order non hybrid seeds LandRightsNFarming: Black Farmers Meeting Schedules. And 2 Additional Lawsuits

Friday, November 11, 2016

Black Farmers Meeting Schedules. And 2 Additional Lawsuits



The Black Farmers And Agriculturalists Association, Inc. ("BFAA, Inc.") will be scheduling several meetings around the country to explain and provide up-dates on two existing lawsuits (see items 1 through 7 below).  Additionally, two new lawsuits against USDA, its contractors along with certain law firms will be filed for, among other things, civil rights violations against black farmers in Pigford II (In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation) and in the Hispanic and Women claims process.

1.  Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Saturday, January 7, 2017, Convention Center, One Convention Plaza, Pine Bluff, Arkansas 71601.

2.  Montgomery, Alabama, Saturday, January 21, 2017, Conference Center (Embassy Suites), 300 Tallopoosa Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104.

3.  West Point, Mississippi: To be announced.

4.  Memphis, Tennessee: To be announced

5.  Los Angeles, California: To be announced

6.  Houston, Texas:  To be announced

7.  Hattiesburg, Mississippi: To be announced

Boyland et al. v. Vilsack, Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-01112 (TSC)(D.D.C.2015).

First, BFAA, Inc. has a pending lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge Tanya S. Chutkan) against USDA and its contractor EPIQ System.   EPIQ Systems has been the claims administrator for all of the class action lawsuits against USDA since and including Pigford I ( Timothy C. Pigford, et al., v. Dan Glickman, Civil Action Misc. No. 1978 ) which was certified in 1999. 

Here, BFAA, Inc. is suing ($1.2 Billion ) the claims administrator (EPIQ Systems) for denying all African American male claimants from participating in the  Hispanic and Women farmers and ranchers voluntary claims process (FRAMEWORK) and thus, violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

Title VI makes it unlawful for any agency, person or corporation who is receiving federal dollars to discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, sex, gender or national origin.  In the Hispanic lawsuit the claims administrator --- who was paid federal dollars by USDA  --- denied all African American male claimants for no other reason but their race.  This is a direct violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Moreover, congress had extended a right to any socially disadvantaged farmer and/or rancher --- who had not filed a meritorious claim of  discrimination against USDA to do so --- under The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 Farm Bill, Section 14011.  Accordingly, Black males were included in the category of socially disadvantaged farmers that Congress intended to receive an opportunity to participated in "any" process and/or procedure --- titles, headings and/or groups, notwithstanding.   

BFAA, Inc., v. Morgan & Morgan, Case No. CH-16-0457-3 (JJ) (Chancery Court Of Shelby County Tennessee For The Thirteenth Judicial District At Memphis).

Second, BFAA, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against the Morgan & Morgan law firm of Ft. Meyers, Florida and several of its lawyers in the Chancery Court of Shelby County (Memphis), Tennessee for, among other things, "Tortious Interference with Business Relations (Tenn. Code 28-1-106)."  That is to say, the complaint alleges, that Morgan & Morgan knowingly and intentionally encouraged BFAA, Inc. members to discontinue their membership with BFAA.  It also instructed its employees (call center) to tell BFAA, Inc. members and prospective members that they did not have to be a member of BFAA, Inc. in order to have their claim processed.  As a result, several members discontinued their membership with BFAA, Inc. and then sadly, Morgan & Morgan did not follow up with those individuals and their claims were denied.

Several other states have laws that make it unlawful for individual "C" to knowingly and intentionally interfer with a business relationship between individual "A' and individual "B."  

BFAA, Inc., v. Vilsack

Third, BFAA, Inc. is preparing to file a law suit against USDA and its contractors (the claims adjudicators and arbitrators) for, among other things, denying approximately 10,000 claimants in the Hispanic and Female farmers and  ranchers voluntary claims process for no other reason other than they filed a "purported" fraudulent claim. 

USDA offered absolutely no proof or evidence whatsoever to support its "bald-faced" assertions that the claimants filed such a claim.  Hundreds of millions of dollars were denied to claimants for years of admitted discrimination in broad daylight --- with the courts looking the other way.  Only six percent (6%) of the claimants in the Hispanic and Women claims process were approved.  That percentage speaks for itself.

Moreover, a governmental oversight group, the OIG (Office Of Inspector General) has reported the following:

Plaintiffs note that the OIG found serious problems with the way the claims process was handled by the USDA.

First, the OIG Report "confirms that the claims of over 10,000 women and Hispanic farmers were denied without an evaluation of those actual claims, but solely because the adjudicator identified a purported 'fraud concern' based on 'patterns,' and that neither USDA, nor its contracted adjudicator (or anyone else), investigated to determine whether claims were actually fraudulent."  Due to this finding, Plaintiffs renew their request to the Court to grant their pending Request for Information, Discovery, and a Hearing.

Further, the report stated that "USDA's Office of the General Counsel determined that claims denied based on 'fraud patterns' need not be investigated on their actual merits to determine whether fraud occurred."

The Audit Report further notes that "USDA allowed its contractor to issue blanket denials for nearly half of the timely and complete claims without bothering to determine whether they actually involved no fraud whatsoever."  

BFAA, Inc. maintains that USDA and its contractors violated these  farmer's Due Process and Equal Protection rights as codified under the United States Constitution and is preparing to file a lawsuit in Federal Court for those violations.

Cy Pres Beneficiaries

Last, BFAA, Inc. was perhaps the only advocacy organization, of the ten or so other black farm advocacy groups, that spoke out against the provision of the settlement agreement in In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation (Pigford II) regarding Cy Pres Beneficiaries.

Q:  What is a Cy Pres  Beneficiary

A:   The term "cy pres" comes from a French term meaning "as near as possible." Cy pres awards are designated when there are residual funds in class action lawsuits, probate matters, and other proceedings that cannot be distributed to the class members or beneficiaries for a variety of reasons. Courts solve this problem by making cy pres awards to appropriate nonprofit charitable organizations.

However, the problem that BFAA, Inc. is having with this designation is that Congress "specifically" made the $1.2 Billion in the 2008 Farm Bill for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and their heirs --- not Cy Pres charitable organizations.   These groups or organizations, BFAA, Inc. will argue, could be White, Asian or Jewish organizations who's ancestors never "chopped" one row of cotton, spent one day on a farm or was discriminated against by USDA --- as Black farmers were. 

Moreover, BFAA, Inc. will be filing a request (Freedom of Information Act) forcing the lawyers to identify (a) the amount of money in the Cy Pres account and (b) the Cy Pres beneficiaries to whom they intend to give the felt over funds to. 

For questions please call 901-522-8880 from 9:00 to 4:00 PM (CT). Thank you!


And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.

I Samuel 30:8

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5 North  B. B. King Blvd., Suite 2030
Memphis, Tennessee | 38103
Tel. 901.522.8880
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