Man's lawsuit against daughters to get back gifted house fails

By Hai Duyen   June 28, 2024 | 01:33 am PT
Man's lawsuit against daughters to get back gifted house fails
Houses and buildings at the Hang Xanh intersection in HCMC's Binh Thanh District. Illustration photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Dao, 77, gifted his house to his three daughters and has sued them unsuccessfully to get it back claiming he might be “kicked out” in his old age.

The dispute was heard by the Binh Thanh District People’s Court in HCMC from June 20 to 25.

Thao, Dao’s wife, was present at the hearings.

He told the court that in September 2020 he and his wife signed a contract to gift the ownership and use of their house in Binh Thanh to their three daughters.

He said he had only wanted to give them half of the house along with the right to it and not the entire house.

But his wife and children had "deceived" him into signing away the property when he was sick and not of sound mind, he said.

When they all went to the notary office to get the contract written and certified, they had to spend half a day there, making him anxious and mentally disturbed due to his heart disease.

He therefore had signed the documents hurriedly without reading it and just did what the notary office staff told him to do, he said.

After the transfer was completed, his wife and children "mentally troubled and abused him to kick him out of the house," he said.

It was the result of his wife’s deception, which prompted him to file the suit to have it voided, he said.

A litigant answering the courts question at the trial. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Duyen

One of the litigants is answering the court's question at the trial. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Duyen

Under the law, a gifted property can only be taken back if the contract fails to meet all of the legal elements of a valid gift, if the receiving party does not honor the requirements established by the gifter, or if the gifting party can prove they were deceived, coerced or forced into signing the contract.

When asked by the court about the terms and conditions of the contract, he said he had not stipulated any requirements for his children.

He avoided giving straight answers to subsequent questions, merely repeating that he felt cheated and abused by his wife and daughters.

His daughters refuted his claims, saying both their parents were of sound mind when signing the documents.

The youngest daughter, representing the trio, said they did not abuse Dao as he claimed and that he has no proof to back it.

"We did not abandon him, he isolated himself from us."

He has been acting erratically recently, swearing at neighbors, writing to her university to have her suspended and preventing anyone in the house from touching his belongings or cooking for him, she said.

She said he swore at and even hit her sisters often, forcing her to go to the police.

The daughters then asked for the house’s usage rights certificate, title deeds and other documents, which Dao had not handed over to them.

Thao corroborated all her daughters’ claims including the one that her husband has been behaving strangely in recent times.

"He locks his room all the time and does not let me cook for him even when he is sick for fear of getting poisoned.

"When I tried to take him to a hospital, he said I was colluding with the doctors to harm him."

All of them said someone might have manipulated Dao into turning against his family, resulting in his abnormal behavior.

The court ruled that the contract was fully valid and met all the criteria of a legal contract, and dismissed Dao’s request to rescind it.

He should have been fully aware of both parties’ rights and responsibilities, it said.

He also failed to file a plaint to change or cancel the gift agreement before it became effective, it added.

It accepted the daughters’ claims that he mistreated them and infringed on their rights by keeping all the house documents, and ordered him to hand them over.

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