If a gift was given and then left longer than 30 days, is it mine?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If a gift was given and then left longer than 30 days, is it mine?

My ex bought me a laptop as a gift. After we broke up, he moved out and we had no contact for over 30 days. Then sent an email threatening to sue if I didn’t send him the laptop back. It was given to me, and has been in my possession, on my property for almost a month and a half after he moved back across the country. Does he have any standing to sue?

Asked on June 23, 2016 under Business Law, Arkansas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A gift belongs to the recipient as soon as it is given--you don't need to wait 30 days to claim it. Once given, the giver has no more right to or claim over it. That's the law. Practically, if he does take legal action to reclaim it, claiming that it is his laptop (even if he let you use it), do you have any evidence or documentation (e.g texts or emails where he said he was buying it for you? a card which accompanied the gift? Etc.) that it was a gift? If not, if he sues, it will basically come down to your word vs. his and who is more credible.

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