Man ordered to pay $50,000 to ex-fiancee

Dec. 6, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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ATLANTA, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A Georgia appeals court ordered a man who dumped his fiancee for another woman to pay $50,000 to his jilted lover for breaching his promise of marriage.

The state Court of Appeals ruled to uphold the lower court's ruling in favor of Melissa Cooper, who was awarded $50,000 when she sued Christopher Ned Kelley for fraud and breach of promise to marry, the Courthouse News Service reported Friday.

Cooper's lawsuit said she and Kelley moved in together in 2000 and had a child together before he proposed marriage in 2004. However, Kelley kicked Cooper, their child and Cooper's child from a previous relationship out of the home in 2011 when Cooper discovered he was seeing another woman, the lawsuit said.

Kelley's appeal was based on a Georgia Supreme Court precedent stating an unmarried couple living together in a sexual union are part of a "meretricious relationship."

Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines meretricious as "having the nature of prostitution."

The appeal said Kelley's marriage proposal was part of a meretricious relationship and was unenforceable by the court.

However, the appeals court sided with Cooper.

"Kelley has not cited any cases, nor has our research uncovered one, where the meretricious relationship defense was asserted or upheld in response to a claim of breach of promise to marry," Judge Elizabeth Branch wrote in the ruling.

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