Blue Springs, MO asked in Animal / Dog Law for Missouri

Q: Who is the owner of a snake if it was gifted but original owner has receipt and wants it back after a year 8 months?

My daughters mother purchased an exotic snake valued around 1k. She wasn't allowed to keep it at her home and she asked if I would raise it for a while. After about a year she said I can have it. 8 months after that she claims she never gave it to me and she wants it back. I refused because it was a gift and I raised that snake from a hatchling for about 1 year and 8 months. She called animal control and told them I was abusing him and called the police to make a report on me. She is now taking me to court over the snake and told me she will win because she has the receipt and it's in her name. I can provide bank statements showing my purchase of food (rats) and bedding. And an email where she told me I can have it after we broke up. She is stating it wasn't legal binding because it wasn't signed. Do I even have a chance on claiming ownership?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ronald J. Eisenberg
Ronald J. Eisenberg
  • Chesterfield, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Yes, you have a decent shot at winning. The outcome will depend on whether the court believes that the snake was a gift. If so, you win. If not, you lose. It's a matter of credibility.

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