A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE


JUDICIAL: Includes crop insurance, and urb & ag issues.

In KYLE WHITE and SHARENE WHITE, Appellants, v. SECURITY STATE BANK and MARTIN PECK, Appellees, No. 115,179, 2017 WL 5507943 (Kan. Ct. App. November 17, 2017), plaintiffs owner a 700-acre farm and mortgaged 300 acres with Bank “to secure the unpaid principal and interest on their lines of credit.” Bank recorded the mortgage and allegedly “unilaterally changed the terms of the mortgage without the knowledge or consent of [plaintiffs].” Plaintiffs claimed they “did not realize until months later that [the Bank] . . . had changed the terms of the Mortgage,” and alleged a breach of contract claim based on unilateral mistake. District court dismissed plaintiff’s claims and on appeal, court observed that “A party may be relieved of contractual responsibility if that party made a mistake concerning a basic assumption or material fact upon which the contract was based, and the other party to the contract (knew of that mistake).” Appellate court further reasedon that “an instrument prepared by one party not in accord with a prior agreement of the parties as to its terms . . . may be reformed where it is clearly shown one party was mistaken and the other party acted inequitably.” District court reversed per plaintiff’s breach of contract claim.

In Jonathan Barris, Appellant v. Stroud Township, No. 218 C.D. 2016, 2017 WL 5505510 (Pa. Commw. Ct. November 17, 2017), plaintiff challenged defendant’s ordinance regulating the discharge of firearms within Township limits as violating his Second Amendment rights. Trial court found ordinance did not take plaintiff’s firearms away and permitted use of firearms for self-defense. Appellate court determined, however, that the lower court failed to conduct proper constitutional analysis of plaintiff’s claim “that the Ordinance, which restricts his ability to practice firing his firearms on his property . . . unconstitutionally infringes on his rights under both the Second Amendment and Article I, Section 21 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.” Case remanded to trial court to further consider plaintiff’s constitutional arguments.

Andrea FAPPANI, a married man, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. Justin BRATTON and Courtney Bratton, husband and wife, Defendants/Appellees, No. 1 CA-CV 15-0527, 2017 WL 5491934 (Ariz. Ct. App. November 16, 2017) involved a dispute between neighboring property owners. Plaintiff built a dirt motorbike track for use by his two children and defendant made a number of complaints to the sheriff. Plaintiff sued for abuse of process, arguing that defendant’s complaints to the sheriff and the prosecutor “implicated judicial process.” Court found that “for abuse of process, a plaintiff must show that a defendant used an instrument of court process, and that did not happen here.” Affirmed for defendant.


REGULATORY: Inlcudes AMS, APHIS, FS, ITA and NOAA rules and notices. 

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE: Rule implements a recommendation from the Citrus Administrative Committee to relax the minimum size requirements currently prescribed for grapefruit under the marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and pummelos grown in Florida. Info here.

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE: Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations permitting applicants to self-certify certain medical statements when applying for positions with the Federal Government. Info here.

FOREST SERVICE:

Notice FS is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension of a currently approved information collection; Financial Information Security Request Form (0596-0204). Info here.

Notice FS is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the new collection of information request, Management of Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros. Info here.

Notice initiating the scoping process to solicit public comments on greater sage-grouse land management issues that could warrant land management plan amendments. Details here.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION: Notice ITA seeks public comment on any subsidies, including stumpage subsidies, provided by certain countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States during the period January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Notice announces the receipt of an application and the public comment period for an exempted fishing permit (EFP) from Mr. John Gauvin of Gauvin and Associates, LLC. If granted, this permit would allow the applicant to continue the development and testing of a salmon excluder device for the Bering Sea pollock trawl fishery. Details here.

Notice that NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office, 1601 Kapiolani Boulevard, Suite 1110, Honolulu, HI 96814 [Responsible Party: Michael Tosatto], has requested a modification to scientific research Permit No. 18688. Info here.