A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.
JUDICIAL: North Carolina Right to Farm
In Lewis v. Murphy-Brown, LLC, No. 7:19-CV-127-BR, 2020 WL 1249374 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 16, 2020), the plaintiff filed a pro se case against the defendant bringing claims of nuisance and negligence over the defendant’s hogs which are housed at a property near the plaintiff’s home. According to the plaintiff, prior to the defendant’s hogs arriving on the nearby property in 1995, it was “quiet and peaceful” on the plaintiff’s property. After the arrival of the hogs, the plaintiff claimed it was impossible to enjoy being outdoors. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged he experienced various health issues as a result of being in close proximity with the defendant’s hogs, and from drinking water contaminated by the hog operation. In response, the defendant moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) which requires courts to dismiss any complaint that “does not allege enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s complaint should be dismissed according to the 12(b)(6) rule because it did not allege sufficient facts to allow the plaintiff to bring his claim under state law.
The North Carolina Right to Farm Act says that to bring a nuisance claim against an agricultural operation, the plaintiff must be the legal owner of property affected by the conditions alleged in the complaint; the property affected by the conditions must be located no more than a half mile away from the agricultural operation; and the claim is brought within one year of the agricultural operation being established or undergoing some fundamental change. The defendant argued that the plaintiff violated all three of these mandatory provisions and had therefore alleged sufficient facts to bring his case. The court agreed with the defendant and ordered the plaintiff’s complaint to be dismissed, and the case to be closed.
REGULATORY: Includes AMS, FWS
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
Proposed rule implementing a recommendation from the South Texas Onion Committee to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2019-20 and subsequent fiscal periods. Info here.
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Proposed rule establishing the 2020-21 hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds. Info here.