Customary law—Marriage—Akotoagyan custom—Content and meaning—Whether a woman living with a man under akotoagyan custom entitled to sue for maintenance or breach of promise to marry. A Nigerian man who dated and dumped a lady after all the marriage promises has been ordered by a court to pay a whopping amount of 5 million Naira ─equivalent Ghc67,000 over ‘breach of promise’ to marry her. In today’s more “modern” times, the jilted person can sue for damages for breach of promise to marry if the promise is broken off without just cause or good reason. Meaning, quite simply, a party can hold the other party liable for breaking their promise. 1. 222–223 (2nd ed. 2. They left the fire in their love burning even when they were apart, by writing amorous letters. Several cases on breach of promise to marry have come before our courts for determination. (b) Non disclosure of sexually transmitted diseases on the part of the defendant. This could show itself in the two, being introduced as man and wife at a party or the promisor taking charge and paying for the education or apprenticeship of the promisee. Unchastity of plaintiff, if proved can be raised as a defence. 2. 2 Accordingly, a person can sue another person if the other party subsequently refused or neglected to carry out the promise to marry the other person within reasonable time or at all. Formalities, Essentials Critical Analysis Cases, Articles, etc Customary Marriage: Are there different types? 2. 9 in her article “The Action for Breach of Promise to Marry in Ghana: New Life to an Old Rule, 19 Rev. 4. Registration of customary marriage. A child was born to them soon after the defendant's departure from Ghana. In 2013, in the case of Cloete v Maritz where a woman sued her fiancé for breach of promise, the judge confirmed the Van Jaarsveld decision and said that whilst there would be a valid claim for actual expenses incurred due to the preparation for a wedding, no delictual claim was allowed for sentimental damages suffered. It however operates as a defence if the act is concealed from or unknown to the promisor at the time he made the promise. We are also sure to see some proposals on social media especially with the rise in dramatic public proposals. 3. ‘ There are 3 possible defence that can be used in order to escape liability from the breach of promise to marry, which are; Misrepresentation of Fact In order to establish this defence, the parties in default must prove that he or she has entered into the contract to marry as a … It is worthunpacking what the law of contract says about breach. Damages A breach of promise may give rise to either of two distinct courses of action: The ‘innocent’ party may be entitled to sentimental damages if the repudiation was extremely rude and arrogant. Registration of Divorce 6. 127 ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS PART ONE Customary Marriages Registration of Marriage 1. Jurisdiction passed on to the Common Law Courts when the ecclesiastical courts were abolished. ... Bonsu, H. J. When the female is the injured party, there is generally more reason for a resort to the laws, than when the man is the sufferer. INSYIRAH MOHAMAD NOH 2018 UKM LAW SCHOOL 1 PROMISE TO MARRY/ BETROTHAL/ PERTUNANGAN CHECKLIST A. DEFINITIONS B. That the law of the state of New York had to be applied to the matter. (c) Unfounded allegations of unchastity by the defendant during the trial may also attract aggravated damages. Plaintiff therefore decided to sue for breach of promise – Cloete v Maritz (2013 (5) SA 448 (WCC). Even though there are two schools of thought on the subject of whether Breach of promise to marry is a contract or tort, in our society today, it is grounded in both aspects of the law. On appeal, the Court of Appeal found for the appellant that the respondent had made a promise to marry her but later reneged on it. Dear Mirror Lawyer, Can a woman sue for breach of promise to marry in Ghana? When, therefore, one of the parties fails or refuses to honour the contract to marry the other party, the aggrieved party can sue for breach of promise to marry. 1. Registrar to register customary marriage. Is there any recourse available to the party who is at thereceiving end of a breach of promise to marry. made a promise to marry her but later reneged on it.The Court also granted the appellant the sum of six thousand Ghana Cedis (6000GH¢) as general damages to ameliorate her injured feelings while itdismissed the rest of the grounds of appeal. In order to recover for breach of promise, the plaintiff must establish that the two parties had a valid existing contract to marry. In this My colleagues have been debating whether the breach of promise action is an appropriate remedy in our present day legal system. Ms Cloete and Mr Maritz made an oral agreement in March of 1998 to marry within reasonable time period. The law relating to breach of promise of marriage is largely contained in Articles 79 to 81 of the Civil Code. In the case of Djarbeng v Tagoe [1989-90] 1 GLR 155, the plaintiff had an amorous relationship with the defendant prior to his departure for the United Kingdom for further studies. Past or actual loss 2. An action for breach of promise to marry may be taken by a man as well as a woman. A promisor who has committed a breach of a promise to marry can offer the defense of subsequent offer to marry. The promise may be conditional, in which case there must be evidence of fulfilment of the condition before an action for the breach would lie. 5. So if you promise to marry a person under the Ordinance, after you have already married her/him under customary law and you refuse, you are liable for breach of promise to marry. The family of the woman gives their consent by accepting the gifts or if the family is not available in the presence of credible and respectable witnesses or in the presence of the chief or headman of the place, followed by the man and woman living as husband and wife.The Mirror/Ghana, Online Sales: 0543465403 | 0242202447 | Ads Dept: +233 302 684001, | Daily Graphic News | Financial Sector Clean-Up |. Cohn's Manual of German Law, vol. Example is when a promisor tells the promisee “when I divorce my wife or she dies I will marry you. This can be accomplished by a showing that both parties had a clear intent for the agreement to be binding. The failure to fulfill a promise to marry is treated like a breach of contract. Where there is a general promise of marriage, an intention to perform within a reasonable time would be inputted. Application for registration. Ghana L. 41 (1993-1995)”, the common law action of breach of promise to marry was part and still remains a part of the received laws of Ghana although it has rarely been used. As a result they became engaged. (e) Italy. However there is several defence that can be used by the parties in default in order to escape liability. When the breach of promise to marry has established, the parties in default is liable for the damages occurred as the result of breach. It could also be that the aim of the defendant was to trick the plaintiff to part with money or property. Objection to registration of customary marriage. BY: Isaac Yeboah. Overview Of Income And Gains Assessable To Tax. Dear Mirror Lawyer, Can a woman sue for breach of promise to marry in Ghana?Isaac Agyeman, Kumasi, Dear Agyeman, It is normal for two people who are in a relationship to use words that attract one to the other to keep the relationship and if possible move it a step higher into actual marriage.Words such as "you are the only woman I love," "beautiful," and the like are a few of such expressions.Some of these are expressed orally and others in communication form such as letters, e-mail, text messaging, facebook and other modern means of communication.The question is whether words of such nature can constitute promise to marry, the breach of which will attract an action in damages.Breach of promise to marry used to be a Common Law remedy but has been abolished in England.Currently, to sustain an action for breach of promise in Ghana, satisfactory evidence must be led of the existence of a contract between the parties or the promise was made with such publicity in the presence of witnesses and was accepted by the other party such as would be unfair for the promisor to resile from the promise.Several cases on breach of promise to marry have come before our courts for determination. 1. c. Women who are seduced needed to be compensated and similarly men who are tricked into parting with their monies must also be compensated. If the conduct of the promisor indicates that he or she does not intend to perform, this is known anticipatory breach. Similarly in a romantic relationship setting, engagement may mean a promise to marry or an agreement to get married. The promise can be verbal when the parties exchange the promise and acceptance orally. As the law developed, the basis for the action of breach or promise to marry was seen as: The laws governing promises to marry are known as “ Heart Balm Laws.” Factors such as lack of feelings for the defendant, opposition of the plaintiff’s family to the match, infirmity of a permanent nature or a disease of genetic kind in the plaintiff’s family of which the defendant becomes aware of after the engagement are only mitigating factors. If the parties to a contract to marry are incapable of creating a va… New York did not allow the plaintiff to recover damages for breach of promise and the The reason for this is that both its object and the relationship created between the parties are completely different from those of any other contract. To recover for a breach of contract there should be a valid existing contract to marry. Donkor v Ankrah - knocking was a preparatory stage in the marriage contract and its acceptance signified consent. A promise to marry is a contract which consists of a mutual promise or agreement between a man and a woman competent to enter the agreement, to marry at a future date. On his return, the plaintiff sued him for damages for breach of promise to marry her.There was no evidence of a promise made to marry the plaintiff under the Ordinance or Customary law but the court found that there was evidence that the defendant (whilst a student in the U.K.) had written to the plaintiff informing her that he had made up his mind to marry her. If the motive of the Defendant in getting engaged was to seduce the plaintiff or to serve the vanity of the defendant as in the case Tramuel vs Vaugham where the defendant main motive was to show his friend that the plaintiff was accessible to him. An agreement to marry is not similar to other contracts. The ecclesiastical court would therefore compel a man who had made such a promise to go through with it. 4. defendants promise to marry the plaintiff was therefore void as being contra bonos more on the ground that the plaintiff was still legally married. POLYGAMOUS MARRIAGES Customary Law Marriages Common Features. The promise may also be caught by public policy. According to the Lawyer of the lady, … "There is no doubt that in the initial stages of amorous relationships, the parties are so imbedded in their love that utterances are made by one party to another so as to sustain the relationship, such utterances being often more of fantasies than of reality. Similarly, a promise of divorce may encourage divorce between couples. 2. There was also a mere allegation that the defendant had at an earlier paternity ceremony, agreed (even though not present) to wed the plaintiff.The court held that the mere statement that the defendant had agreed to wed the plaintiff does not constitute any binding contract to marry, since the defendant himself was not present and nothing was presented to signify any such promise.The court further said if, in fact, any such statement was made, it was a hollow statement which cannot be enforced in law. This is not to throw a dampener in the celebration of love but some of these promises might get broken; a promise to marry for example. the law disenables the defendant from taking advantage of his or her own wrong, i.e. Defendant breached that promise and had also started seeing someone else. FAMILY LAW - PROMISE TO MARRY 1. Punitive damages – Where fraud and malice is proved in a trial, this kind of damages is awarded. b. Virginity is the most priced possession of a woman 1968). In the case of Cloete v Maritz 2013 (5) SA 448 (WCC), Ms Cloete and Mr Maritz agreed to marry each other within a reasonable time. The list is not exhaustive. The law finds it repugnant; the idea is that the promisee would be waiting anxiously or prayerfully for the death of the promisor’s spouse for his or her contract to be ready and due. This requires that the ‘guilty’ party, in putting an end to the engagement, acted purposely wrongfully (a delictual action). Can one sue for breach of marriage promise? Against this background, marriage was under the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical court. An agreement to marry is different from all other contractual relations. Aggravated damages – This may be awarded for (a) improper conduct of the defendant before the breach. Where an action is upheld damages are at large and assessed by the court in three categories: compensatory, aggravated and punitive damages. marry at a future date.1 Van den Heever describes an engagement as contract "uberrimae fidei";2 Potgieter as a "contract of engagement"3 and Smith as "a contract sui generis".4 A violation of a promise to marry, by either party without just cause,5 constitutes repudiation of a contract of engagement6 7in the form of breach of promise. Epilepsy and impotence can only serve to mitigate assessment of damages. What is important is how the Ghanaian courts view it. 2. On whether such a promise will support a customary marriage, the court held that:"I am inclined to believe the plaintiff that he did make such statements to her. 4. The Court also granted the appellant the sum of six thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢6000) as general damages to ameliorate her injured feelings while it dismissed the rest of the grounds of appeal. I do not doubt that such a promise was made to the plaintiff shortly before the defendant left when they had known themselves for a very short time. The show host Nuhela Seidu and her board talked about the subject "Breach of Promise To Marry", focusing on the position of the law, what could constitute a "Break of Promise To Marry" and the opportunities available for a bothered individual in such a situation inside of the system of the law. The court also went on to pose the question whether such statement or the various statements of promise to marry, if they were made, constitute a binding promise to marry under customary law?The court then concluded that customary law requires the consent of the two families concerned to any marital relationship between a man and a woman. LAWS OF GHANA MARRIAGES ACT, 1884-1985 CAP. Future loss (Prospective damages);and 3. 3. Men can also file for Breach of Promise to Marry The Breach of Promise to Marry law can also be applied by men who have equally gone through similar unfair treatment in relationships. Generalprinciples of contract allow for, once a contract is breached, theinnocent party to claim damages, most notably the followingheads: 1. Unenforceable Promise Definition and Scope Marriage and the Family The Laws Applicable Jurisdiction Marriage as a Special Contract and Breach of Promise of Marriage. As I have said earlier, many of these are not serious utterances. Breach of the Promise. You will be glad to know that I have finally made up my mind to marry you. Defendant was therefore in breach. An agreement to pay compensation to the promisee can serve as a defence. The promise would be unenforceable when it is caught by public policy. Consequently, the contract is not only fulfilled by the ceremony of marriage but also when the parties cohabit and live in … If it is found out that the promisor is already married he or she is legally barred from performing. Where a man desires to marry a woman customarily he applies to the woman's family through his own family for their consent - taking to them certain gifts which vary according to his means. Action of Breach of Promise to Marry. Even though physical, illness, mental illness and contagious diseases perse do not constitute a good defence when there is a possibility of death within a short period of time or one is infected with a dangerous disease, it is serving as defence. protect the promisor from being sued, it disables the plaintiff from benefiting likewise, However to fall out of love or opposition from family members is no defence. a. “Where the promise to marry is false and the intention of the maker at the time of making the promise itself was not to abide by it but to deceive the woman to convince her to engage in sexual relations, there is a misconception of the fact that vitiates the woman’s consent. The law looks at promise to marry as a decision between two consenting adults; the one who promises (promisor) and the one who accepts the promise (promisee). 2. Marriage was seen in this society as a sacred duty and therefore a failure to honour a promise of marriage was a serious matter. The action of a breach of promise to marry traces its roots to the common law. In exhibit A the defendant stated in no uncertain words:"Mary, I know perfectly well that you are waiting impatiently to know my mind or to say the least to know whether I am going to marry you or not. In the case of Djarbeng v Tagoe [1989-90] 1 GLR 155, the plaintiff had an amorous relationship with the defendant prior to his departure for the United Kingdom for further studies. The renowned counselor also indicated that women could employ the services of the Legal Aid Scheme Ghana in the case of Breach of Promise to Marry at no cost at all. As already stated, public policy will render a marriage unenforceable and it could be raised as a defence in court. A child was born to them soon after the defendant's departure from Ghana. The person who sues only has to prove that there was a promise to marry. There are many defenses to the breach of a valid contract to marry. However the Common Law Court could only award damages but could not order specific performance. There are a few defences for a person who breaches a promise to marry. It could be by communication to the plaintiff or a third party. Compensatory damages may be awarded to a promisee for mental distress, loss of reputation, loss of economic advantage that the marriage would have conferred, social disgrace, injured feelings, expenses incurred in anticipation of a marriage and loss of future prospects to marry. I, pp. Example, when the promisor tells the promisee:” when I divorce my wife or she dies, I will marry you” Marriage has both physical and spiritual bond. GROUNDS OF APPEAL 3.0 BREACH OF PROMISE TO MARRY Once the promises are seriously made, a legally binding contract that is actionable in a court of law in Ghana is deemed to have been born. Isaac Agyeman, Kumasi. Amoah v Boakye Gyan - it would offend article 17 of the Constitution to say that a promise to marry a person under the ordinance is well founded but cannot be founded in customary marriage. REQUIREMENTS OF A VALID CONTRACT TO MARRY C. BREACH OF PROMISE D. DEFENCES E. CONSEQUENCES OF A BREACH OF PROMISE A. DEFINITIONS - Mutual promise to marry - The act of … One cannot doubt that among such utterances are statements such as: "I love you more than anything else,"  "I will live and die with you", "I promise to marry you and you alone". The Executive Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre in Ghana and renowned lawyer, Nana Oye Lithur has encouraged women who have been promised by their male partners of marriage and later break the promise to muster courage to take legal action against the said partners for damages for breach of promise. Date: Jul - 06 - 2013 , 16:27. 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