Georgia Firearm Forums - Georgia Packing banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Yukon Cornelius
Joined
·
11,722 Posts
a-squared said:
Pretty sure I've seen this done before and the bride won.

Can't recall where I saw/read it.
if you let the video keep playing the next one was about a woman in Gainseville GA who won 150k for being jilted
 

·
Lawyer and Gun Activist
Joined
·
28,108 Posts
I'm pretty sure you can't sue for just being jilted-- broken promise, emotional distress, shame, humiliation, etc.
A "contract to marry" is legally void. Courts just won't use their power to enforce a promise to marry.
But aside from contract law, we have to consider tort law. Is there negligence here? Or an intentional tort of harming the other person in a way the law forbids? Probably not.

Now there COULD be a contract between an engaged couple that allocates responsibility for the costs of the wedding, and that contract could have a section that covers the issue of damages if the marriage does not take place. But I'll bet nobody ever makes such a contract in real life.

Without a real contract, could the jilted bride recover under some quasi-contract theory? I would think ONLY IF the potential groom clearly indicated, by words or deeds, that he was agreeing to bear fiancial responsiblity for the wedding.
Without that promise by him, my guess is that he's free to change his mind and leave the bride and her parents paying the bill for the wedding that won't take place.

(Of course he could agree to attend the wedding, and just say "no" at the appropriate moment when the official asks him the all-important question. Then they can all have a party afterward, and celebrate the fact that she found out what a loser he was NOW, instead of 5 years and 2 kids later.)

P.S. If this ever happens to anybody you know, tell them to check with a lawyer and actually get real legal advice. The kind that may require looking up statutes, caselaw, etc. The stuff I didn't bother doing before typing this.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
68,519 Posts
Promissory estoppel, gunsmoker. She can recover the costs she incurred in reliance on the promise.
 

·
Seasteading Aficionado
Joined
·
44,896 Posts

·
Lawyer and Gun Activist
Joined
·
28,108 Posts
Okay, y'all made me look up some caselaw.

Georgia has a public policy favoring marriage of single adults.

A promise to marry can be a common-law contract, and the courts can award damages (including the costs of the no-longer-needed wedding).

And the actions of one fiancee that harm the other can be a tort action, too.

There isn't a lot of law on this subject, but enough to know it's a valid cause of action.

This is the seminal case in our lifetimes on this subject, since it's from the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Thorpe v. Collins, 245 Ga. 77, 78(1), 263 S.E.2d 115 (1980).
Even though the actual holding of that case went the other way, finding that there is no enforceable promise to marry when the person making the promise was already married, and added a condition precedent that he be divorced or widowed before he would marry the other woman.

I stand corrected.

I knew promissory estoppel would apply to a promise that could have been the subject of a contract but wasn't-- it was just a promise that was reasonably relied on to the detriment of the promisee. But I did not think that promissory estoppel would apply where the promise was such that it could not have been made in contract because it was contrary to public policy, like for example a promise to drive the getaway car for a team of bank robbers. If the getaway driver abandons his robbing crew and they all get caught and sue him, they cannot recover under any theory, period, because the agreement/ promise was about illegal activity. I thought that a promise to marry could not be enforced over someone's objection, and therefore no damages could be ordered by a court. Wrong.

(Another tidbit of information I am likely to never need again, ever, for as long as I practice law!)
 

·
Lawyer and Gun Activist
Joined
·
28,108 Posts
Answering Bdee's specific question, about WHEN a marriage contract is created, here's a section of an opinion from
the Court of Appeals of Georgia in a 2001 case, Finch v. Dasgupta:

2. Finch further contends that the trial court erred by failing to specifically mention her claims
for breach of promise to marry and fraud in its summary judgment order when it entered judgment on the entire complaint.
Since these additional claims are also without merit, we discern no error.

.... [a] breach of promise to marry is a common law contract action." [/b][Footnote 6]
By the very nature of the action, there must be an actual promise to marry and acceptance of that promise
before one can be held liable for a breach
. [ Footnote 7] [emphasis added]
Since it is undisputed that Finch rejected Dasgupta's only marriage proposal, there was never any accepted promise
upon which Finch could base a claim for breach of promise to marry.
Summary judgment to Dasgupta was warranted on this issue."

FOOTNOTE 6 is the THORPE case.

FOOTNOTE 7 is cited as: See, e.g., Leonard v. Owen, 125 Ga.App. 5, 6(2),(1971).
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top