Legal Hypothetical: Are you on Santa’s good list?


Are you on Santa’s good list?

JOHNNY, child of Nancy and Donald Carpenter, was a much loved and very spoilt only child.

During the year Johnny turned 19, his parents had been encouraged by his strong academic results and told him that if he kept it up, he would definitely be on Santa’s good list.

It was the night before Christmas, and Nancy and Donald gave Johnny a very special Christmas card that said, “Johnny, you have been such a good boy and worked so hard at university, we are giving you this special gift.”

Inside the card was the key to the family holiday house.

Nancy and Donald promptly organised the transfer of the property into Johnny’s name and paid the stamp duty.

One month later, Nancy discovers her credit card is overdrawn due to a large number of unusual transactions.

These transactions are traced to dark web academic websites.

Oh dear, it turns out that Johnny has been purchasing assignments online to pass his studies. Johnny was, in fact, a cheat.

Nancy and Donald are infuriated.

They march up to Johnny’s room, and shout, “We are taking back the holiday house.

“You were not on Santa’s good list. You have been a bad boy, Johnny.”

In Court, Johnny relies on “the presumption of advancement”, arguing that the house was an absolute gift to him from parent to child and that he has no obligation to return the gift.

Nancy and Donald argue that the house was gifted on the condition that Johnny was a good boy, and as it was found Johnny had not fulfilled this condition, and in fact, Johnny had been a bad boy, then the gift must be returned.

The parties agree to attend a court-ordered mediation to resolve the family differences.

Nancy cancels her credit card.

Thank you to Anthony Fogarty for his assistance with this column.

If YOU would like a particular issue addressed, please email me at [email protected] or call me on (02) 66 487 487.

Leave a Reply