In previous posts: parts one, two, three, four, five and six, in which I have written over the last three years, I explained many of the details relating to this case. It all started when some of the 90 degree, four sided roofs in our community began having problems with their roofs. The building company offered to take full responsibility for these problems, but 4-5 people in the community decided that all of the roofs - even the majority there are of a different design, were defective and dangerous. Thus, they demanded that the building company pay a huge sum of money, much more than it would cost to replace all of the roofs. The only ones who refused to go along with what I would call extortion, were my partner and I. Thus, the community (led by the gang of five) sued us, claiming that (1) we were bad neighbors and must be forced out of our home and (2) that our roof was dangerous and must be replaced.
Even though the community lost both the lower and higher court cases against the building company, the attacks and abuse against us have not stopped. Just the other day, one of the gang said very nasty things to my partner in public. I guess he feels he can get away with this kind of behavior because, each time we have pressed charges, the prosecutor has said the evidence was insufficient, even though we had recordings and he didn’t deny speaking the words. Needless to say, we are going to continue to press charges. Another one of the gang has continued to make false statements and write false papers (for which we have proof) and use them against us. Meanwhile, my partner continues to study the law, and as she is learning very rapidly, she is now handling all of the cases.
Unfortunately or fortunately (only time will tell), the judge ruled against us in one of the first cases and ordered us to replace our roof. Based on my interpretation of her statement, even though our roof is not dangerous now, it could be dangerous in the future. Therefore, in order to avoid wasting time and money on future court cases, it is better to replace it now. For me, this is like telling the owner of a car that, even though his car is not dangerous now, he must replace it now because it could be dangerous in the future. Logically speaking, the judge ignored the law on just about eight counts. Furthermore, if we were to apply her reasoning to every roof in Taiwan, almost all of the homeowners would be required to replace their roofs, even the ones in our community that have just been replaced. Needless to say, we are appealing this decision to the higher court. This time however, my partner is handling the case.
At this point, some readers may be asking, why fight it, why not just give in, pay the money and get on with life? I have also asked myself this question many times; why not just pay the money and move away? For sure, it’s war, wherein there will be no winners. However, there are learners and I am one of them. I am certain that the ground on which my partner and I stand is correct; thus it is only a question where to draw the line on which we will remain standing.
The most difficult part for me in all of this, has been to live by my commitment to work within the system and not fight dirty. Draw the line here or draw it there; eventually we are all going to have to draw it somewhere and take a stand. Herein, I learn to work openly and honestly within the constraints of the system.