Alabama woman ordered to repay former fiancé after hocking expensive wedding ring for bargain price

Unrequited love comes with a price, according to a state appeals court in Alabama.

After a woman called off her wedding, she took the expensive engagement ring she was given and hocked it for a bargain price, which then led to a court filing by her ex- who, understandably, says he wants his money back.

And according to the court, he’s entitled to it.

Judges ruled earlier this month that the woman has to compensate her ex- for the two-and-a-half-carat diamond ring which he bought for $32,000 and she wound up pawning off for less than one-third of that amount: $10,000, according to the Charlotte Observer, which reviewed court documents.

“The boyfriend tells the court that he dropped to one knee and asked the woman to marry him after she pulled out the gift, a moment that he said he recorded on his phone, although the video evidence was not admitted into evidence in court. He then put the ring onto her hand after she accepted his proposal, he said,” the paper reported.

Reports said the proposal came on Christmas Eve in 2018, but the woman testified that the man never actually proposed to marry her.

After that, according to the paper, the couple talked about wedding dates for the next several months, at one point going to counseling for couples to try and improve their relationship.

But after a number of disputes, the man moved out of their home in September 2019, afterward asking about the ring he gave her.

At first, the woman told her ex- that she tossed it into the Intracoastal Waterway but later, she admitted that she sold the ring in 2020 for $10,000 after she lost her job.

In March 2020, the man filed a complaint against her, and he amended it in August to claim that she was unjustly enriched through the sale of the ring.

“[The woman] knew that the $32,000 engagement ring was a gift conditioned on marrying [the complainant] inasmuch that it was proffered with the proposal of marriage, and that only if [the woman] agreed to marry [complainant] would she be entitled to receive the ring as a gift, pending the future marriage,” noted his claim.

Initially, a Baldwin County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the woman in January, writing that since the couple never established a wedding date and the man never provided oral or written conditions for the return of the ring, there was no evidence suggesting his reluctant bride was unjustly enriched.

However, the man appealed to the Alabama Court of Appeals, and judges sided with him, ruling that the ring was not his ex’s to sell because of the unspoken agreement, apparently, that comes with giving a fiancé an engagement ring.

“We agree that, when an engagement is terminated, the donor has the right to request the return of the engagement ring and that, when such a request is refused, an unjust enrichment cause of action exists,” the court of appeals noted.

Jon Dougherty


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