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Engagement Ring Law: Jilted Fiance Sues for $58K Ring

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on March 05, 2010 2:00 PM

So, your fiancé turned out to be a con-artist? That's the lesson allegedly learned by Roger Adler, a hopeless romantic who popped the question six weeks into dating and placed a $58,000 ring on the finger of Rena Hope Friedman.

But he was not the first man to place a ring on her finger. And his ring was not the first ring that she had tried to keep, after supposedly sabotaging the engagement. 

So, is there a law out there that vindicates Roger Adler? 

That's a complicated question. Engagement ring law varies by state. Many states classify engagement rings is a conditional gifts, most often conditioned on actually going through with the marriage (rather than simply saying yes). 

But that's not always the case.

So in Roger's case, who gets the ring?

New York is one of those states which generally classifies engagement rings as conditional gifts. Most of the time, this means that unless the giver of the ring caused the engagement to break, the recipient would be obligated to give the ring back if he or she called of the engagement. 

Like we said, however, this is not always the case, and varies state to state. Some states treat engagement rings as unconditional gifts -- meaning going through with the marriage has nothing to do with who retains the ring. 

Though the engagement ring law of New York generally treats them as conditional gifts, Adler is nevertheless covering all his bases in his complaint. He alleges, in his court papers, that Friedman ran this scam before. He also alleges that her behavior demonstrated that she planned to pocket the ring and resell it once the engagement was off. 

Of course, keep in mind that these are the accusations of a jilted lover. 

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