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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38897
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I was gifted a laptop by my ex-boyfriend for my birthday last

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I was gifted a laptop by my ex-boyfriend for my birthday last year. He used his Moms credit card but is no longer able to make her payments. She is now asking for the laptop back. Who is the rightful owner of this laptop?

A gift is ordinarily irrevocable. In other words, the giver cannot demand return of the gift.

The question here, however, is whether or not your boyfriend's mother originally authorized the credit card transaction. If she did, then she made a gift to her son, and her son made the gift to you, which means that the laptop is yours, and you have no obligation to return it to your ex-boyfriend's mother.

Based on your question, at least four months has passed since the laptop was purchased (you said "last year," and it's May 1 today). This strongly suggests that the laptop was intended as a gift, because otherwise, "mom" would have discovered the unauthorized transaction much sooner and would have complained about it.

Given all of the facts and circumstances, I would say that your ex-boyfriend's mom has no chance of recovering the laptop -- unless she claims that you stole it from her -- which doesn't seem very credible, either, because if it was a theft, then once again, she would have reported it to the police/sheriff, immediately.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am worried because she has lawyer friends and I know she will try to take me to court. At this point, should I just ignore any calls/texts from her or my ex?
This is a small claims court action. No lawyers are permitted to represent in small claims court. So, it doesn't matter that there is a possible friend who is a lawyer, because the lawyer can't get involved.

Rather than ignore the mother's demands, you could simply write a letter to mom stating that she knows that the laptop was a gift, and while you regret that things did not work out between her son and you, the laptop is your property.

If she takes you to small claims court, you can explain what happened, and the judge will dismiss the case -- and that will be the end of things.

Hope this helps.
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