This case arises out of a dispute between siblings, all of whom are members or former members of Bennett Linville Farm, LLC (“Bennett Farm”). Formed as an estate-planning vehicle, Bennett Farm’s initial members included most of the Bennett family—both parents and six of their children. The family’s intent, according to Plaintiffs, was for each of Bennett Farm’s members to have an equal say in its affairs.
Instead, Plaintiffs contend, they have been denied a voice on nearly every company decision in recent years. In this action, they allege that three of the Bennett siblings—Graham Bennett, Ann Bennett-Phillips, and Jim Bennett—conspired to seize managerial authority without the other members’ knowledge or approval. The three then fraudulently amended Bennett Farm’s operating agreement to consolidate their control and, having done so, began taking actions on the company’s behalf without member approval. Plaintiffs now claim that Graham, Ann, and Jim breached a fiduciary duty owed to the other members, seek declarations that their actions were unauthorized and invalid, and request a decree judicially dissolving Bennett Farm.
In response, Graham, Ann, and Jim seek to dismiss this action in its entirety. They contend that Plaintiffs lack standing to bring many of the asserted claims as direct claims, rather than as derivative claims on behalf of Bennett Farm. They also contend that Plaintiffs fail to state any claim upon which relief can be granted. For the reasons stated below, the Court granted in part and denied and part.
Peri & Sons Farms, Inc. v. Acosta, No. CV 19-34 (TJK), 2019 WL 1258474 (D.D.C. Mar. 18, 2019)
This case is about the H-2A temporary agricultural labor program, which permits agricultural employers that face a shortage of domestic workers to meet their labor needs by hiring foreign workers on a temporary or seasonal basis (“H-2A workers”). To ensure that the employment of temporary foreign workers under this program does not adversely affect the wages of similarly employed domestic workers, the Department of Labor (the “Department”) must publish an annual notice setting forth the next year’s Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs). AEWRs set a wage floor that employers participating in the H-2A program must pay to all agricultural workers.
Peri & Sons Farms, Inc., and the National Council of Agricultural Employers (NCAE) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) have sued the Secretary of Labor and two Department officials (“Defendants”), alleging that the Department violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in two ways. First, Plaintiffs contend that the Department lacked statutory authority to promulgate AEWRs without first making a finding on whether the employment of H-2A workers adversely effected the wages of domestic agricultural workers. Second, Plaintiffs allege that the Department acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it disregarded certain factors, such as differences in workers’ geographic area, occupation, skills, and experience, in assessing any such adverse effect.
Before the Court is Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction. The parties have agreed to consolidate that motion with the merits, and to allow the Court to rule on the merits based on the current briefing and record. Defendants argue in their opposition that the Court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction over Plaintiffs’ claims. As explained in more detail below, the Court agrees. Plaintiffs’ claims present challenges to the 2010 regulation that established the methodology for determining AEWRs. Thus, because they fall outside the statute of limitations set forth in 5 U.S.C. § 2401(a), and because Plaintiffs have not shown that a narrow exception to that statute applies, the Court must dismiss the case for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
PETER B. HUTTON, Plaintiff, v. JERALD L. NYHART, Defendant., No. CV-17-82-BU-BMM, 2019 WL 1255018 (D. Mont. Mar. 19, 2019)
This dispute involves a series of motions filed by Plaintiff Peter B. Hutton (“Hutton”) and Defendant Jerald L. Nyhart (“Nyhart”) regarding the purchase and leaseback of agricultural property located in Madison County and Beaverhead County in southwestern Montana.
Beasley v. Conagra Brands, Inc., No. 18-CV-06730-SI, 2019 WL 1245144 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 18, 2019)
Before the Court was a motion by defendant Conagra Brands, Inc. (“Conagra”) to dismiss plaintiff Mark Beasley’s first amended class action complaint. Docket No. 30 (“Mot.”). The motion is scheduled for hearing on March 22, 2019. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b).
This is a proposed class action regarding the use and labeling of partially hydrogenated oils (“PHOs”) in Conagra’s popcorn snack, Crunch ‘n Munch. According to the first amended complaint, “PHO was and is an unlawful and dangerous food additive due to its artificial trans fat content. Artificial trans fat is a toxic substance whose unlawful use contributed to hundreds of thousands of untimely deaths in the United States, primarily from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.”The Court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss, with and without prejudice, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 9(b) and 12(b)(6).

Final rule; correcting amendment: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; U.S. Department of Agriculture published a final rule on December 26, 2018, to implement a recommendation from the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2018-2019 and subsequent fiscal periods. This correction addresses a typographical error in that final rule. Info HERE

Notice: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA; This notice announces the Department’s annual adjustments to the Income Eligibility Guidelines to be used in determining eligibility for free and reduced price meals and free milk for the period from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. The annual adjustments are required by section 9 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The guidelines are intended to direct benefits to those children most in need and are revised annually to account for changes in the Consumer Price Index. Info HERE

Notice: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA; This notice announces the surplus and purchased foods that the Department expects to make available for donation to States for use in providing nutrition assistance to the needy under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The foods made available under this notice must, at the discretion of the State, be distributed to eligible recipient agencies (ERAs) for use in preparing meals and/or for distribution to households for home consumption. Info HERE

Notice: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA; This notice informs the public of the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program for Children. These adjustments address changes in the Consumer Price Index, as required under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The 2019 reimbursement rates are presented as a combined set of rates to highlight simplified cost accounting procedures. The 2019 rates are also presented individually, as separate operating and administrative rates of reimbursement, to show the effect of the Consumer Price Index adjustment on each rate. Info HERE

Notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA; The NRCS Montana State Office gives notice that an EIS is being prepared for the Willow Creek Watershed Project in the proximity of Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. This notice announces our intent to prepare an EIS, provide information on the nature of the proposed action and possible alternatives, invite public participation in the EIS process, and identify cooperating agency contacts. The EIS process will evaluate alternatives recommended for detailed study because of previous planning-level studies completed by NRCS and additional (new) alternatives identified during scoping. Info HERE

Notice of intent to deauthorize Federal Funding and request for comments: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA; NRCS gives notice of the intent to deauthorize Federal funding for the Watkins Branch Watershed project, Buchanan County, Virginia. Info HERE