During Lunar New Year festivals and birthdays, elder relatives often give red packets of money to their grandchildren. If the money is spent without the child’s permission, it is considered to be a legal infringement on the child’s rights. In Shanghai, 11-year-old Tao-Tao did something unexpected: He took his 78-year-old grandmother to court.
The grandmother secretly took more than 40,000 yuan of Tao-Tao’s red packet money from his bank account. Tao-Tao and his mother could not get her to return the money after repeated attempts, and eventually resorted to legal action.
According to the Chinese Mainland Media Report, the grandmother opened a bank account in Tao-Tao’s name and deposited the money into the account. The bank card was held by Tao-Tao’s grandmother, Granny Shi. A few days before the funds in Tao-Tao’s account were to be transferred to a new account, Granny Shi took out the 40,000 yuan using Tao-Tao’s bank card.
Granny Shi refused to return the money despite repeated demands that she do so by Tao-Tao and his mother. In the end, they brought the 78-year-old grandmother to court. In court, Granny Shi argued that she merely used Tao-Tao’s name to open the account and the money in the bank was actually her salary. She claimed that the savings were not Tao-Tao’s red packet money, and since the password and bank book were never given to Tao-Tao, all of the money was hers.
However, the judge found that the dates of the deposits coincided with Tao-Tao’s birthday and Lunar New Year festivals, and not the dates on which Granny Shi received her salary, so her argument was found to be invalid. The court held that Granny Shi had removed the money without Tao-Tao’s consent, which was an infringement on the child’s legal rights. As a result, the court ruled that Granny Shi had to return the money to Tao-Tao.
Translated by Chua B.C.