JUDICIAL:

OAKDALE GROUNDWATER ALLIANCE et al., Plaintiffs & Respondents, v. OAKDALE IRRIGATION DISTRICT, Defendant & Appellant. Additional Party Names: Louis F. Brichetto, Robert N. Frobose, No. F077281, 2019 WL 396859 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2019) On March 15, 2016, Oakdale Irrigation District (District), which holds water rights to and diverts water from the Stanislaus River for distribution and use within its 64,000-acre service area, approved a “One-Year Pilot On-Farm Water Conservation Program and Transfer of Consumptive Use Water” (Project). Pursuant to the Project, participating landowners within District’s service area would fallow up to 3,000 acres of farmland during the 2016 irrigation season, potentially conserving up to 9,000 acre-feet of water. The water would be transferred to the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority and State Water Contractors in exchange for funds to finance the implementation of water conservation measures on the fallowed land. District concluded the Project would have no significant environmental effects based on its initial study and adopted a negative declaration. The judgment was affirmed.
Mondragon v. Scott Farms, Inc., No. 5:17-CV-00356-FL, 2019 WL 366870 (E.D.N.C. Jan. 5, 2019)
Plaintiffs are all workers who contribute to the sweet potato farming operation of their alleged employer—the defendant in this case—Scott Farms. They seek to bring a class action and allege that Scott Farms has violated several state and federal labor laws mainly by not giving them and their similarly-situated co-workers the overtime pay that they were owed. Scott Farms, meanwhile, contends that the Plaintiffs and other similarly-situated employees were not owed overtime pay because of an exemption in the labor laws for agricultural workers.
Plaintiffs have served several rounds of discovery requests on Scott Farms, to which Scott Farms has timely responded. As is common in discovery, the Plaintiffs were dissatisfied with several of Scott’s answers to their requests. The parties were unable to resolve their differences about discovery involving two major issues: 1) discovery related to H-2A visa workers and other disputed putative class members, and 2) discovery related to Scott’s agricultural worker defense.
One of the issues raised in Plaintiffs’ motion to compel dealt with a separate defense that Scott Farms raised in its Answer which would have absolved the employer of liability if it had acted pursuant to Department of Labor guidance. After Plaintiffs filed its motion to compel, Scott Farms says that it realized that it had accidentally pleaded this defense when, in reality, it had intended to plead another defense which would allow the court to limit liquidated damages if it violated labor laws in good faith. Scott Farms thus filed a motion to amend its Answer after the deadline to amend pleadings had passed.
Because Scott Farms filed its motion to amend its Answer in good faith and the Plaintiffs are not prejudiced by the amendment, the court will grant its motion to amend. The court will also grant in part and deny in part Plaintiffs’ motion to compel because most of the discovery it seeks is relevant to the claims and defenses at issue and is proportional to the needs of the case.
The court granted Scott’s Motion to Amend. D.E. 90. The court also grants Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel in part and denies it in part. D.E. 71. Within 30 days of this order, Scott will supplement its discovery responses as outlined in this order.
Great Am. Ins. Co. v. Russell, No. 17-2441, 2019 WL 387032 (8th Cir. Jan. 31, 2019)
Jonathan Russell appeals the district court’s vacatur of the arbitration award he received against his insurer, Great American Insurance Company, for wrongfully denying his claim for damage to his 2013 corn crop. Because the arbitrators rendered a sufficiently mutual, final, and definite award, vacatur was improper. The court vacated the district court’s judgment and remand for further proceedings.
BARRETT JOHNSON, a single man, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. ALMIDA LAND AND CATTLE COMPANY, LLC, an Arizona limited liability company, Defendant/Appellee., No. 1 CA-CV 15-0416, 2019 WL 395554 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2019)
The Court was asked to decide whether a permittee on federal land owes a duty of care to the public when it erects an improvement across a publicly accessible route. The Lower Court held that Arizona statutes establish a public policy giving rise to a tort duty with respect to the obstruction of certain types of public pathways. The appellate Court reverse dthe grant of summary judgment to the permittee on duty grounds, and remanded so that the superior court may address whether the route at issue falls within the scope of the relevant statutes.
The United States Forest Service granted a permit to Almida Land and Cattle Company, LLC (“Almida”), that allowed Almida to graze cattle on certain federally owned land within the Prescott National Forest. Consistent with the permit, Almida erected an electric fence in the grazing area. In June 2011, Barrett Johnson collided with the fence while riding an off-road motorcycle on an unimproved, unnumbered, non-Forest Service road.
Johnson asserted negligence claims against Almida. Almida moved for summary judgment on the basis that it owed no duty of careto Johnson. The superior court granted Almida’s motion, finding no duty under various sections of the Restatement (Second) of Torts (“Restatement”).
The Appellate Court reversed and remanded in Johnson v. Almida Land & Cattle Company, LLC (“Johnson I”), 241 Ariz. 30 (App. 2016). The supreme court vacated Johnson I and remanded the case to the Appellant for reconsideration in view of Quiroz v. ALCOA Inc., 243 Ariz. 560 (2018). This decision reflects Appellate Court analysis after remand.The Appellate Courts reversed the grant of summary judgment to Almida, and remanded for further proceedings consistent with this decision. They noted that Almida raised as a cross-issue the question of whether it is entitled to immunity from liability under Arizona’s recreational use statute, A.R.S. § 33-1551. Because the superior court did not rule on that question, we do not address it.
Agri-AFC, LLC v. Everidge, No. 5:16-CV-00224-TES, 2019 WL 385421 (M.D. Ga. Jan. 30, 2019)
The following facts are undisputed. In 2015, Defendants Ronald Everidge, Jr. (“Ron”), Jeanna Everidge (“Jeanna”), and their son Ronald Everidge, III (“Tripp,” now deceased) farmed several tracts of land through their businesses, Defendants Daddy Rabbit Farms, Inc. (“Daddy Rabbit”) and Rabbit Ridge Farms, Inc. (“Rabbit Ridge”), collectively referred to as the “Everidge Entities” or “Entities.” Ron and Jeanna are husband and wife, and Tripp was their son. Ron is the sole shareholder and president of Rabbit Ridge, Jeanna is the sole shareholder and president of Daddy Rabbit, and Tripp assisted his father in farming for Rabbit Ridge. Essentially, Plaintiff Agri-AFC, LLC alleges that Defendants executed four promissory notes in 2015, paid for farming products with proceeds from the promissory notes, used those farming products, and then defaulted on the notes after they became due in 2016.
For the reasons stated above, the parties’ Cross-Motions for Partial Summary Judgment was both granted in part and denied part. Defendants’ Motion to Strike was granted. Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment was granted in part as to Count VII and granted as to Count IX, such that Plaintiff is entitled to damages in the amount of $250,000.00 plus attorney’s fees in the amount of $25,025.00 to be paid upon the entry of judgment. Jeanna and Daddy Rabbit’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment was granted as to Counts II and X. The Court dismissed Counts II, VIII, X, XII, and XVII. The remaining claims to be tried during the Court’s April 2019 trial term are: Counts I, III, IV, V, VI, XI, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVIII, XIX (on a claim for unjust enrichment only), XX, XXI, and XXII.
In re EDWARD D. SMITH, Debtor COFFEE FARMERS COOPERATIVE INC., Plaintiff v. EDWARD D. SMITH & TROY BANK & TRUST, Defendants, No. 17-11591-WRS, 2019 WL 404200 (Bankr. M.D. Ala. Jan. 30, 2019), judgment entered, No. 17-11591-WRS, 2019 WL 402570 (Bankr. M.D. Ala. Jan. 30, 2019)
This Adversary Proceeding came before the Court for hearing on January 8, 2019, on the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Troy Bank and Trust. Defendant Troy Bank was present by counsel Allen C. Jones, Plaintiff Coffee Farmers Cooperative, Inc., was present by counsel Jason R. Eubanks, and Defendant Dennis Smith, the Debtor in the underlying Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Case, was present by counsel Collier H. Espy, Jr. The motion is fully briefed. The Court heard argument from counsel and took the matter under advisement. For the reasons set forth below, the motion of Troy Bank is granted. The Court concludes that the mortgages in favor of Troy Bank dated August 16, 2002, and May 25, 2006, have priority over the judgment lien of Coffee Farmers dated April 22, 2009.
Troy Bank holds liens on the Smith’s property pursuant to mortgages executed in 2002 and 2006. These mortgages have priority over Coffee Farmers’ 2009 judgment lien. The 2012 renewal of the 2006 note was a renewal which did not cause Troy Bank to lose its priority, even if it knew of the Coffee Farmer’s 2009 judgment lien. The Court will enter a Declaratory Judgment by way of a separate order.
SHENZHEN XINBODA INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant, & FRESH GARLIC PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION, CHRISTOPHER RANCH, L.L.C., THE GARLIC COMPANY, VALLEY GARLIC, & VESSEY AND COMPANY, INC., Defendant-Intervenors., No. 11-00267, 2019 WL 413583 (Ct. Int’l Trade Jan. 30, 2019)
Plaintiff Shenzhen Xinboda Industrial Co., Ltd. (“Xinboda”) – a Chinese exporter of fresh garlic – commenced this action to contest the Final Determination in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s fifteenth administrative review of the antidumping duty order covering fresh garlic from the People’s Republic of China. See Fresh Garlic from the People’s Republic of China: Final Results and Final Rescission, in Part, of the 2008-2009 Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 76 Fed. Reg. 37, 321 (June 27, 2011) (“Final Determination”); Issues and Decision Memorandum for the Final Results of the 15th Administrative Review of Fresh Garlic from the People’s Republic of China (June 20, 2011) (AR Pub. Doc. No. 176) (“Issues & Decision Memorandum”); see generally Shenzhen Xinboda Industrial Co. v. United States, 38 CIT ____, 976 F. Supp 2d 1333 (2014) (“Shenzhen Xinboda I”); Shenzhen Xinboda Industrial Co. v. United States, 41 CIT ____, 279 F. Supp. 3d 1265 (2017) (“Shenzhen Xinboda II”).1 In its Complaint, Xinboda challenged Commerce’s decisions in its Final Determination as to the surrogate financial statements used to derive surrogate financial ratios, the surrogate value for labor (i.e., the surrogate wage rate), and the surrogate value for fresh whole raw garlic bulbs, as well as the agency’s application of its “zeroing” methodology in calculating Xinboda’s dumping margin. See generally Complaint; see also Shenzhen Xinboda I, 38 CIT at ____, 976 F. Supp 2d at 1345-46.
Ruling on Xinboda’s Motion for Judgment on the Agency Record, Shenzhen Xinboda I remanded this matter to Commerce for further consideration of all four issues, including a voluntary remand on the surrogate value for labor. See generally Shenzhen Xinboda I, 38 CIT at ____, 976 F. Supp 2d at 1388. Shenzhen Xinboda II sustained Commerce’s remand determination as to the surrogate value for labor and the agency’s application of zeroing, but remanded the matter for a second time to permit Commerce to further consider the surrogate value for garlic bulbs and the selection of financial statements. See generally Shenzhen Xinboda II, 41 CIT at ____, 279 F. Supp. 3d at 1265 et seq.; Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Remand (SAR Pub. Doc. No. 7) (“First Remand Results”).
*2 Now pending are Commerce’s Second Remand Results, which have been filed under protest as to the surrogate value for garlic bulbs. See generally Final Results of Redetermination Pursuant to Remand (“Second Remand Results”). Jurisdiction lies under 28 U.S.C. § 1581(c) (2006).2 For the reasons set forth below, the Second Remand Results must be sustained.
The court ruled the Second Remand Results must be sustained and that Judgment will enter accordingly.
IN RE: WAYNE BAILEY, INC. DEBTOR, No. 18-00284-5-SWH, 2019 WL 417816 (Bankr. E.D.N.C. Feb. 1, 2019)
The matter before the court is the Objection to PACA Claim of Kornegay Family Produce, LLC filed by the debtor on June 6, 2018, Dkt. 386 (the “Objection”). A response to the Objection was filed by Kornegay Family Produce, LLC (“Kornegay”) on July 6, 2018, Dkt. 490 (the “Response”). A hearing was held in Raleigh, North Carolina on August 28, 2018, at which the court took the matter under advisement and invited the parties to file supplemental memoranda. Kornegay filed a post-hearing memorandum on October 11, 2018, (the “Memorandum”). After a review of the case record and consideration of the parties’ arguments, the Objection was allowed.

Monarch Nut Co., LLC et al., Plaintiffs, v. Goodnature Prod., Inc. et al., Defendants. Additional Party Names: CPM Wolverine Proctor, Dale Wettlaufer, Goodnature Inex, LLC, Goodnature Nat’l, Inc., Kable Munger, Munger Farms, No. 14-CV-1017S, 2019 WL 441591 (W.D.N.Y. Feb. 5, 2019) Plaintiffs Monarch Nut Company, LLC and Munger Farms (“Monarch” collectively), and their owner, Kable Munger, sued defendants Goodnature Products, Inc., Goodnature National, Inc., and Goodnature Inex, LLC (“Goodnature” collectively); and Goodnature’s CEO, Dale Wettlaufer (“Wettlaufer”), alleging various claims of contractual breach and fraud in connection with the purchase of infusion and drying equipment that would prepare sweetened dried blueberries. On September 19, 2018, the Court issued a Report and Recommendation that addressed a number of dispositive motions from the parties.  At the end, the Court recommended that the following claims or counterclaims proceed to trial:
1) Monarch’s second claim against Goodnature and Wettlaufer for fraudulent inducement to enter the Licensing Agreement;
2) Monarch’s fifth claim against Goodnature and Wettlaufer for breach of contract/breach of express warranties; and
3) All of Goodnature and Wettlaufer’s counterclaims against Monarch.

REGULATORY:

Interim final rule with request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

This rule will remove seven voluntary U.S. grade standards and one consumer standard for fresh fruits and vegetables from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This regulatory action is being taken as part of USDA’s work to eliminate regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, or impose costs that exceed benefits. None of the eight voluntary standards slated for removal from the CFR are related to a current, active marketing order, import regulation, or export act. The cost of printing these eight standards in the CFR annually exceeds the benefits of further inclusion in the CFR. These voluntary standards and all subsequent revisions or new standards for these products will be available in a separate publication. The standards for the affected commodities will continue to be administered by the AMS Specialty Crops Inspection (SCI) Division and catalogued using the existing numbering system for voluntary standards. Any proposed, new, or revised voluntary standards will appear in the Federal Register with the opportunity for public comment. Info HERE

Proposed rule: Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.; Federal law generally limits the amount of time an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) can receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to 3 months in a 36-month period, unless the individual meets certain work requirements. On the request of a State SNAP agency, the law also gives the Department of Agriculture (the Department) the authority to temporarily waive the time limit in areas that have an unemployment rate of over 10 percent or a lack of sufficient jobs. The law also provides State agencies with a limited number of percentage exemptions that can be used by States to extend SNAP eligibility for ABAWDs subject to the time limit. The Department proposes to amend the regulatory standards by which the Department evaluates State SNAP agency requests to waive the time limit and to end the unlimited carryover of ABAWD percentage exemptions. The proposed rule would encourage broader application of the statutory ABAWD work requirement, consistent with the Administration’s focus on fostering self-sufficiency. The Department seeks comments from the public on the proposed regulations. Info HERE

Final rule: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; This rule changes the National Honey Board (Board) importer-handler member and alternate to an importer member and alternate. The Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order) is administered by the Board with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This rule also updates the definition for the term Board to reflect current practices, and make clarifying and conforming changes to other provisions of the program. Info HERE

Reinstatement of an information collection; comment request; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA; In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s intention to request a reinstatement of an information collection associated with the regulations for privately owned quarantine facilities for ruminants. Info HERE

Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations to allow States to impose prohibitions or restrictions on specific articles in addition to those required by APHIS to help protect against the introduction and establishment of plant pests. Info HERE
Reinstatement of an information collection; comment request: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s intention to request the reinstatement of an information collection associated with the Federal plant pest and noxious weeds regulations. Info HERE

Notice of intent: Agricultural Research Service, USDA.; Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Golden Valley Organics, Inc. dba BioWest Ag Solutions of Nampa, Idaho, an exclusive license to U.S. Patent No. 9,578,884, “PSEUDOMONAS SPECIES HAVING WEED-SUPPRESSIVE ACTIVITY AND BENIGN SOIL SURVIVAL TRAITS FOR ANNUAL GRASS WEED MANAGEMENT”, issued on February 28, 2017. Info HERE

Notice of intent; Agricultural Research Service, USDA. Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Oregon State University of Corvallis, Oregon, an exclusive license to the variety of blackberry described in U.S. Plant Patent Application Serial No. 15/998,301, “BLACKBERRY PLANT NAMED `TWILIGHT’”, filed on August 2, 2018. Info HERE

Final rule; Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.; This rule implements a recommendation from the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee) to increase the assessment rate established for the 2018-19 and subsequent crop years. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Info HERE

Final rule: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; This rule implements a recommendation from the Citrus Administrative Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2018-19 and subsequent fiscal periods. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Info HERE

Notice of filing of petitions and request for comment; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) This document announces the Agency’s receipt of several initial filings of pesticide petitions requesting the establishment or modification of regulations for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various commodities. Info HERE

Notice; request for comments; Farm Service Agency, USDA. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on a revision and an extension of a currently approved information collection associated with Direct Loan Making Program. The collected information is used in eligibility and feasibility determinations on farm loan applications. Info HERE

Proposed rule; Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to amend its regulations to update a number of outdated administrative and organizational references, clarify agency action as it relates to the withdrawal or denial of service, update the official shields and grademarks associated with the grading service, and make reference to the use of instrument grading equipment as a means of determining official grades on beef and lamb carcasses. Info HERE

LEGISLATIVE:

H.R. 961: To prevent human health threats posed by the consumption of equines raised in the United States Info HERE