Lindh v. Surman

560 Pa. 1, 742 A.2d 643 (1999)



The donor is entitled to return of an engagement ring even if the donor broke the engagement.


Appellee-donor presented appellant-donee with an engagement ring, and then subsequently terminated the engagement. Appellant returned the ring. The couple later reconciled and appellee again proposed marriage, presented the ring, and afterward terminated the engagement. Appellant refused to return the ring, and appellee commenced an action for its recovery. The trial court's granted appellee's action for recovery of the ring or its monetary value. On appeal, appellant contended the gift's condition was an acceptance of a marriage proposal, which vested absolute title in appellant and that appellee could not recover the ring because he had terminated the relationship.


Does the donor have the right to get the engagement ring back for a broken engagement, even if he was the one who terminated the engagement?




The appellate court affirmed judgment for appellee, concluding that there was an implied condition that marriage occur in order to vest title, and mere acceptance of the proposal was not the implied condition. Under no-fault principles, appellant was entitled to the ring even though he had broken the engagement.

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