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Lorraine asked in SportsCycling · 9 months ago

Can a child legally give away his bicycle to another child or could that still be reported as theft by the parents or grandparents?

It's an old case from many years ago. My stepson (age 9 at the time) came home from a friend's house with a bicycle that wasn't his. His friend owned the bicycle for 4 years but never could learn how to ride a bike so he gave it away. Months later his grandfather reported it stolen so cops came to my house. I told them the story. The bicycle in question was in pieces. My stepson used it as spare bicycle parts. I never heard from the cops again. So the issue was settled I guess. But is it legal for a kid to give away a bike to another kid?

5 Answers

  • 7 months ago

    Yes. Parents/guardians should always be aware of their child's actions.

    The child legally gave it away. Nothing illegal. It belongs to child, not the parents. Child gave it away. Parents can't do anything, it's NOT theirs.


    Parents, should talk to settle problem. If a big ticket item receiver parents should question it. (if stolen property, found, gift, how it was obtained) receiver or parents are not obligated to return.

    Gifter parents may request item back, but not expect it back. Item is NOT STOLEN, but a gift. All they can do is punish child to prohibit such actions in future (child should go to parents first, before such action)


    I heard of more expensive things being gifted.

    Smartphone, tablet, game systems...

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  • Jon
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    I suggest moving this to 'law and ethics' as it is really about the legal status of children's property, and that fact that the object was a bicycle is irrelevant to the general principle. It will also vary between places, so I suggest you state where you are.

    Where I am (UK) the whole issue of children's ownership of property and rights to dispose of it is a very grey area. If a 12 year old decided to buy two chocolate bars and give one to a friend, the law would certainly accept that they were entitled to do so and that the gift was valid. The generous child's parents would certainly not be entitled to demand the price of the chocolate bar from the recipient's parents. Quite how young a child must be and how valuable property must be before that ceases to hold good (if it ever does) has never been tested in court.

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  • 9 months ago

    No the child cannot legally give the bike away if the parents aren't on board with it, but it shouldn't be considered theft. If the bike isn't returned, the parents can take the other family to small claims court to get the bike back.

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  • 9 months ago

    The correct thing to do if your child comes home with something another child gave them would be to contact the other child's parents to make sure they were ok with it.

    Source(s): Motorized Bicycle Owner and Builder.
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  • 9 months ago

    A minor giving away a bike is not legally enforceable. If a child gives a bike away, the parents (the actual owners of the bike) can come and get it back.

    But no, its not theft by the recipient of the gift. And the receiver of the (not actually) gift bike isn't liable for criminal charges, or even to repair any damage incurred while it was in their possession.

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