Muldoon v Murray
1997 WJSC-CC 1754
THE CIRCUIT COURT
COUNTY OF THE CITY OF DUBLIN
FAMILY LAW ACT 1981
SHATTER ON FAMILY LAW 3ED 71–72
MARRIED WOMENS STATUS ACT 1957 S12
W V W
FAMILY LAW ACT 1981 S4(1)(a)
FAMILY LAW ACT 1981 S7
FAMILY HOME PROTECTION ACT 1976 S2
FAMILY LAW ACT 1981 S4
Words & Phrases:
Breach of Promise
These proceedings come before the Court by way of Equity Civil Bill in which the Plaintiff, who was for a period of time engaged to marry the Defendant, makes a number of claims, both in common law and also pursuant to the Family Law Act,1981. A number of basic and relevant facts are not in issue between the parties. The parties met in 1986 when the Plaintiff was 21 and the Defendant 32 years of age. In 1988 following a holiday together in Greece, they became engaged to be married. Their parents were told and an engagement ring was purchased by the Defendant. Not long after the time of the engagement, the Defendant embarked on the purchase of a house at 219 Vernon Avenue, Clontarf, Dublin, 3. The Defendant sold his car to pay the deposit and a mortgage was obtained from the Educational Building Society. The house was placed in the Defendant's sole name and he has always made the actual mortgage repayments.
The Plaintiff asserts that at the time of the purchase of the house, her earnings were not sufficient for her to meet half the mortgage repayments and that the parties entered into an agreement whereby the Defendant would make the mortgage repayments and she would contribute from her earnings, both to the purchase of chattels for the home and to its renovation and redecoration. She sets out in her Indorsement of Claim the expenditure which she claims she made, totalling a sum of somewhat over £6,500. While she had some reservations as to the high cost of the house, she believed at all times that this was to be couple's future family home.
The Defendant, while accepting that the Plaintiff expended some monies on chattels and decoration, states in evidence that the house was never intended to be a matrimonial home but was a mere investment property and that the purchases made by the Plaintiff, which were of a fairly minor nature, were by way of gifts to him.
The parties agree that for a period in early 1992 the Plaintiff moved into the house - she says for a period of some 3–4 months, and the Defendant suggests a period varying from 4–8 weeks. The Plaintiff broke off the engagement in June, 1992 and the parties have had little or no contact with each other since that date. In May, 1993 the Plaintiff through her solicitor sought the return to her of the chattels which she claimed to have purchased, together with compensation for monies expended on the property. The Defendant, through his solicitors, offered to return to her a number of these chattels, but claimed that others were owned by him. He rejected any claim for compensation. The Plaintiff did not accept this offer in whole or in part satisfaction of her claim. She issued her proceedings on 30th September, 1993. On 23rd March, 1994 the Defendant filed his Defence and counterclaim. In his counter- claim, in addition to the matters already referred to, the Defendant claims the return of the engagement ring and a...
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