How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 99450
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

State of Virginia. When I got engaged, my fiance didnt have

This answer was rated:

State of Virginia. When I got engaged, my fiance didn't have the funds for a ring and asked me to put it on my credit card. He said he would make the payments until it was paid off (he did say this in front of mutual friends who would be willing to testify to this in court).

The day after we got married, he literally left and is now with another woman. Neither of us has filed for a divorce (it's only been a month).

My question is: can I sue him to reiburse me for the cost of the engagement ring. If so, do I file in general district court?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation.

Here, ordinarily, you would not be able to sue him. However, you may have a case here due to the unusual circumstances.

Under Virginia's Section 8.01-220, spouses-to-be cannot sue each other civilly if the marriage falls through. In other words, one cannot sue the other for failure to marry. However, the case is more complicated here.

This was arguably a contract. He had promised to pay you back. Verbal contracts are just as enforceable as written contracts, but they are simply harder to prove. However, if you have witnesses, then this may be helpful. As such, you may be able to sue him in court for breach of contract.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.

The essential elements of a cause of action for breach of contract are: (1) a legal obligation of a defendant to the plaintiff, (2) a violation or breach of that right or duty, and (3) a consequential injury or damage to the plaintiff. Brown v. Harms, 251 Va. 301, 306, 467 S.E.2d 805, 807 (Va. 1996).

The reason why I brought up Section 8.01-220 is because if you do pursue this, and he uses that section as an affirmative defense, someone in your situation may wish to "hammer" the idea that despite the whole underlining situation, the point is that he was SUPPOSED to repay you, and that repayment was a binding agreement whether or not the marriage went through. Then of course, it would be up to the Court.

My question is: can I sue him to reiburse me for the cost of the engagement ring.

See above - yes, one can attempt to do so.

If so, do I file in general district court?

If the amount is $5,000 or less, it would be small claims court - see here. Anything more would be District Court.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Ely and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you