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Suppose that in the US, Alice has some item in her possession which, for whatever reason, she no longer wishes to own. Does simply abandoning it (e.g. leaving it in a public space) qualify as relinquishing it? Can she give as a sort of hostile gift to someone else, even if they don’t want it? What if the item is somehow registered to her, like if it was a car?

This could be applicable in situations where people have to tell a court about their property. If Alice was getting a divorce, say, could she leave some possession in the middle of a public way and no longer have to mention that possession during court proceedings?

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    leaving it in a public square would be tantamount to dumping garbage in the public square, would it not? Laws around disposing of property would usually depend on the property type.
    – grovkin
    Jul 29, 2021 at 5:47
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    Also, if the objective (or the result) would be denying Alice's (soon to be) ex-husband rights to some property, Alice could get in trouble for that, too. At the very least, she could be forced to pay for her husband loss(cassandrahearn.com/blog/2017/5/…); perhaps criminal charges could be raised.
    – SJuan76
    Jul 29, 2021 at 6:46
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    Regarding "hostile gift", according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_(law) an essential element of a gift is acceptance. You can't gift something to someone who doesn't want it. Jul 29, 2021 at 7:35
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    Regarding the divorce situation, the court is not stupid, and if her husband tells the court she dumped this thing, she will have to get it back or replace it with money.
    – user253751
    Jul 29, 2021 at 8:12

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Does simply abandoning it (e.g. leaving it in a public space) qualify as relinquishing it?

No. This is littering - Alice will be fined and have to take it away.

If Alice were to dispose of it lawfully in the garbage or at a waste disposal facility, that would be fine.

Can she give as a sort of hostile gift to someone else, even if they don’t want it?

No. A gift has to be accepted by the recipient. This is why pardons can be refused.

What if the item is somehow registered to her, like if it was a car?

There are procedures in place for deregistering and disposing of things like motor vehicles.

If Alice was getting a divorce, say, could she leave some possession in the middle of a public way and no longer have to mention that possession during court proceedings?

No. This is theft because the property is not solely Alice’s.

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