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Do I have to pay the price of the ring?

Stayton, OR |
Filed under: Marriage

My ex-boyfriend, gave me a ring as a gift in 2009 we broke up in 2011. He told me before he left I could keep the ring that it was mine. Now I no longer have the ring and he is asking me to either give him back the ring or pay the price for it. It has been almost 2 years. So do I legally have to pay him?

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Attorney answers 4

Posted

Nope. Not on the facts you provided. Forget him and his request and move on!

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Asker

Posted

Thank you very much he is threatening to take me to court. For what the ring cost when it was bought. I don't even know the monetary value of what the ring was. Now I know I do not have to pay thank you so much for your help. Greatly appreciated.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

He's blowing smoke.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

If you get a demand letter citing 20.080 you need to see a alwyer right away. If you get a summons from small claims court see an attorney. There is a tactic where you remove the case from small claims court to regular court - will make it hard for him to pursue since he won't know what to do but if he figures it out it might get hard for you too - so see a lawyer on this.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Posted

Good counsel.

Posted

Unless it was specifically an engagement ring, given in contemplation of marriage, then you do not have to give it back to him or pay for it. If it was an engagement ring, then he can go to court and force you to return it or pay for it.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

Not on these facts - if he said "keep it:" it, the ring became a gift.

Asker

Posted

It was not an engagement ring, and the day we broke up I went over to him and handed him the ring he said the words "I want you to keep it, it is yours." So I did keep it. That was in 2011. I have not held on to the ring after all this time, in 2012 I got rid of the ring because I thought that it became my property and I could do what I wanted with it. Now in 2013 I told him when he asked for it back I told him I no longer have it and he told me I best be finding it or I will pay the price. I said I am not paying for a gift and his words were yes you will because I asked for it back. He said it does not matter whether or not it was a gift if he asked for it back I have to either return it or pay for it.

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Posted

It was an unconditional gift, so you had the right to sell it. If he sues you, you will win.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

You are right based on these facts. I would help if you have something to prove that things went down the way you state, ie that he gifted you the ring.

Asker

Posted

I don't have any proof that he did in fact give me the ring, except that my Mom heard him say I could keep the ring, but from my knowledge that is "hearsay." I thank you all for your help on this matter, I know that you do not have to help, but because you took the time to give me this knowledge I will be forever grateful. I never got anything in writing except mentioning many times in the e-mails back in forth between him and I that he gifted it to me and I would not pay for a gift. So I might have some trouble proving that he did in fact gift me the ring, but that being said I do appreciate you taking time from your day to help me I know you are all very busy.

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Posted

If your mom heard him say it, its an admission and comes into evidence. Ok, listen very carefully, and stop worrying. Unless its an engagement ring, its yours to keep or do with as you want regardless of what he says or claims. Its yours end of story. He can go pound sand. You don't owe him a penny. I can't be more clear than that.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

Mr. Gold is right - if someone like your mom hears the person say something that admits a material fact - the 3rd person - in this case your mom - can say in court what she heard your boyfriend say. It is hearsay but it is admissible under the rules of evidence for hearsay exceptions - this particular exception is that when the statement which is hearsay was uttered by a speaker and constitutes an admission which goes against the interest of the speak - or in short form, an admission. So he is admitting it's a gift, your mom can say she heard him say that. Whoever is deciding this gets to make that determination. Also I gave you in my prior comments an idea of how to get him to admit it was a gift in writing so re-read what I wrote before.

Posted

I don't remember if there is an Oregon case on point but there are reported cases in several jurisdictions that state that an engagement ring is given in contemplation of marriage and if the engagement is broken the person that gave the ring is entitled to get it back. However if your boyfriend said that you could keep it - then he may have gifted it to you. That said - it is still going to be a fact question as to whether he truly gave it to you or if he was just angry and said something that you should have known wasn't meant to gift you the ring. You may want to try to get him to admit this in something written. So write him - either a letter or an e-mail. Say something like: "I am surprised that after telling me I could keep the ring three years ago you now are contacting me and asking to get this ring back. I need you to explain to me in writing why you think I should give you this ring back if you want me to consider your request." Hopefully he will admit that he gave it to you and then try to justify his change of mine. I suspect what is at the bottom of all this is he just realized that the price of gold is high and the ring now has more value. You can also wait and see if he does anything to try and get the ring back. Sometimes people will blow smoke but never act on it. If he takes any legal action you should see a lawyer as there may be more facts to this case they what you have explained and you will need to make sure you are taking the correct course of action. I am assuming you still have the ring and it is still in it's original configuration. http://www.portlandlegalservices.com

The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

correction - should read "change of mind" Also make sure you save his response somehow.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

correction should read "there may be more facts to this case then what you have explained"

Asker

Posted

are the laws different in Oregon than in Oklahoma, regarding this? that's where he now resides.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

He can't sue you in Oklahoma unless you are living there, recently lived there, or this entire ring thing took place in Oklahoma. I am assuming this all took place in Oregon and you have always lived here. Then he has to file in Oregon and come to court in Oregon and Oregon law would apply. That alone should put a stop to this.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

If he sues you in Oklahoma you might have to take steps to get it dismissed for lack of jurisdiction over you or the subject matter, unfortunately. But hopefully this won't happen.

Posted

The established law in oregon is that a ring in contemplation of marriage is not a gift and the recipient can be forced to return it or pay the value to the giver. However..a ring that is simply a gift is not a contract and the recipient does not have to return it or pay it back. I was arbitrator for a case directly on point..

Asker

Posted

it wasn't an engagement ring, he lived with me at my parents house from 2006 to 2011 and we spoke about getting married, but he didn't propose to me and he did not propose to me when he gave me the ring. It was a heart shaped ring with red stones. He said he saw the ring and thought of me. Then we broke up I did hand him the ring and he handed it back to me and told me to keep it that it was mine.

Joanne Reisman

Joanne Reisman

Posted

It's yours then - a gift! You owe him nothing.

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