Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

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Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby Hartzell » 03 Oct 2006, 12:46

Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

See --
http://forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?t=46827
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby pg171 » 14 May 2009, 02:57

I contacted the Legal Aid Foundation by e-mail asking if they could provide me with assistance in my legal fight to see my son and, and they didn't even give me the courtesy of a reply. No surprise, really, measuring by my experiences in this country. I have send dozens of e-mails to lawyers asking for legal assistance and not one reply.

Finally, I made some phone calls to lawyers on a list provided by the British Embassy, and found a firm willing to help. So far they appear to be doing OK. Although expensive, they have obtained a court order stating my rights to see my son. His mother has ignored the order and the court has just served her with a two week warning after which she will be liable to substantial and repeatable fines. Maybe, just maybe, I can finally get justice done in this country and see my little boy, after nine months without him.

But in general, it is so difficult to find help in Taiwan, when you are in a desperate situation it's a heartless place to be.
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby Buttercup » 14 May 2009, 05:44

Glad things are working out, or at least moving in the right direction for you. I hope you can reestablish contact soon.

Best wishes.
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby Feiren » 14 May 2009, 07:01

I'm also glad to hear that there has been some progress.

For others who might be considering contacting the Legal Aid Foundation, be sure to at least call them or, better yet by far, go in person. You cannot expect this kind of organization in Taiwan to respond to an email especially if the email is in English, or to have someone available to answer a phone calll in English. The English skills of Taiwanese NGOs are far lower than what you will find in the for-profit sector. If you go in person, you will have a much better chance of speaking to a staff lawyer who is more likely to speak English.

For a variety of reasons most organizations in Taiwan do not respond to email, and it's always easier to blow someone off over the phone.

Please also keep in mind that the Legal Aid Foundation's mission is to provide legal services to the truly indigent. They prioritize people accused of serious crimes who face prison time, victims of domestic violence, the unemployed etc. They will probably ask for evidence of your income and may decide that while you are not rich, there are others more in need of their limited resources.

I don't mean to be unsympathetic. I'm all too aware of the difficulties foreign fathers here have in obtaining and enforcing even very limited visitation rights. But others need to know that sending an email to any busy organization in Taiwan is not likely to get response.



pg171 wrote:I contacted the Legal Aid Foundation by e-mail asking if they could provide me with assistance in my legal fight to see my son and, and they didn't even give me the courtesy of a reply. No surprise, really, measuring by my experiences in this country. I have send dozens of e-mails to lawyers asking for legal assistance and not one reply.

Finally, I made some phone calls to lawyers on a list provided by the British Embassy, and found a firm willing to help. So far they appear to be doing OK. Although expensive, they have obtained a court order stating my rights to see my son. His mother has ignored the order and the court has just served her with a two week warning after which she will be liable to substantial and repeatable fines. Maybe, just maybe, I can finally get justice done in this country and see my little boy, after nine months without him.

But in general, it is so difficult to find help in Taiwan, when you are in a desperate situation it's a heartless place to be.
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby pg171 » 14 May 2009, 14:28

Thanks Feiren, I will bear that in mind for future if I am unfortunate enough to have to search for legal help beyond my current lawyers. I don't think I would pass the assets/income test to qualify for legal aid anyway, I was just making an enquiry to find our about the possibilities.

I speak Mandarin passably- but I think if someone has a website in English, then they should be prepared to accept e-mail enquiries in English.

A phone call certainly does seem to make a big difference, but I prefer e-mail because it's the easiest way to get across my difficult and emotional situation to a Taiwanese person. The overwhelming impression I get is that people in Taiwan are just so unwilling to stretch themselves in any way to help people they don't know, even if they stand to get paid for it.
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby Havana » 25 Mar 2011, 09:58

pg171 wrote:I contacted the Legal Aid Foundation by e-mail asking if they could provide me with assistance in my legal fight to see my son and, and they didn't even give me the courtesy of a reply. No surprise, really, measuring by my experiences in this country. I have send dozens of e-mails to lawyers asking for legal assistance and not one reply.

Finally, I made some phone calls to lawyers on a list provided by the British Embassy, and found a firm willing to help. So far they appear to be doing OK. Although expensive, they have obtained a court order stating my rights to see my son. His mother has ignored the order and the court has just served her with a two week warning after which she will be liable to substantial and repeatable fines. Maybe, just maybe, I can finally get justice done in this country and see my little boy, after nine months without him.

But in general, it is so difficult to find help in Taiwan, when you are in a desperate situation it's a heartless place to be.


Last year I was working for the LAF and I do know that only a tiny minority of cases involved foreigners. The level of English amongst staff does vary; lots of employees don't speak enough to hold a conversation. Having said that they were extremely kind, caring and helpful so I do think if you emailed them in English, your enquiry may not have been understood. You should have got a reply definitely, but I don't think this was an intentional snub. The best approach would be to get a Chinese speaking friend to phone them and explain your situation.

Just for reference, the LAT can provide free legal advice IF you have assets worth less than 20,000 NT. Most of the time, they cater for the poorest people in Taiwan which are usually Thai/Vietnamese workers, young people and a few poor Taiwanese people. We once got a foreigner who qualified for help although he was referred to us by his (de facto) 'embassy'.
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby Tobiasgar » 05 Sep 2011, 21:20

When such cases accure it's not necessary to blame anyone.. and the knowledge of the language is really very important!! I think it's the basic requirement of working in foreign country..it's rather strange that people still don't understand such commom things :s
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby Hartzell » 02 Dec 2011, 18:36

I seem to recall that all the Taiwanese people learn English in junior high and high school . . . . . not to mention university.
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby REPLICANT » 02 Dec 2011, 21:25

Hartzell wrote:I seem to recall that all the Taiwanese people learn English in junior high and high school . . . . . not to mention university.


Not all those students who attend give damn about learning English to the extent they can have even a basic conversation let alone work in a legal aid office and speak to foreingers.
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Re: Taiwan's Legal Aid Foundation

Postby Havana » 02 Dec 2011, 21:51

Hartzell wrote:I seem to recall that all the Taiwanese people learn English in junior high and high school . . . . . not to mention university.


You are also making the assumption that all Taiwanese go to uni. From the years I have spent in Taiwan, I know that the level of English amongst locals does...em...vary. If the individual in this case does have assets over 20,000 NT, he go directly to a law firm if he requires further advice as his income threshold would preclude him from getting assistance.
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