sue to return gift

This is a discussion on sue to return gift within the Consumer Law Questions forums, part of the Legal Questions & Answers Forum category; What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? IL, NY This sounds extremely weird and before anyone bashes please understand that I am talking about something that involves ...

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  1. #1
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    sue to return gift

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? IL, NY


    This sounds extremely weird and before anyone bashes please understand that I am talking about something that involves a dear friend of mine with a spectrum of Autism. It might have been pretty dumb for him to do that but he's really a good guy and I want to help him.

    So what happened, my friend gave this girl a lot of money around $17,000 over a period of time, this amount was confirmed by her several times. He did this because she needed a lot of help and he thought she was a good person. But eventually something happened and he got really mad at her because he felt that she lied about something. They came to an agreement that he will keep helping her financially and in turn she will be a better friend, keep him happy (as defined by him), that she would not ignore him, that if she ever lies about anything or skews things (as defined by him) she forfeits all the gifts and has to return him all the money he's given to her and if for any reason that he is unhappy with how she is treating him, he can tell her to return all the money and she would have to. She agreed to all this several times and providing her name and bank account # at times with it.

    All the correspondence happened through text messages over several months so essentially it is from her. Yes they met in person and hung out as well. After some time he stops helping her, after a while he starts again. She asks the question if the money is a gift, he says yes. They agreed to this before. They don't repeat of any the same clauses and she says that the money he gives her isn't a loan.

    Well recently she asked him to pay off a bill of hers and immediately after he done that, she disappears with someone saying she is busy studying for some exam. Basically all the sudden she starts to ignore him and cannot send him any correspondence whatsoever because she is busy. So I told him that I think it is time to sue her back for the money.

    Several things: He did contact her family and her friends but he done so before and he did that because he got extremely stressed out. But she wrote forgiving him essentially. She claims she is threatened because he said he will sue her for the money (something they spoke about the agreement way early on agreeing that if she won't return the money he can sue her and she will pay all legal costs). Her friends claimed he harassed her but never gave any specifics whatsoever, he does have a tendency to send out a lot of email or texts or whatever in a short period of time but this wasn't something she ever had a problem with and he done it a lot of times with no complaints from her.

    All the communication regarding the agreement happened through text messages which he has all of them. He had them written in almost same way you would read on a contract:

    "That you [girl's name] agree that the money I [my friend's name] is a gift and will remain as a gift within the set following conditions[list of conditions I wrote out earlier] and that no other agreement can ever break this one or supersede it."

    He has caught her lying several times but as per the agreement he can choose to continue to help her but if he feels that her treatment of him isn't good he can use the lies she told as a reason to get the money back. Both of them are 21, the agreement was made in NY but they said it would apply anywhere in the US.

    So my question is does my friend have a case? Do I need to post the actual language of the agreement?

    If not what could have the text messages have said in order for it to be a stronger case?

    also what if he defined what gift meant before the start of the contract that the term "gift" is to always refer to a loan and the debt from that loan would be forgiven? he also defined a loan as money given on a temporary basis that needs to be paid back fully within 2 weeks of given date unless otherwise stated?

    the reason it was called a gift is because he couldn't find a better word for it but he made it clear and asked her several times if she understood that "gift" between them would not mean what it usually means and she understood and even got mad once saying she understood it and to stop asking.

    i mean if he defined it and made sure she understood would the traditional meaning of the word make sense?

    Last edited by melon123; 03-27-2012 at 07:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    You were already advised, on another site, once a gift is given, it cannot be retroactively removed at the grantors whim. That type of person has been characterized as an "Indian Giver". Your friends recourse is to sue her. The second problem, is a valid contract requires defined consideration. By your description, what she is to give is not defined, therefore, a valid contract is not present.

  3. #3
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    the transaction was called "gift" but it was told to the other individuals that the term "gift" did not mean what it usually means and would just mean a loan. she also acknowledged it was a loan and that she had a loan debt. wouldn't the definition of that word change if both parties understand and agree?

    a lot of conditions were set for him to decide upon based on a case by case basis she was also not to ever lie about anything. but also the other thing was that he could get the money back if he felt that he was simply unhappy, wouldn't that be enough?

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    Again, your friend can take his chances in court. IMO, if the judge decided in your friends favor, he would also be bound over for soliciting the act of prostitution.


 

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