutatis mutandis to the Juvenile Court.

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