Fordham Law


Diamond dispute: She dumps Staten Island man, but keeps ring

James A. Cohen in The Staten Island Advance, April 19, 2010

Media Source

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. --  A Staten Island man allegedly spurned by his fiancee wants her to return the $17,500 diamond engagement ring he gave her.

And he's going to court to get it.

Christopher Reinhold, 25, alleges Colette DiPierro kept the sparkler after breaking off their engagement in September. Reinhold had given her the ring four months earlier "in contemplation and consideration of marriage," according to a lawsuit he recently filed in state Supreme Court, St. George.

Despite his repeated requests, Ms. DiPierro, 28, has refused to return the ring, Reinhold charges.

One legal expert thinks Reinhold has a good case.

"It's not just any gift," said James Cohen, a Fordham University Law School professor. "It's a gift that has explicit and implicit conditions, which is marriage. It seems to me if she cancels the [marriage], he should get it back."

Cohen said Reinhold might even have a case if he broke off the engagement.

On the other hand, the professor said, Reinhold would probably be out of luck if he tried to reclaim a $17,500 necklace or even a sports car he had given as an unconditional token of his affection.

"If it has no significance beyond being a gift, then he can't get it back," said Cohen.

Attempts to reach Reinhold, for whom public records list addresses in Huguenot and New Dorp Beach, were unsuccessful.

His lawyer, Charles Internicola of the Dongan Hills firm of Decker Decker Dito & Internicola declined comment on the suit. Ms. DiPierro did not respond to a message seeking comment left at her last known address in Huguenot.

According to court papers, Reinhold bought the ring on May 16.

He proposed to Ms. DiPierro a week later. She said yes, and accepted the diamond ring.

Four months later on Sept. 17, Ms. DiPierro broke off the engagement.

Reinhold claims he asked Ms. DiPierro "multiple" times to give back the ring, but she said, no dice.

Reinhold seeks the return of the ring or its cost -- $17,500 -- at least, in damages plus $5,000 for fees and legal expenses.