Wow Are You Ripe!

An essential element to a lawsuit is called ripeness.

Without a case being ripe, it will be dismissed immediately.

Ripeness is all about timing.

For example, when I was dating my wife, she would look at cute babies and go “I want one.” To which I always replied something like “marriage first, then babies.”

I only wanted to think about one step at a time and talking about babies was not the next step. Thus, the baby issue was not ripe at the time.

In litigation, ripeness is hardly ever thought about because Ripeness is not usually an issue.

In a breach of contract case, the breach has occurred. 

In a civil assault case, the Plaintiff has already been assaulted.

In a conversion case (civil stealing), the Defendant has already taken the Plaintiff’s property.

However, ripeness becomes an issue when the Plaintiff anticipates the Defendant is going to do something.

For example, the Plaintiff made a contract to sell his home to the Defendant in December. 

In October, the Plaintiff has reason to believe that the Defendant will back out of the sale and refuse to buy the house in December.

So, the Plaintiff sues the Defendant in October.

Plaintiff cannot sue the Defendant in October, because the Defendant has not yet refused to buy the house and still has 2 months to buy the house.

Thus, the case is not Ripe yet.

An exception to the ripeness issue is if the Defendant has explicitly said they will not perform according to the contract. This is called anticipatory repudiation. However, I will speak more to that on a separate post.

Thank you for reading, my business is to protect your business!

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