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I have an important question about the system in Thai courts. How does it work in criminal cases? Let's say someone is accusing you to have damaged something. The police could not find any evidence against you. So the police is not taking any action since there would be no point.
Now, in Thailand anyone can take action in court if the police does not do it if claimant thinks they have enough evidence against you.
How much time does a defendant have to present their point of view? What kind of evidence is allowed? Videos, photos?
Maybe some additional information might help: in this particular case the claimant is clearly in violation of Thai law. This system to fight fires in a condominium building is not properly working. Some floors there's no water at all since the valves to open the water were not tested in decades. So even a strong man using all his power cannot turn on the water, can not open the valve.
In some floors are no water hoses. in some floors there are no nozzles. Especially in the floors with no water nozzles there's not enough pressure to fight a fire.
So knowing all these facts and sending a report to the district office the building is located in did not yield any result, the district office doesn't care.
The buildings management got self confident saying: "You see even the district office says everything is 100% fine." 
They reported back to the residents that everything is working and everything is just fine. In order to prove them wrong a video was taken in one floor showing that nothing is working properly.
Now the management says the damage already existent in this particular floor the video was taken in is new. It was caused by the residents who took the video.
As mentioned before they got the police involved. But the could not find evidence that the residents who took the video caused the damage.
As a result and in order to save face they filed criminal charges now by themselves.
They also say the damages are 30,000 baht.
 
Anyone with experience in Thai courts?
 
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My personal experience is that everything, including the legal process, will be weighted against you.  Nothing you do, say or present will be accepted as completely valid but the opposite will be true for the other side.  It is likely that you are on a hiding to nothing.  If you want to proceed be very careful and also be extremely wary of your own lawyer whose advise may flip in an instant leaving you high and dry or, at worst, being penalised by the court.    

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18 hours ago, zappalot said:
Now the management says the damage […] was caused by the residents who took the video […] They also say the damages are 30,000 baht.

Definitely don’t go to court, unless you have a skilled Thai lawyer with courtroom experience and who works for free.

 

But I would be surprised if the courts have time to take this case anytime soon, more appropriate would be to try mediation between the two parties before wasting the court’s time on this.

 

I don’t really understand the situation though: Are you a co-owner or renter? If co-owner, why not bring up the issue at the AGM (instead of trying to get an injunction against your management company)? Ideally this would be a concrete proposal about getting all emergency equipment tested to ensure it is up to standard, and if not, take necessary measures if any issues are found.

 

We do test all our emergency equipment once every 2nd year (done by a third party contractor).

 

The management company works for the co-owners, and the AGM is where the co-owners make decisions about how the building should be run.

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Yes you are right. Such issues should be taken care of by the management respectively be talked over in an annual general meeting.

In this building it seems only the foreigners care.

They do not even have an annual general meeting anymore. Repeated complaints to the land Department, even supported by some Thai co-owners do not yield any results. Unfortunately one of the committee members has connections to the boss of the Land Department.

Most co-owners with Thai passports believe whatever they are told. You can show them a picture of a missing fire hose In a particular floor and they point out that the management says that there is a fire hose. They are fine with being cheated on, even worse, they like it. 

 

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1 hour ago, zappalot said:

Yes you are right. Such issues should be taken care of by the management respectively be talked over in an annual general meeting.

 

In this building it seems only the foreigners care.

 

They do not even have an annual general meeting anymore. Repeated complaints to the land Department, even supported by some Thai co-owners do not yield any results. Unfortunately one of the committee members has connections to the boss of the Land Department.

 

Most co-owners with Thai passports believe whatever they are told. You can show them a picture of a missing fire hose In a particular floor and they point out that the management says that there is a fire hose. They are fine with being cheated on, even worse, they like it. 

 

 

 

Mate,      Don't ya think its coming round to time to move on and sell your place?

Yer case doesn,t sound winable.

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12 hours ago, zappalot said:

Repeated complaints to the land Department, even supported by some Thai co-owners do not yield any results

I think the Land Office is more concerned about whether the paperwork filed with them are in compliance with the law, than actively involve themselves in the quarrels that goes on in various buildings.

 

Curious: How many units in your building?

 

If the committee doesn’t hold AGM then the co-owners really should just call for an EGM, elect a new committee, and get that registered with the Land Office. But if you are in one of those monster buildings with > 1,000 units then you will need to ring a lot of doorbells, as it requires no less than twenty percent of the total votes to call for an EGM (if the JPM and committee both refuse).

 

Btw: committee members can only serve two consecutive terms (four years). I don’t know how long your current committee has served, but in theory they cannot serve forever.

 

Edited by lkn
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A good friend wasted over 1.5 million in lawyers fees and court cases only for the case to go against him he lost everything and now lives by hand and mouth even his shop was repossessed by the bank .

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Condo management committees are often ruled by one or two wealthy Thais who have a bunch of proxies prepared to do whatever they are told.  I was involved (with other owners) in a case where both the police and the Land Office agreed that the management was breaking several important laws and yet, through a mixture of intimidation of lawyers, Thai and foreign owners, blatant lies and presumed bribery, we ended up in a situation where paying the manager for fictitious damage to his reputation was the only way out.  It remains a source of wonder to me that property owners here pay no attention to maintenance and other things that may seriously affect the value of their investment.

 

I sympathize absolutely with the fire escape situation, but my advice is to turn a blind eye until you can sell up and live elsewhere.  With everything else going on in the world this kind of thing is the last thing you need.

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21 minutes ago, Greenside said:

Condo management committees are often ruled by one or two wealthy Thais who have a bunch of proxies prepared […] and presumed bribery

Somewhat ironic that people would go through so much trouble to be in the committee only to then neglect the duties.

 

I assume the motivation for this would be to steal money from the building? But if that is really the motivation, how wealthy can these people be? Or maybe they are wealthy because they are basically crooks?

 

Fortunately I have not seen any of this in the buildings I have stayed, but then, I have only stayed in low rise buildings where you would have to be pretty desperate to steal from the building, given the lower revenue from not having 500+ units.

 

Edited by lkn
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On 3/29/2020 at 6:37 PM, steven100 said:

This is Thailand zappalot, it's not the UK or US or Australia.  The Thai courts interact differently, they will lean toward their own kind. 

Your best option is leave it, forget about the issues, it's not your problem.

Forget it and move on otherwise your the one who will end up worse off. 

wrong. Thai courts do not favour Thais over foreigners. They favour the written law. Many Thais in jail charged by foreingners.

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3 hours ago, crazykopite said:

A good friend wasted over 1.5 million in lawyers fees and court cases only for the case to go against him he lost everything and now lives by hand and mouth even his shop was repossessed by the bank .

let  me guess. that was because he publicly defamed the manager.

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On 3/30/2020 at 7:31 AM, lkn said:

who works for free.

where you would find this gem????

The damage is 30.000 Baht but the lawyer will charge you with at least 60.000 Baht.

So what?

Calm down, it's not your business.

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I've lived here 14 years.  I married a Thai woman 31 years ago, and after retiring 14 years ago we moved to Thailand from America.   We've owned two homes here and one condo here.  I am a retired Certified Public Accountant, and thought I had some general idea of how civil law worked.  Boy, was I ever wrong.

 

1)  I've been to Thai court once, and have had other dealings with attorneys recently revolving repossessing a house we had sold and taken back paper on.

 

My advice is do not, under any circumstances, involve yourself in any legal proceedings.  Thailand is not the same as where you came from......not in the slightest.  We had an open and shut, locked down tight case against a builder.  We went to court, twice.  I got a 200,000 baht bill and 1/2 of the money back I was due.  Given the level of grief it caused I can tell you it would have been less painful if I just cut one of my fingers off.

 

2) We now own and live in a condo where not a single one of the Thai Condo laws are followed.  My Thai wife is on the board (I was on it as a foreigner for awhile and soon was told my input wasn't needed or wanted)  I'll keep it simple for you.  As with the legal system , it isn't remotely like where you came from.  If you don't like the way it is operated, MOVE.  If you think you can make it better, think again.  If you think anyone can make it run differently than it is now.......don't.

 

Good luck Forrest -

 

 

 

 

 

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http://www.thailandbailbonds.com/about-or-legal-team/

 

 

this his is a lawyers office website but it has excellent information in English about the operation of the court system.

 

dont listen to anyone on this forum.  Most offer opinions without having any understanding of how things work, or knowing the full circumstances.

 

the court will offer no translation service or very limited at best.  Take whatever paperwork you have to an English speaking lawyer near you for an opinion.   You should be able to get opinions on your chances for free (you can see a few different lawyers to see whether they agree), however getting one to defend you will cost a lot more than 30000b.  Probably between 70k to 300k range depending on the lawyer.

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17 hours ago, TGIR said:

We went to court, twice.  I got a 200,000 baht bill and 1/2 of the money back I was due

That’s not a bad outcome. Going to court twice would certainly cost many attorney hours, and a decent attorney probably charges 5,000 baht per hour, so you quickly get to 200,000 baht (in addition to the hours spent in court, there is also preparation, meetings with you, etc.).

 

And getting half your money back seems to indicate you got some justice. Of course you think the case was open and shut, but the builder obviously thought otherwise, and it appears the judge wanted to just split the difference, favouring neither you nor the (Thai) builder.

 

17 hours ago, TGIR said:

I'll keep it simple for you.  As with the legal system , it isn't remotely like where you came from

I wouldn’t go that far, I’ve been pretty succesful pursing money owed, defects, etc. from the developer of my condominium, and despite that, they still used their majority votes to re-elect me to the committee, even though it meant they could no longer have a representative themselves (both their representative and myself had served two consecutive terms, but as there were only two new candidates, there was room for one person from the old committee).

 

Not saying that there aren’t bad buildings in Thailand, but the mantra on this forum seems to be that everything is bad, corrupt, lawless, etc., and it’s futile to do anything about it.

 

Just saying that so far, this has not been my experience. The few encounters I have had with “bad” people have all involved westerners.

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