A Canberra man has taken legal action against his ex-fiancee arguing she failed to return the engagement ring and other gifts after they broke up.
The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) heard the couple were engaged in April last year after meeting in Melbourne “in chaperoned circumstances”.
The pair and their families agreed they would be married and an engagement party was arranged in May, where gifts were given including the ring.
But the couple soon began to experience problems and ended their relationship five months later in October.
ACAT heard the couple broke up partly due to the Canberra man “not keep[ing] his word to re-locate to Melbourne” and because the “he did not inspect wedding venues [with the woman]”.
After the engagement failed, the man said he asked the woman to return the ring and a number of other gifts she and her family had received.
But he said the woman failed to do so, which prompted him to take the case to ACAT to recover the monetary costs.
Senior ACAT member Graeme Lunney said the couple were “two people in a decaying relationship unable to find a way forward any further”.
“In my view there was not a unilateral withdrawal by one party in breach of a prior promise, but a recognition by two people that their relationship had reached a tipping point, and in the absence of any further action was over.”
It was this lack of breach, which occurred specifically in the ACT, that led Mr Lunney to ultimately find that ACAT did not have the jurisdiction to deal with the case.
He said any further attempts to recover the cost of the engagement ring or other gifts would have to be pursued in Victoria.
“Consequently, in my view there was no ‘breach’ that occurred in the ACT which would give this Tribunal jurisdiction in the proceedings brought by the applicant,” Mr Lunney said.
“It was mutual recognition of an unhappy state of affairs that was beyond repair.
“In those circumstances the Tribunal lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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