Does a fiance have to return her engagement ring after broken up with by text?

April 14th, 2014

In this case, the groom-to-be does not deserve the ring back, when he broke up the engagement by text message, and told her to keep the $50,000 rock “parting ring.”

On July 1, 2012, only three months before their wedding, [Christa] Clark, a nail technician from upstate New York, received a shocking text message from Billittier, co-owner of Chef’s Restaurant and her fiancé of three years, according to a story published by the Buffalo News. He informed her that their relationship was over. “You’re doing this through a text message?” she replied. Billittier promised to reimburse Clark for money she had spent on wedding preparations. He then added, “Plus you get a $50,000 parting ring. Enough for a down payment on a house.”

A few weeks later, angry that Clark was still in contact with his family, Billittier texted, “Keep it up, and I will take back the ring as well.” His final message: “You by law have to give it back. You’re nowhere near the person I thought you were. You don’t deserve it.”

Those text messages sealed Billittier’s fate. Judge Russell P. Buscaglia ruled that because Billittier referred to the ring as a “parting gift,” it no longer was associated with the promise of marriage. “I was being sarcastic, like a game show host – you get a parting gift,”  Billittier claimed, in his own defense. That excuse didn’t hold up for the judge, who called it a classic case of “giver’s remorse.”

H/T PropertyProf