A New York appeals court on Tuesday narrowed state Attorney General Letitia James' civil lawsuit accusing Donald Trump and his family business of a "staggering" fraud and dismissed all claims against the former US president's eldest daughter.
While rejecting Trump's bid to dismiss the case, the Appellate Division in Manhattan said statutes of limitations prevented James from suing over transactions that occurred before July 13, 2014, or February 6, 2016, depending on the defendant.
The court also said all claims against Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka Trump should be dismissed because they were too old. It returned the case to a trial judge to determine which claims should be dismissed.
James accused Donald Trump of lying to lenders and insurers from 2011 to 2021 about asset values at the Trump Organization, as well as his own net worth, in order to obtain better terms from lenders and insurers.
Filed last September after a three-year probe, James' lawsuit seeks at least $250 million in damages, and to stop the Trumps from running businesses in New York. Trump's adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric are also defendants.
A spokeswoman for James had no immediate comment. Lawyers for the Trumps did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump says civil case is a Democratic 'witchhunt'
Trump, the Republican front-runner for the 2024 presidential election, has called James' civil case and two unrelated criminal indictments he faces, where he has pleaded not guilty, part of a Democratic "witchhunt."
In its 5-0 decision, the appeals court said state law gave James power to police alleged "repeated or persistent fraud or illegality," and to conduct lengthy and complex investigations many years after the suspected misconduct began.
But it said deadlines for James to sue the Trumps could not be extended on the theory they engaged in "continuing wrong."
An October 2 trial is scheduled before Justice Arthur Engoron of the state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
During oral arguments on June 6, Donald Trump's lawyer Christopher Kise said James lacked broad authority to "interject" herself into successful, private transactions dating back several years.
James' office countered that the transactions didn't occur in a vacuum and that letting Trump commit fraud hurts honest participants in banking, insurance and real estate markets.
In the criminal cases, Trump faces a 34-count indictment obtained by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg over hush money payments to a porn star, and a 38-count U.S. Department of Justice indictment saying he mishandled classified documents.
The New York civil case is New York v Trump et al, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 1st Department, No. 2023-00717.