Is taking back a gift legal?

UPDATED: Sep 2, 2012

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Is taking back a gift legal?

So, my friend was involved in a DUI about 5 months ago. At the conclusion of the trial he was sentenced to 1 day in jail, ignition inter-lock devicerewhich costs $200 every 2 months. This is purely just a back story to help understand the situation. His mother is currently paying for the ignition inter-lock device, so in return she stole his $1,400 laptop, which she gifted to him for his birthday. I read on-line that revocation of a gift is illegal, at least to my understanding. So would it be viable for him to press charges against his mother in a small claims court to return his rightful property? His brother is willing to testify on his behalf as a witness.

Asked on September 2, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the mother "stole" your friend's lap top but then gifted it to him for his birthday, did not your friend get back what was taken from him wrongfully? If he has his lap top back in one piece, if fail to see how he would be damaged under the law albeit the taking of it by his mother was wrongful. From what you have written, although there was bad conduct by the mother, I fail to see any damages that your friend would recover since he now has his lap top back.

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