Wednesday, November 12, 2014


It's interesting reading - Torres v Lopez 2014 NY Slip Op 51494(U) Decided on October 14, 2014 District Court Of Nassau County, First District Fairgrieve, J.

From the opinion:

"In DeFina v. Scott, 195 Misc 2d 75, 755 NYS2d 587 (Supt Ct, NY Cty 2003), the court states the applicable law in New York concerning the recovery of a ring:

The court starts with application of the traditional principle of New York law holding that an engagement ring is the property of the male donor when an engagement is terminated (see, Gagliardo v. Clemente, 180 AD2d 551, 580 NYS2d 278 [1st Dept 1992]; 11 NY Prac New York Law of Domestic Relations § 4:4, Courtship: Engagement Rings [2002], "Even prior to the enactment of the anti-heart balm legislation," cases held that "[t]he donee of the ring receives, at the time of the gift, only the right of possession. Firm ownership passes only upon the performance of the mar-riage").

This rule applies only to a ring given as an engagement ring (id., "If there were reasons other than a contemplated marriage why the gift was given, such as part of a birthday or holiday celebration, the ring may not be subject to return. Where there is a genuine dispute as to the circumstances under which the ring was given, a trial is necessary to determine the facts").

This court finds that while there is a very close issue of fact, the plaintiff failed to sustain his burden by preponderance of the evidence that the ring was solely given to defendant in contemplation of marriage."

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