Judge allows CFTC to serve Ooki DAO members through help chat box

Quick Take

  • The CFTC has served Ooki DAO members by posting the summons and complaint in its help chat box and online forum.
  • A court order in the Northern District of California says this constitutes an adequate form of service. 

A judge in the Northern District of California will let the Commodity Futures Trading Commission serve Ooki DAO members through online forums. 

U.S. District Judge William Orrick granted a motion today allowing the regulator to serve the summons and complaint through the decentralized autonomous organization's help chat box in addition to a notice posted on the affiliated online forum.

"Because the Commission provided the documents in this manner on September 22, 2022, the Court holds that the Commission effectively served the Ooki DAO on that date," says the order.

The CFTC sued Ooki DAO last month in a first-of-its-kind action. The lawsuit was filed alongside a settlement agreement with bZx protocol developers over alleged failure to register with the regulator. The protocol transferred ownership to Ooki DAO in 2021 as part of a decentralization effort, which the CFTC contends also puts the DAO and its governance token holders on the hook for failing to register. Now, the court says the CFTC has effectively served summons to those holders in the form of posting to its chat box and notice board. 

Ooki DAO members have been discussing how to respond to the CFTC lawsuit, including the possibility of allocating treasury funds towards legal counsel for DAO members or raising additional funds to mount their own legal challenge. 


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