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Quote of the Day - To find yourself jilted is a blow to your pride. Do your best to forget it and if you don't succeed, at least pretend to. - Moliere
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Gifts Given In Anticipation Of Marriage Not Recoverable When Engagement Ends

With One Notable Exception - And It's Not The Vasectomy

I'm no family law lawyer, but it's unlikely I would have filed this Utah case in California:  a man who bought his fiance a seven-day trip to Alaska, a three-week trip to France, plunked down $2,400 to help her son buy a car, and while the engagement was pending, a vasectomy.  Oh yes, of course, he bought the obligatory engagement ring.  Without explanation, however, she broke off the engagement and returned the ring.  All after having taken the trips and buying a used car, and the small issue of a couple snips in the nether region.

Jilted, he sued.

The Utah appeals court dispatched his claims with a history lesson.  Some 400 years ago, when marriage was considered an economic transaction, the court said, such damages were recoverable in a breach of promise action.

Somewhere along the line, though, marriage morphed from an economic transaction to an emotional transaction.  Given this sea change, the court decided that our jilted lover could no longer recover what he attempted to characterize as "conditional gifts."

He was just born four hundred years too late.

He wasn't without a remedy, however.  The court said he otherwise would have been able to recover the value of the engagement ring since it clearly was a "conditional gift" made in anticipation of marriage.  Since she returned the ring, he was without a remedy.

And despite the vasectomy, without a wife and no recovery for the doctor's bill even though he had his receipts. 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 00:20 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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