Ripple secured yet another crucial victory on Friday when Judge Analisa Torres, a United States District Judge, denied the SEC’s petition to dismiss Ripple’s fair notice claim.
The SEC filed a motion last April to dismiss Ripple’s make-or-break fair notice defense, which sought to compel the SEC to provide some information through a discovery order and prove that the agency provided Ripple with fair notice that its XRP distributions would be prohibited under securities law since 2013.
If allowed, Ripple’s motion would seek to demonstrate that the SEC was aware of what it now alleges to be a regulatory violation in April.
As a result, the court determined on Friday that the SEC had failed to persuade it to strike out Ripple’s fair notice of affirmative defense by failing to reference case law where that had been done at the pleadings stage. Furthermore, the agency failed to demonstrate that the continuation of Ripple fair notice defense will cause it undue prejudice.
In that case, the court was also convinced that the SEC was on a mission to use delay tactics by increasing the time, expense, and complexity before the case could proceed to full trial, which led to the decision to refuse the SEC’s request.
The Court shall not determine, at this early stage of the litigation, that Ripple’s defense is invalid, according to the order. As a result, the SEC’s move to strike Ripple’s affirmative fair notice defense is DENIED.
However, the matter will now go to a full hearing because the court refused a similar petition filed last April to dismiss the action by Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen, giving a setback to the individual defendants.
“Today’s judgment makes it clear that there’s a fundamental question about whether the SEC ever gave Ripple fair notice that its XRP distributions – which have been ongoing since 2013 – would ever be illegal under securities law.”
Following the order, Ripple general counsel, Stuart Alderoty, made a statement. The Ripple case, which was brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in December 2020, has been a thorn in the side of XRP holders, who remain hopeful that the two sides will reach an agreement without going to full trial, or, better yet, that the trial will take the shortest amount of time possible.