An Engagement Ring as a Down Payment


 Engagement Ring Prior to Marriage

On May 4th the Supreme Court in Westchester County ordered that an engagement ring given to the defendant bride in contemplation of , and being the sole consideration for, marriage returned to the plaintiff groom.

 In Calautti v. Grados  (Calautti v. Grados, 31182/10, NYLJ 1202494331082, at *1 (Sup., WE, Decided May 4, 2011) a couple cancelled their wedding plans eight days before  the wedding.  Then four days after the original wedding date, the plaintiff demanded a return of the ring.  At trial, defendant contended the ring was lost. Despite the defendant’s counterclaim that the plaintiff did not buy the ring, she failed to introduce any evidence to support this argument.

In the end, the Supreme Court held that since the ring was lost, the defendant bride owed the plaintiff groom $8,500.

Below is Civil Rights Law Section 80-b:

NY CLS Civ R § 80-b.  

Nothing in this article contained shall be construed to bar a right of action for the recovery of a chattel, the return of money or securities, or the value thereof at the time of such transfer, or the rescission of a deed to real property when the sole consideration for the transfer of the chattel, money or securities or real property was a contemplated marriage which has not occurred, and the court may, if in its discretion justice so requires, (1) award the defendant a lien upon the chattel, securities or real property for monies expended in connection therewith or improvements made thereto, (2) deny judgment for the recovery of the chattel or securities or for rescission of the deed and award money damages in lieu thereof.

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