Engagement Rings

The issue was recently confronted in Meyer v. Mitnick, ----Mich App--- (2/20/2001). In that case the parties became engaged and Mr. Meyer gave defendant an engagement ring that he purchased for $ 19,500. The marriage never took place, each blaming the other for the cause of the breakup. Ms. Mitnick refused to return the ring and Plaintiff filed suit. The trial court ordered return of the ring, finding that marriage was a condition precedent for the ultimate ownership of the ring and found who "ended the engagement was not determinative" of ownership. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court noting that (a) there was no prior determinative case in Michigan and (b) the law of other jurisdictions "that have considered cases dealing with the gift of an engagement ring uniformly hold that marriage is an implied condition of the transfer of title And that the gift does not become absolute until the marriage occurs." See Annotation, Rights in Respect of Engagement and Courtship Presents When Marriage Does Not Ensue, 44 ALR 5th 1 (1996).