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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33762
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I gave a girl an engament ring who I thought was single turns

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I gave a girl an engament ring who I thought was single turns out she has been happly married for some time and refuses to give the ring back. What legal action can I take?
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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When an engagement ring is given to a fiance, it is typically considered a "conditional gift" in contemplation of marriage. However, VA has chosen to take the different approach that a gift of a ring is an unconditional gift. As recently as 2006, VA courts have found that because a husband cannot sue for breach of a promise to marry, he similarly cannot sue for damages relating to that breach, including the value of the engagement ring.
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With that said, I would opine that this would be a bit different than a normal engagement ring case because the woman was legally married and couldn't possibly have entered into a marriage contract with you. Since she obviously knew she was married, she would have accepted the ring under fraudulent circumstances with an intent to defraud you.
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Since that is the case, I would opine that you would have grounds to sue her for breach of contract based on fraud and misrepresentation for the value of the ring if she refused to return it. The liimit in VA small claims court is $5,000 so if the ring was less than that you can sue in small claims court and don't need an attorney. The court clerk will have the complaint and summons forms you need to file the case and you can recover your damages as well as your court costs.
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It is likely that once you actually filed suit and she was served with the summons, she will simply return the ring rather than be dragged into court and have to explain herself.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Where do i file the court papes ? and how do I find out where shes moved?

If you are filing in small claims court, you would need to contact the clerk of the court to get the summons and complaint to file. Then you fill it out and file it with the clerk. It is then up to you to have her served with the summons by the sheriff or constable.
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If she has moved from where you knew she lived, then you might contact either the neighbors or the landlord to see if she left a forwarding address. If no one knows anything about where she might have moved to, if you know where she worked you could have her served there. If she doesn't have a job, then about the only other things I can think of is to either try to contact her family (if you know any of them) or you may have to contact a personal investigator to track her down if she has disappeared and skipped town.
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Thanks
Barrister