Rodger Lindh (plaintiff) had an erratic relationship with Janis Surman (defendant). Lindh initially proposed to Surman and gave her an expensive engagement ring, only to break up with her two months later. At Lindh’s request, Surman gave back the ring. The couple later conciliated and Lindh again proffered the ring in proposal. Once more, Lindh rescinded his offer of marriage and asked Surman to hand back the ring. This time, Surman declined. Lindh brought suit against Surman to recover the ring or its value. Surman was awarded the ring through arbitration. Lindh appealed the arbitration award to the county court and won judgment for the value of the ring. Surman appealed, and the appellate court upheld the judgment in favor of Lindh. Surman petitioned the Supreme Court for review.