Jennifer and Kent were living together in 2010 and in November Jennifer adopted a dog from the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago. Around Christmas Jennifer in a poem expressed her intent to give the dog (the Stig) to Kent as a gift. Their relationship ended in 2012 and guess what Kent took with him when he moved out of the residence. You got it – the Stig. Jennifer eventually went to court to get the Stig returned to her. The trial court found that the Stig was a gift from Jennifer, and that Kent was the rightful owner of the Stig. On appeal the Appellate Court affirmed Kent’s right to the Stig. The Court said that donative intent is established at the time of the gift, and not what was said at a later time.
The moral of this case – tell that special person that all gifts are conditional on the continuation of your romantic relationship. If for any reason, the relationship should terminate, all gifts must be returned! Oh by the way, it would be a good idea to put it in writing! Perhaps, you should enter into a pre-relationship agreement or as it may be called in the future – a “Stig Agreement.” Good luck!
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