J & L Brown Family, LLC v. Bradshaw, 772 F. App’x 757 (10th Cir. 2019)
In January 2018, J & L filed a petition in Kansas state court to foreclose on the mortgage based on the Bradshaws’ default on the loan. The United States removed the case to federal district court based on its 2007 mortgage interest in tract one.
Mr. Bradshaw filed a pro se document asserting a crossclaim against the USDA. It sought (1) a stay of the foreclosure proceedings, (2) a review of the USDA’s denial of a hearing on his discrimination complaints based on his race (Mr. Bradshaw is African American), and (3) a “remand to the [USDA’s] Administrative Law Judge.” R. at 27. In support, Mr. Bradshaw alleged that “[t]he property subject to this suit falls under two separate and distinct forms of moratorium relief.” R. at 25. He asked for a moratorium on foreclosure because (1) he “was a Track A claimant in the Pigford class action,” and (2) he “has been harassed by the USDA and its employees for more than 40 years and the Agency is still continuing to discriminate against him by failing to give him a formal hearing on the merits,”
J & L and the United States opposed Mr. Bradshaw’s requests for relief, arguing his moratorium theories did not apply to a private foreclosure action. Mr. Bradshaw responded, arguing that if he was granted an administrative hearing, he “could possibly pay [J & L] the money [it] is owed and also move the Secretary to take action to satisfy the alleged debts [under] 42 U.S. Code § 3535(i).” R. at 433. He also moved to enjoin the Mahieu law firm from selling his farm equipment to satisfy a judgment against him in an unrelated state court case.
The district court dismissed Mr. Bradshaw’s crossclaim without prejudice because he did not assert it as part of a pleading. It denied his other motions as meritless. The Circuit Court dismissed the appeal on the same grounds.
ERIK A. AHLGREN, in his capacity as assignee in the assignment for the benefit of creditors of Ashby Farmers Co-Operative Elevator Co., Plaintiff, v. JAY LINK & LINK’S WILD SAFARIS, Defendants., No. CV 19-305 (JRT/LIB), 2019 WL 3574598 (D. Minn. Aug. 6, 2019)
Between 2003 and 2018, the manager of the Ashby Farmers Co-Operative Elevator Company (the “Co-Op”), Jerry Hennessey, appropriated millions of dollars of the Co-Op’s funds for his personal use. He accomplished this in part by writing unauthorized checks to third parties, including Defendants Jay Link and Link’s Wild Safaris. Upon discovery of the fraud in 2018, the Co-Op ceased operations and appointed an Assignee, Plaintiff Erik Ahlgren, to pursue claims and remedies on its behalf and on behalf of its creditors. Ahlgren brought this action in January 2019, seeking to void the unauthorized payments to Defendants. Ahlgren alleges three Counts: (I) Actual Fraud pursuant to Minn. Stat. §§ 513.44(a)(1), 513.47; (II) Constructive Fraud pursuant to Minn. Stat. §§ 513.45(a), 513.47; and (III)Unjust Enrichment.
Before the Court now is Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. Because Link and LWS solicited business in Minnesota and this dispute arises out of that solicitation, the Court will deny the Motion to Dismiss to the extent it is based on lack of personal jurisdiction. Because Ahlgren pled facts sufficient to show fraud and constructive fraud, the Court will deny the Motion to Dismiss to the extent it is based on failure to state a claim on Counts I and II. Finally, because adequate legal remedies exist, the Court will grant Defendants’ Motion as to Count III and dismiss Count III with prejudice.
CENTRAL SIERRA ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE CENTER, et al., Plaintiffs, v. STANISLAUS NATIONAL FOREST, et al., Defendants. Additional Party Names: Jason Kuiken, Sierra Forest Legacy, U.S. Forest Serv., No. 117CV00441LJOSAB, 2019 WL 3564155 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2019)
Plaintiffs Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (“CSERC”) and Sierra Forest Legacy (together, “Plaintiffs”) bring this suit against Defendants Stanislaus National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service (“Forest Service” or “USFS”), and Jason Kuiken, in his official capacity as Forest Supervisor for the Stanislaus National Forest1 (together, “Federal Defendants”), challenging the cattle grazing program for three livestock allotments in Stanislaus National Forest. ECF No. 57. Following briefing and a decision on a motion to dismiss, Plaintiffs filed a Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”), bringing claims under the Administrative Procedure Act premised on violations of the Clean Water Act and the National Forest Management Act. Id. Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment. Federal Defendants; and Defendant-Intervenors, various permittees and the permittees’ trade association filed cross-motions for summary judgment. Plaintiffs opposed both motions and filed a reply in a single filing. This matter is now ripe for review and has been deemed suitable for disposition without oral argument.
The Court is sympathetic to the concerns that sparked this lawsuit. Technical violations of water quality standards persist, and the process in place to address them is moving at a glacial pace. Yet, the structure of the regulatory regimes at issue in this case grants state water quality regulators great flexibility in their dealings with the Forest Service, which is, in turn, working cooperatively with regulators to address water quality issues. Likewise, the Forest Service is entitled to deference in its achievement of compliance with the various goals set forth in the Forest Plan. Accordingly, and for the reasons set forth above Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment is denied and Defendants’ cross motions are granted.
RAFAEL MARQUEZ AMARO, et al., Plaintiffs, v. GERAWAN FARMING, INC, et al., Defendants. Additional Party Names: Jesus Alarcon Urzua, No. 114CV00147DADSAB, 2019 WL 3714575 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 7, 2019)
This matter came before the court on June 4, 2019, for hearing on plaintiffs Rafael Marquez Amaro and Jesus Alarcon Urzua’s (“plaintiffs”) motion for preliminary approval of a class action settlement. Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary approval of class action settlement is granted;
Maryland Dep’t of Env’t v. Cty. Commissioners of Carroll Cty., No. 5, SEPT.TERM, 2018, 2019 WL 3561897 (Md. Aug. 6, 2019)
In the quest to conserve a vital resource – the nation’s waters – Congress has enlisted the federal, state, and local governments under the Clean Water Act (“the Act”)1 in a regulatory approach sometimes called “cooperative federalism.” This effort involves a type of regulation that takes the form of a “permit” issued by a federal agency (or a state agency with federal oversight) at specified intervals to the regulated entity. Such permits authorize discharges of pollution into waterways, which the Act otherwise prohibits. When the targeted pollution is in stormwater, the permittee – i.e., the regulated entity – is often a local government. Inevitably, as in any assignment of responsibility for solving a serious problem, there is disagreement as to the solution and the allocation of that responsibility. One way to resolve such disputes is through judicial review of the permit.
This consolidated appeal concerns judicial review of the most recent permits issued to Carroll County and Frederick County (“the Counties”) under the Act and a parallel Maryland regulatory scheme. The permits regulate the discharge of polluted stormwater into waterways in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The permits were developed and issued by the Maryland Department of the Environment (“Department”) under the supervision of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), as part of an EPA-led, multi-state effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay in compliance with the Act.
Both Counties raise serious issues concerning the scope of the permits, the level of effort required of each County, the classification of the Counties (which affects certain conditions in the permits), and the absence or inclusion of certain terms in the permits. Ultimately, we hold that the Department did not exceed its authority under State and federal law when it issued the permits, nor did it act arbitrarily or capriciously in including the challenged terms in the permits.