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Mother wins court case to evict two sons in 40s

By CM Chaney · November 2, 2023

In brief…

  • Italian mother, 75, won lawsuit to evict her 40 and 42-year-old sons from her home.
  • Sons lived there rent-free, not helping with costs or chores.
  • Judge ruled they were too old to expect unlimited parental support.
  • Case highlights "mammoni" issue of Italian adult men overly dependent on moms.
An elderly Italian mother won a legal battle to force her middle-aged sons to move out of her home in Pavia, Italy (above) after arguing they were too old to be financially and domestically dependent on her.  Ggonnell / Wikimedia

A 75-year-old mother in northern Italy won a legal battle to evict her two middle-aged sons from her home after suing them for being unhelpful “parasites,” a court clerk said Friday.

The sons, aged 40 and 42, had been living rent-free in their mother’s apartment in Pavia while holding down jobs, according to court documents. The mother’s pension covered all food and housing costs as the men contributed nothing financially or through chores.

Judge Simona Caterbi sided with the mother, ruling the “big babies” or “bamboccioni” had until December 18 to move out. Caterbi said no law grants adult children an “unconditional right” to live with parents against their will.

The men’s lawyers argued Italian parents must support children as long as needed. But Caterbi noted the law only requires reasonable maintenance by parents. She ruled the men, both in their 40s, could no longer expect unlimited support.

This case highlights Italy’s issue of “mammoni,” where adult men depend excessively on their mothers. In 2020, Italy’s Supreme Court rejected a 35-year-old man’s demand that his parents further support him financially as a part-time music teacher.

On average, Italians leave home at 30, compared to only 21 in Nordic countries. But Caterbi asserted for the Pavia sons, “a certain age has been exceeded” where parental support remains reasonable.

The mother, who is separated from the men’s father, said her entire pension was going to food and housing costs for her middle-aged sons. The judge agreed the situation was unfairly straining the 75-year-old plaintiff.

The men can appeal but have not yet decided, according to local media. For now, the mother has won the right to remove her sons from her home after a lengthy period of alleged financial and domestic dependence.